Monday, July 22, 2013

Jojo's Story Part 1: The Birth

June 19th: I hadn't heard from the birth mom in over a month, and needless to say I was slightly stressed with all of the uncertainties. But, finally the call came! The OB had decided that the baby wasn't growing well and labor needed to be induced. So, around noon we got the official word that is was go time, and we hopped on a plane at 4:30 that afternoon!

The birth mom {I will call her "T"} was admitted to the hospital at 6pm, and we arrived in Houston a couple of hours later. The drive to Sugar Land proved to be quite adventurous since it was dark and we had never experienced the "frontage road" system. In case you have never experienced it, they have highways that run right along the side of their highways. Lots of U turns. Very confusing. Not to mention that my cell phone battery was dead so GPS to the hotel was not an option. But, we finally found it and settled in for the night. Of course, I didn't sleep a wink.

I had called the hospital the day before, simply to let the staff on the L&D floor know that we were coming, the situation etc. I have to be honest, I sort of expected it would all turn out like a Lifetime movie where they gave us a room next door to T, the baby would be born, come to our room to stay etc. That was not the case. I was informed (and rightly so) that I had zero rights aside from what T wanted. She was delivering the baby and the mom and baby were their priority as far as the nurses were concerned.

So on Thursday morning I left my mom and the kids at the hotel to rest and swim while I headed to the hospital bright and early, a bundle of nerves and excitement. I arrived on the L&D floor, signed in, and went back to greet the nurses, let them know I was there, and available IF T wanted to see me when she woke up.

I went back to the small waiting room and furiously crocheted away on Jojo's not yet finished blanket while I waited. Not too long after, T's OB doctor came out to the waiting room to talk to me. I assumed she had bad news of some sort, or that she was coming to tell me that T wasn't ready to see me, I couldn't be there etc. Much to my surprise, she was simply coming to introduce herself to me, and give me an update on how the baby was doing. I was simply floored by her kindness. We talked for a little while and then she said T was awake and ready to see me when I was ready.

I took a few deep breaths and made my way down the hall where I was greeted by Nicole. She introduced herself to me and said with a smile "I will be your Labor and Delivery nurse". She will likely never know how much those words meant to me in that moment.All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with gratitude, a sense of belonging, and a sense of empty handedness. How could I walk in to that room, and meet face to face with the woman who was about to spend hours laboring to bring my baby in to this world empty handed? I nervously hugged Nicole, told her I loved her for being so awesome, and said I would run to the store and be right back.

You know how dads act when their wives are about to go through immense pain and hard work to bring their children into this world, and they can do NOTHING to help? I know how that feels now. I went to the store and bought flowers for T, Nicole, and the doctor! If they would have had packs of blue bubble gum cigars I would have bought those too and handed them out to strangers.

I arrived back at the hospital, flowers in hand, ready to meet T. Or at least as ready as I would ever be. I walked in to the room, set down the flowers, and went straight to my job of making sure she was as comfortable as possible. We were immediately at ease with each other.

She was in a good bit of discomfort (obviously), so we talked through the pain. I got her more ice chips, requested some pain meds, adjusted her pillows and our relationship was off and running. It soon became clear to me that I was the only one that would be there that day for her. To hold her hair back when she got sick. To make sure she was a comfortable as possible. To do the things that family is supposed to do for you when you deliver a baby. So, we became family.

God blessed me in so many ways throughout the day. Amy (the social worker) did an AMAZING job of being there for me as well as being there for T. She is a social work genius. My kids were patient. My mom was a champ. A friend (who I have never met)'s mom (who I have also never met) came and brought me a muffin and sat in the waiting room and chatted with me for a while. I got sweet text messages throughout the day from friends and family encouraging me and praying for all of us. God literally showed off ALL DAY.

T labored through the day, slowly but surely. I finally left in the afternoon, to go back to the hotel and get the kids and my mom so they could be there for the big moment!

They were so patient as I tried to split my time in the waiting room making sure they were happy, and in the the room with T to make sure all was well. Around 7pm it was finally GO TIME. T made it clear that she wanted me to stay in the room with her while she delivered Jojo, and I was honored. I was able to pray with her right before the staff flooded into the room for the delivery. We took deep breaths, pushed, and counted to 10 and did it again and again until sweet Josiah made his way into the world!

The moment he was born, I literally fell into T and we hugged and we both cried. The feeling of gratitude to her, gratefulness to God for a safe delivery, and awe that I was standing right where God wanted me was overwhelming.
June 20 7:22pm 5lbs 4oz 18.25 inches

This is T and I moments after Josiah was born. I blurred her face just for her privacy, but you may still be able to tell that we sort of look alike. God is surely in the details!
Josiah was taken off to the nursery about 30 minutes later to be evaluated and checked from head to toe. We all had a chance to go back to the nursery for a quick first peek and then we headed back to the hotel so the kids and Emmy could get some rest. I promised T that I would get her what ever she wanted for dinner, so I headed back up to the hospital (with a very insistent Ella Mae) and had a chance to give Jojo his very first bottle.
I laid my pillow on my head that night knowing that Gods plan for me had played out before my eyes all day long......but of course the adventure of TRUSTING GOD with ALL the details had only just begun.

{part 2- "The NICU" coming soon!}




  1. No words. Just lots and lots of love. <3 God is so very very good!!

  2. Hi Jenny!

    Nicole told me about your blog; I would love to follow along and hear updates about Jojo. Hope all is well :)

    Lauren Phillips

    1. Thanks Lauren Phillips...AKA "THE OB DOC" :)

  3. Wow. So happy for you and rejoicing with you!!

  4. I`m so happy for you, Josiah is absolutely beautiful!

  5. Absolutely Beautiful!!!! Go God!!!