Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Originally uploaded by beebe4
We finally made it to the pumpkin patch! Noah goes crazy every time we drive past it and yells "Oh Punkins"! Considering that it closes tomorrow, we decided to load everyone up after dinner and drove over to pick out a pumpkin and take pictures. Noah loved running around looking at all of the pumpkins and he picked out a little pumpkin for himself. We got a couple good pictures of both Noah and Jude so be sure to check them out!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Big Guy!

We took Jude to the doctor Friday for his 2 week check up. He weighed in at 9 pounds, 9 ounces! The doctor said that everything looks great and we have his follow up hearing test scheduled for late November. Regina was here for the weekend and was such a big help. She cooked 8 freezer ready meals for us and spent most of Sunday cleaning our house. She even scrubbed the bathtubs! We are so thankful that she was able to come visit and spend time with our family.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Noah at the Park

Our friend Bebe has been kind enough to take care of Noah a couple of afternoons since Jude's arrival. One day last week she took Noah and her son Kirby to the park to feed the ducks and play. Noah has not stopped talking about Kiki (Kirby) since then. Thanks Bebe for all of your help & for letting Noah hang out with his best friend.

Monday, October 22, 2007

First Outings

Last Friday we ventured out for the first time as a family of four. We spent the morning at the park and then we walked and had lunch together. Jude slept the entire time we were gone and Noah was very well behaved. Even so, it was exhausting! We didn't go out for the rest of the weekend!
Today, I went out on my own with both Noah and Jude. I piled both kids into the car and we took our regularly scheduled Monday morning trip to the grocery store. I was pretty nervous, but tried to tell myself that it was really no big deal. Noah rode in the cart and I carried Jude in a Moby wrap. The trip was a great success- nobody cried (including me)! The only annoying thing was that apparently carrying a baby and pushing one in a cart draws a lot of attention to yourself. I was stopped numerous times by people wanting to "check out what I was carrying". Oh well, I guess they will just have to get used to seeing us!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hospital Food

I just had my second child.  My wife and first son are on my Jude_Birth 025insurance through my work.  I am responsible for paying the bills and providing her medical and dental healthcare.  It is I who is paying the hospital their thousands of dollars in exchange for a healthy wife and kid at the end of our 48 hours there.  Not a bad trade at all, in fact I would pay good money to anyone that promised to return my family back to me in a healthy condition after undergoing such a traumatic event as child birth.

My only complaint is, would it really break the bank for you guys to offer me a meal, so that I can enjoy sitting next to my sweet wife, who just squeezed a watermelon out of her vagina, without going down to the cafeteria and eating alone?

It strikes me as ironic that being the one who is financially responsible for paying for all the doctors, nurses, bags of drugs, computer usage, comforting security protocols, and fancy craft-o-matic beds and I don't even get offered a meal, much less a free one?  I think it is out of principal that I am annoyed more then anything, because not having to eat the hospital food is not something you would ever complain about.

The typical hospital meal consists of  5 components:

  • Elementary-school sized juice cup
  • A roll glazed with a butter-esque substance
  • Mystery meat du jour
  • A vegetable medley, and
  • "Dessert"

So for any of you father's-to-be out there, take my advice, splurge on bringing your own meals in, and skip the hospital food.  And by splurge, I mean, pick one of your friends that is coming to meet the new child and charge them a  baby visitation admission of one lunch or dinner (depending on the time).  That nice person will usually offer to bring you something also, which will result in a "two-fer".  One being the free, good meal and two being the overpriced, bad, hospital meal that your wife will inevitable leave unconsumed once you brag to her that Bradley is bringing her a Chicken Caesar Wrap with tomato bisque from The Loop. (THANKS BRAD!!)

Once real food is secured, you should offer your wife, considering that she did just birth your child, the first right of refusal on the juice cup, bread roll, and fruit suspended in gelatin, or whatever other concoction they are trying to pass off as a dessert that day.  The rest of the glorified TV dinner is fair game, but trust me you will feel dirty in the morning after eating it.  

Note: The fastest way to identify the mystery meat is to read the meal description, which can usually be found 4 or 5 menu levels deep in that crappy interactive webTV hanging in your recovery room.

Now, it is normal to feel a little guilty when the food service staff comes back in to pick up the food tray, and you have left most of it uneaten and The Loop bags used to bring in the real food lay exposed on the floor, reminding you of that time in high school when your mom came home unexpectedly early and you and your girlfriend managed to get composed enough to play cool, until she walks in and you follow her eyes as they catch the bundle of female underwear sitting on the floor.  Yeah, kinda like that.

So my final tip, is to let you guys in on the secret compartment designed specifically to avoid this type of situation.  Next to the door to you room is a closet that opens on both the inside and outside of the room.  This closet / pantry is your friend!  It is a pass-through for dirty linens and finished food trays so that non-essential personnel don't have to enter your room, allowing you to avoid aforementioned situation and to enjoy your Law and Order in peace.

Bon App├ętit!

Jude_Birth 082

This was the "fancy" meal!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jude's Birth Story

Dear Jude,

As I write this letter to you, you lay silently asleep in your mother's arms and your brother, Noah, is watching The Polar Express. 100_1284 The reason for this letter is so that long after I am gone, you will have my memories of the day that you were born to read over and over to your heart's content.  It was important for me to write this down soon after your birth so that no detail would escape me.

On the morning that you were scheduled to be born, your mom and I headed out to Baptist Medical Center (downtown) at 6:30 am for the 7:15 induction.  Your grandma McDonald spent the night on the eve of your birth and slept in your future room so that she could watch over your brother on this special day, and so that we could leave early in the morning with minimal complications.  Despite heavy traffic on that Friday morning, we arrived at the hospital on time, and thanks to pre-registration with the hospital we were in the room you would take your first breath in by 7:30 am, and hooked up to the fetal heartbeat and contraction monitors, shortly there after.

At 8:30 Doctor Natasha Eliz came in to check on us.  She set our expectation that since your mom had to receive fluids before the epidural 100_1287could be given, we would wait for around 4 hours before we should expect any sort of serious contractions to begin.  So we the patient waiting period, while your delivery nurse, Jessica, monitored you and your mom and made sure the induction was progressing on schedule. 

At just after 10:00 am Dr. Eliz broke your mother's water with a thing that looked like a crochet needle, and the contractions picked up very quickly.  I guess technically it was your water... actually, it was communal water, shared between your mother and you.

Heather and Brad Arrowsmith had, for the previous three months, been our on-call emergency plan to come over and watch your brother, 100_1288in case grandma Lois was not in town.  They had felt quite cheated when we told them that you were going to be induced.  That being said, Heather didn't hold that against us and hung out with us while we were waiting for the pitocin to kick in. 

I imagine that the first time you actually read this will be sometime around 2015, depending when I let you in on the fact that I write every detail of your life on a blog for complete strangers (and friends) to enjoy, and in case it is not obvious, I am a bit of technology junky, which back in 2007 was commonly referred to as "being a dork".  While we waited for you to be born, I was using technology, to keep our friends and family that could not be in the room with us abreast of the situation.

I was using my phone to "text" messages to our baby blog.  Ask me if you don't know what either "text" or "blog" mean, as times may have changed by then and those words will most likely be decommissioned.  Anyway, the point is, your Jude_Birth 077mom and I were posting and reading comments from our friends and family all across the world, while we waited for you to be born.

Around noon, your mom received her epidural.  The anesthesiologist was not very nice, and your mom called him bad words (behind his back) until the drugs set in.  You had moved your head into a good position now, and your mother was 6 cm dilated. 

By this time your grandfather had shown up to keep us company and join in on the wait for your arrival.  He had tried to be nice and bring me lunch, but I had already eaten, just in case you decided to make an earlier arrival.  So around 1:30 he said he was going to go get something to eat, but waited until the dumba#$, s&*thead anesthesiologists figure out how to get the left side of your mom's body to be as numb as her right. They came in around 2:30 to up the flow of medicine and everything was good so "Daddy John" stepped out for a bite.

Shortly after he left, I noticed that there was something dripping on the floor, upon examination and talking to the nurse, we realized that your mom had not Jude_Birth 081been getting the pitocin for about 3 hours!!  This is the drug that she was getting through an IV, that was suppose to be increasing contractions!  But we soon found out that it didn't matter.  When the nurse examined your mom, presumable to see how bad her screw up had set us back, she could already see the top of your head!  You had dark hair (although it was hard to be certain, as real childbirth is not quite as clean as they show it on TV), meaning that your mom had one the hair bet.  So at 2:50, Jessica the nurse told us that it was time to start pushing.

We waited for Dr. Eliz to get there, which was not long at all, and at 3:00 PM your mom began to push you into the world.

Apparently, you were ready to come out because a mere 12 minutes later you were laying on top of your mother's belly.  Jude_Birth 069You were very blue and you took a few seconds to take your first breath and your mom and I held our own breath with you.  My first words to you were, "breath Jude, breath."  The 10-15 seconds that it took you to begin crying seemed like an hour to me.  I was later told that it is normal, but those were some of the most helpless feeling seconds of my life.  But at 3:12 PM on October 12th, 2007 you finally took your first breath, and after that glorious moment the color quickly came to you and within 2 minutes of being under the baby warmer, you were looking the pink color that was expected.  You were also showing us how strong your lungs actually were.

I went over to your corner of the room, and watched to make sure everything was ok with you, while Dr. Eliz tended to your mother.  One thing I want you to know, for the time when you have your own children, is that no matter how safe it feels or how far science comes, childbirth is a very serious Jude_Birth 019event for both mother and child, and one that you should never let your guard down on.

The whole experience is humbling for a man who considers himself a problem solver.  Having two of the most precious people in my life, in threatening positions, at the same time.  And realizing that there is nothing I could do if anything were to go wrong.  I am completely aware that I would have been unequipped to solve any problem that came up, and I was relegated to putting my trust in the 6 or so nurses and doctors that have been randomly assigned to care for the safety of my wife and child.  A trust that they have been trained to solve all sorts of problems that could potentially arise and pray that they only need a small amount of their training on this day.  It is a humbling situation, indeed.

My prayers were answered and everything went smoothly, you were breathing, screaming and scoring an 8 on your one-minute Apgar and a 9 or Jude_Birth 018your five-minute test.  And your mom's prayers were answered when it was obvious that you had a smaller head then your brother, resulting in less damaged and less pain on recovery.  For that, we both thank you.

Your mom and I had been keeping your name a semi-secret.  I had told everyone that I wanted to reserve the right to change your name if you didn't look like a Jude.  We had decided on your name about 3 months earlier, but I didn't want to start getting all these embroidered sheep and blankets with the JUDE on them.  I didn't want to feel locked in, because some stupid $30 towel was telling me I couldn't change my mind.  But after looking into your eyes, and looking at your face, your name was Jude.

You're first name is not for anyone or anything in particular.  We wanted something that was not overly common, but not something that people would have to ask you how to spell.  We liked the letter 'J', and we wanted a Jude_Birth 007name that went with your brother's name and was equally as cool (we were trying to give you an edge in high school, cause high school kids are mean, and high school will, most likely, be the most difficult few years of your life, until you are forced to face your own grown-up mistakes later on in life).  Your middle name, Williams, is your grandmother Lois's maiden name, and apparently your mom and I like the letter 'W' for middle initials.  Speaking of initials we did consider them as well, to make sure we were not giving those pre-pubescent middle schoolers any more targets to use, since JWM is a pretty random assortment, and your monogrammed ordering, JMW, is equally random.  You can thank us later.

Jude_Birth 022Your mom also likes to point out that both initials have W & M in them which COINCIDENTALLY happens to be the initials for her college Alma Mater, William & Mary.

As soon as the doctors and nurses were gone and had cleaned up the room, you had your first meal.  You latched right on with no problem and had some "liquid gold" within 20 minutes of your birth. 

In the waiting room your grandma Lois and Daddy John, back from his walk across the river to get a decent bite to eat, were anxiously waiting to be allowed to come in and see you for the first time.  After 30 minutes they couldn't take it any more and came and knocked on the door, but I made them wait for another 30 seconds while your mom pulled her hospital gown back up.  They were very excited to see you and begin snapping photos to send out to their friends and show off their Jude_Birth 026newest grandchild.  Next to show up was your other grandma, "Sheen" (a.k.a Noushin).  She brought a dozen white roses and could not wait to hold you in her arms.

At was now time for you to go up to the nursery for some more serious checking out and cleaning.  I took you up there with Noushin, and stayed with you until the nurse gave me the thumbs up that you looked healthy, except that your body temperature was not above 98 degrees yet (most likely due to the delivery nurse forgetting to turn the baby warmer on immediately).  Since it was going to be a while before you would be ready to leave the nursery, I returned to your mother's side.

Next came the biggest surprise of all.  Your aunt Shelley and cousin Caitlin walked through the door to a room full of dropped jaws and speechless people.Jude_Birth 084  It took everything I had to not completely lose it at the sight of them.  I can only imagine how touched your mother was.  They had decided the night before that they wanted to fly down from Chesapeake, Virginia to be here for the weekend of your birth.  Given the recent loss of your Grandmother Pearl, there presence was the most thoughtful gift that your mother received.  It was obvious to me, that Pearl's presence was on display in the bond that called Shelley to hop on a plane, regardless of price, and be there for your mother.  I hope that we can raise you and your brother in such a way that you will both feel the need to be there for each other in times of joy and pain.

I had been telling my family that I wanted more of a TV birth story for you... to walk out into the waiting room, to a big crowd of people, and raise you into the air while a baboon sang the Circle of Life, but it turned out that Shelley, the one that usually plans every last detail, gave me everything that I needed by throwing out her planning and doing what she felt needed to be done.  I was very, very touched by their actions, and I will cherish that moment for a long time.

After all the commotion calmed down, it was time for your mom to move into her recovery room.  We packed up our stuff, headed upstairs, and Jude_Birth 063waited for you to warm up enough to be cleaned so we could show you off to everyone. 

Heather Arrowsmith came back to see you and saved your mom from the hospital food by bringing a ham & cheese croissant sandwich and a piece of cheesecake from European Street Cafe.  Your mom described it as the best meal she had ever had.

From there you pretty much slept and ate for the rest of the day.  You were a quiet baby and we were able to sleep a fair amount that first night.  Our sleep might be partially attributed to us shipping you off to the nursery for 4 hours, but I prefer to think we slept so well because we knew that you were in this world, in our lives, and that you were healthy and perfect.  It was a good day.


                                                          I love you very much,



Monday, October 15, 2007

Jude's 1st Bath (at home)

For Jude's 3rd day of life, Sherry decided that he should get a sponge bath.  I remember when that use to be a sexy image in my mind... oh how times have changed.  And just to make sure that I am not alone in losing the beautiful imagery of what those words use to mean, I thought I would share with you a video of just how unsexy those words actually are.  But in the end the results are good:

Everything is going well

Noah and I went to help Lois with her car (and to give Sherry and Jude a quiet house) this morning. Everything is actually going quite smoothly. Noah just giggles and points and says "baby" and Jude is a very quiet baby (so far). We are going into the pediatrician tomorrow for a weight check.

Jude has not pooped much and he is not staying awake during his feedings so we are a little concerned about his weight, but not overly concerned.

They announced his birth at church yesterday and we had yummy Chicken Divan that Bebe made us. THANKS!

Jude actually failed his first hearing test (which they assured us was not a big deal since the newborn still has a lot of fluid still in his tubes and canals), but since we left early and they didn't have time to give us a 2nd one, which is usually when the newborn passes, we have to go back in for a 2nd one sometime this week.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Stats

You guys sure do like real time updates! Here are the stats of the page views for our blog over the month.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jude's First Nap

Here is a video of Momma and Jude in the middle of the night last night.  He is 12 hours old in this video.

Pictures... Finally

 Here is Jude Williams McDonald:

More pictures on our Picasa Web Albums

Snip Snip

Jude has been snipped. Didn't cry much. We should be home tonight by 7 PM. We have had a steady flow of visitors.

Baby #2 name announcement

OK, I will not make you wait anymore. Noah's younger brother's name is Jude Williams McDonald. Pictures coming soon.

Good Behaviour

Trying to go home tonight, which requires approval from both doctors

1st doctor visit

Pediatrician says "he's a solid dude". Will announce name with picture as soon as I get Internet connection

Friday, October 12, 2007


8 pounds 4 ounces, 20.3 inches, born at 3:12 PM

Surprise of the decade!

Holy crap! Shelley and Caitlin flew in to surprised us. Too cool


We have a boy! Mother and baby are great. Already nursing


Time to start pushing

Pain update

Sherry's epidural is only working on one side. Just had dosage increased. Baby's heart rate look good.

How's Noah?

Noah and lois are having fun and awaiting THE ARRIVAL


Sherry's father is here now. Sherry is 6 cm

Comments anyone?

By the way, we are checking comments from the Internet TV in our room. Feel free to cheer us on! Epidural has been given, Sherry feeling good.


Heather Arrowsmith just stopped by to check in with us.

Water break

Dr. Eliz just broke Sherry's water. Sherry's pain level is quickly increasingly. Epidural will be requested soon.

4 hours of waiting

Looks like it will be four hours before they break Sherry's water. Pitocin drip has been started, and contractions already strengthening

We're In

Admitting was painless. We only had to wait 5 minutes. Sun is coming up now, labor is coming soon.

Driving to Hospital

Why are there so many people on the highway? Going to admitting now

Time to make the doughnuts

Stupid Dunkin Doughnuts ad. When ever I get up before the sun I always say "Time to make the doughnuts" in my head... and it has been like 20 years since that ad has ever been on tv. That is some powerful advertising!

Anyways, I am showered, Sherry is blow drying, Lois and Noah are sleeping. And we are off to the hospital in 30 minutes, assuming 25 people or more did not come in with babies last night, otherwise we will have to wait.

We will post here with updates, so keep an eye out.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Last day as King

To my dear first son,

Your reign as supreme ruler of our lives is coming to an end.  You have been a benevolent ruler, and for that, your mom and I thank you.  Tomorrow, will begin a new era in your world, one that you will have to share with a much smaller co-ruler.

But you should know that you were the one that we were talking about when we would ask: How could we love another child as much as this one?  and How can another child be as wonderful as him?

You are our favorite first son, and always will be. 

                                              I love you,


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Conditions are Favorable

We went to our weekly appointment this morning and there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I am currently 3 cm and we have scheduled an induction for Friday morning at 7:15. So if all goes according to plan, Noname will arrive on 10/12. But who knows...we are going to have spicy shrimp tonight- so maybe he will come earlier than that! We will keep you posted.

Today's the day????

According to our worldwide poll, 36% of our readers think that today is the day that Noname will be birthed. So here is the agenda for this highly anticipated day, but to be honest it feel just as anticipated as every other day this week:
  • Lois comes into town to watch Noah
  • Sherry and Ben visit the doctor for their weekly scheduled visit
  • Ben heads off to work, Sherry heads off to her life of leisure
  • Sherry and Noah go for their induction walk through the 'hood
  • Sherry, Ben, John and Noushin go to the Florida Yacht Club for dinner (the last time we went with them to dinner at the Yacht Club and Sherry was 9 months pregnant you remember what happened... right? Spicy Shrimp Tempura here we come!)
  • Come home and go to sleep wondering if it will be the last sleep we get for 36 hours

Last night, John and Noushin came over and brought Noah two very nice presents... a wind up musical guitar from Hawaii and Noah's new favorite thing, fake credit cards for his wallet. I have given him one of my old wallet's (sorry Shelley, but it is going to good use!) and he has one of my business cards and 3 credit cards in Your Name Here's name. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This is my 1st mobile blog entry. I will be using this for real time updates once contractions begin.

Sneak Peak at Halloween

Originally uploaded by beebe4
We are practicing getting Noah ready for Halloween, so every once in a while we have dress rehearsals.

Here is a picture of us during a morning rehearsal (before daddy has showered... so no comments about the greasy appearance!), reading Odd Velvet.

I think he is going to do alright :)

Nesting Instinct

Originally uploaded by beebe4
Sherry has been keeping a very clean house lately, and is always folding and refolding Noname's new clothes and arranging and rearranging his box of diapers and wipes and linens. Last night she had me search through our constantly shrinking storage area in our garage for our Halloween "stuff", and while I was working / checking my fantasy football she made our Halloween nest.

It is a comforting feeling to have her in such a state, and although we are scared of the unknown and what having two boys relying 100% on us for their care is going to be like, I once again have the calming feeling that Sherry knows exactly what she is doing, if by nothing more then instincts ... but it is so much more than instincts that give me this feeling.

Sherry, thank you for this... all of it. I love you very much and am so excited about this addition to our family.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Muffin Heads

Sorry, I forgot my audience. (most of you just read the email that I set up 3 years ago, and have not moved into the 20th century with a RSS reader)

1) Go to http://mcdonaldbaby.blogspot.com
2) Use your mouse (that thing next to your keyboard (that's the one with the keys on it)) to select your vote
3) click vote to cast your vote
4) do not email me your vote

Also, my sister Sarah asked me (in her email telling me her guess) to mention the more important guess... when does Sherry think it will be.

The answer: 10/14/07 (updated... from Ben previously saying 10/10/07)


Since this has been the topic of conversation between Sherry and I a lot lately, I have added two polls for you guys to vote on. Feel free to indicate in the comments which guess is yours.

1) How much do you think Noname will weigh?
2) When do you think he will arrive?

Just for some extra info:
- Noah was right on his due date (although labor carried him into the next day)
- Noah weighed 8 lbs 13 oz.
- Sherry has gained less weight than she did with Noah
- Ben is convinced that today is the day

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another Day, Another Week?

We had our weekly doctor's appointment today and NO PROGRESS! I was certain that something would have changed over the last week considering the number of contractions I have had- but I was wrong. Everything still looks great and we are scheduled to go back for another appointment next Wednesday. We did talk about the possibility of induction- but decided to wait until I am overdue for that option.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Goodbye old, hello new

As we are about to have our second BOY, Sherry and I figured it was time to update the site with a more masculine look, versus the old pink template that we have had since the site's conception.

The pink has served us pretty well, but I have had this festering thought for a while that it was not fitting... not that there is anything wrong with boys liking pink. So last night when Sherry said, "I have been trying to change the template, but I am scared that I will lose all our customizations," I knew it was time for me to act. So I did a little googling for free blogger templates and found the one you see now. I know it isn't Noah, but maybe I will take the time to get a picture of him up there, but for now it just feels much more appropriate.

I also removed the ads as I have had them on this site and my more technical site for 2 years and am up to $30 total. The junky feeling just isn't worth it to me any more.

What do you think?