pics from a new life!

i'm sure you will be hearing lots from us in the near future, but for now here are some favorite pics from judah's first 48 hours on the planet

full dukes fam

all the wonderful grandparents

our hero...adrienne the L&D nurse (aka doula, midwife, coach, doctor, saving grace)

one of my first times holding him after a tumultuous post-delivery period

natural-born daddy material people! he's amazing

getting into his going home outfit 24 hours after birth

everyone was feeling MUCH better after 24 hours and a shower

first car ride

first morning after being home. getting ready to go to the doctor


Shhh! They're sleeping...

Wow. There is going to be a LOT to say people. But I think this is going to take a little bit of time to digest. Right now I'm sitting in Room 326 of the hospital while K8 is napping in 333. She has had about 4 hours of sleep in the last 50 hours, AND just went through the greatest athletic achievement of her life (D1 athletic college career included), so right now its just me and Judah bug chillin' out together.

I have a new definition of peace.

This has certainly been the most amazing experience of my life. Never before has a day been filled with so much hope, joy, wonder, fear, respect, heartache and pure unadulterated love. I am completely in awe of the two members of my family. I have never been so proud of anyone in my life. I'm going to post the entire story soon, but just to show you just how amazing she was, I want to share with you what guardian angel nurse who actually ended up delivering Judah, had to say about the experience. This was posted by her last night on Facebook, completely unsolicited and unexpectedly.

Moments that take your breath away........
So, I had an amazing day and had to write something down about it. I'm almost certain I will ramble but oh well. I am lucky enough to love what a I do for a living, and usually get to witness the amazing miracle of birth at least once a day. It never fails, I'm always in awe of how a life gets its start and how neat our bodies are designed. But today I was more aware than ever of how a woman can be both vulnerable and courageous in the same moment, how she can lose control yet be the commanding presence in the room, how the thought of something amazing (a baby) can make a her overcome pain and push a baby out into the world when her whole being is being bombarded with pain stimuli. What I witnessed today was a mother-to-be embracing pain, standing on the edge of giving in then stepping back, refocusing, and recommitting herself to a goal she alone had set. There was a gamut of emotions-tears, laughter, exhaustion, elation, frustration, determination, fear, acceptance, and at the very end pure, raw JOY! I was humbled today as I had the privilege to bring my patient's first born into this world and be witness once again to the miracle of life. This was my first official nurse delivery and I will never have the words to adequately describe this fantastic moment in my life.

Me either Adrienne. Me either.



le petit prince

judah david dukes

born 5.25.2009 at 2:54 PM

7 pounds 5 ounces; 19.5 inches long.

best thing to ever happen to us

When Memorial Day and LABOR Day are the Same Day!

The day has come! 9 months of waiting and now the big event is here. Around 1:00am this morning K8 started to feel some regular contractions come on. These were of the one every 10-15 minute variety. Her water had broken earlier that day, but more on that later after we get the guy out. Anyway, contractions went on pretty regularly until about 3 when they picked up speed and went to minute long contractions every five minutes apart for the next hour. That was a trigger for us to pack it up and head to the hospital!

We got checked in around 5 and have been kicking it Piedmont style since then. Right now K8 is 5-6 centimeters dilated and 70% effaced, so we're probably looking at sometime this afternoon or evening. Keight is doing AMAZING! She has a great attitude and is relaxing and breathing her way through some pretty tough contractions. Keep us in your prayer please! We'll post some more as the day goes on.

K8 gets checked in and picks up some new bling
Should laboring women with no sleep look this good?
Baby's good, Mom's Good, Life's Good


lucky number 8...to 8.5?

so today was my 38 week doctor's visit. i am 38 weeks and 2 days to be exact.

she started out by measuring my stomach. usually the centimeters correspond directly to the weeks. so she measures me and says, "ok, so youre 37 weeks now?" and i said "no i am 38.5 actually...so does that mean he is small for his (gestational) age?" and she said "um yeah, you wish." so i asked how big he was right now (i had been told before that if i went all the way to 40 weeks he could be 8 pounds) and she says that he is 8 or 8.5 RIGHT NOW! holy crap. omg. wtf. so i was thinking maybe the upside of the hugeness of baby is that it means he's almost ready to go.

then i get the beloved pelvic exam. i was ready to hear about being more effaced, (i was 30% last times) more dilated, (i was "fingertip" last week, not even 1 cm) and judah being lower (he was really high last week). she asked me before she "went in" if i wanted her to try to strip the membranes of my bag of waters because that can sometimes speed things up "naturally"and i told her that would be fine but the doctor i had last week (i visit-and love-them all since they rotate their on-call schedule) said he couldnt even get to the membranes because judah was up so high. she said she would check today. about 3 seconds "in" she was like, "yeah, no way can i get up there, he's still really high," which means the whole membrane/bag of waters/baby is still really high too, too high to strip for sure. and i am no more dilated or effaced. suck-bummer!

but since she couldnt get "up" to him she said she wanted to do one more ultrasound to make sure once and for all that he was head down in preparation for evacuation. i kind of couldnt resist since we havent seen the little (ha, not) guy in 19 weeks. holy crap, he is really huge. the 20 week ultrasound was like a little perfect baby doll floating in a black background. well, there is no more background! its all baby. you couldnt really even make out anything because he is all squished up on himself with not much room. well, you could make out his head and the fact that his is still very much a boy. we got two very clear shots of his boy-ness and i swear that junk is bigger than his whole head was last time. it was a little intimidating to be honest. of course jesse was VERY proud.

so fatty is going to stay in a little longer at least. honestly, we always thought he would be a june birthday boy, so this isnt devastating or disappointing by any means. i am uncomfortable at times but not miserable at all. i sleep great and my feet dont hurt as bad as they did a few weeks ago. i dont have heartburn or hemorrhoids or even stretch marks on my stomach. sure, i am VERY bored since i have all these nesting hormones raging through me telling me to prepare and get ready, but we seriously cannot arrange or organize his room any more than it already is and we have read all our birthing and newborn books twice each. so its not so much that i am ready for this part to be over as it is about just being ready to start the next part WITH him. i am really thankful that i have had a super easy pregnancy and that we have a baby that is definitely healthy and will be able to do well out here whenever he decides to join us.

the size of him is kind of scary considering we are wanting to do this unmedicated, but like our awesome birth teacher said, its not like the difference between a 7-pound baby and a 10-pound baby is 3 pounds worth of pure head! and lets be honest, its really the head that i am focusing on here, its all slippery and squirty and downhill from that point on (at least it looks that way in the MANY videos we have seen). anyway, it would be a shame to let my massive pregnant hips go to waste, so maybe big baller will put them to good use finally (i mean good use other than streching out pants and lowering self-esteem). i just hope he isnt such a behemoth that he skips all of his newborn clothes and diapers. that would SUCK since we have some seriously cute clothes for lil' fella.

here are some recent pics to help pass the time with

this was at 35 weeks and 5 days at our friend chris tisons PhD graduation party. the new doctor's advice for getting judah out was "vodka and jumping jacks" he is NOT a pediatrician thankfully.

prenatal nerd-training for judah at 36 weeks 4 days. double date with our favorite young couple, garrett and alyson. judah is living long in-utero and prospering nutritionally

at BFF marisa's bday party. today is her actual bday and although she really wanted to have the same bday as judah, it looks like it wont happen. so, consolation blog-shoutout and picture...love you mursa!

jesse practicing giving judah his bottle. 37 weeks and 5 days.


the finished nest...bring on the baby bird

so here's the final tour of the nursery now that all the showers are done and we have put everything in its place (thank you so much everyone!)...and of course before it gets ransacked by the little life force living here. it will never look this good again i bet. something is wrong with our camera still, sorry for the yucky quality.

the tour will start from right when we walk in the door and then proceed from the left-hand wall around in a clockwise fashion. please hold on.

view from the door

wall directly to the left of the entry

bookshelf #1/hamper/diaper genie corner

da crib (my aunt wanda made that quilt by hand!)

bookshelf #2 corner

right-hand wall

looking back toward the door: closet/nightlight

most of Judah's clothes are in the dresser and the toy box, these are just next size up seasonal an special occasion clothes. i hate hanging things up, so all everyday wear is folder in drawers

we have had a blast getting Judah's room just perfect in anticipation of his arrival, but we are really tired of arranging things meant to contain the baby and are really, really, REALLY just ready to meet the baby himself!

our hospital bags are all packed: mine, jesse's, judah's and the labor bag, plus boppy, laptop bag, goodie baskets for the nurses station, 4 pillows and a birthing/yoga ball...er, do hospitals have bellhops? we are at 37 weeks and 2 days right now and as of last monday's doctor visit were making some progress...completely softened cervix and almost starting to dilate a bit, so it could happen tonight or in another 5 weeks. i hate looking at the bags knowing they could be sitting there another month, but its better than the alternative of jesse trying to pack everything and coach me at the same time once the real deal gets here.

we are trying not to drive ourselves nuts at every turn and just enjoy being a family of 2 for a little while longer. we have had the best time together with just the 2 of us the past 2.5+ years (minus a few months there at the beginning!) and are going to miss our special newlywed time, in fact i have already mourned this period of our lives a few times thanks to my raging hormones. but we know that teammate #3 is just going to make us fall in love all over again-with him and each other (once we wash the vomit smell off).

think dilated and contracted thoughts for us!


Just Can't Help It

So, it's Mother's Day. And I could go on about how amazing of a mom you are going to be, because of your honesty, your passionate love for Jesus and His children, your genuineness, and your commitment to excellence. But what I really want to do is just remind you how lucky I am. We are going to have the rest of our lives to be parents, but right now I just want you to know that I love you more than life. And that every day, I fall more in love with you.

Happy Mother's Day darling.


And what do May flowers bring?


Work that backwards another step and you've got our post topic for the day, so cleverly invented by Mrs. Keight herself. Do you get it? Eh?

Anyway, keep thinking, it'll come. This week we are entering the 37th week of pregnancy, which in layman's terms is, the home stretch, or almost full term. If the little guy decided to come anytime now, we would not do anything to stop him. And the way Keight has been feeling lately, we are about ready to do everything we can to encourage our little man to "head out" if you know what I mean. Bah ha ha!

Sorry, I digress. But seriously if you have a trampoline we may be asking to borrow it sometime soon.

Anyway, this post is all about the fun and amazing showers that have recently been thrown for us by our wonderful friends and family. The first of which was a raucous affair that took place at our church on April 19th. There was everything from chocolaty diaper sniffing to baby bottle drinking games. We don't front at this church.

There was also many wonderful presents to be unwrapped, fun games to play, and some baby food to test out at some point.

Keight's highlight was certainly the THREE cakes that were made. We are both pretty serious lovers of cake (honestly, who isn't) but little did I know she is quite the fan of pound cake, and especially when it is made by Martha Bass. It was what you might call "excellent" or in layman's terms "destroyed".

The Shower Planners and Said Cakes

Keight Looking Cute with Matchy Present

Some of the Presents with the Creepy Baby Being Crushed

Before the dust could settle or the thank you notes could even be written, we headed off the next weekend to yet another April Shower (do you get it now?). This time the party was hosted at Mom and Dad Dukes' beautiful home and the guest list was made up of the wonderful lady friends (and John Hightower due to some hilarious invitation snafu-age) from my parents side.

Where we started with sass we ended with class. Our super creative sister Jackie and my always hospitable Mom created a warm and beautiful arrangement of food and decorations that was simply delicious. And thanks to Ms. Always Classy Never Trashy Ashley Hightower, we also benefited from some appropriated colored and exceptionally delicious cakes and cookies.

It was almost too pretty to eat... Almost.

As you can see, it really was beautifully put together and we were once again blown away by the amazing generosity of our friends and family (the sword was a gift from Dad to do the circumcision... riiiight). We played a round of scattegories making words from the letters in Keight, Jesse and Judah and our answers were the key to victory for those who guessed what we were thinking.

Then we received the blessing of countless tidbits of wisdom from all of the attendees. They wrote on note cards what they would surely do again as parents, and what they would as soon never do again. It was quite thoughtful and very educational. Especially since both of our own parents were there!

All in all though, we had a blast and really enjoyed seeing both of our families and being able to spend time with them. We can't thank them enough for their generosity.

With the Wonderful Hostesses

Thanks for tuning in. I'll leave you with a plea for prayer that Judah gets the "lion's share" of this packed gene pool. Take a look at our stupidly skinny parents who are living proof that organic food and healthy living is worth the effort. Much love to you all.

With Our Ridiculously Healthy and Hot Parents



nothing much to report right now (longer post coming soon). i am training my temporary replacements at work this week so once they have a grip on the job, i am going to start doing everything possible to get judah onto the scene ASAP.

here he is up in my scene:

35 weeks (taken on 4/27)