Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011: Welcome Baby Julian!


Well, he's here!

Julian Clayton Ringgold was born at 4:47 am today weighing a whopping 9 lbs. 2 oz, and 20.5 inches long.  For comparison, Ali was 7 lbs. 6 oz, and Bella was 7 lbs. 12 oz.

Thank you all for your incredibly generous and supportive comments last night. Thank you for understanding that there were such a roller coaster of competing emotions going into today.  Julian threw us a bone and allowed us to avoid the added anxiety of the morning...

... by coming a few hours early!

I finally got into bed last night at 12:15 am, and tried to fall asleep.  Shortly after, I get a poke in my side, and I hear, "Get up, my water broke!"

Three words that will wake you faster than any cup of coffee out there!

Turns out at around 1:30 am, Ang got a sharp pain, then again a few minutes later.  She got up to go to the bathroom when she felt like she was leaking.  "Stuff" leaked onto the floor,  and that's when she noticed she had passed her mucous plug.  That was about 1:45.  My first thought was, "Man, I'm glad I didn't blow off doing the dishes till the morning!" followed immediately by, "Oh man, I wish I had shaved and packed before going to bed!"  Luckily, I can pack in a few minutes, and my suitcase was standing at attention, waiting for clothes to be tossed in it.

Twenty minutes later, Ali was dressed, the minivan was packed, and we were on our way, with Ang averaging a contraction every three minutes.

2:00 am on a Monday morning is a GREAT time to rush to the hospital even in southern California, let me tell ya!  NO Body on the roads.  The lights all magically change for you as well.  I was averaging about (well... more than the speed limit) when I had the thought, "There are cops trolling this main street all the time.  I hope I don't get pulled over, though I think this really is the mother of all excuses."  I pictured myself telling the cop the magic 5 words of exoneration...



We got to the emergency room, and LOVE that they had valet service!  In we went, and we were soon met there by Ang's parents who live in nearby Huntington Beach.  Once again, GOD LOVE THEM for being so close and so dependable when you need 'em!  They were there cheery as could be, and offered to take Ali back to their house so she could sleep.  It would be 8 am before Ali would see us again, so this sounded wise. I just can't imagine what we would have done with Ali without grandma and grandpa to the rescue!

Once they left, things began to progress rather quickly.  Ang was in full contraction mode now, and recounts that this was easily the most painful thing she has encountered.  Since both Ali and Bella were also breach (and Bella was too soon for a safe VBAC), they were delivered via C-section early enough that Ang never went into labor before.  The entire labor and delivery staff had to be called in, so there was a lot of simply waiting for team members to get to the hospital.  All the while, Ang's contractions were roughing her up some.  Finally, they let her lay on her side, and this helped a TON.

Once our anesthesiologist (who still had bedface!) came in, we gave him his pick from our bag of gifts we brought the team, then gave him our delivery CD and explained that we had a program of music to use to lower pre-surgery anxiety, and Julian's birth song for when he was delivered.  The anesthesiologist is usually the guy or gal in charge of the boom box in the Operating Room.  He mentioned to me that he has never had a family bring in their own music.  My guess is he's never had a music therapist as a patient!

Anyway, scrubs on, docs in and out, and as soon as everyone was ready, we all headed to the O.R... except for me.  I got a chair in an empty PACU (Post-Anesthesia-Care-Unit) to sit in and wait my turn.  For those not familiar with the C-Section process, it takes roughly 30 minutes to prep the mom for surgery.  If dad is going to be there, they bring him in about 5 minutes before and he gets a stool next to mom's head.  So, there I was at roughly 4:10 left to my own devices.

An interesting thing happened.


I was worried this would be another powerful moment like with Bella (Read the full story in Bella's Blessings: a Humble Story of Providence... it is intense), and put away my phone and allowed the moment to unfold, if it was to be, but interestingly enough, nothing happened.  No visitation from anyone from beyond the grave.  Honestly, even a little boredom and certainly the time of day and the amount of sleep (less than 90 minutes) didn't help matters.  Anyway, before I knew it, I was ushered into a familiar scene.  Music creating a safe container of comfort and familiarity.  We selected a program of music from Hawaii.  We have taken 3 trips to Hawaii and have always embraced the aloha spirit.  I have brought home music from each trip that we listen to while there.  It helps take us back there whenever we listen to it.  It's one of the reasons I wrote Julian's song on the ukulele.

As they worked on Ang on the other side of the blue sterile screen, we reminisced about our last trip to Hawaii and I kept her brain moving through the memory files from that trip right up till they popped the J-Man out.  Imagery is a powerful tool to distract/divert the brain from any stimulus that may cause pain, anxiety, or nausea.  We wanted to make sure that no anxiety crept in, so the music and memory/imagery cues were just the ticket.

When we heard the phrase, "The baby is out!"  I jumped up to peer over the screen.  when I looked down on Ang's abdomen, this GIGANTIC purple human was lying spread eagle on his back letting out a BARK!  Julian was huge!  Everyone in the room was like, "Look at the size of that baby!"  At 9 lbs 2 oz, he certainly isn't the biggest fish in the pond, but considering his mom is 5'0", that's a lot of baby inside a little torso!  I was immediately scanning his skin to make sure it was all there.  I'd be lying if I told you I trusted the test we did 100%.  I knew that it wouldn't be until I pinched that boy with my own fingers that I knew EB was past us for sure.

Over to the APGAR table (he scored a 9.9) and take my first pictures of Julian.  When they put on his diaper, it scraped some of the skin off his thighs.  I immediately got nervous until the nurse reassured me that it is common for babies to be "peely."  Okay, I thought.  Then I started pinching... and pinching... and pinching!  It was so fun!  His skin endured my ultimate unscientific test!

Off to recovery.

Look at that woman glow!

5:15 am and the lion's share of the day was already behind us.  We hit our room at 8 am on the nose.  It's been a long, relaxing rest of the day up in our room.  Julian latched on like a pro, so feeding has gone really well.  He's pooping like a champ, cute as a button, and generally mellow and sweet.  The few times  I sang his song to him, he completely opened up his eyes (on the APGAR table and during his bath in the nursery) and gazed at me.  That was really sweet.  Know who is smitten as well?


She held him in the chair at least 3 times today and just loved spending time with him.  It is so great; all she ever wanted to do was love on Bella, but Ali was smaller, and Bella, well, between EB and having a giant head to boot, was just too big for her to hold.  Now, even though J-Man is bigger outta the gate, so is Ali.  I predict an amazing hands-on bond between the two.

Julian's fabulous socks of the day...

Daddy's fabulous socks of the day...

And how is momma?  A champ.  After enduring what she described as the biggest pain in her life, she has benefitted from great pain meds and has been happy and sweet all day.  She is doing great.  Stuck in a bed all day is driving her a little nuts, and she is looking forward to getting out of bed as soon as she can stomach it.

Look at that cake grandpa made!

Family, friends, and our old minister Dennis (faith) were all in attendance in our room.  Thank you to all who visited today, and thanks to Sara Cooper for taking some amazing pictures seen in the slide show.  Gotta check out the slide show because it features JULIAN'S SONG!

Alright, I'm fading out.

Bella's been here all day, by the way, as I'm sure you would have predicted.  There have been mixed feelings at times, and we have talked about them as they have come up.  It's been natural, and above all, joyous.  I am grateful for the joy in the day.  I hesitate to say we deserve it, but I think we deserve it. :-)

Thank YOU for sharing in this joy.  You have shared in a lot more heartache than joy with our family, and I think it is good for all of us to enjoy this moment.  Together.  In this virtual family we have become.

God night.





  1. that face! i hesitate to make comparisons, because he is beautiful in his own right, but its a gift that he looks so much like Annabella.
    been praying for a healthy delivery for mom and baby.

  2. So happy for you fab & fav 5! Miss my little Bella Doll...but I can feel her ray of a smile across my face. Happy Birthday, Julian- you are one lucky little man and have 2 amazing big sisters :)
    and the socks are tuff! You rock them well little J-man
    nicole b

  3. Just the most wonderful and heartfelt congratulations. I type with tears of joy for you.

    God Bless you all and thank you for sharing

    Bec xxx

  4. Wow, he is simply beautiful. Congratulations Tim and Angelique! I am so glad that he is safe and sound. May he be a blessing to you. And though the pain of losing Bella can never be wiped out, may his presence also help with the healing process. God bless!

  5. Congratulations! He is so beautiful! What a precious little face and he looks so BIG for a newborn! What a blessing for you all. I am so happy for you guys. All the photos are so wonderful and emitting such joy but the one I love the best is the last one with you and Julian in the light. So powerful and moving...and you can just feel that God is there...Bella too. Love you guys. Congrats!
    Laura Valetutto
    Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

  6. Oh I LOVE this!! Congratulations!! I will remember the music next go around, could have used you Tim at my (first/emergency) csection with our daughter four weeks ago! I was a mess of nerves! I absolutely LOVE the socks! I can relate to Ang, our daughter was 8 12 at birth and I am 5'2" speedy recovery! And congratulations again!!!

  7. No words to describe my happiness for you all!

  8. What an amazing slideshow! He is so beautiful!!! Absolutely God sent. Oh, that's another thing- boys like to be mellow :) Nice, right!?!

    I am so happy for you... Julian is here to capture your hearts and help them heal. Embrace the happiness at hand, you and he deserve it!! The photos of all three of you each holding him brought tears to my eyes~ Yeay, Ringgolds!!!!

  9. Congratulations Tim, Ang and Ali! I'm so happy for you all! Julian is beautiful! I love the pictures and the song....and the socks!
    God Bless!

  10. Congratulations - he is just beautiful! Once again your blog has brought me to tears - good ones this time though. And it has brought me out of the woodwork of not commenting :)

  11. Congratulations to you and your beautiful baby!

    I am very happy for you and it warms my heart that you can enjoy the happiness Julian brings. I think Bella is with you in every step watching over her big and small siblings.

    Alexandra in Australia

  12. Congratulations!!! I agree, you deserve it :)

  13. Shedding tear of pure joy for all of you! God Bless the new baby and all the Ringgold's here and in heaven.

    Hugs from NJ - Tina

  14. Loved the song, love the baby, love you all. CONGRATULATIONS! (I would have had to pinch him all over too.) :) Please give Ang a hug for me. Love you guys so much! Aloha!

  15. Oh what blessed news!!!!! Tearing up here for all of you, congratulations!!!!!!

  16. Congratulations on the arrival of Julian! You are definitely right...You Deserve It! Love the song, too :)

    Kansas City, MO

  17. Congratulations! So happy to see the socks of the day!
    Lisa, long island

  18. Congratulations! I think Bella did a wonderful job picking Julian out for you! Praying you can relax and enjoy him while watching his biggest sister adore him. You are all blessed!

    Thankful for answered prayer,
    Kim M
    Waterford, MI

  19. Amazing! He is gorgeous. :D Congratulations to all of you for a big healthy boy! I think it's fantastic he happened to be ready to come on his own the same day surgery was scheduled. :) I love his socks of the day! His cheeks! I just can't gush enough. And I cried for joy.

    Cara (& Ari, who loves pictures of babies!!)

  20. Congratulations!!! Julian is beautiful and praise the Lord "healthy". Love to you all and enjoy your precious gift.

  21. YAHHHHH WOW WHAT A BOY OF A BOY HE IS!!! We love him and we love the slideshow too! Harmony watched it twice now and the song is just so sweet. Welcome big guy!!! What a complete expression of what's possible when love leads. The Burkhards

  22. happy for you guys!!

  23. What a big and beautiful boy. The pictures are really great. You can see all the love you have for him, Bella & Ali and your wonderful, beautiful wife Ang. So thankful that things went real well and that Baby Julian was just fine and that Ang did well. Bella was with you all the way and you can just see her beautiful smile and the glow in her eyes to have such a beautiful brother and big sister Ali. Congratulations and enjoy your big bundle of joy. Take Care, God Bless and We Love All of You. Happy Birth Day Julian.

    All Our Love;
    Myrna & Dwight (CA)

  24. Beautiful, just Beautiful! I am so happy for you and your family. God does amazing things.

    Enjoy these newborn days.


    Mobile, AL

  25. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Wow, Bella had it all in control...Man is Julian a cutie pie, so big and so HEALTHY!!!! Man God is good! The pic of Ali holding Julian, Ang with Julian on her chest and You and your son sharing a moment, Just beautiful!!! Tears of Joy and happiness from the bottom of our hearts for your family.

    Peace and love,
    The Davidson's

  26. Congrats Ringgolds! What a cute little guy! May you feel the love of God, Bella and this virtual family surrounding you at this most joyous time.


  27. Congratulations!!! What a beautiful boy for a beautiful family! And a big boy!!!!!
    Blessings and love to the Ringgold family,

  28. Congratulations to you all. I know the joy of the birth of a newborn after the loss of a child. I know it can be an emotional struggle and I pray for your peace. Enjoy every second, they grow up so fast! Wish I had been able to make it to Daylon's birthday party, was hoping to meet you all. Next time! God Bless you all!

    Tina - Corona, CA

  29. So happy for you guys. And, happy for your well deserved happiness. Beautiful baby boy! What a gift. Tim, have you listened to John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy"? Love that song and very fitting. So glad all is well and peaceful.

    Jackie Gardella Brown

  30. He is perfect. You are blessed! Congratulating all of you on your newest family member. I know Bella is tired today, she really out did herself!

  31. Kelly in Seattle, WAAugust 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    What a blessing he is. You and Angelique make beautiful babies.

    Happy Birthday Julian! You have a big extended family out here rooting for you and loving you. I love that you got to know sweet Bella up in heaven and now you get Ali's hugs. What a lucky lil' guy you are to have two such amazing, strong, silly sisters.

    Tim, Angelique and Ali, thank you for continuing to share your journey. We are blessed by your courage and the love your family has.

    Big hugs,
    Kelly in Seattle, WA

  32. YIPPEE! What a handsome son/brother you have, Ringgolds. Heartfelt congratulations to you all. And I adore Julian's appropriate that as his ship came to shore, he was greeted with "Aloha".

    With much affection -

    A friend in NC

  33. Tears of joy are flowing! Congratulations - he is simply beautiful! Please give hugs and kisses to Ang, Ali and the J-Man (he's a hoss!!)

    Love from TX,
    Laura (for a VERY excited Team A!)

  34. DAMN STRAIGHT!! You all deserve this wonderful blessing. He is beautiful. So much fun to log on and hear wonderful news. Thank you for taking the time to put the photos up and share this day with us.

    Beautiful photo after beautiful photo. EVERY child should be born with 9.9 Apgar. EVERY child should have this beautiful healthy skin.

    My favorite photos are the ones of Ali getting to touch him. Those have a lot of meaning in your family, don't they?

    Congratulations! So so so happy for you.


  35. God is good all the time...Congratulations!!

    Peace and love from Montevideo, Uruguay


  36. Congratulations! Such a beautiful family. So happy for all of you.


  37. Congratulations, Ringgold family! He is a beautiful piece of heaven and you are all so blessed. I wish you many, many days of pure happiness and I wish you peace. You are right, you do deserve it. Thank you for letting us love your family and share the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows with you all.
    Lots of love and baby squeezes,


  38. Congrats again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm in love! So happy for the Ringgold family!!! MUCH LOVE.

  39. Congrats on your new beginning with baby J!
    wow , in that first pic, he looks just like Ang. hope Ang continues to heal and feel better with each day!

  40. Just Beautiful...the entire post! So happy for you! Congratulations!!

  41. He is beautiful! Congratulations! So very happy for you!

  42. So Happy for you guys! Congratulations on a bouncing beautiful baby boy. He will bring a whole new spin to your house with trucks and cars and dirt and bugs and...well, you get the idea! Little boys are fun and I am sure you will enjoy every minute of every day with him. God Bless you all.

  43. Congratulations! You all definitely deserve this precious baby boy! Hope you enjoy every minute!!! Anna :)

  44. What a wonderful blessing for your family! May God's love surround you all today and always.

  45. Oh my, I am rendered speechless. I am smitten. What a glorious boy.

    Can you hear something? That's your friends around the world blowing big fat kisses to all of you. All five of you wonderful Ringgolds,

    Much love, and with a big whoop from the rooftop!

    Your friend Jane

  46. Drum roll.... Welcome to the family!

  47. Welcome baby Julian. You are joining an awesome family!

  48. Oh look at him (okay, wipe away the happy tears and look at him ;) ) What a beautiful bundle of joy. Wonderful, just wonderful! Much love xxx