Born: June 2004 at 3 pm EDT

Weight: 9 lb, 13 oz

Length: 22 inches

Jennifer started feeling contractions around 6 am on Tuesday morning. Dean quickly made arrangements for Julia to go to school (she usually goes only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), and for our neighbors, Dennis and Shari Bent, to pick her up in the afternoon. Dean let his work know that he was through, and then it was off to the hospital by around 9 am. Unlike with Julia, Jennifer was doing relatively well with this labor, walking around the labor and delivery area. Jennifer thought this was because she was so much better at tolerating pain since she knew what to expect. She decided that she really didn't need an epidural, or any pain medication, for that matter. By 2:30 pm, she was 9.5 cm, and still doing pretty well, but her water still hadn't broken. After conferring with the nurse midwife, the membranes were ruptured, and then the pain began. Jennifer said, "Oh..., I forgot about this part!" Two contractions later, Jennifer couldn't help but push, and a couple of contractions after that, at 3:07 pm, Joshua was born. We knew he was going to be big, but were shocked when he weighed in at almost 10 lbs, and at only 38 weeks. He had a little bit of respiratory distress for the first couple of hours, but then recovered well, and was able to be discharged the next day.

And then...

... in almost an exact repeat of the situation with Julia, Joshua developed newborn jaundice and had to be readmitted when he was 4 days old. Unlike Julia, the bili lights weren't working as well for him, and he ended up staying in the hospital for a week. Thankfully, Jennifer's mom came out and was an enormous help taking care of Julia while Jennifer stayed in the hospital with Joshua, and Dean shuttled back and forth between home and the hospital. Joshua ended up doing fine, and we were finally able to spend some time together as a family.

Jennifer was able to take 10 weeks of maternity leave, and then started a new position at NCI a couple of weeks after that. Dean's last day of work at Omniva was before Joshua was born, and he has been full-time at home since then, with occasional bits of contract work.

Joshua has had a great temperament, and seems to enjoy observing all that goes on around him. He sleeps a lot less than Julia, and many have commented that he almost never cries. (His parents beg to disagree, though he puts up a great show in public!) He's remained tall for his age, and though he's hitting all of his developmental milestones just fine, it's difficult not to compare him to Julia. Now, just before his first birthday, he's crawling, cruising, and picking up his first baby signs. The most reproducible is the sign he makes for his toy fish. He adores his big sister, and they are finally starting to play together, usually with Julia imitating Joshua which makes Joshua laugh, or Julia "showing" him how to do things.