How it all started

by Jen Lee Reeves on December 31, 2005 · 14 comments

in Introductions

[Here’s Jordan birth story… written two days after Jordan’s birthday.]

This is long. So if you don’t want all the birth details, here’s the short version:
Jordan Lee
Born: December 29, 2005
Serious labor: 4 and 1/2 hours
Pushing: 2 pushes for Jordan’s entry
Time: 5:06pm
Weight: 7 pounds 9 ounces
Height: 20 1/2 inches
APGAR: 8 and 9

Long version:
So on Tuesday, December 27th, I woke up around 2 in the morning feeling really wierd… Chills, regular contractions and an all around feeling that I was in labor. I walked around the house for 6 hours to keep it going and try to get the contractions stronger. At 8am, my parents came by to say good bye after visiting for Christmas… Until they discovered I felt like I was in labor. They canceled their flight and decided to stick around and wait for Jordan. That was very cool. My brother planned to stay until Friday, so he was around as well.

Randy and I went to labor and delivery where I was monitored, told to walk around and then monitored more. After 4 hours of misery — strong
contractions that weren’t progressing enough — we went home. I was crushed. Here my parents stayed in town and I was going home still pregnant and uncomfortable. I continued my 2 miles a day walks at the local gym. I felt like I was making progress, but I was afraid to return to labor and delivery. I wasn’t up for the heartbreak of being sent home.

I slept little, lived on the recliner in the “man cave” and took many late night walks around the house.

On Thursday, I woke up from a recliner nap and felt very strong contractions. I called the hospital and they didn’t make me feel confident about going back there. So I walked around the house hurting until I called the doctor’s office. They said I really should go to the hospital. So Randy and I said goodbye and decided to walk around the gym for an hour before going to L&D. When we got there, we quickly discovered that my water had broken… Not completely, but any leaking means you’re in for a delivery.

Around 12:40 in the afternoon or so, they fully broke my water and I started working. I’m not a drug-taking type, so I rocked in a chair. I meditated, relaxed around my contractions, moaned.. Randy was expecting me to crush his hand like I did with Cam, but instead I used him to rub my head. That helped a lot. Our nurse was wonderful, she even massaged my feet. Around 4:40 in the afternoon, I felt like things were close, so I moved up for a check — my only internal check during the major laboring process. It was wonderful they just let me do my thing. Suddenly I went from 8 1/2 centimeters to 10 — So fast, none of us expected it. My doctor was teaching class until 5pm, so when they called her, she ran in as fast as she could, but I pushed the baby out without anyone telling me to do it. I just had to. Jordan flew out with a couple of pushes and arrived at 5:06pm. I didn’t need stitches! Amazing. Her APGAR scores: 8 and 9. Excellent. I was the first to notice that she didn’t have a left hand. Randy didn’t believe me at first, but immediately, we looked at each other and it was okay. She’s going to be fine. I knew that we can help her through this and she was healthy. We felt at peace.

I turned down a shot of pitocin, because I believed breastfeeding would get the job done. But Jordan didn’t start sucking immediately like Cameron. We had to cajole her into eating… That didn’t help my uterus contract to a smaller size very fast. So while Jordan was doing great… I started bleeding excessively and things got really scary. I got a late shot of pitocin, but that didn’t help. I was clotting and at risk of losing my uterus and needing emergency surgery to save my life. So 2 doctors came in (Randy told me this, I didn’t know what was going on, I was so scared) and had to push out the clots. The pain was so intense, I can’t explain it. I can say that the experience shook Randy to the bone and it took him until the next morning to recover from the scare. I had to get an IV of pitocin to get my uterus solid and help it contract down to a smaller size. It took 2 bags to fully get me into a safe zone. My nurse tells me the early shot of pitocin wouldn’t have been enough to prevent this from happening, but I have a little guilt in the back of my head that tells me that all of that horrible experience could have been ignored if I had just accepted the drug in the first place.

Not long after that scary experience, Randy’s parents got to the hospital. We gave the rest of the family the all-clear to come to the hospital: my parents, brother, Cameron and Randy’s brother. I was shaken and couldn’t really get as involved in showing off the girl to everyone. Just as the whole crew got there, Jordan was taken to the nursery for all the statistic taking (weight and height), tests and a bath. So I stayed in the room to recover and try to eat food.

Cameron was so excited, he was stopping people in the hallway bragging about how he was a big brother and showing off her sister Jordan. He couldn’t stop gushing in pride… Until I gave him Jordan’s “gift” to him: The original Toy Story movie. He’d never seen it before. So he started running around showing that off. And the questions… He had so many questions: When is she going to walk? Can I teach her to sing? When am I going to be a big brother again? How is she going to turn into a boy? Classic stuff.

Can you believe the entire family was there? Incredible. We are so blessed. To have the Florida grandparents, the Washington, D.C uncle, Kentucky grandparents and St. Louis uncle there. Amazing. Just amazing.

We met with a local pediatric orthopaedic specialist who will see Jordan again next month. There is muscle tone in her arm that will help her use sensor prosthetics. We’ll have to keep an eye on any overdevelopment of bone and muscle growth as she matures. There is a local prosthetic company that can give us a basic device to help Jordan crawl… After that, we can go for more complicated bionic (that’s what we’re calling it) arms as soon as she is one years old. If anyone has any more information in prosthetic programs or just programs that will help us make sure we give Jordan every bit of support she deserves, please let us know.

After 24 hours in the hospital, we went home. My first night with Jordan was challenging. She slept so much in her first 24 hours, around midnight today, she realized she hadn’t eaten enough… And we fed about every 30 minutes until 5:30 this morning. I’m so dang happy I bought a nesting positioner that helps Jordan lay next to me as I try to feed and sleep at the same time. It ROCKS. Cam is trying to be gentle today… And is trying so hard to play with Jordan. He got a little upset when she wouldn’t play with his Buzz Lightyear.

Today, Jordan is resting and eating. I’m hoping we’ll be a little more regulated tonight. We’ll see. Hopefully, her life will get even more comfortable when my milk arrives.

I’ve sent out a big email to as many people as I could think of… So if you didn’t get the email, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa January 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Love your special exposure photo – with the snow. But it lead me to rest of your blog. Good story and I like your setup and “She is Able” drawing. Tx for sharing.

Jennifer March 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm

You may be interested to know that in Britain a while back, possibly a year or two, BBC2 had a show “Britain’s missing top model”. There were 2 models who were missing an arm, the overall winner was Kelly who was missing a hand (left I think), the winner appeared in Vanity Fair magazine.

Also on BBC2 were 3 series of programmes called “Without Limits”, that will really blow you away. On one of the series a group of people with disabilities cross from the Atlantic Sea to the Pacific Ocean on a tight schedule. It is well worth watching.

BBC website: (or google BBC UK)

I wish you all a long and enjoyable future together. God Bless.

Michelle December 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Shes adorable i was born 2 pounds 11 ounces i have a few
prosthetic limbs from growing up that helped me balance for
crawling and all that junk. but really dont need any Just adapted
on how to do things on my own even if i have left nub , haha im
sure Jordan will too, reassure her that anything is possible if she
puts her mind into it To overcome what negative people ask or say
bc majority of what i get questioned is ” What happened to your
arm?” and growing up i felt out of place but not anymore, have to
stay strong to prove the world wrong She is a wonderful child I
wish her and the family a great new year of 2011

Erica January 9, 2013 at 12:30 am

My son is almost two now seems to be doing excellent for no prosthetic never really have thought of getting one till now any thoughts or suggestions

Jen Lee Reeves January 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

Hi Erica! Jordan does really well without a prosthetic as well. But we use one a little bit each day to help use muscles she wouldn’t otherwise use and help prevent long term damage to her body. We also use prosthetics for specific tasks like riding a bike or soccer goal tending. There is no rule on what you must or must not do for your child… so please don’t feel pressured. If you live near a Shriner’s, it’s a great place to learn about prosthetics. The non-profit is able to help you with affordable prosthetics until your son is 18 years old.

Julie March 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

We have a new baby in our program with bilateral upper limb difference and am looking for parent connections for the parents. Any ideas?

Jen Lee Reeves March 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Julie – send me an email: Tell me where you live and I will try to connect the family to a Born Just Right family.

Vivien April 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Hey, If you saw my last comment you know about Charlotte. I wanted to know if I could get an account on born just right so I can share stories about Charlotte. Please tell Jordan about Charlotte and please read

Jay February 19, 2017 at 7:02 am

Hi Jen,
I just saw a CNN story about Jordan. It was inspiring. I saw a 1 man show by David Harrell, where he describes growing up without a hand. He’s now a motivational speaker. His website is
As someone who was born without a left hand it took a long time for me to come to terms with it, and being different. I never used a prosthesis. I didn’t want a hook, which was available at the time. I have found my own way of doing things pretty quickly, including having a good serve in tennis. I’m sure you’re aware of Jim Abbott. Jordan has a great attitude, no doubt due to her parents. Attitude is everything.

Jen Lee Reeves February 19, 2017 at 10:59 am

Thanks, Jay! We know David! We’ve been friends for years… We’re so lucky to have him in our world. I totally agree with you – attitude is EVERYTHING.

hannah pinkstaff February 25, 2017 at 6:28 pm

aw she is a great friend too have around, yet VERY unusual. but i am too

Jen Lee Reeves February 25, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Unusual is the best!

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