Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cooper's Birth Story

Cooper's estimated due date was January 9th.  That day came and went with no sign of baby.  Then the next day came and went.  ...And then the next day.  ...And then a couple more days after that.  If he chose to stay put, which he clearly was, we were scheduled to be induced on the night of Wednesday the 14th.  I had really been hoping that he would make his appearance on his own terms but since that wasn't going to happen, Chris and I packed the car, had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, then headed for the hospital.  I was scared out of my mind even though I knew I'd be well taken care of.

We were showed into our room at 8 and got right to it.  They gave me an IV and a gown and strapped a fetal heart monitor to my belly and I tried my best to relax and enjoy an episode of The Big Bang Theory.  Relax I did not.  I was too scared and uncomfortable with the heart monitor strapped to me.  Then in the middle of the night, with the help of whatever medicine was being pumped through the IV, I started having mild contractions.

The next part is a little blurry.  I can't remember the exact sequence of events because it seemed like everything went into high gear and started happening really fast.  At 6 am they got the ball rolling.  In what seemed like a very short amount of time they started pitocin, broke my water, and shoved another heart monitor and some other tube up there.  This is where I'd like to point out that after they shoved the tubes up my lady parts my doctor said something to me that no one has ever said to me in my 27 years: "Wow.  You must have a great pain tolerance.  Most women scream when we do that."  ...Come again?

The pitocin kicked in almost instantly.  Holy mother of pearl.  Worst pain I've ever felt in my life.  I don't have words to describe it and nothing even remotely close to compare it to.  I had said throughout pregnancy that I wanted to start labor with no epidural and just see how far I could go.  The answer to that question was twenty minutes.  I think at this point I was 4 cm dilated.  Apparently I was dilating pretty quickly.  I asked for the epidural and ten minutes later the most wonderful person I've ever met walked into the room: the anesthesiologist.  He had Chris sit in a chair a few feet away and I sat on the edge of the bed slumped over a nurse while he worked his magic.  It wasn't fun but it was nowhere near as painful as I thought it would be.  When it was in I looked up and Chris was looking a little pale so I asked him if he was ok.  The magic doctor said, "I don't think I've ever seen a woman ask the husband if he's ok after that."

As fast as the pitocin kicked in, the epidural kicked in faster.  I didn't feel a painful contraction after that.  This was the fastest morning ever.  Before I knew it Kaylen was in the room (I wanted her there to take pictures), I was at 10 cm and it was time to start pushing.  We started at 10:20.  Let me just say that I'm a pretty modest person and the night before it was a little weird having my business all out there.  I got over that REAL quick.  At 10:20 I really didn't care WHO saw anything.  We had a wonderful nurse who made me feel comfortable and was easy to talk to.  Pushing was the weirdest thing ever.  I was pushing but couldn't FEEL I was pushing.  I could feel pressure and could feel myself exerting energy but that was it. 
The nurse said she could see him already and we would probably have a baby around 11.

Fast forward two and half hours later.  Still pushing.  Getting tired.  Still no baby.  Kaylen, who thought she was just there to observe and take pictures, became an active participant.  The nurse had Kaylen on one leg and Chris on the other to push toward me during contractions so I would have something to work against.  That didn't work.  Then our doctor came in with her gaggle of nurses and a table of what looked like medieval torture devices.  I'm getting frustrated at this point and pushing harder than I've pushed yet.  We're nearing three hours.  I heard the doctor, who was already using a vacuum on him, tell someone to "get downstairs ready".  I knew what that meant.  They were getting ready for a c-section.  The one thing I definitely did NOT want.  I looked at Chris and started to cry.  He was so supportive through the whole thing.  For every single contraction and push he was in my ear telling me to keep going, and we were so close to Cooper, and what a great job I was doing.  

Hearing the talk about a c-section made me determined to get him out..  I could feel building pressure and maybe two really hard, long sets of pushes later, at 1:18 in the afternoon, I heard a cry.

He was perfect.  All 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20 inches of him.  Chris and I sobbed and he kept saying, "It's Cooper! It's Cooper!  We have Cooper!"  They gave him a quick rubdown and handed him to me for skin to skin.  Seeing him for the first time was the strangest, most wonderful feeling.  This little being that I'd come to know only through little kicks and nudges and a heartbeat was now in front of me.  I could see him and touch him and kiss him.

A month later and I still can't believe I made that and that he's ours.

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