I am so happy to announce and introduce to all of you our baby boy Cooper James who was born on Monday, October 15th at 11:31 a.m.
This has been such a long time coming for our family. Our journey started over three years ago. I still remember Drew and I sitting at Shapiro’s deli like it was yesterday looking in disbelief at the ultrasound pictures we’d just had taken, we just found out we were having twins and we couldn’t stop laughing and smiling because we were so excited and obviously a little freaked out.
The pregnancy went smoothly until week 21 when my water broke in the middle of the night. I spent the next 3 weeks in the hospital trying to do everything I could to save my girls but at week 24 I suffered from a prolapsed cord and was forced to deliver the babies. It took over 14 hours of labor and the waiting for the labor to be over to know what the outcome would be was the worst thing I’d ever been through.
The doctor’s could not figure out why we lost Harper and Nora and thought perhaps it was because it was simply complications due to carrying twins.
After a year had passed we decided to try to get pregnant again and we quickly found out we were having another girl. The pregnancy went smoothly once again and I decided to go to Lake Michigan to spend some girl time with my daughter Sloan and her grandma. While we were vacationing I noticed my feet and hands were swelling and I just wasn’t feeling quite right. A day after my symptoms appeared I woke up feeling contractions. I was rushed to the hospital and quickly learned that I was in labor and they would not be able to stop it. Our daughter Spencer was born at 26 weeks and stayed with us for a little over an hour.
There are no words to describe how I felt, I couldn’t believe that 3 of my babies died at birth, I thought after the first loss it just couldn’t happen again. We learned shortly after that I was suffering from an incompetent cervix. It felt a little better to at least have an answer to why this had happened to me. I also felt incredibly lucky to have such great people in my life that have been there with me every step of the way and although I was incredibly sad at what happened I made it a point to wake up everyday and look at the good and focus on the fact that I had a beautiful daughter who was here and I didn’t want to look back and think I missed out on her life because I was so sad about what we had lost.
Drew and I told each other we would be ok if we didn’t have another baby and that our lives were going to be great regardless but we never talked about not trying again but we also never talked about trying again. Let’s just say we let things happen and 5 months after our loss we found out we were pregnant again.
I’d like to say the pregnancy was smooth but that would be a total lie. The pregnancy was super hard. I had a cerclage at 13 weeks. I had morning sickness morning, noon and night for months. I had a bad case of pregnancy rosacea and 5 horrible styes in both of my eyes from the rosacea, which were not only ugly but terribly painful, especially the one that was surgically removed. I had no appetite, crazy heartburn and wasn’t able to sleep for 2 months prior to the delivery. The worst was the mental aspect of the pregnancy, after losing my previous babies it was hard to get excited, hard to plan the nursery and hard to think about the future or even talk about the baby in order not to jinx anything.
Two months prior to giving birth my husband convinced me to start the nursery (of our baby boy) and told me we had to have faith and I had to stop living in fear. Planning the nursery was the best thing I did. I’m a planner and I like things to be organized and the more I worked on the room the more excited I became.
There were many milestones along the way, hearing the heartbeat, having a cerclage that went smoothly, hitting 28 weeks, then 30, then 34 and then the big 36th week when I had the cerclage removed. Once the cerclage was removed I was so ready for the baby to be here, I’d been having very strong braxton hick contractions for over a month. Once the cerclage was removed I found out I was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I thought I’d go into labor right away. Wrong! After a week I went back to the doctor and I thought for sure I was at least 4-5 cm dilated because of the contractions and because of some other things that had gone on (I’ll spare the details) but when I was checked I was still only at 3 cm. I felt so defeated and just done being pregnant. I joked with friends that I was like an elephant because I’d been pregnant for 3 years straight.
Fast forward to October 14th…I slept all day and all night and snuggled with my daughter Sloan and I told her don’t be surprised if I don’t have this baby tomorrow. (I think she thought I was crazy.)
I woke up Monday morning feeling like I had to go to the bathroom in a serious way but after I did I did not feel better and I quickly realized I was having some major contractions but convinced myself it had to be something else because they were coming too quickly (a minute apart). I jumped (waddled) into the shower and quickly washed up and threw on my bathrobe and woke up Drew and told him he needed to call an ambulance because at that point I couldn’t even walk. I think he thought perhaps I was being over dramatic and told me that he’d help me down the stairs and into the car. I interrupted him and said I don’t think you get it, you NEED to call an ambulance now!
The ambulance (along with a firetruck and some sort of other emergency vehicle) got to the house fairly quickly and maneuvered me down the stairs (I later found out my sweet husband took a photo of me, that will not be put out for people to see!) The paramedic assured me that if I needed to give birth they were equipped to do so but that didn’t make me feel much better because having a baby in an ambulance was not in the plan. Once I got to the hospital I found out I was 8-9 centimeters dilated.
The contractions were hard and painful and fast, there were times I was able to get them under control but most of the times I was frantic because as I was trying to mentally get through the contractions I had 5-6 people asking me for insurance information, or asking about my medical history or strapping things on me and I’d lose my focus. This was again not how I pictured my birth experience and when asked if I wanted an epidural I jumped at the chance just so I could get on top of things. The epidural worked quickly but slowed things down a bit but not too much because after my third round of pushing Cooper James entered the world. The funny thing of all of this is for months I’ve told Drew I cannot wait to hear my baby boy cry and the little stinker didn’t cry when he was born. He was so alert and just took everything in and didn’t even cry when he got his shots.
It was a long awaited day and although the birth didn’t go as planned I cannot even begin to express how happy I am and how much joy this sweet baby has brought to our family’s lives in just one week. I don’t think any of us could imagine him not being with us.
I promise I’ll be back to regular posting soon! I’m feeling great and am excited to get back to work and to get back into the swing of things!!!