Cooper's Birth Story
My husband and I got married in May 2003. We had been together about five years and knew we wanted children right away. We decided we wouldn’t try to get pregnant, but we wouldn’t try not to, either. We put it in God’s hands and if we got pregnant that would be great and if we didn’t right away, that would be okay, too.
That very month I just knew I was pregnant; just like that, I knew it right away! I even called my sister to tell her we had just conceived and I knew I was going to be pregnant. It wasn’t time for me to start my period yet so I was just going to have to wait and see.
For years, my husband and I planned to name our first son Cooper because we liked the name. About four days before I was supposed to start my period I was working on a real estate transaction at work. This particular piece of property was located on “Cooper Hill Road” and our last name is Hill. I thought to myself, “This is a sign from God–I’m pregnant!” I went home from work and took a test and even though it was four days early, it came out positive. I was pregnant!
I actually enjoyed being pregnant and loved my belly. I began to show right away and even wore maternity clothes when I went to my first doctor’s visit at eight weeks. I’m short and very small (well, I used to be small) so I guess that’s why I was so obviously pregnant.
I didn’t have morning sickness–I had all day sickness! My back hurt, my feet hurt, my legs hurt and still, I enjoyed pregnancy. The excitement of what’s happening outweighs everything else. I got huge; I gained 50 pounds and my belly was enormous! I looked nine months pregnant at six months and thought there was no way I could get any bigger, but I did. I was so afraid I was going to have a huge baby, as my husband’s family has very big babies (his dad weighed almost 11 pounds).
At about 16 weeks we found out the sex…a boy! I honestly knew I was having a boy and the ultrasound was just for confirmation. I know it sounds weird but I knew we were going to have our little Cooper.
During my last trimester I asked my doctor at every visit, “When are we going to do an ultrasound to see how big this baby is?” And he would always say, “Relax. We’ll check it around 38 or 39 weeks.” I felt there was no way that child was staying inside me for that long! I wanted to know if I was having a big baby and I wanted to know what the plan would be because I didn’t want to have a c-section or be induced. I worried that my child was too big for me to have vaginally. I was a nervous wreck and no one else seemed to be concerned!
To my surprise, 38 weeks came and I was still pregnant and only dilated to one centimeter. My doctor said we would do the long-awaited ultrasound at my next visit. “Thank God,” I thought. We could finally see the baby again and plan what we were going to do since he was so big!
My husband had to go out of town for work for several days and would miss my ultrasound. I was pretty sad about that but more importantly, what if I went into labor while he was gone? My mother insisted on spending the night with me the night before the ultrasound because she didn’t want me to be alone and she was planning on coming with me the next day. She and I stayed up late making my diaper bag and talking. It was nice to have her there with me. When my mother went to bed, I cleaned the dishes and then went to my bedroom. I was watching TV when I sneezed. It was such a big sneeze it actually hurt because of all the pressure in my tight belly. A few seconds later, I felt a trickle, and my first thought was that I was bleeding and it scared me. It felt like I had started my period. I got out of bed to go the bathroom and I felt another trickle, and another, and then a gush! My water broke!
I hobbled to the bedroom to wake my mother up. She asked me if I was sure that my water had broken but when she looked down at the puddle on the floor she knew that was a stupid question. My mother has four children and I went to the childbirth classes and yet, between the two of us, we had no clue what to do! We ran around like crazy, me getting my stuff together, and my mother cleaning up puddles behind me! I called the hospital to ask if I should come or wait for contractions to start. They said to come now, and before we left, I called my husband. At this point, I was hysterical and it wasn’t because I was scared of childbirth, it was because I was afraid my husband would miss the birth!
After we were on our way, my mother realized she had left her purse at her house on the other side of town. We tried calling my dad to tell him the news and have him bring the purse to the hospital, but there was no answer. Dad had turned the ringer off so we had to turn around and drive the opposite direction to get the purse! About an hour later, we made it to the hospital, and about an hour after that, my husband walked in. Oh, the relief! He made a four-hour trip in about two-and-a-half hours (he could have walked home and still not missed anything because I was in labor for over 20 hours).
I think the worst pain I felt was getting the I.V. inserted. The epidural wasn’t bad at all. There were a few scary times when Cooper’s heart stopped beating for a few seconds (which felt like an eternity). I had lost too much amniotic fluid so he was laying on the umbilical cord and cutting off the blood flow. They had to pump fluid back into my uterus twice, which made me swell up like a blimp. Cooper was head down in the birth canal facing towards my back and he wasn’t far enough down so there was talk about a c-section. I didn’t want to have one but I wanted my baby to come out soon and with as little trauma as possible.
The next time the nurse checked me I was fully dilated and Cooper had turned around on his own! They wanted me to push for a while just to see if I could get him to come down a little, and if he didn’t I would probably have to have a c-section. So, I began to push, and it was so hard–my legs felt like they weighed 100 pounds each! I pushed and I pushed and after about two hours, Cooper was here! I did it! I gave birth to my son without having to have a c-section and without having to be induced!
Even though I labored for over 20 hours, and things got very scary at some points, I had a wonderful childbirth. Cooper came when he was ready and I got to have him vaginally and he was as healthy as could be! He only weighed seven pounds, 12 ounces, which isn’t big at all. He was an average sized baby and so beautiful! Cooper was born on March 16, and now, at nine months old, he weighs 25 pounds and wears 18-24 month old clothes! He is the most beautiful, loving, hilarious, precious thing I’ve ever known in my life! I don’t get a whole lot of sleep but I don’t care. If I wake up before he does in the morning, I miss him.
I love my Cooper so much it hurts my heart. Every day I wake up and think I couldn’t love him more…but the next day, I wake up and realize that I do!
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