Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cooper Parry Jones

Writing a birth story requires you to either pour your heart out with details that only you care to remember, or giving a brief synopsis of what happened just so that you can say that you did it. I would say that by the length of this post, I am pouring my heart out, trying to remember every detail...You can look at the pictures, the words are for me to remember the night we had our son.

 Cooper's story is one that I so looked forward to writing.  I think I imagined it being just like Maggie's.  I cut my hair similar to how I had it when Maggie was born, I listened to the music from her birth playlist, I read the same verses.  Truth be told, none of those things worked out for me. My bangs are crooked, the music lost it luster, and he needed his own verses.  I shouldn't be surprised that his birth was completely different.

The Dr.'s scheduled Cooper's induction for Monday, September 16th, the day after Libby's birthday.  I prayed and prayed that this wouldn't happened.  I had this weird feeling the entire pregnancy that something about Cooper's birth was going to be unexpected, like he would come really early, or he would come fast, or I would have to have a c-section.  When I was still pregnant a day passed 41 weeks I thought the "different" I was feeling was that I wouldn't get to experience the natural labor that I wanted.

  I was reading to the girls Saturday night at bedtime, when out of no where I realized that I was stopping the story to breath through contractions.  When I kissed them good night and came downstairs, I looked at Kev and said that I thought  my contractions were about three minutes apart and when I called the doctor and she didn't call me back right away, I told him I thought we needed to leave.  Thankfully, my parents decided to drive down that day so that we could all be together for Libby's birthday on Sunday.  Ironically, just 5 short years ago, on the very same night, September 14th after dinner, contractions started for me also.  When we arrived at the hospital and they checked my progress I was 7 centimeters, exactly what I was, when I arrived at the hospital to deliver Libby.

Cooper's birth is the first that I did not have the support of a midwife or doula, and I missed their calming presence.  We were ushered to a triage room where the nurses handed me a white bag and a hospital gown.  I didn't have the freedom to where my clothes, which for some reason, made me less comfortable.  They monitored me on a triage bed for 30 minutes while I was transitioning, another uncomfortable experience.  Once we were in our room, I looked for my birthing zone, I really tried to find it, but it was different.  I didn't feel alone or upset, I just new that something was different.  Things were moving quickly for me, even now it is hazy.  When I finally saw the doctor she checked my progress again and I had progressed to almost 9 centimeters.  She broke my water and I heard her tell the nurse that I needed to stay in the bed.  Laboring with out being able to move how you want to is very difficult.  My nurse did get me a birthing ball that I sat on for a while, but it was intense.  I felt like I wanted to push, so the nurse checked me again.  No luck, I was the same 8-9 centimeters.

The contractions were rolling in so fast, so painful.  I wasn't managing them.  I was thinking about the night 5 years before when the very same thing was happening to me.  I labored through the night trying to bring my baby down and I never got there.  After laboring all night and into the morning, my midwife told me that my body needed rest, and she thought I needed an epidural to help me relax.
I looked at the clock in my room on this night and it said 3:15.  Then I looked at the bed in front of me and all I could think about was how bad I needed to rest.  With out even thinking about it or discussing it with Kev, the next time I saw the nurse, I told her I wanted an epidural.
I didn't sleep after I got the epidural, I held pictures of Libby and Maggie in my hand and the ultra sound I had of Cooper's little face from the week before.  I stared at them for an hour and thought about how much I loved them.  I thought about how much I have been blessed three times with gifts too precious for words.

 The nurse came back and told me it was time to push.  I pushed through several contractions, but could tell I still had some work to do.  I asked the nurse what I needed to do and she said I needed to push him passed my pelvic bone.  She helped me roll onto my side, told me push, and in my head I repeated "push him past your pelvic bone."  The next thing I knew she was yelling at my friend/photographer Beth to pull a cord out of the wall while she held her hand on Cooper trying to stop him from coming out.  An army of nurses and finally my doctor came filling in...everything was whirling around us and then plop!

 Cooper Jones was laying on my chest.  I grabbed him and tried to warm him myself, but there were hands everywhere.  His little body so very purple and blue from the speed at which he came out.  They took him from me almost immediately and placed him on the warmer to try to get him to cry.  I'm sure that it was only a few minutes but it felt like forever to me.  I knew they were doing what he needed, but I wanted to hold him so bad.  I felt like telling them that he would be fine if they just gave him to me. I could feel hot tears forming in my eyes while we waited to here him cry.  The nurses assured me that he was fine, I just pushed him out too fast and his lungs didn't have a chance to clear properly.

  Finally, when his pulse was stable, they handed me my son.  I don't think I really cried, when I had the girls, but when he was there in my arms, I was overwhelmed.  The tears finally came.
Cooper Parry Jones, entered this world on September 15, 2013.  Five years to the day of his big sister. Eight and a half pounds of baby boy, wrapped up warm in a blanket,  handed over to the Englishman and I to love for the rest of forever.

His birth is a blur to me.  It went so fast.  I was waiting for him for so long and it felt like out  of nowhere he was here.  We had him at 4:20 Sunday morning and were pulling in our driveway by dinner time on Monday night.
Cooper's birth wasn't what I thought it would be, and that is okay.  We can plan for life the way we think it should happen, but I'm always surprised by the twists and turns it gives me.  Cooper's story completes our family, and that is where the magic lies.  When my little girls burst into the room full of energy, to meet their baby brother and their eyes lit up,  they oohed and ahhed over and over again at every noise he made.  When we sat on the bed, all five, that is when I had my magic moment.  The moment I had 5 years ago, then again 2 years after, then again on this day.  That moment where so much thanksgiving poured from my heart I thought it would burst.  I looked to my left and right and in my arms and I was surrounded by love.

Sometimes, or all the time, I look at my life and wonder how I got here.  I remember clearly one night, when I was living alone in a little garage apartment.  My heart had recently been stolen away by a certain young man that lived very far away. In my narrow vision I could see no way for us to ever be together.  I cried out to God, these exact words "God, I promise, if you let me have him, I'll be good for the rest of my life!"  I can't say that I kept up my part of the bargain, but my Father did.  He knit our lives together and has blessed us more than I ever thought imaginable.
Thanks be to God.

 "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us"
Ephesians 3:20

My cup runneth over again and again and again.
Grace and peace dear friends, big love to you all.

Most of these beautiful pictures were taken by my friend Beth...some were by Daddy :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Letter That Induced Me Or Not

I read an article last week on natural induction methods.  A last ditch effort was to write your baby a letter.  I wrote this yesterday and I kid you not, when I read it out loud I have little contractions.  I'm not in labor yet, but I will be soon.  I know that before the 21st of September my baby boy will be with us...Here is the little nursery we made for him.  
Dear Cooper,
Hello my son.  I am writing to tell you how much I love you.  How I long to feel your skin and wrap you in blankets.  How  I want to press your face to mine just so I can drink  in all of your babyness while it is there for me to take.  I don't know what day you will come,  how you will come, or if all of the scary details will fall into place, but I do know that I am ready to see you.  I want you to know that I will give you as much time as you need, you can come today, or you can wait 2 more weeks.  I am your Mommy and I am here to protect you, to fight for you, to love you fiercely.  So I will stand in the way of those who say it is time for you come and remind everyone that if you are not here, it is not your time yet.  But I want you to know that out here are people who, like me, are dying to see you, to touch you.  There are 2 freckle faced girls who talk about you everyday.  They gave you your name and they knew you were you even before I did.

There is your Daddy, who I know has secretly wished for you from the very moment I whispered the words "pregnant" to him.  He will teach you so many things that I never could, like how to climb high and to run fast and to play hard.  He will also teach you to be kind, not by giving you a 10 minute explanation (that is what I will do), he will do it in the way you watch him live.  He is the kindest person I have ever known, and he is your Daddy!

My Darling, I know that you are safe and well in the only home you have ever known, and that things that we do not know are scary, but take heart, this world, the one in our little blue cottage by the sea, is waiting for you and there is nothing to be afraid of.
Oh my son, we will wait for you as long as we need to, but know how much we look forward to your life.  You are so loved, you are so anticipated.

I wait for you, yes, but dear one I invite you to come to me.  I will always wrap you warm, I will sustain you, I will always protect you when you are here on the outside.

Oh Cooper, I love you.
Hurry to us soon.

John 16:33

 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Joshua 1:9
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Sunday, September 8, 2013

On First Days Of School

I made it through the first day of preschool. So did Libs.  She loved it actually.  When I walked out of her classroom she gave me a wave of confidence and a fantastic grin.
My cheeks got hot and my eyes welled up and I knew I had to get out of there so I wasn't "that mom" standing outside the locked glass doors sobbing and watching the clock tick down to 2:00.  I high tailed it to the car and let the tears come out.  I called Kev and decided it was best that I didn't talk about it anymore.

  I took Maggie to Starbucks instead.  She and I had a great day together.  Every now and then she would say "Libby at school?" Then she would say "let's go get her."  Today after we dropped her off she said, "Mommy, Libby is my best friend."  Sweet sisters, it really is as it should be.
Maggie's face is red bc she insists on putting on my lip gloss everyday

When I picked Libby up from her classroom, she limped out due to the fact that she opted not to wear the socks I laid out for her.  She talked about school non-stop when we got home, had a tremendous melt down, and then fell sound asleep for 2 hours.  I told her yesterday that we had to get ready for school today and her eyes lit up, the way they do so well, and she said "I get to go to school tomorrow."
The second day of school she was mad that I made her wear her hair partially up.  She did agree to wear socks, although she said that she is never wearing her pink boat shoes again, but refuses to let me give them to someone who will (I am going to try to stretch them so she doesn't find them so offensive).  She smiled when I walked away from her but opted not to kiss me goodbye.  Her Friday folder was filled with papers that made her beam with pride.
Just like that, my Little is a school girl.
Next weekend, five years since she stole my heart away.
My, my how does the time fly by so quickly?
Grace and Peace