Cooper's birth story - pt. 1

I realize that some people don't like to read these. And that's fine - but I loved reading these, especially while I was pregnant. Plus, I want to remember all of this!

Also, I'd spoken about a birth plan on here. It never left my suitcase, and practically everything I'd wanted I either changed my mind on or wasn't possible. I do, however, plan to post it and what did/didn't happen.

My labor process actually began on Monday, Nov. 21. After having lots of regular contractions through the weekend, work was a big struggle that morning, and after a few hours of work and contractions that were 3-5 minutes apart, I decided to head home for the day to rest/finish packing and take a bath. All morning, I was in contact with hubby, and he was working quickly on the route so he would get off as early as possible, since I was pretty sure I was in true labor. Once he finished, I picked him up from work, because we didn't want to have to worry about his co-workers getting it in case we were admitted that night. 

After a couple hours of the contractions continuing, hubby and I decided it was time to head to the hospital. On the way up, I remember wondering if it was the real deal, as I was pretty chatty and not in a lot of pain. I know I thought labor would be rougher - but then again, I also knew that everyone reacts to labor pains differently. I was pretty excited, thinking our baby would probably arrive on his due date!

Once we got checked in, the nurses checked me and we learned that I was dilated to about 1.5 cm and still not totally effaced - some progress since my last doctor appointment but not much. However, my contractions were very regular and coming in at 3-5 minutes, like I'd thought. The nurse talked to my doctor, who thought I was in early labor, and offered to let me stay and start a pitocin drip to push me into full labor. I had been against using pitocin (it's a synthetic designed to help with contractions, often used in inductions) but since my doctor, who is against inducing, recommended it, I took her advice and said yes, figuring it would push me into active labor. 

At this point, I was starving - I had only had a granola bar, toast and broth that day. It was also around the time of shift change, so while the daytime nurse said I couldn't have anything to eat, the new nurse (Alexis) said to get something, as we would be there for awhile and the last thing she wanted was for me to be hungry and run down the entire time. Let me tell you, that was the BEST whopper I ever inhaled!

Anyhow, the drip began and hubby and I decided to get some rest. It was pretty tough for me, as I was hooked up to all sorts of things and needing to use the restroom every one to two hours, so I didn't get the best sleep. I think it was around 1 a.m. when Alexis checked me again and I had no progress. And let me tell you, internals hurt. Pitocin can cause a lot of pain, and she noticed I was experiencing it, so she offered to put me on a morphine drip as well, but I initially declined it.  

She left and I had a little freak out moment, crying to J about it all. I was in pain, but I was crying because I was so frustrated. I wanted my baby to be born and I didn't feel like it was ever going to happen. One of the other nurses came in at the time to check my vitals and noticed my tears. I asked if it would be possible to take a bath - I thought that would help. My nurse OK'd it and I spent about 30 minutes soaking. Once I was out, they offered the morphine again and I said yes. I was having some bloody show and lots of cramps, which confirmed that while I wasn't really dilating, I was thinning. 

I think the morphine was one of the mistakes I made. It seriously slowed me down. However, it did knock me out and allow for some really great sleep. 

The next thing I knew, it was morning and my new nurse, Julie (who turns out to be a second cousin - I had asked about her and luckily she was working) was there and giving me an update. Basically, my body wasn't really doing what they thought it would after the Pitocin. My contractions had slowed and weren't regular at all anymore. The doctor suggested stopping the Pitocin and seeing how my body reacted, then checking me again in a couple hours. So we slept some more. Once I had some decent sleep, hubby and I walked the halls some to see if that would help move things along. She last checked me around 11 (I think) and I was at about a 2. Julie called my doctor and while the doctor was unsure what to do, Julie suggested we discharge and go home, since there was no real idea of when my labor would pick back up. 

Hubby and I left and went to grab some lunch. We then stopped at the mall (I had an Old Navy coupon for $20 off a $40 purchase that expired that day) and I also wanted to do some walking. 

Once we got home, hubby took a nap and I took another bath, then napped. Around 4:30 p.m., I began having very strong, shooting pains. I didn't know what they were - they were different from the contractions I'd been experiencing, and I was having them about 20-30 minutes apart. 

Through the night, these pains progressed as well. They got harder and harder - but still not very close together. Some brought me into tears, however, and I started having to go to the bathroom every time I had one. I was so nauseous, I only had a granola bar and maybe half a bowl of soup for supper. 

Once 10 p.m. rolled around, we knew it was about time to head to bed, and I told hubby that I was going to sleep on the couch, as it would be too difficult to roll over out of bed every time I experienced a contraction or needed to go to the bathroom. He stayed in the living room with me, and I ended up having contractions about every 10-15 minutes apart for awhile. And they were PAINFUL, and about three to five minutes each. The only way to get through them was to kneel with my arms on the seat of the couch. A couple times, I woke up to another contraction after having fallen asleep in that position. 

After awhile, I called L&D and luckily Alexis was there again. She understood that I didn't want to come in for another false alarm and wasn't sure what was going on, as my contractions were so far apart. Remembering how I'd liked the bath the previous night, she suggested I try that and see what happened. I thought it was a great idea, so I got in - but it didn't provide the same comfort I'd experienced with other baths. It seemed the contractions were getting closer together, too. 

I got out of the tub and told hubby I thought we should think a bit more seriously about going to the hospital again, but I still wasn't sure. Honestly, I wanted him to make the decision. He decided to take a quick shower and told me to walk around and change positions to see what happened. During this time, it got even worse. Later, when I was getting dressed, I ended up in so much pain I was crawling around. That's when I told hubby that I didn't even care if I was in labor at that point, I had to go to the doctor to get something to manage the pain! 

I really don't remember much of the drive, just that I was in pain and afraid of going to the bathroom! I had probably 4 or 5 contractions on the way? I just tried to zone out and focus on getting to the hospital. When we were about 10 minutes away, I called the hospital to let them know we were almost back and asked if I could have a wheelchair and I didn't think I could walk that far. 

Once we got upstairs (around 3 a.m.) I quickly changed into the gown and remember telling her that I best be at least a 4, because I knew that definitely signaled active labor, and that I could get an epidural. These pains were no joke and there was no way I could endure them. Thankfully, I was a 4.5! She said she would call the doctor but they were definitely keeping me and she would start getting things in line for the epidural. 

I honestly don't remember much until I got the epidural (about 4 a.m.) other than more pain and my being super excited to share the news of my progress with J. When the epidural lady came in, I thought she looked like an angel! 

Once it was going, things got moving. Luckily I couldn't feel any contractions, and they were getting to be about three to four minutes apart - some back to back - so I was glad I took advantage of the epidural. 

About 5 a.m., a catheter was inserted, which made things easier on me, not having to get out of bed. Since epidurals can slow things down, the doctor really wanted them to artificially break my water, so I said OK. Alexis did this at 5:18 a.m., and also noted I was dilated to somewhere between 5 and 6 centimeters. I asked for a popsicle, and my loving husband got me one :)
The nurse also noted that there was some meconium (the baby's first poop) in my water, so they would have a respiratory therapist on hand during delivery, just in case. 

At 6:15 a.m., I was dilated to between a 6 and 7. The baby wasn't reacting well to the way I was lying, so they gave me an oxygen mask and had me roll onto my left side. 

My doctor came in at 7 a.m. and said I was 7 cm. They rolled me to my right side. 

Julie was my nurse again :) As of 8:20 a.m., I was 7.5 cm. and the contractions were very close. 

In between all this, I was trying to get sleep. I definitely needed it!

By 9:45 a.m., I was 8.5 centimeters and feeling the urge to push but holding back. Julie got things ready for delivery, and I began doing some practice pushed at 10:15. Ten minutes later, Julie saw the top of the head - and dark hair!

At 10:30, I began doing more practice pushes. Hubby wrote "Michelle is doing great." A couple minutes later, he was able to see the baby's head. I requested a mirror so I could see and it was moved in around 10:40. We then continued doing practice pushes along with my contractions every 2-3 minutes. 

By 11:25 a.m., we could see the baby's head even when I wasn't pushing. It was around then that Julie asked for our last guesses regarding the sex/size of the baby. Julie said girl, I said girl and 8-8.5 lbs., while Daddy said boy.

This is where things got crazy and hubby didn't get to take anymore notes. I believe it was around 11:30 the doctor entered the room and we had a real audience. I had a nurse on either side and the doctor in the middle. I continued doing pushes. Shortly after, I started telling them when I would push. Every time I got to the third round, I would close my eyes and hope the head would pop out. 

Time actually seemed to go by pretty quickly, but I was wearing out. J was administering my oxygen mask by this point. Then, all of a sudden, things got crazy. I had been pushing for 10-second phases in sets of three or four, but all of a sudden, it felt like everyone was yelling at me to push and I was being surrounded. I was in so much pain my eyes were closed and I remember yelling "I can't!" and "It hurts too bad!" I didn't hear a baby crying, so I was confused why everyone was so excited. Finally, I worked up the energy, held my breath, and did a push. 

Next thing I knew, I heard the doctor say: "I seriously underestimated the size of this child." She said something about it being a boy, and I looked at hubby with tears in my eyes. He said that when he looked down, he had no idea what was going on - he had turned away after seeing the afterbirth and didn't even hear the big announcement! RIght then, the OB tech was about to cut the cord. Hubby wanted to do this and I was about to tell them so, but I didn't even have the energy to do so and figured he would object if it were that big of a deal. Then our little boy was whisked over to the edge of the room to be checked out, while I was stitched up - I had a second degree tear, which wasn't too bad all things considered. 

This time was actually scarier than we realized at the time. But I have a hungry baby right now, so I'll be back with that and the rest of the story later today (I hope!)


  1. I love reading these sweet stories! And you'll be so glad you did this later! Can't wait to hear the rest! and congratulations on your baby boy! I've been blogger MIA for a while so I missed this! :( Love the name Cooper! :)

  2. Wow- what a long and crazy road to meeting your sweet boy.I loved reading your story! I can't wait to read the rest!

  3. These always make me cry, even though they are happy stories!!! Congrats again!

  4. such a sweet story! can't wait for the rest!!

  5. I love love love birth stories and of course you know I'd want to know all about yours! You did so well! And having you two take notes is an amazing idea and you'll be so glad you did! I hope we can do the same because it'll be hard to remember the whirlwind! I'm so happy you had your doctor instead of one making rounds!

    I'm deathly afraid of tearing but I guess with an epidural it's not too bad? Considering the rest of the pain?

    I thought you were having a boy for sure and it's so neat that you have your little boy and I'll have mine in about 5 months. :) Raising boys together will be so much fun! :)

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had tears gathering up in my eyes , I'm so happy for your family!

  7. Love the story! I'm glad that you documented it all. What a big boy! Can't wait to see pics of him.

  8. I love reading birth stories! I can't wait to hear the rest. I can't wait to see more pictures of him--he's so cute! :)

  9. Congratulations!! Cant wait to read the rest =)

  10. Congrats on your new bundle of joy!


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