Copeland's Birth Story

Life is hectic with four kids and yet I find myself wishing I could find time to write a few words about this rich life we have.  I started writing this post about Copeland's birth story late one night when I couldn't sleep days before I had Arya.  I didn't want the details of Arya's birth story muddling up the specifics of Copeland's.  But I couldn't seem to find the words that night and put it off.  So now, four months from Copeland's 2nd birthday I hope I can remember the wonderful way this boy came into our lives.

It was a sweltering hot summer.  I died from the heat everyday and found myself escaping to the Tot Lot's freezing cold unheated pool with the girls to get out of the heat.  I was uncomfortable to no end and wanting him impatiently to join us.  But I had no idea what to expect.  My pregnancies with Eva and Bella had been so similar as had their births, but my pregnancy with Copeland had been utterly and completely different so I assumed his birth would be also. This was kind of terrifying for me!

His due date was August 12th and on the 10th I spent a relaxing evening alone.  Steve was out with some friends and I laid in bed and read my book.  It had been so good that I read quite late instead of falling asleep.  Finally at about midnight Steve was home and I put my book aside to fall asleep.  Then I felt a contraction.  I really didn't want to go into labor since I was so tired and finally ready for bed, so I tried to fall asleep anyway.  But I was awoken by another contraction!  I laid there timing them and they were every 12 minutes apart.  They were too strong for me to sleep so I got up and laid on the couch.  Hours and hours passed with contractions coming 12 minutes apart.  I was so exhausted by then I tried to sleep, but the contractions were too strong to sleep through and I found myself being awoken every 12 minutes to take deep breaths and breathe through them.  By 6am I had been up all night and was exhausted and frustrated they weren't any closer together or any stronger but they also weren't going away either.  I got up and went for an early morning summer walk to get gravity moving things along.  It was a beautiful morning and I listened to worship music as I walked and prayed for the baby to safely come.  I came home to Steve and the girls awake and eating breakfast.  I continued to pace around the house and breathe through contractions.  By noon they were FINALLY closer together and I felt like maybe some action would start happening soon.  Within a couple hours they were definitely 3-5 minutes apart and VERY strong.  I told Steve it was time to pack the girls up and take them to Grammy's.  Steve and the girls ran around in a frenzy trying to get things together.  On the drive to drop the girls off at Grammy's the contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes and I was in major pain.  I squealed every time Steve went over a bump in the road or took too sharp of a turn. By the time we were walking through the hospital parking lot, I could barely take two steps without stopping to breathe through contractions.  I had never needed a wheel chair when they offered me one at the Emergency Room before, but this time I thought I better take them up on their offer or we might never make it up to the Delivery Room on the 3rd floor.

When I arrived and they hooked me up to monitor the contractions, the nurse commented that the contractions were registering as VERY strong.  Okay good, this wasn't just me being a wimp.  She checked me and I was 5 cm's dilated.  "YESSS!" I shouted for joy.  At 5 cm they wouldn't send me home to keep laboring, but I also wasn't so far along that I couldn't get an epidural, which multiple friends had told me had happened to them.  I wasn't one of those women who hoped for a natural birth without drugs, I just wanted to be out of my pain misery.  "I know epidural's usually take a while to come, so I just wanted to put an order in now" I said without hesitation.  "Woah, woah, woah, hold on!" the nurse told me.  "You aren't even admitted yet, this is only the assessment. We need to get your paperwork done and a few other things before I can order that."  Bummed, but still stoked to be where I was in the process, the nurse left the room and Steve and I started talking.  Within 3 contractions I felt that undeniable feeling of "bearing down".  "Steve!  I'm totally bearing down! I can't stop it!" I said as I tried to breathe through an incredibly strong contraction.  Steve ran to grab the nurse, who moseyed her way back into the room without any sense of urgency.  "You need to stop yourself from pushing" she told me.  "I just checked you and you were only 5 cm....I guess I'll check again to make sure."  As she leaned in to check the expression changed on her face. "WOAH! You are 9 cm's already!! We need to get you in a room to deliver this baby!" And with that it was suddenly a flurry of nurses wheeling me down the hall to a delivery room and setting things up, calling my doctor.  I managed to squeak out after a contraction "what about my epidural?"  to which I got a simple "there's no time for that now."

My doctor just so happened to be next door delivering another baby, so she was in my delivery room in no time.  "Dr. Godwin" I said as soon as I saw her "I didn't want to do this without an epidural!  I don't want to FEEL things!" I panicked.  She is the kindest, best doctor I could ever ask for and she gently laughed and said "You can do this.  A couple pushes and this will be over."

Sure enough there I was pushing as hard as I could with nurses and Steve surrounding me and Dr. Godwin coaching me through it. "Big push, big push!" I could hear her say as I hunkered down and pushed as hard as I could.  To my surprise, everything down below felt the same as delivering a baby with an epidural.  Same ring of fire and everything!  But the ability to feel my contractions  made me more in control.  My water hadn't broken yet, so Dr. Godwin broke it for me.  The fact that it hadn't broken made the contraction at least 3 minutes apart which was nice since it gave me a good chance to catch my breath in between pushes. Although this also made it the funniest/most awkward part since with each push I gave, I had to sit and wait....I'd open my eyes to see my husband, doctor and multiple nurses all quietly staring at me with my legs spread, knees in the air, and a babies head coming out of my hoo-haa.  Awkward!  "You need to push yet?" one of them would say.  Nope, still waiting.

Then as I felt the contraction come I leaned into it.  "Nice big push, there you go! Now a little slower....gently...." and before I knew it, the pressure was released and they were handing me my big 'ol 8 pound baby boy.

I had been so nervous to have a boy and yet from the moment I saw him those fears melted away.  This boy stole my heart instantly.

I panicked a little when I looked at him and saw his completely blue face.  "Is he breathing?!"  Turns out he came so fast and furiously he had bruised his face on the way out.  

I looked over at Steve and the sudden realization that I had just done this labor and delivery completely epidural free made me high five my husband.  "Yeah!  I'm awesome!" haha.  As if I had meant to do that all along ;)  I know that this is something our bodies are built to do, I just never thought I would be one of those people with a natural drug free birth, so it was pretty cool that I was forced into the whole thing.  It was actually quite amazing and Copeland was so alert, Steve and I were both grateful for the way everything went down.

I still wasn't admitted yet, so after all that the nurses had to get me to sign my admittance paperwork.  We wanted to name our precious new baby boy and yet even though we had the name Copeland picked out for the last 6 years, we hesitated and almost named him Beckett.  We were unsure of which name to pick so he was "baby boy" for the first day or so. The nurses on the post-delivery wing chatted to us about our girls who would soon come to meet their new baby brother and what name we had picked out for him.  I told them this funny story about how the girls thought the name "Bacon" was hilarious and that their new brother should be Bacon Birss.  Eva was totally clever and added in "yeah and his middle name could be 'Cheese' so it would be Bacon Cheese Birss." Our nurses thought this was hilarious and since we didn't have a real name for him picked out yet, they wrote Bacon Cheese Birss on his bassinet as a joke.  Steve and I laughed and thought it was amazing.

The girls coming in the next day to meet their new baby brother was pretty special.  Their excitement was over the top and I made sure to snap some pics as they ran into our room.

They just wanted to hold him and kiss him and study the size of his fingers.  They were enamored just as we were.

This little boy that all at once was slow to come and yet was delivered so fast and furious has shone a light on our lives ever since.  He is so loveable and is the absolute perfect addition to our family.  


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