Let’s start with the end in mind. Henry Benjamin was born July 21st, though coming nearly two weeks before his due date, he arrived at a healthy 7lbs 14oz and 20 ¾” long.
At my 37 week appointment, my doctor examined me and found that I was 3cm dialated. I was of course surprised, as I had yet to feel any contractions of any kind throughout the pregnancy. A week later at my 38 week appointment, I was at 5cm dialated, again without feeling any contractions. My doctor felt certain she would see us at the hospital before my next appointment. And she was right!
Friday, at about 6:00pm I started feeling pain in my back. I initially dismissed it as back spasms, because I had always heard contraction felt like bad menstrual cramps, but these pains were all in my lower back. At about 6:30pm James insisted I start keeping track of the pains, how long they lasted and how far apart they were. By 7:15pm we were headed to the hospital! During the entire drive the back pains, which I now know were contractions, were 2.5 minutes apart and lasting about 40 seconds. They were pretty intense, but we stayed in good spirits, singing and dancing in the car. We arrived at the hospital, by 8:15pm and after being examined, I was already at 7cm dialated. They were all very surprised I was still on my feet. I guess I got lucky!
After the initial exams, and procedures we got the epidural started. It took 3 attempts to get it placed correctly – ouch! But it was amazing how I no longer felt contractions, oh sweet relief…for the time being that was. A couple of hours later I was at 9cm dialated, they broke my water, but the baby was still too high so we had to wait. Once the water broke, the most bizarre thing happened. I started feeling the contractions – in all of their intensity – in my right butt cheek. It was so strange (and painful). It turns out the baby must have been on my sciatica nerve. There was nothing they could do, the epidural had no effect and I had to experience every contraction – through my right butt cheek. After an hour of practice pushing,the baby was now low enough for my doctor to come and get this baby delivered! At 2am I then had to push for nearly 2 hours! It was exhausting, and incredibly daunting.
The second the baby was out and they laid him on my stomach I balled, I heard his first cry and I screamed. I was overwhelmed with love and relief and amazement. Here was our baby. Here was the crazy little dude that was stirring inside of me not long ago. He was real, and I could see him and feel him. It is an absolutely indescribable feeling.
There we were, after, meeting Henry Benjamin for the first time. He came out as an incredibly beautiful, healthy, strong baby and we couldn’t be more grateful! We spent two days in the hospital and couldn’t wait to head home.
I could not have gotten through this pregnancy without my husband. The most amazing man on this planet, who with all of his love and support and certainty and vision, kept me sane, healthy, and positive. He is my bestfriend and was the greatest partner during labor and delivery, and is already a wonderful dad.
So here we are, The Coopers, with our own little family.
As most new parents can attest to, we are seeing all of the funny little quirks that our little dude has to offer, our iphones are already full of pictures of him, and we are completely in love.