Jack has arrived!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Well, today started out pretty normal. I had a doctor's appointment at 9am, and my good friend, Ellie, agreed to take me down to Little Rock so that Mary would be here to pick up Katie from school. We quickly got in to see Dr. M., and found that I was 90-100% effaced, 4cm dilated. He also told me that I could lighten up on the bed rest since I had reached the 36 week mark. Yay! I was so excited to be out of bed! The doc told me that the baby could come anytime, and that he was honestly surprised that I was still pregnant! He told me to call David and tell him that it was time for him to come home if he wanted to be here for the birth of the baby because Jack could make his appearance at any time! Well, this is how the REST of the day went:

Ellie and I went to Target right after the doctor's appointment. Other than the fact that I felt like the baby was about to fall out, I felt great! I was so excited to be off bed rest that I had to do something! We walked around for a while just shopping and chatting. I bought tons of snacks for the hospital. I think I got Peanut M&M's, Cheese Puff Balls, Skittles, you name it! I noticed a little bleeding when we were shopping and we decided that we'd better go sit down. I figured it was just from the doctor checking me, but decided to have a little rest, anyway.

What better place to rest than at Barnes and Noble? We went and looked at cupcake books and had a cup of hot chocolate. It was so nice to just be out of the house and visiting with Ellie! After just a bit the bleeding stopped, so we thought we were safe. It was lunch time, so we headed on down to Olive Garden, our typical cheap lunch hangout.

We were seated at Olive Garden rather quickly (maybe it was the 8 month pregnant woman waddling in or something) and got right down to the business of lunch. The soup, salad and bread sticks really hit the spot! I was so glad to just be out of my house! We had a great lunch and lots of great conversation. After lunch I hit the bathroom one more time (this would make bathroom trip # 23,308 of the day) and noticed I was bleeding again. I decided that I wanted to just swing by the hospital and make sure that driving an hour back to Searcy wasn't a mistake.

When we got to the hospital it was about 1:45pm. One of my old friends, Becky Wright, was my nurse. Things were starting off good! She had me get into a gown and hooked me up to a monitor so we could see if I was contracting at all. I was not in pain, but apparently we were having some good contractions! Dr. M. was in the hospital, so he was in my room within 5 minutes to check me out. He just grinned and said, "We're having a baby today! You're 7-8 centimeters dilated!" I was shocked! I couldn't believe I'd progressed that much since 10am without any pain! He then asked what we'd been doing, so I told him about Target, the bookstore and Olive Garden. His only comment was, "I know a lot of women who wish they could stand to be shopping at 7cm dilated! You weren't hurting?" We had a good laugh over it and got down to the business of preparing to have a baby!!!

I got on the phone and called David, Mom and Mary. Ellie called Rhonda and Karen for me to let them know what was happening. I am sure we called other people, too, but I don't remember! It wasn't long before the hospital room was filled with people and the hustle bustle began. I plugged in my headphones and turned on my Hypnobabies birthing tracks. I was so relaxed and the pain was less than that of menstrual cramps. What a treat! My mom and I were joking about the woman in the room next door. She was screaming her head off. My nurse actually had to leave to go help restrain her! We felt bad later when we found out that she had been suffering seizures and had to be put into a medically induced coma to save herself and have her baby. They almost died! It was awful, and I spent the rest of the day saying little prayers for that woman and her child. They ended up being fine, thank goodness!

It wasn't long before an anesthesiologist came in to do my epidural. I originally planned to not have one, but I chickened out. I had him put the port in, but not inject the drug. I wanted to go natural, but wanted a backup plan just in case! After we got the port in I just sat back, visited with everyone and talked to David on the phone. Even without medicine I still wasn't in pain. When the doctor next checked me I was 9cm! I was on the phone with David and when I told him that he didn't believe me! Dr. M. told me I was very good at "masking" my pain.

My room was so full of people, but it was so cool! My friend, Ellie, was there, along with my sister, Alyssa. My mother-in-law, Mary, brought both of my girls (ages 9 and 4), and, of course, Dr. M. was in and out. I lost my nurse to the screaming mom next door, but having my family and friends there was so much better! When my water broke they helped me stand up so we could clean up the bed. When it was time to push they were silently supportive. Katie was so awesome. She stayed right up by my head and talked to me until time to cut Jack's cord. She was the one who took care of that!

I was a little upset with how my actual birthing went. I felt like the doc was in much more of a hurry than me. He administered Pitocin, and I still don't know why. I am not very good about speaking up for myself. Oh, how I wish David had been there to do that! I didn't need to speed things up!!! Jack was sunny side up, so he had to be turned in the womb. My doc actually reached in and turned the baby. Let me tell you, THAT HURT!  I was able to use my Hypnobabies to stay calm, and honestly, in hindsight, it wasn't too bad,

To cut things short, Jack Archer Harpole Cooan was born at 5:47pm on August 23, 2010. He was 8 pounds, 1 oz and 20 3/4 inches long. I was so excited that he was born on my cousin's birthday! Raleigh Jo, I hope he is just half as cute and sweet and sassy as you!!!

Jack was grunting when we was born, and ended up being on antibiotics for a week after birth. We spend the whole first week of his life in the hospital, but thankfully he didn't need the NICU. David arrived around midnight the night he was born. There is just no way to get from Albany, New York, to Little Rock, Arkansas, quickly.

In hindsight, there were a lot of things I would have changed about Jack's birth, but one of my favorite things was being surrounded by women who loved me during his birthing time. I had my mom, my sister, my friend, my daughters and my mother-in-law. They were all vitally important to my well being and my relaxation through some of the more scary parts of labor and delivery. Thanks ladies!!!

My next post will have pictures! Make sure to check it out!