This was one of the hardest and most joyous months of our lives. Cooper was born and that was an the most amazing experience. I was induced after going past my due date and not progressing. We showed up to Jordan Valley around 7:00 AM and I was so nervous. The whole birthing experience was so much better and easier than I anticipated. They got everything started and then we just hung out playing cards and watching movies. I got my epidural and that was so much easier than I thought it would be. I think I really worked everything up in my mind that it was going to be so so hard and then it was no where near what I had imagined (thank you modern medicine.)
It took a few hours to dilate to a 5, but once I got there I was to a 10 within a hour or so. Then I pushed for about an hour and a half. Greg was making me, my doctor, and nurse laugh so much that sometimes we would almost miss the contractions. After 12 hours of being at the hospital he was born! He had a head full of dark hair and was so dang cute, even with a cone head. He was born at 7:18 PM weighing 8 lbs 2 oz and 21 inches long. Greg was so happy he was laughing and I will never forget the look on his face as they were checking him over and cleaning him up. He was in awe of our sweet boy and my doctor said she had never seen a dad so happy to be a dad.
Within the first hour of his life the hospital staff knew that something was not right with him and took him to the NICU. I didn't think much of it and assumed it was something simple they could easily treat, I was so absolutely wrong. Later that night when I was finally able to go see him, I walked in to see him attached to all sorts of foreign wires and machines that I now know all too well. He was having an echo done to see if his heart murmur was innocent or something to be concerned about.
The Neonatologist sat us down outside Cooper's room and told us that he had something wrong with his heart. She was so cold and spoke to us as if we were her colleagues. We knew nothing more after speaking with besides that she was calling Primary Children's to transport him.
The life flight team brought him into my room to see him one more time and he was in an rolling incubator. It was so hard and so confusing, not knowing what was going to happen next. There was a nurse who said she would take good care of him and the doctor at the NICU would call us and let us know when he got there and what they were doing to him. She was our angel and she gave me a life flight shirt that was size 12 month and told me he would fit into it sooner than I could imagine. All I could think was that I didn't know if he would ever get to wear it.
My doctor discharged me the next morning so we could go to see Coop. We didn't know what to expect. We finally were able to see him and I fell in love all over again. I just wanted to pick him up and hold him and love on him. He was just laying in the warming bed with all the wires attached to him. The nurse was so sweet and made him a cute lion name tag and told us that he was going to be just fine.
Finally, cardiology came and spoke with us. They explained Ebstein's Anomaly and told us that whether he had to have surgery or not he would be home taring up our house in no time. I loved Dr. Cowley from that moment. He then told us what the plan was. We were going to see if he could go home without surgery, hoping that as his cardiovascular resistance came down in the first week of life that his oxygen saturations would maintain at 75 or higher. Until then he would be on prostaglandin medicine (PGE) to help keep his PDA open and then we would turn off the PGE and see how he would do. We tried three times over a three week period without success. He would be at 95 one minute and dip into the 60's the next. After the cardiology team met together they decided that putting a shunt in his heart would be the best option for him. On Monday, February 7th 2011 Cooper would have his Blalock-Taussig shunt placed in hopes that he would do well and go home and grow till he needed his tricuspid valve repaired.
Our lives in January felt like groundhog day. Everyday we would go to the hospital and cry and pray and hope we could raise our sweet baby. We were in such a deep despair. We felt angry, sad, grateful, disappointed, shock, and hope. We relied on one another like never before. When I was down, Greg brought me up and comforted me and vice versa. We never knew heartache like that before. It was so shocking to us because each appointment we would go to when I was pregnant we would listen to his heart beat and my doctor would always say something like, "What a strong heart!" or "He is a happy camper." We never imagined that something would be wrong.
This was at the NICU at Jordan Valley. The blueness was starting to set in.
At Primarys. Greg was so excited to bring him these two guitars that hang from his mobile.
We were so happy to put him in these guitar pajamas that the hospital had because he had the same pair at home.
This is one of my favorite pics of my sweet boy. I just could eat him up!
He was famous at the hospital for this hair. He was born a rocker and definitely gets that from his daddy.