My baby boy is two

Here' are my two favorite people ... 
Shelby and Coop (Coop was just a month old)

How two years could by so fast is beyond me. It really feels like it was yesterday that I was at the hospital giving birth to the world’s sweetest, most precious baby boy. But it has been two years. And he is suddenly a big boy. He has a budding vocabulary. He has his own ideas. He runs around. He plays with Legos. He mimics everything his sister does. He loves to be outside. And he’s firmly planted himself in the heart of his mama. He loves his family and we love him. Happy second birthday our sweet Coop. You mean the world to us.
In honor of Coop’s birthday … I think it’s time to tell the story of his birthday. I meant to write his story two years ago, but it just never happened.
Even the squeamish can read. There is no blood and guts. No detailed explanation of my lady parts. Coop’s birth story isn’t really about that.


My boy on his birth day.

Originally Cooper’s birth story was going to be quite uneventful, possibly dull. At my 38 week appointment I complained to my doctor how uncomfortable I was. I had already started dilating and she said, “If you want, we can schedule an induction for next Saturday when you’re exactly 39 weeks.” I didn’t hesitate, “Yes. Yes. PLEASE!” And so I was scheduled to be induced on Saturday, April 4, which incidentally would have been my Grandpa’s 88th birthday.
That last week of pregnancy felt like the longest week ever. When Saturday came around, I got up super early so I could soak in the tub before we had to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. While soaking, I felt a rush of water … guess what? My water broke. I started contracting … I guess my body decided to get to work since the doctor was going to induce anyway! We headed over to the hospital and got stuck in the waiting room, since an emergency C-section had come in about the same time. Eventually I made it to a room around 10 a.m.
So, just like the March Madness is going on right now, it was going on this time two years ago. Mike was in a pool at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. We had been watching the games closely and the day Cooper was born was no different. Mike was hoping Michigan would lose its game that day, in order to push him to the top of the pool.  Imagine Mike’s disgust when our OB walked in the room wearing a Michigan shirt. We had no idea she did her undergrad there and was rooting for Michigan. After some playful ribbing between Mike and Dr. Schalk, she started my on Pitocin … and the waiting began.
Dr. Schalk went home to watch the March Madness games from the comfort of her own home, while we watched the games from my hospital room. For the first few hours though the contractions were strong and regular, but they were bearable. I didn’t want an epidural. I wanted to try to make it through the whole birth drug free. When in labor with Shelby, I had a horrible experience with my epidural. The anesthesiologist couldn’t get the needle in and after a lot of poking; it only slightly numbed one side. I seriously had more pain from the epidural that the actual birth. And my lower back was bruised and ached for weeks after Shelby was born.
The anesthesiologist at Tucson Medical Center assured me he’d do a better job, so when the pain was really unbearable, I gave in and got an epidural. At that point I felt great. I snoozed a bit. Mike and I chatted. We watched basketball. It was a million times better than the first epidural I had.
Around 5 p.m. I felt the urge to push. I knew it was time. A nurse checked me and sure enough I was fully dilated. However, the Michigan game was in its final 2 minutes. And when the nurses called my doctor she said, “Do you think she can wait until the game is over?”
“Can I not push? Can I wait to have this baby? Umm, I guess so?”
“I’ll be there in, like, two minutes. As soon as the game ends,” Dr. Schalk assured us.  
The entire nursing staff crowded in my room and we watched the last two minutes of the game. But the last two minutes of a televised basketball game doesn’t last two minutes. It lasts forever. Still I didn’t push. I waited. I wanted to push. But I didn’t.
If you’ve had a baby, then you know it’s time to push … it’s time to push. Pre-baby someone told me this and I thought it was a load of crap. But then when laboring with Shelb and then with Coop I did indeed know. And here I was trying to suppress the urge to push.
Michigan beat UConn. The score was 82 to 73. And just like she promised, Dr. Schalk was back at the hospital moments after the game ended and at the end of the bed coaching me through a few pushes before Cooper made his grand arrival.
During those final pushes, my mother-in-law walked in the room. This wasn’t planned, just like not pushing wasn’t planned. In fact, I wanted no one but Mike there. But since I was in the middle of pushing I didn’t protest. I couldn’t. I was pretty much focusing all my energy on pushing. I was done and just wanted Coop out. But in my head I did think “Really? Why must my mother-in-law be in this room, at my feet, staring at my lady parts as baby is coming out of it?” Do you see why I might not want this? Well, for the rest of my life I will carry this memory with me and know that my mother-in-law has seen my lady parts. Not something you plan for and certainly not something you hope for.
Mike still won the R-J pool that year. And Cooper Rex Edward (or just Coop as we call him) has become the light of our lives.

 Chubba Bubba at about 8 months old.

Cooper spent his first birthday in the hospital. It was so sad to see our
little guy so sick and miserable.

Cooper, April 3 2010, being moved from the emergency room to his hospital room. So much has changed in just a year.

Cooper now ... with mohawk