My sweet Copeland –
your birth story starts much like your big brother, Neeson’s – filled with anticipation, excitement, and an overwhelming feeling of love. I’ve struggled writing about the day you joined us, mostly because the day didn’t go as I planned, and for awhile, that made me feel like I had been robbed of the experience I counted on. I’ve realized, though, that this story is not mine – it’s yours. You came into this world with a roar (metaphorically, as I’ll get to later), and I am filled with joy and certainty that you will carry that fierceness and bravery with you as you grow. Copeland Gene, my fiery little one, here is the story of your birth day.
We scheduled your birthday for September 18th, 2017. Daddy had a busy weekend of weddings scheduled starting on your due date of the 22nd, including a 4 day trip to ICELAND to film an elopement. We couldn’t bear the thought of him missing your arrival, so the induction was scheduled. We went to bed the night before feeling a little overwhelmed at all that was about to happen, but also SO excited to finally meet you!
We arrived at the hospital at 5:30am and got things started. As things went so smoothly with Neeson’s labor and delivery, I expected yours to be even better. I fully expected to be introducing you to to your big brother by 3 or so that afternoon. As the hours passed, the contractions continued steadily, but nothing else was progressing. Or rather, nothing was progressing at the rate I expected it to. I was getting emotional and feelings of guilt for forcing you out before you were ready began to creep in. Nearly 12 hours later, I found myself exhausted and frustrated. Rationally, I knew that many women spend MANY more hours that that in labor, but emotionally, I was having a hard time reconciling the reality with the expectations that I’d had prior to the start of this day.
As evening approached and I was still too many centimeters away from being ready to start pushing, they broke my water and I asked for the epidural. The series of events that followed over the next 5 hours or so are a blur & I find myself unable to fully recall all the details.
We’re unsure whether it was my nerves, the specific drug administered in my epidural, a combination of the two, or something else all together, but I quickly began getting sick and spent the next couple hours vomiting off and on. As things progressed and it started getting closer to time for your arrival, I was getting sick much more often, which resulted in back to back contractions, which caused your heart rate to drop each time. At first, the incredible nurses were able to help manage it by putting me on oxygen and moving me to my side, but as time went on and this continued to accelerate, your heart began to tire. During all this, the epidural stopped working on my left side. Emotions already high from exhaustion and energy completely depleted from being so sick, this sent me into a panic.
As I continued to battle what seemed like nonstop vomiting and subsequent contractions, you had finally had enough. Your heart rate dropped into the 50s and before we knew it, a swarm of doctors and nurses rushed into the room. I have no idea the amount of time which all this happened, and I can’t really recall anything other being yelled at that I had to push immediately and quickly. Nurses I had never seen flew in and grabbed my legs and the hand your daddy wasn’t already holding, while a doctor I didn’t know sat at my feet and yelled to push. Everything happened so fast I couldn’t even process that you could be in danger until finally, after the longest day of my life you were here.
As we waited those first few seconds for your precious first cry, the fear hit us like a ton of bricks. You arrived limp, blue, and not breathing. You were rushed to the other side of the room, where a team of nurses & doctors worked to resuscitate you. In the minutes that followed, my mind was flooded with thoughts and images of the future and life we had planned for you. I felt out of control and overcome with fear – those feelings are something I’ll never forget. Your daddy knew I was spiraling; he grabbed my head with both his hands and forced me to look only at him. Neither of us even remember what he said, but I’ll never forget how it calmed me. After what felt like an eternity, we finally heard you softly whimper, which was followed with your first cry. Finally, you were back and we were together again.
At 11:49pm, on September 18th, 2017, you made us a family of four. At 6lbs 2oz and 19″ long, you were a tiny little nug. Tiny, but filled with strength and fire. So amazingly to me, you checked out completely healthy, with no side effects from your tumultuous arrival. There was concern about your blood sugar, among a few other minor things, but with each check throughout our first night, you were simply perfect. It was as though nothing had happened at all. Though I don’t know all but one of the nurses who was with us that night, I am forever indebted to them for saving you. How can you even properly thank someone for something so monumental?
The next day was met with so much anticipation; we could finally introduce you to your big brother, Neeson! He was so excited to finally meet you, and as he sweetly kissed your head, I knew that once again, I would never be the same. My heart had grown in an instant, and though I doubted how it could ever be big enough for two, suddenly it was as though you had been here all along.
You, sweet Copeland, are the puzzle piece that we never realized was missing. We adore and love you. Welcome to the world, babe. xo
Love, your mama.