Mommy Monday: Our Birth Story

James Henry Cohen was born at 4:35am on July 23rd. He was 8lbs 11oz, 21 inches long, and perfect! Life with him has been incredible. It's hard to put into words how much I love him and how complete I feel now that he is here. Being a new mom is HARD (I'll do a blog post on this soon). But it's also the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful experience in the entire world! I truly am loving every minute of it.

Our Birth Story

On Friday the 22nd, I went into my weekly doctor appointment. I was 39 weeks 3 days pregnant, and SO uncomfortable, giant, and swollen. My legs and feet had been swelling up for the past few weeks and at that point they were HUGE. My doctor looked at my legs and noted that my right leg was quite a bit more swollen than my left leg. He was concerned, swept my membranes, and sent me over to the hospital for an ultrasound on my right leg to check for a deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the deep veins of my leg). He said they would probably be inducing me when I got there as well. (Who would have thought that this pregnancy would get to the point of needing to be induced?!?!)

I got admitted into Labor and Delivery and waited in the hospital bed for the doctor on call to come by and tell me what was next. Ben ran out to the truck to get our hospital bags, and while he was gone the doctor came in. She looked at my legs, and then proceeded to tell me very gravely that she was "very VERY concerned". She kept going on and on about how worried she was and about how serious it was that my right leg was more swollen than my left. I, of course, was getting more and more stressed out and scared, and I finally interrupted her and asked what exactly she was afraid of. She looked me in the eyes and said very seriously, "Instant death. If it is a blood clot, that can cause instant death. I didn't want to say it, but you need to know the facts. I'm very VERY concerned, ok?"

I burst into tears and told her I was scared and she replied, "I think that's very reasonable that you are scared. I would be too. I am very worried." So then she left and said the ultrasound tech would be in shortly to do the ultrasound to check for the blood clot. I was sobbing when Ben returned from the truck with our things, and one of the nurses had to explain to him what had happened with the doctor.

Waiting for the ultrasound was the scariest time of my life. I was afraid to move, afraid to breathe...I was worried for myself, but more so for my baby. My mother-in-law told us afterwards that she explained what was going on to one of the doctors that she works with and the doctor told her to "tell your son that there is a 90% chance that he will have to choose between the mother and the baby, they can't save both." I don't think I even fully comprehended how serious the situation was. I just know that I was horrified. I've never prayed harder in my life.

BUT, the ultrasound came back clear, thank GOD!! :) He truly is watching over us. Every aspect of this pregnancy has been in His hands.

So, once it was established that there was no blood clot, the doctor said she wanted to go ahead and induce me so that we could get me some blood thinners and start to reduce the swelling after the baby was born. She broke my water (which I was nervous for, but didn't even feel) and then said that we'd give it a bit to see if things got started on their own. Otherwise, they'd start the medicine to induce me.

Well, as luck would have it, my labor started on it's own, so I didn't need to be induced! The contractions got gradually stronger and stronger. Once they got to the point where I could barely breathe through them and was starting to wimper a bit, I told the nurses that I was ready for the epidural.

The epidural didn't even hurt going in. It just felt like a lot of pressure. Once it was in, I was SO much more comfortable! Epidurals are amazing in my opinion! I am SO glad that I got one! I don't know how women do labor and delivery without one, but I have mad respect for those that have natural births!!

I labored for a few hours, and then pushed for about two and a half hours. At 4:35am, baby James made his debut! Neither Ben nor I cried, we were both just in shock and so happy! It was an incredible, scary, amazing, surreal experience. Holding my big, healthy baby boy safely in my arms at last was the most amazing thing. I can't believe he's finally here!

We were able to go home the day after James was born. It felt so crazy that they were letting Ben and I leave the hospital with him, haha! It was very overwhelming and so so exciting. Being at home with our little family has been so amazing. Time is going by so quickly and I just want to hold on to these first few weeks together forever. We've been in our own little world of love and togetherness and it's been surreal and wonderful.

We were together. I forget the rest.”

- Walt Whitman

Life feels complete now, and I am so overwhelmed with love. I've seen a whole new side of Ben...fatherhood comes so naturally to him and he is SUCH a good dad. He's so attentive and loving and caring towards both me and James. My love for my husband has grown even deeper than before, which I didn't think was possible. We are just so blessed and our hearts are so full.

I'm so thankful for a happy ending to this crazy pregnancy!

And the crazy thing is, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. The end result really is so worth it!

I'll be doing postpartum posts, and talking about everything I didn't expect after giving birth and from being a new mom and everything that goes along with having a new baby! I'll also be writing about items that are absolute MUSTS for new moms!! There are a few things that I seriously couldn't live without right now, from baby stuff to things for me to help with healing and everything...

Also, be sure to get your questions in regarding childbirth, postpartum life, being a new mom, pregnancy, newborns, etc.. I'll be answering them in a Q & A blog post soon! :)

Stay tuned,

xo, Anna