Our sweet baby boy, Cooper Beck Ball, made his grand entrance into this world on February 3rd at 9pm, weighing 2610 grams // 5 lbs. 12 ounces and 46 cms // 18 inches. His first name is simply a name Jon and I decided we liked before he was even here to know about it. His middle name, Beck, was a nickname of my mom’s, Becky, who shared her birthday with Cooper’s due date.
Today, while sitting next to my healthy, napping little guy (who according to his due date shouldn’t even be here yet) I’d like to tell you how grand, albeit scary, his entrance to the world was.
It was Tuesday, January 31st, and I was about to teach my last yoga class before I gave my pregnant self seven weeks off before baby came. Turns out, the little guy inside me had other plans for our day.
Walking off the tram, headed to yoga, my water broke. At first, prior to getting on the tram, I thought it was just a bit of pee and was praying you couldn’t see it through my grey yoga pants. But then, as I exited the tram, it became obvious that it was definitely more than pee. I called Jon in a panic, and I walked to my class and told them, with a ghost-white face, that I wouldn’t be teaching that day. I met my husband nearby who held me tight while I could barely breath through the tears, and off we went to the hospital.
A day filled with fear, sadness, and anxiety, somehow went by quickly. It turns out my water broke for no good reason (often times it is due to an infection), and the doctors were going to keep this baby in me as long as they could so he could continue cooking! They gave me a shot to boost baby’s lung growth and it needed 48 hours to work it’s magic.
The 48-hour goal kept me going. We called our families and messaged our friends, asking for their prayers, and my dad hopped on a flight to Switzerland to be with his baby girl and meet his new grandson whenever he decided to come. I have the best dad a girl could ask for.
Wednesday was smooth sailing. We were hanging out, doing fine, and the day came and quickly went. Thursday, I woke up to contractions, and the worry started all over again. But, they upped my dosage of the drug that was stopping labor, and all the contractions subsided. We made it to 48 hours! So the next goal was for Sunday, which marked 34 weeks, the ultimate goal being 35+ weeks.
My dad arrived that night and Jon says it was like a scene from a movie. He walked into the room, dropped his luggage while I stood up from my hospital bed and fumbled with my IV until we embraced in a crying hug. My husband and my dad were alongside my baby boy and I, and all was going to be OK.
Early Friday morning I woke up to a fever and a chest cold. I was so upset because I didn’t feel well…knowing that my fever could affect the baby, and I didn’t feel strong enough in the event that I would have to go into labor. I cried all over again for myself and for the baby. Man I didn’t know I had so many tears in me.
The baby’s heart rate was too high, so they sent me down to the delivery room to check if there was an infection of the womb. I called Jon, he called my dad, and they met me there shortly after. I was an emotional mess, and then Jon and my dad walked in. They both had smiles on their faces and were so excited that today was the day we were having a baby! Boy did that help lift my spirits.
There wasn’t an infection of the womb, so we had a decision to make; go back on the drug to continue to stop labor, though it may not work since my contractions had started again, or stay off the drug and let my body go into labor, even though he was only 33 weeks and 5 days. I listened to my gut and let the little guy take the lead. He wanted out and I didn’t want to risk getting weaker in the hospital. So we we’re having a baby!
I was able to have the natural labor I wanted (with some drugs ;), in a timely manner, as he wanted out! Yes, it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced, but now that it’s over, I’d do it again in a heartbeat (though I’d like a few years to rest a bit). He came out crying loudly, a great sign, and Jon cut the cord. They immediately took him to be examined because of his premature age, which was the hardest part. I wanted to hold my baby in my arms. I didn’t get to hold him until the next day, but it was a small price to pay for the fact that he was very healthy, especially for his age and size.
Everything leading up to his birth was scary, but everything post-labor went as well as it could have. They released him from premature care 36 hours after birth, and he got to come stay with me in my hospital room. He had a bout of jaundice, but I guess it’s fairly normal in newborns, especially premature babies, so he hung out on a blue light for a day and was back in my arms shortly after.
After a total of nine days, we left the hospital as a healthy and happy family of three. I cried tears of joy when I walked outside with my baby wrapped in my arms, and with the father of my baby and my own father by my side.
Those nine days were a true roller coaster, filled with high highs and low lows, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We were given one and a half more months to cuddle and cherish our little Cooper, and are even more grateful for his presence and good health.
And just like that, I’m officially a mom. We are parents. And in a matter of days, we’ve learned a whole new kind of love that we never could have imagined.
We are in for one wild ride.
Photos by Aly Aesch Photography