Cooper's Road Home - Part 1

So, let’s try to pick up where we left off with the last post. Just a warning, this will be lengthy. Just to recap, Cooper was born Friday, February 18, at 8:48am.

They laid him on my chest and I was in awe. He was this incredible, squawking, perfect (if not a little blue) creature. I was instantly totally enamored.  His presence nearly took my breath away. And it apparently did take his breath away. I knew from his color that there were issues. They took him over to the warmer and started to suction him. The neonatal nurse, Carey, turned him on his side and beat on his little back trying to get his lungs clear. He started to pink up so she continued with the usual assessments. He weighed 7 pound 2 ounces and was 20 inches long with gorgeous little fat feet and chubby cheeks. Things were seeming normal, until Carey asked someone to call Respiratory. I’m no expert on newborns, but I knew this was unusual.

They started Neo-puff which is just a way of helping to open up his lungs.  He was breathing irregularly, doing something they called grunting. It didn’t sound much like a grunt, more like breathing through a harmonica. His breathing seemed to normalize and so they let me hold him. We asked if we could have a few minutes just the three of us and everyone agreed. I had him lying on my chest and was loving every second. Tanner got a few pictures and then came over to get a closer look.

It seemed like only seconds before the grunting started again.  We tried to soothe him hoping it would stop.

It didn’t.

Tanner quickly went to get one of the nurses. As quickly as he was in my arms, he was gone. They said they wanted to take him back to the nursery and do a little more of the Neo-puff.  We assumed he would be back with us in just a few minutes. A few minutes passed and then an hour.  Finally, Carey came back to our room and told us that his breathing problems were more significant than they originally thought. They were going to have a neonatologist from Baptist come take a look. It wasn’t long after the doctor saw him that they came to give us another update.

His lungs were immature and the small sacs (alveoli) at the end of his airways weren’t staying open when he inhaled. This means he was unable to absorb an adequate amount of oxygen; his oxygen saturation was dangerously low. He was started on CPAP to force air into his lungs. They also wanted to give surfactant directly into his lungs. The surfactant would help his alveoli stay open which should help with his oxygen saturation.

They started the surfactant procedure around two o’clock and told us they would know if it was effective within 2-3 hours. During this entire time, I was restricted to my bed because I was still numb from the epidural. Tanner was able to go in and see him for just a few minutes after the procedure. He brought back pictures to try to prepare me for what I would see when I was able to go in. He had an IV in his left hand, CPAP in his nose, heart and respiratory rate monitors on his torso, an oxygen saturation monitor on his foot and a blood pressure cuff on his arm. We spent the next few hours praying and waiting. It was probably the hardest 3 hours of my life up until that point.  Once I could finally feel my feet (well, I really couldn’t, but I said that I could) I was able to go in and see him.

The first time I saw my son he looked like this:

The second time I saw him, he looked like this:

Needless to say, we were scared. Our uneventful pregnancy, labor, and delivery had suddenly become a very different situation.  Nothing can prepare you for seeing your child hooked up to all kinds of monitors with wires coming off of him in all directions.  It was almost incomprehensible.  

By about 6:30 we found out that the surfactant had not worked. He was still unable to breathe sufficiently. So the decision was made to transfer us to Baptist. Cooper was transferred in an enclosed crib/stretcher type thing. It looked really scary, but I’ve seen them at work a lot so it didn’t really bother me. However, my family was all a little unnerved by it. This whole set up took up too much room for either one of us to ride in the ambulance with him. This was the part I didn’t care for. Tanner and I had to go in our own car. Never in my life has that stretch of road seemed longer or more unfamiliar. 

This is getting really I'll leave you with that cliff hanger. Check back soon for the rest of the story.

I sound like Paul Harvey - haha!


My son is finally here. Cooper Reed Corbin was born February 18, 2011 at 8:48am.  He has been an exciting little booger from the very moment he took his first breath. But more on that later. First let me tell you all about how he got here.

I went to the doctor for another weekly check up on Thursday, February 17.  When the doctor checked me she said I was a very loose 1 - she rounded up to 2cm dilated.  His head was still very low. She scheduled me for another weekly appointment, but told Tanner she didn't think I would need it. When she said this I thought she was probably right, but I never dreamed I would see her again quite so soon.

Thursday at work I noticed some achiness in my back. I thought at first that it was just the lower back pain many pregnant women get, although I hadn't really had any lower back pain since the sciatica went away. As the day went on, the pain started coming a little more frequently and a little more regularly. I thought maybe they were contractions, but they didn't hurt all that bad. I figured once I got home from work I would put my feet up and relax and they would stop. I just hoped that the phone didn't ring. That's right - I was on call and in labor. I had warned my boss that I might have to have someone cover for me and it wasn't long before I made that call.

Once I got home and started timing contractions, they were lasting about 45 seconds and coming about every three minutes. We called the women's center and they said to keep timing until I had a total of 2 hours with contractions every 3-5 minutes.  So I sat waiting as patiently as possible while Tanner gathered all of our things to pack the car. He also finished eating the lovely dinner he'd made - steak kabobs. I was too scared to eat anything, but it looked delicious.

We arrived at the hospital about 9:15 and when the nurse checked me I was between 2 and 3 cm dilated. I knew that was some change from earlier in the day, but I didn't think it was enough to constitute active labor. They hooked me up to all the monitors and we waited in the triage room for about an hour and a half.  During this time, my contractions were getting further apart, but more intense. I really thought we would be going home. I thought they would want us to labor at home for a while longer and see if the contraction interval picked back up. I was wrong. I was now dilated to a good 4. Our nurse, Eva, told us she would get all the paper work and get us checked in. "Let's have a baby," she said. Instantly I was overcome with fear and excitement and joy. This was real. We were having a baby.

We got back to our room and I kept contracting like crazy. They hurt, but I wasn't dying. I thought I was doing ok to breathe through them. My mom and sisters came back to see me and I realized that distraction was more helpful than quiet breathing. I tried to talk and carry on with whatever I was doing when the contraction started. This was MUCH better for me than trying to breathe and relax.  My sister, Tiffany, who had her second baby with no pain meds whatsoever, even said she thought I was handling labor really well. This meant a lot because she is the tough Langdon sister. I am the baby with no pain tolerance.

However, by midnight I was vomiting with the contractions. Not fun.  At this point they gave me some IV Zofran (love that stuff) and I told them I was ready for my epidural.  I got in position and realized that this was the most comfortable position I'd been in all night. I loved having Tanner's arms around me and being able to just melt into him during my contractions. If the anesthesiologist hadn't been there and all set up I might have just labored sitting up in the bed for a while longer. But I figured if I could avoid further pain (and vomiting), why not. By 12:15 I was in the process of getting my epidural and realizing that apparently some women are bigger babies than I am. The epidural DID NOT HURT! It wasn't like being licked by kittens, but it was not bad. So maybe I earned 1 tough girl point for that.

By 1am my legs were lead and I was dilated to 6cm.  Tanner and I tried to sleep a little during the night, but it was almost impossible. My parents, his parents and my two sisters were all out in the waiting room. They would come back to our room a few at a time and visit. It was nice to see everyone and made the time go by a little faster. Eva would come in every so often and help me move the tree trunks that were my legs. This helped to move things along and by 3 AM I was 7cm. It took until 5am to get to 8 cm and by then we were all getting very anxious. Tanner and I were so ready to meet him and Eva wanted me to have him before she left at 7. By 7am I was at 9 cm and they started pitocin, knowing that I would need it after delivery. And just in case you were wondering, water still hadn't broken. Eva missed meeting Cooper, but her replacement, Jennifer, was equally wonderful.

This is random, but did anyone else feel like their butt was gigantic when you had an epidural? It was like when you go to dentist and they numb your mouth. Your lips feel huge even though they are obviously still thier normal size. Told you it was random, but I thought it was really funny. Maybe some of the drugs went to my head a little!

Dr. Davis had a C-section first thing in the morning so she came in around 7:45 and broke my water.  Almost immediately I was dilated to 10cm. They started setting everything up for delivery and Jennifer noticed something concerning on one of the monitors. When I was having contractions, Cooper’s heart rate would fall. Not terribly low, but low enough that she started massaging his scalp (which she informed us was full of hair) to stimulate him a little. She didn’t seem too concerned especially since we were so close to delivery.  Once everything was set up they asked me to push just to see how well I could. I was still able to feel the contractions (barely) which helped me know when to push. We did one practice push and he was crowning. They told me just to wait a few minutes and Dr. Davis would be there.

As soon as Dr. Davis arrived I started to push again. She mentioned that if we changed our minds, she would take the baby home with her because her son really wants a baby. It was so weird because I had learned that we live in the same neighborhood. I mentioned that we were neighbors and as I’m pushing she’s asking me if I’ve ever waived at her and she ignored me. I just laughed (as I’m pushing) and said I don’t think so. It was so funny! I’m pushing a person out of my body and carrying on a conversation with the person responsible for catching him! I should have told her to focus!  The next contraction we decided it was time to have a baby……and so we did. It felt like a fish floundering in my belly when his body and legs were coming out. Three pushes and I went from pregnant woman to mommy. It was amazing!

I know everyone is anxious to hear the rest of the story, but it’s almost time to feed again. I’ll try and get everything written down and posted soon. I just don’t want what has happened since he was born to steal the thunder of that moment. Everyone says your life changes instantly. This is definitely true for us. I am so in love – with my son and even more with my husband. God is great and life is good.


Went to the doctor today. It was....eventful. I gained another 3 pounds - in a week! Tanner was able to help me put it into perspective. He said, "Surely part of it is that he's grown, right? Wait - would you rather be getting a little fat or having a huge baby?!?" We decided that my getting a little chubbier was probably not such a bad thing. Heart rate was 144. We are right on track.

I wasn't really sure what to expect when the doctor checked me. First of all - it wasn't all that bad. It wasn't the most fun I've ever had, but it didn't kill me. Second, we found out that I'm dilated to 1cm. We also found out that he is head down, because the doctor could feel his head. She was touching my son's head while doing my exam! How insane is that? I was reallly hoping that he was headed in the right direction.  I just really didn't think he would be within reach. My son had his first contact with the outside world today. Is anyone else freaked out/absolutely amazed by this?

The doctor also said that anytime he comes is fine. Which means I could have a baby really soon - scary! She also said that she would give me one week after my due date before we induce. If you've been following the blog, you know I've been concerned about inducing early. But it looks like that a bridge we can wait a while to cross. So, all in all, it was a good visit.

Tanner and I both stayed home Tuesday because of the weather. I was technically working from home, but we were home together. It was a nice day. Tanner got his man bag packed. The man bag is the bag full of all things we might need during labor and delivery. He has been so great enduring what has seemed like an endless run of childbirth classes.  We have both learned so much and really feel prepared for labor. He is going to make such an incredible coach. I can't wait to share the experience with him. My mom and sisters will be there, too. I'm excited for them to share this, but I just can't wait to see my husband meet his son.

On that sappy note - I'm out! If I don't stop typing, I'll start crying. Because I'm pregnant and that's what I do. Tanner thinks that why they tell pregnant women to drink so much water. I'll go back to the doctor in a week. I'll keep you posted! more thing I've been meaning to blog.  A few weeks ago I got a phone call from my sister, Terra. She said that she overheard her daughter, Abbey, praying for me during bedtime prayers with her daddy. She prayed that I would be able to get everything I needed to do done. Very practical. When Terra asked why she prayed that, Abbey told it was because my belly was getting really big. She said that it must be hard to do things - I can't even hug her like I used to. How cute is she!?! It's true - Tanner and I have to hug sideways now. But I do love my belly!