Thursday, August 8, 2013

The BIRTH Story: Part 2

The last few months have been pretty crazy around the Cooper house.  We sold our townhouse in Rexburg in 7 weeks, much faster than we anticipated.  We were thankfully able to find a house in Idaho Falls that we LOVE, and we closed on it just one week after our house in Rexburg closed.  With the stress of moving, unpacking, working on putting a yard in, and having my photography business pick up so much, I have just been treading water to stay afloat.  However, I am so content with the wonderful things that fill my day and keep me busy that I can't complain.  Now that I have things somewhat under control, I am ready to pick up where I left of a few months ago.

My pregnancy with Emrie was a dream!  I was never sick, still slept very well, and I was able to go about my daily tasks as a teacher and coach with very little change.  I was at the school before 7:00 for practice, and I managed to stay awake into the late evening hours each night, whether I was grading or attending games with my cheerleaders.  I attribute a lot of my energy to the fact that I was up and moving around all the time.  I think if I had been at home without as many opportunities to stay active, I might not have had that energy.  I will have to really work on that with my next pregnancy.   For obvious reasons, I LOVED being pregnant.  Feeling that baby move inside me was always an exciting event, and even my students would share in the fun when they could see the baby move visibly from the comfort of their desks.  So much fun!  I remember waiting for the day to come when I would have to waddle around and dramatically raise and lower myself from seats.  Television shows always make that last month seem like a woman is a walking planet that can't easily navigate or gain momentum.  However, I remember jogging around cheer practice the morning I had my baby like a crazy person.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for the next pregnancy to be as comfortable.  However, I doubt I will be that lucky.

On a Friday morning in January, I had my 39 week appointment.  I remember telling my girls at practice that morning that I hoped I would end up with a baby sometime the next week, and that we should all pray that the appointment went well.  I had no signs of baby earlier----no contractions of any kind my whole pregnancy.  I was sure they would tell me they saw no progress and tell me to schedule another appointment for the next week. However, at this appointment, it was determined that I needed to have a C-section that same day.  Baby and Mommy were fine----but long story short, there was a condition that concerned us all enough that we didn't want to take our chances.  We set an appointment for 5:00 that evening.

I cried the whole way home.

The whole idea of having this a C-section just scared me.  People talked about longer recovery time, more intense recovery pain, etc.  I called every member of my family and sobbed into the phone as I explained that I would need the surgery.  However, I was comforted by some great people in my life (my mom, my mother-in-law, and one of my besties, Amy Leatham).  They calmed me down and brought to light some things about the surgery that I hadn't considered.  By the time I arrived to our house in Rexburg, most fears had vanished.

Josh and I grabbed our things, packed up the car, then laughed together as we wondered what we would do to pass the time for the next few hours.  We tried unsuccessfully to nap.  We distracted ourselves by watching television.  Finally, we made the drive back to Idaho Falls to have the baby.

We met Marsha, Josh's mom, in the labor and delivery unit of the hospital.  She works there as a nurse.  Over the next couple hours until my 5:00 surgery, she worked to get me prepped.  She hooked me up to my IV to get fluids in me.  She set up to the monitors to keep an eye on the baby.  Because they had so many deliveries that day, we were sent to a smaller room that was usually not used.   Ironically, it was the same room that we had visited a few times during the pregnancy to watch the baby on the monitors with Marsha when she wasn't working.  We already had so many memories of that place, so I was happy to revisit it on that special day.

As we waiting to go into surgery, our families came to visit.  It was such a relaxed atmosphere.  I felt no pain, although Marsha was showing on the monitor that my contractions were starting.  I loved being able to spend that time waiting with the people I love the most.  Our surgery was pushed back behind a couple others that were higher-risk deliveries, so we were able to spend a few hours just talking.  Marsha talked us through the process of what would happen.  She got Josh ready for surgery.  This is the picture he took right before we left the prepping room, posting it with the caption: "It's baby time!!!"
I felt like time moved in slow motion as I was wheeled into the operating room. I remember passing the waiting room and seeing my family through the window. I remember being so thankful in that moment that I had such supportive and loving family members; Emrie would be welcomed by a lot of people that already adore her.  Once I entered the operating room itself, I immediately noticed the change in temperature.  They keep those rooms so cold!! The room also reminded me of the Mike TV's scene in the newer version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The room was white, and the machinery appeared to be larger than life. I was half expecting the doctor to enter wearing Willy Wonka glasses.
The anesthesiologist came in to give me my spinal----and it was so much more pleasant than I expected. I would rather have another one of those than get a cavity filled at the dentist. He was such a fun, personable guy. He worked with me throughout the surgery to regulate the medication to keep me from getting nauseous or feeling pain. Once the surgery began, Josh was in the room with me, and Marsha was assisting Dr. Isbell.  It was such a quick and pleasant process--- so much different than the nightmareish scenario that had me nervous all morning. I could feel a vague sensation of Becky, Dr. Isbell's daughter, applying A LOT of pressure on my abdomen to push the baby into the right position.

Then, within what seemed to be about 15 minutes, they were ready to pull the baby out.  Because Dr. Isbell is a family friend (he delivered Josh, he was my bishop and in my stake presidency, and Josh's mom works for him), the whole atmosphere of our delivery and all our previous appointments were all very comfortable.  Because of this, Josh watched the surgery as close as Dr. Isbell would let him, although he was occasionally scolded for getting too close to the sterile areas.  Next, Dr. Isbell asked if we thought the baby had hair.  I took a look at Josh and answered "No."  The doctor could see her head, and he surprised us by telling us that she had hair!

The next few moments were the most beautiful I have ever experienced.  I had spent time anticipating what it would feel like to meet my first child for the first time.  Like so may other moments, I spent years seeing the Hollywood version of the experiences.  However, other moments never really seemed to meet my high expectations.  Graduation?  I had a great time, but I didn't even get to toss my cap.  Sweet sixteen?  Just another birthday. First pair of Dr. Martens?  They looked great with my flared jeans, but they were surprisingly heavy.  Would this delivery be all that I had ever dreamed it would be?  Would I cry when I heard the baby cry for the first time?  Would seeing my husband hold our baby burn forever in my memory as the most beautiful thing I have ever seen?  Would I feel the most intense love imaginable when I held her for the first time?

The answer to every question is YES.  A thousand times yes.

While the doctor and nurses worked to finish the surgery, I watched Josh and Marsha holding Emrie and taking pictures.  Josh kept bringing Emrie over to me so that I could see her.  It was beautiful.  Here is one of my favorite pictures from that day of Josh, his mom, and Emrie.
At this rate, I am never going to get caught up on the last 7 months of Emrie's life!  However, I don't want to forget any of these moments. I'll sign off for now and be back shortly!  

Monday, May 13, 2013

The BIRTH Story: Part 1

I am fully aware that one of the rites of passage to becoming a mother these days is to tell the birth story of your child.  After completing the process of conceiving, growing, and delivering my baby, I don't believe it to be something that needs to be shared with the world, therefore I won't be Facebooking links to this post to publicize the experience.  However, given that it was the most amazing and beautiful string of moments Josh and I have ever experienced, I must include my thoughts on this experience for myself and posterity.  Emrie needs to know how special she is to our family.

In April of 2009, Josh and I decided that it was a good time to start working on a family.  I had graduated from college and we had been married for just under two years.  The timing felt right.  However, we discovered after years of unsuccessful trying and visits to a few different doctors that the process would be more difficult than expected.  Our infertility problems were linked to complications with Josh's counts.  This information was very taxing on Josh.  We spent a couple years pretending like the problems might fix themselves.  Truthfully, it was easier to pretend like there wasn't really a problem and that a pregnancy might just sneak up on us than it was to face the potential reality of being infertile. 

Finally, we gained the courage to seek a solution, deciding an answer was best even if the it was less than hopeful.  After more testing, we were encouraged to try rounds of artificial insemination.  If that didn't work, we would then need to seek help at an office that could help us with IVF.  Josh and I guarded our emotions through this process because our chances of insemination working appeared to be small.  After the first round didn't take, we began to have conversations about the next big decision:  IF WHEN this doesn't work, do we try IVF or do we adopt?  We approached our second insemination appointment with that same attitude, expecting to waste more pregnancy tests.  However, miraculously, this treatment worked.  In April 2012, we became pregnant.  We were beyond excited!  Here is a picture from the day we found out we were having a little girl.
To explain this experience in just a few short paragraphs makes this trail seems insignificant.  However, it was such a trying experience that taught Josh and I to have faith in Heavenly Father and patience with each other.  We learned to be content with the life that we had, to look for joy in the little things, and to find fulfillment in different things than most of our couple friends.  Looking back, I am so grateful for the timing of the pregnancy.  I taught English at Madison High School for a four years, which allowed me time to use my degree to become a confident and capable teacher.  However, now I am able to devote my time to being a mother, and it is my favorite job so far!!!  We love you Emrie Claire Cooper!  You were worth the wait!

New Beginnings

Let's face it----I'm a horribly inconsistent blogger.  Every couple years, I get a burst of blog energy that drives me to change the look of the blog, think a lot about the blog, post once on the blog, and then forget about the blog.  However, I really think that this time, things are going to be different.  The reason is this little girl.
Our baby Emrie Claire Cooper is now four months old!  I already feel like I am forgetting what she looked like just a few short months ago.  Already, she has lost so much of her baby mannerisms and picked up a whole host of new and funny quirks.  I don't want to forget about all of the little things that I know I will miss about her when she is older.  Long story short, I am going to use this blog as a family diary.  I don't plan on writing for an audience other than my future self.  I'm not opposed to anyone following along, but I just can't think of anyone that would really care to find out that yesterday was the first day Emrie rolled from her tummy to her back by herself------huge milestone for mommy and baby, but not exactly something to get the neighborhood cheering.  So, cheers to a new blog that will be more consistently filled with memories and milestones, pictures and people-- all the little and big things that make my life so happy.  Yay for new beginnings!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One Month Down!

Wow! I've almost been out of school for a month now. Where has this summer gone!!???
I thought I would just update you really fast about everything that is going on in the life of the Cooper clan...if anyone cares.
Josh is a month away from GRADUATING!!!!!! This is insane! It felt like it would never come. He will technically walk in July, and then complete his 3 month internship after that. After stressing for a few months about exactly WHERE this internship would happen, Josh was offered a job by a company in Idaho Falls called Txtwire. This company creates phone and computer applications that send alerts, coupons, ect (from the best of my knowledge...hehe) and Josh is already learning so much. Just like my father always says, everything has a way of working out!!

I just attended a cheerleading coaches conference in Boise, where I learned a lot that I know will get my girls ready for competition this year. We had quite a few shoutouts from the presenters, one saying that "Madison has insanely awesome stutns." I had a 'proud mommy' moment. I may have blushed a little bit.

People keep asking me "so what do you do now that you are out of school?" My easy answer is----"well, I nap."
Which is true-- I take a few naps a week. But I still keep busy with some reading (the summer reading program at the Madison Library District has me reading about 500pgs a week to make my 3600 page goal by July) and I have been working out (I have a relay race I'm running in September, so I'm trying to start getting ready early). I also get to mentor with Cassie Mickelson in a couple weeks! Check her out at
I am so excited!!!!!
Anywho- so keep your eye out for my photography blog, which will start up in a couple weeks. I am ecstatic!

Kasi is getting close to having her baby!!!! We are throwing her a shower on Saturday, and her little boy is going to get spoiled! I really should get working on that. haha

Well, I don't know what else to say! I'll try to post a little more often. Sorry!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cool Shelves!!!

I LOVE the ideas other bloggers have.  Check out other cute shelf ideas at the Funky Junk Interiors blog HERE!   {Kasi!!! We should do cute shelves like this in your baby room with cute colored books and put stuffed animals and picture frames on top!!!}

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

KayKay is MARRIED!!!

What an eventful weekend!  Besides experiencing a piercing nausea from a flu bug that kept me dizzy the entire day, Kayla's wedding day went absolutely perfect!  Her wedding ceremony was beautiful, and I was able to officiate at the ring ceremony before the reception started, which I hammed up as much as I deemed appropriate.  Kayla looked beautiful, and the couple looked so HAPPY!!!!  Now, I just need to break it to her that I plan on taking a portion of her gifts as payment for all of the work Kasi and I did to help put the wedding together.  :)  J/K.  But she seriously owes me about 70 hours of babysitting once Josh and I start having kids.   hehe.  We love you Patrick and Kayla Park!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

What a fabulous day!!! I heard student after student complain about how much they despise 'Single Awareness Day', and yet again, I realized how grateful I am to be married. And not only that, but to have such an incredibly amazing husband!! He was fully equipped with gifts from the Buckle on Sunday night, and he had flowers and chocolates sent to my classroom today. And what did I do in return? Well, let's just say I'm trying to pull a fast one on him as we speak. I am standing amongst a large group of impatient couples, all by myself, getting us a table for dinner while he thinks that I am helping out a family in need from the ward. I'm so sneaky!!! When I get a table, I'll text him and tell him to come to the location that I programmed into his phone last night, and he won't even see it coming!! For now, I'll just dodge glances as I sit in the restaurant waiting room blogging from my phone. :) Happy Valentine's Day!!!