Happy Birthday, Hanleigh Cooper!

August 2010August quickly became quite the eventful month for us. Our second child, a beautiful baby girl, greeted the world. We just had no idea how anxious she was to join us. Here’s our story…my due date was August 6. All along I had this feeling that I would deliver early (I had already been four cm dilated for a few weeks)—so much for mother’s intuition. My doctor had scheduled an induction for August 11, which happens to be our wedding anniversary. Just like most people we know, once an induction is scheduled, the baby usually decides to arrive before then. That was the case with us as well. Trent’s parents and my mom decided to come up on that weekend in preparation for the induction (or an earlier arrival). We all went to dinner Sunday evening, August 8, and came home where my mom did some facial reflexology on me (unbeknownst to me, she triggered some pressure points that can help to induce labor-thanks mom!). At 3:15am I quickly awoke to what I thought was my water breaking (as it turns out, this was exactly the case!). I went to the bathroom and was still unsure, so around 3:30am I woke up Trent and said that I wasn’t sure and could he look up signs of water breaking. Just about that time (3:40am), I had my first contraction and they were immediately five minutes apart. We called the doctor at 3:55am and were in the car headed to the hospital by 4:00am. The ride there was quite intense: Trent and my mom were helping me breathe through my contractions as they were about every three minutes by this point. We got to the hospital, tried to get me into a wheelchair, but I didn’t have time to mess with that, so I headed straight into the elevator while Trent signed in at the security desk. I held the door open and yelled to him, “Sh*t, hurry up!” (yes, I actually cursed during this labor…sorry everyone, I was in excrutiating pain!). When we exited the elevator, we asked a man where the waiting room was (this is quite comical considering we had already had our first child here and had taken TWO birth center tours…you lose all memory when in labor) and he told us the wrong location. Finally, we remembered where to go, walked into that room where we came upon a random couple (that was NOT prego) and they asked if they should leave. HA! I said, “Not unless you want to sit here and hear me make awful noises.” They took that as their cue to exit the room promptly! I had one contraction in that room when Trent stuck his head out and said, “Excuse me, nurse, we need a wheelchair. My wife is in labor.” About one minute went by and I felt an extreme amount of pressure and had the urge to push, so I looked at Trent (probably with a devilish look) and said, “I can’t do this without drugs. I’m gonna have this baby in the waiting room!” Trent stuck his head out into the hallway again and said, “Excuse me, we need someone NOW. This is an EMERGENCY.” The nurses quickly brought over a wheelchair, took me to the labor and delivery room where I had a contraction while getting onto the table, got hooked up to all the monitors, and told them I wanted to push. They said I couldn’t because the doctor wasn’t there yet and that they still needed to check me. They checked me and the nurse said, “You are at 10.” Trent said (after misunderstanding her), “Oh, so can she have an epidural?” to which the nurse responded, “No! She’s at 10!” Both the nurse and Trent gave me a quick pep talk and said, “You can do this. You have to do this.” I said, “Ok! I can do this!” I was hooked up to the monitors for about 18 minutes before our little angel was born. I pushed a series of four rounds (probably pushed about 12-16 times) and let out two screams/moans loud enough to wake up the entire hospital before she made her entrance. So, long story short, from my first contraction to the time we met our precious little girl was ONE HOUR and 16 MINUTES! Talk about crazy!

And, to all those into numerology…Hanleigh Cooper Jones was born at 4:56am, weighing 7lbs., 8oz. on 8/9/10. J She was 20 inches as well. The name Hanleigh is a derivation of Trent’s mom’s maiden name, Handley. When they pronounce it, they say “Hanley”, so we took poetic license and dropped the ‘d’, and made it more feminine by changing the ending to ‘leigh’. Hanley is Old English (which is part of our heritage) and means “high meadow.” Cooper is a name that we both liked, plus I was 20 weeks pregnant when we ran the Cooper River Bridge Run 10k in Charleston, a city that we absolutely love and a weekend we thoroughly enjoy with a bunch of our good friends each year.

Both Trent and my eyes pooled with tears when she was born, but for me, it wasn’t as emotional of a moment as I had envisioned because I was in SHOCK until around 2pm that afternoon. It was then that I realized what all had truly happened and was in awe of the whole experience. I think what made it real was when Brayden came in to meet her little sister (Trent had taken her to get lunch and ice cream at McDonald’s beforehand). I saw her face when she entered the hospital room and she was grinning from ear to ear. Seeing her expression made me realize that our family is complete and everything was right in the world.

One thing that was difficult for Brayden to understand was the fact that neither Trent nor I were able to come home and stay with her at our house while we were in the hospital. She didn’t want to leave the room without Trent going with her. Apparently, she cried the entire way home, gave the grandparents the silent treatment, and even put her forehead on the kitchen table that evening while everyone else ate dinner. My rationalization on this is that Brayden has never had grandparents stay with her while her parents are staying somewhere else…in the exact, same city. Usually, we are at our house or are on vacation in a different state/country when the grandparents watch Miss B. I am sure the experience of a new sister was overwhelming, but once we brought her home, everything was wonderful. Brayden came to the hospital and helped to get Hanleigh dressed to go home.

During my pregnancy, I tested positive for Group B Strep, which meant that I was supposed to be hooked up to antibiotics for four hours before delivery in order to ensure the baby would be OK when passing through the birth canal. Obviously, I didn’t get to the hospital in enough time for this to happen, but the doctor did reassure me that when deliveries happen this fast, the baby doesn’t have enough time to contract anything…but they still did tests on Hanleigh to make sure she was OK, which she was.

One thing I found that completely boggles my mind are the questions that come out of people’s mouths when a woman has had a baby. Shortly after Hanleigh blessed us with her presence, I had two occasions where people (men) asked me (three days postpartum), “Are you still sore?” (are you kidding me?) and, “Is she sleeping through the night?”. Uh, YES I am still sore and NO, she is not sleeping through the night. I am convinced these people have either permanently erased the days of having a newborn from their memories or they weren’t around to witness the first few weeks of having a newborn. Unbelievable.

Hanleigh is a very good-natured baby. She only cries when she is wet (she can’t stand a dirty diaper…I wonder if this will carry over to her being a girly girl?), hungry, or tired. I have been calling her “sack of potatoes” because it appears that my milk must be high in fat content because she is gaining weight at a steady rate. “Sack of potatoes” has quickly turned into “Sacagawea” because my family loves to give things funny names. I had no idea who Sacagawea was (history was never my strongest subject, I’ll admit), but it makes me smile. Hanleigh also takes after her mommy in terms of blonde highlights, although she didn’t have to pay for her blonde streak…she was born with a nice, little blonde streak behind her left ear, amidst all the brown hair. I wonder if this is a birthmark and hope that she keeps it her entire life, because it’s pretty cool looking!

People consistently ask how Brayden is doing with the adjustment of having a little sister, to which I answer, “perfect.” She has exhibited absolutely no signs of jealousy whatsoever! If anything, she loves Hanleigh unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We are constantly reminding Brayden to give Hanleigh space, to gently give her kisses and hugs (one time she showed us how her head was hard and Hanleigh’s was squoosy by pressing on her forehead-yikes!), and to stand a few feet back when she talks to her so Hanleigh can focus on her. There is a definite abundance of love from Brayden to Hanleigh and it’s amazing to see how Hanleigh calms her crying when Brayden talks to her. Hanleigh adores Brayden and her favorite thing to look at are the black and white photos of Brayden on our wall. Miss B will bring us diapers and wipes, will help burp Hanleigh, and is the first one to run to her bassinette at the sound of a cry or wimper. And, when Hanleigh does all of these things, Brayden says (in her delicate southern voice), “Oh, Hanleigh…did you know what? It’s OK.” It is so darn cute, I can’t stand it. I just want to bottle up those moments and put them in a jar to keep forever. I think that’s the case because I know there will be moments of jealousy for each of them throughout their lives, so for now, I am going to sit back and enjoy this abundance of love.

So, obviously, that’s our biggest news of the month, year, and our lives (along with Brayden’s birth, our wedding, and meeting the man who I would share all of this with). Other than that, we celebrated my 33rd birthday, our 9th anniversary (actually, we didn’t celebrate this at all as it was overshadowed by a new baby…hopefully, we’ll celebrate in the coming months), and enjoyed lots of visitors. Thanks to everyone who came to visit and brought food…it has been so helpful!

During one visit, Aunt Patty, Mimi & Dadaw took Brayden swimming at a nearby, upscale hotel. When in the lobby area, Brayden saw two women pulling their luggage behind them. She said, “Those girls think they are going to an airport. This isn’t an airport.” to which Aunt Patty responded, “What do you think they’ll say when there aren’t any airplanes?” Brayden said, “there aren’t any planes here!” Also, while in the bathtub cleaning up that same evening, Brayden noticed handles on the tub that were to help get in and out of it. There were two screws on each handle. Brayden said, “2+2=4” to which Aunt Patty said, “That’s right. I didn’t know you could do math!” Brayden then responded, “What’s math?” HILARIOUS!

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2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Hanleigh Cooper!

  1. I love the Jones family!!! I so enjoyed coming to see you for the Lady Gaga experience. I love these posts and I am thrilled to know that I can spin up there to see you and those beautiful diva’s anytime I want!! I will not be away long because I have to squeeze those sweet B cheeks and give Miss Hanleigh the proper hip hop rap instruction!!

  2. Love reading these posts! Congrats on getting through that labor, Becs! I am envisioning it the entire time you are telling the story, felt like I was there! Can’t wait to meet Hanleigh! She is adorable. Congrats and so happy for you both!! 🙂

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