Becoming an official family

Thomas Cooper Lewis III, born December 18, 2012 in Missoula, Montana
 1 pound 10 ounces and 12.5 inches long

After a hectic and rough two weeks there was no stopping our little man joining us early. My water broke early December 16 forcing Tom and I to head to the emergency room when I was later flown to Community Medical Center in Missoula, Montana. Slowly but surely my body was getting ready to welcome Mr. Cooper to the world and after some contractions and late night he made his first little noise at 12:48 p.m. December 18, born at 24 weeks 2 days, Thomas Cooper Lewis III. 

Luckily with everything else that Tom and I had to jump through we bought Cooper two very precious weeks. Anything before 24 weeks a baby isn't considered "viable," which is why we decided to get a cerclage, a very wise decision. 

Tom and I had no idea what to expect from little Cooper or what would happen or not happen all we knew was that he was coming. We talked with neonatal doctors about what to expect and the journey we are about to embark on. Something the doctors said is that we shouldn't expect him to cry, hold him or touch him which was hard to understand but we knew he would be in great hands. So needless to say when he was born and we heard two little, "cries" from him, it was sort of a relief. Cooper went straight to the neonatal table specially set up for him where they stabilize him and then transfer him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Once I gave birth and I was "done" we had to wait until we got the "go" from the NICU to see him. 

The entire NICU unit is sterile, clean and secure. Walking down the halls with small babies in incubators is very overwhelming. You always see those pics on the internet of premature babies and you never really know what to expect or how you will feel. 

The clear incubator encompassed his tiny 1 pound 10 ounce body. They warn you about the tubes and wires sticking out of his body, but it doesn't hit you until you are there seeing his little body getting the help it needs to breath, the wires and lines attached to his little belly button to help run tests. I can honestly say I didn't know how to act or react. Cry? Smile? Rejoice? Because I wanted to do all of it! Rejoice that our little guy is alive and as healthy as he could be, smile because I have never loved something so much and yet cry because my own body decided to cut his gestation short. 

We were amazed by the him, his hands, his feet and his tiny little head. We created this amazing thing, that is all ours. While we don't have the technology or knowledge to care for him on our own, we love him so much. He is a blessing to us, our life, and this journey we started just under two years ago. We officially became a family. 

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