Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"A Person is A Person No Matter How Small"- Dr Seuss

I love this quote. I have probably used it before in previous posts. One of the things the hospital chaplains warned us about is that there will be some people who will not see our loss of Cooper as the same as someone else who has lost a child . That they think the loss of the newborn is easier somehow. I remember thinking at the time surely people don’t actually think that way but I now know that I was very na├»ve. A loss of a child is tragic no matter how old she or he is. While I know it is difficult to wake up go through your daily life not seeing a child that you are used to being there, just because I never had that does not make my grief any less painful. I have a birth and death certificate for my child. I had to bury my child just as others did. I had to learn how to grieve and how my husband was grieving and prevent that anger from destroying my marriage as losing a child often will do just as others do. Yes, I don’t go everyday places to be reminded of times I spent there with my child. (I am sure those moments are very tough for those parents I am not discounting those in anyway) But when that parent grieves for the loss of their child, he or she can find comfort in good memories. When you lose a newborn, there are very few-if any-good memories to find comfort with. Anyone who thinks differently should walk a day in my shoes. Try being told there’s nothing they can do, it’s both you and your child or just your child. Try having to make the decision of whether to put your child on life support in hoping for a impossible miracle or to accept reality and opt to make the best of the little time you will have. Even though you know deep down that you made the right decisions for your child, try living with those tough decisions. Try going back to the Operating Room for a moment that is supposed to be one of your happiest moments ever knowing it would soon be followed by your toughest moment ever. Try looking over at a doctor seeing tears in her eyes because she knows you are about to go through . Try holding your dying child that you just met not knowing will it be seconds, minutes or hours before he is no longer with you and doing your best to make it the best life possible be under the circumstances. Try doing that while your body is attempting to recover from being close to failure. Try watching your husband hold yall’s child and pointing out the window and explaining that’s Kenan Stadium and why the campus is important to your family while you know that since he was born too early your child could not see a thing. Try going to football games for the rest of your life for your alma mater and seeing the hospital where your son spent his 22 hours of life at -fighting through that emotion to enjoy the present moment and being grateful for what you do have. Try going through another pregnancy worried that a disease could come back and take another of your children or leave your oldest without a mother. Try explaining to a two and a half year old child that his brother passed away and watching over the next few years as he grows old enough to understand what he has lost and struggling to cope with something adults have difficultly with. Try going through ALL the “firsts” with your other children knowing that you will never have that moment with your child that passed away too soon. Try not knowing what color your child’s eyes were and not knowing who he would grow up to look like or what his personality would be like. As difficult as it can be sometimes, I cherish the moments I had with Cooper and I am grateful to have had him in my life for few moments. I am grateful because I know there are women that don’t even get to hold their child before he or she passes away. I am grateful that I am still here to be a mother to my other children. I am grateful for those while not having experienced my same loss can try to put themselves in my shoes and understand my loss as just as painful as any parent who has lost a child.

Monday, December 16, 2013

No A

Davis, Cooper, Blaine.  There's no "A" name.   Walking into the "big" ultrasound with our second, we had both a boy (Cooper) and girl (Caroline) name picked out. We joked then that we had created a pattern of going backwards in the alphabet and that our third child should be given a "B" name.  The pattern stuck and with the third we walked in with both boy and girl B names.   Blythe was our girl name and Blaine was our compromise on a boy name. Matthew and Davis wanted a Beauchamp and I wanted a Brady and neither was of us would have ever given in on that one so we compromised.

 A member told me today that she often wondered if  someone would have the strength to try again after losing a child who was born prematurely.  Matthew and I had the strength because we were one of two going into the third. The pregnancy with Davis was perfect. My ankles were swollen just one day, BP was great and no protein at all. He was two days overbaked and we forced him out by induction which turned into a c-section.      Our world was rocked the morning I woke up with blood which led to hospitalization and the discovery of severe Preeclampsia (PE).  the doctors were just as surprised as us because it was/is so extremely odd to have no PE with the first and then such a drastic 180 extreme with the second.   After a rollercoaster of emotions, we found the strength to try for a third. We both agreed that the PE came back in any form  that there would not be a fourth.  Two of three pregnancies impacted by PE were not odds we liked.  Within hours of discovering the PE, Blaine was delivered.  The PE was very mild at that point but because we were so far along we and the on call OB  did not want to take any chances. . At only 4 weeks and a day early, Blaine was a little on the small side and only went to the NICU for a few hours as a precaution.  For almost 8 weeks after, Matthew and I discussed  everyday whether there would be a fourth. We knew the decision had to be made quickly because the longer my body went in between pregnancies the higher the chance of the PE being severe vs mild so we made our decision and made it permanent.   We had always dreamed of having three children in the backseat of our cars but the strength to go through another pregnancy was not there.    We still believe our decision was the right one.  It sucks to know that an disease that took our Cooper and almost took my life has made the decision that there will not be an "A" for us.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Popular name?

Davis, Cooper and Blaine.  When Matthew and I picked our boys names, we were looking for names that we not super popular but not spelled so strangely that their names were consistently misspelled.  We liked the using a traditional last name as first name so thus we came up with our boys names.  I can count on one hand the number of people I have heard of with either Davis or Blaine as a first name.   Cooper, however, is growing in popularity.   Cooper has been the name of four kids Davis' age playing hockey, there are a couple more at his school and there were a few more teams for the Preeclampsia Promise walk because of children named Cooper.   Out of the 3 names, the one that gives me a gut punch everytime I hear it is the one I hear most often.  I don't know what I am really getting at with this post except that life can suck sometimes.  I miss my Cooper.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A better brother

Even though he is not here on earth, Cooper is responsible for making Davis one incredible big brother.  Davis did not really understand when Cooper passed away.  He was two and half so how could he.  Within the year and half between Cooper dying and Blaine's birth, Davis matured and really started to understand of the magnitude of losing his little brother.   He started having dreams about Cooper and would randomly come to Matt or I crying because "It's unfair that Cooper had to die because I wanted a brother".  So now he has become super protective with Blaine.  The first few times he would need to leave Blaine after he was born, Davis would boo hoo because he was scared Blaine would have to leave and go to heaven. We got through that although Davis does still get upset when Blaine cries on the doctors office. Davis  will get mad at us if we make Blaine cry by telling him no and has even hit us a few times because he was  mad.  School bullies better stay from Blaine in the future!  Davis and Blaine are now sharing a bedroom because Davis was determined to do so.  Of course now the boys have a playroom in Blaine's old room so Davis did get a big prize for making that request so perhaps there was a little selfishness involved.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's been way too long since my last post. Davis and Blaine keep me super busy when I am not at work. Cooper has entered my mind a lot lately. I was quite surprised by how difficult mid May was for me. I assumed since I had already been through the anniversaries of his birth and death last year that this year would be easier. No it was not easier and since I did not prepare myself it was worse. May 17th is the day I entered the hospital and first faced the possibly of Cooper dying. Last Thursday, I kept looking at the clock and going back to what was happening two years at that particular time. Even though it was worse this year, i was very proud of myself on monday (the second anniversary of the day Cooper died). There is a little boy named Cooper that sometimes shows up to Davis's hockey skating class. He showed up on Monday and everytime someone shouted his name it was incredably difficult not to cry. But I did it and managed not to cry while there. The pain that comes with losing a child never lessens you just learn to tolerate the pain.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Missing my little Valentine

Whoa it's been a longtime since I have posted but Cooper has never been missed more. While I am very very grateful for a healthy Blaine and Davis, I still have lots of moments where I wonder what it would be like with a one year old Cooper running around here. Would he look like his brothers? What would his personalty be like? Would he have adjusted well to being the middle child? What type of Valentines would we have taken to school in addition to Davis's superhero Valentines and Blaine's Winnie the Pooh Valentines? My guess would be Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but I will never know.
One thing I do know is that Cooper was up above looking out for his mommy and little brother on October 11th. Blaine was not due for another four weeks and a day and we had scheduled a c section for two weeks early on Oct 26th. Everything had been going perfectly-my BP was perfect, I had only gained two pounds in the pregnancy, no visible swelling and there was no protein in my urine. At my normal checkup I stepped up on the scales and there was a drastic 8 pound gain since the last checkup which I knew had to be water weight. Then she took my BP, all I saw before the tears started flowing was 140 as the top number. The nurse retook it two times and they were even higher. When I saw the doctor she said that was no protein but they needed me to go to Rex to monitor my BP for awhile. At Rex, my BP calmed down and Matt got to the hospital. (The only appt Matt had to miss the entire pregnancy was that days because of the Credit Unions annual meeting in Greensboro.) I had my parents come up to help with Davis. All but one of the tests had come back good and the last test was the protein test which earlier had been negative so we went my parents and Davis off to eat with thoughts that I was only ten minutes from being discharged. Then the doctor came back with the news, protein had appeared since my appt earlier and while it was still mild PE he felt we should go ahead and deliver because of the speed it moved the last time. Blaine born a hour later and was absolutely perfect. He came out mad and showed us very quickly that his lungs were good. Cooper was definitely looking out for us that day because I look and think what if protein did not show up that second time. I could have gone home and the PE could have blown up on me putting my and Blaine's lives on the line. So a big thank you to my little boy up in heaven!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Heaven

Davis has gotten to a point where he seems to understand the magnitude of losing Cooper. I don’t know if it’s because he is older now and sees others with their little brothers so he understands that he will never have that with Cooper or if it is because we are to the point in our current pregnancy where we are as sure you can be that Blaine will be coming home with us and he is really excited about actually getting the opportunity to be a big brother. Or who knows maybe it is combination. A week or so ago, Davis started randomly crying one night and said that he wants Cooper back so he & Blaine can play with him. You could tell that he was really sad and not just repeating what we have told him about Cooper. While all I wanted to do was break down and sob with him, I knew that I had to stay strong and just reinforce the idea of heaven and that he will see Cooper again one day. I cannot count how many times Matt and I have had to explain that once you get to heaven you are not coming back.
The topic of heaven brings up some interesting questions/comments from a three (almost four) year old. It actually gets cute to hear some of ways Davis has proposed to go get Cooper and bring him back-Buzz Lightyear wings, a super fast airplane (super fast not just fast), jumping real, real high. If we lose a balloon and it floats up in sky, it is floating to heaven so Cooper can play with it. Davis has informed us that Cooper’s favorite balloon is a Carolina Blue one that we let float to heaven. I have also been asked if Cooper gets to eat hotdogs in heaven. Does Santa take presents to Cooper in heaven? And one that would make any father smile and a mother blush, “Cooper did it, not me or Daddy…you can just smell it from heaven”. Yes, my child has blamed a fart on his dead brother…. but only after he tried blaming it on his unborn brother J Matt and I have also learned that we can no longer use “heaven” to describe something on earth that we really enjoy. Davis will correct you really quickly if you try to say someone is “in heaven” because they are doing something they enjoy- “No. you are not in heaven-Cooper is”. Matt started to slip up one time when we were at a BBQ place when he saw red hotdogs on the buffet. He corrected himself mid-sentence and it came out “Davis, you are going to be in California once you see what they have”. Davis came running back to me yelling “Mommy I am in California now because they have red hotdogs here”. So now when our family enjoys something now we are in California not heaven. It makes us smile .