Today's post is dedicated to my sweet, sweet little Cooper Preston, who turns two years old today. It's probably gonna be a little long, so buckle up!
I guess I'll start way, way back to 2007. John and I had been married for almost 7 years and we were already parents to Caroline and Corbyn. We loved our life but we started thinking about having more children. Well, being the Fertile Myrtle that I am, we were pregnant after only one month of trying. We were so excited and I told the kids right away. Corbyn didn't understand at all since he wasn't quite two yet, but Caroline, who was 6, was very excited! We had never had any reason to think anything would go wrong so we announced it to the world!
At around 9 weeks, I started spotting. I went to the doctor and was told that it was normal and since both of my other pregnancies had been without incident, that I should just take it easy and everything would be fine. Well, it wasn't fine. At almost 12 weeks, I had a miscarriage and I was completely devastated. I had never felt such sadness and loneliness in my whole life. I felt like no one understood, certainly John didn't, and I didn't have anyone to talk to. The miscarriage happened a little less than 2 weeks before Christmas so even though I didn't feel like being in the Christmas mood, I faked it for my children and suppressed a lot of feelings that I probably should have dealt with. Sadly, all those things I didn't deal with before Christmas surfaced shortly after the new year, and it was ugly.
I began to take it all personally, blame myself for not being able to keep the baby, get angry at myself, my husband and God. I began to feel completely and totally unlovable. I felt like I was being punished. My irrational brain told me that John would be better off with a different wife. So I told him I wanted a divorce and I went to stay with my mom for a few weeks. But John wasn't having it. He fought for our marriage when I wouldn't and in the end, he won! Well, I guess, I won because I still get to be married to him!
We got counseling and after a while, wounds healed and my heart felt better. I felt like I was ready to try again! So we did, and a month later in July 2009 we got a positive pregnancy test! I was more cautious this time about who we told. Just our moms and some family members, but definitely not the kids. Caroline was very sad when I had to explain to her that she wasn't getting another sibling. I just didn't think I could do that again.
So this time, I felt good and was positive that everything was going to be great. In September, Caroline wanted to go camping for her birthday, so we went. It was so great! My mom and sister went and we had the best time. Until I started bleeding. So I took it easy and the campground. John did most of the work and I just sat around the fire. On Sunday, Caroline's birthday, we had planned to leave the campground and head to my mom's house for a big family birthday party. We got home to get cleaned up and the bleeding got worse and cramps became unbearable. I knew I was losing this baby, too. But my mind is freaking out about a birthday party for my beautiful daughter that is only a few hours away! Super Husband to the rescue! He drove me to my mom's house so I wouldn't be alone and he took the kids to the store and literally had to buy everything for this party! I hadn't done anything! Two hours later, my mom's house was transformed into party girl central! He did an amazing job!
I went to the doctor the next day and they confirmed that I had miscarried. Again, devastation. But I told myself right there and then, this was NOT going to get the best of me this time! We would get through it and come out on the other side stronger than ever! And we did!
Two more times we tried to have another baby. Two more time the pregnancies ended in miscarriages. The last one required a D&C and hospital stay. I just couldn't believe it. I was sad and I just didn't understand why this was happening. The doctors weren't much help. Just kept saying it wasn't meant to be and there was nothing they could do about it. I just could not accept that. I could not accept the fact that I was already able to maintain two pregnancies and give birth to two perfect, full-term babies. There was something that wasn't working and I wanted to know what! So I went in search of another doctor.
This brings us to 2011. I decided I was ready to try again and I had found a doctor who understood what was going on with my body and had a way to fix it. He told me that my blood was clotting and was causing my body to be unable to maintain a placenta, which, obviously is required to be pregnant. But he knew what to do! He had a very high success rate with women who had multiple miscarriages. I was very excited about this possibility, but not super excited about the process. I was to start taking baby aspirin and progesterone supplements 2 weeks after I started my period. Then 2 weeks later, take a pregnancy test. So I did and it was positive! I told y'all I was fertile....we've never really had to "try" to get pregnant! Staying pregnant was the problem! The minute I had a positive pregnancy test, I was to start taking shots of Lovenox. In my stomach. Everyday! UGH! I guess now would be a good time to tell you that I refused an epidural during my previous two labors because I am TERRIFIED of needles! So now I have to take a shot everyday??? Yuck! But I knew that it would all be worth it if this medication helped maintain my pregnancy and we ended up with a healthy beautiful baby at the end!
I don't dwell on the sadness of those lost babies like I used to. I don't even think about them everyday like I used to. Little things remind me in small ways that I will have one huge family when I get to Heaven! When I meet a child named one of the names we had picked out. When I look at the 4 beautiful white birds on top of my Christmas tree. I remember them, but it's not sad anymore. Cooper Preston Voorhees came into our lives January 16, 2012 and forever changed us. He has brought us so much joy. He is ornery and wild and a complete handful, but he is also gentle and loving and completely amazing! I remind myself when he is throwing toys down the steps or screaming at the top of his lungs that he is a miracle, a gift sent from God, as all children are. I worked hard for my crazy boy and I will be eternally grateful that I didn't give up trying.
I don't talk to people about this often, and some of the details in this story will surprise even some of my closest friends and family. But when trying to "make sense" of why I had to go through this, I knew that I had to tell my story. I knew that I wasn't alone in this problem. I knew that if one more beautiful baby is brought into this world because I could be an encouragement for a couple to try one more time, then it was worth it.
So, Happy Birthday my little Coop. I will never forget what a miracle you are.
For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1:27