My Miracle and my Angel
For me, life became more real as I experienced different things. When I became a mom, a lot of things changed. My introduction to motherhood did not begin like most mothers. Chase was born prematurely, had his first of many surgeries at only 4 days old, and received a life altering diagnosis accompanied with a devastating prognosis. Each day was touch and go, so we were on a constant roller coaster. Ryan and I decided in the beginning that we would remain positive, keep the faith and trust God's plan for Chase. After spending exactly 4 months in the NICU, Chase was finally able to come home. Becoming a mother changed me, becoming a mother to a son with disabilities humbled me, and seeing God's miraculous work in our son inspired me.
Moment of Vulnerability
We found out that we were pregnant with our second baby right before Chase's second birthday. Sadly, I miscarried the baby on Christmas Eve around 9 weeks of pregnancy. Ryan and I decided to wait a couple more years before trying for another one. As Chase grew older, he began to ask us for a little brother or sister. The request became more frequent, so we decided to start trying again in 2017. After a year with no success, we went to a fertility clinic to get some answers. Tests revealed no fertility issues with me, but Ryan had a vein that needed to be corrected. Ryan had two surgeries to correct the vein and after two years of trying to conceive, we found out we were pregnant. We were so excited!
The pregnancy was going great, no major issues, so we began sharing the exciting news with family and friends. Chase was over the moon about becoming a big brother. We had narrowed the list of names to 6 (3 boy names and 3 girl names). We decided to let Chase select the name. Parker, Hunter and Cooper where the 3 boy names. Chase said he wanted the name to be Hunter if the baby was a boy. He said he wanted the name to be Cooper if the baby was a girl. I tried telling him that Cooper was not one of the names for a girl, but he argued me up and down that Cooper was a girls name. After thinking about it, I realized it was actually a pretty cool name for a girl. Sure enough we found out we were having a girl and thanks to Chase, we had her name, Cooper.
It was around 5:30AM, which was the time I normally woke up to use the restroom. I did not think much about the heaviness that I felt as I sat down on the toilet. It wasn't until I went to stand up that things changed. My water broke and naturally I screamed out of fear. Chase came running into the restroom, but I closed the door so he could not see what was going on. I yelled for Ryan, we got dressed and he rushed me to the emergency room. Once I arrived, they informed me that I had lost all of my amniotic fluid, and although Cooper's heart rate was strong, I was losing a lot of blood.
Ryan continued to reassure me that everything was going to be ok, but I kept telling him "I'm losing her, I'm losing her". I could see the worry in his eyes, but he stayed strong. I kept replaying things back in my head. I had been experiencing discomfort for the past two days, so I began blaming myself for not coming to the ER sooner. I remember apologizing to Cooper over and over and over. I just did not want her to suffer. She was moving quite a bit, so I told Ryan to feel. I will always be grateful for that moment because it was his first time feeling her kick. I believe that was our goodbye from her. A couple of hours later the nurse came in to do the normal check and she was unable to find Cooper's heartbeat. They ordered an ultrasound and the look on the ultrasound tech's face confirmed what I already knew. She left out and a few minutes later the nurse walked in with the phone. She said Dr. Anderson wanted to talk to me. She handed me the phone and before Dr. Anderson could say anything, I said, "She's gone isn't she" and she replied, "Yes, I am so sorry Natalie".
We discussed next steps and I remained calm the entire time. The delivery was obviously nothing I was prepared for, but I managed to get through it. There was so much sadness in the room, everything was quiet and somber like a funeral. They asked if I wanted to see her and of course I did. I held my baby girl and looked at her sweet face. My heart was completely broken. I was inconsolable and I was not ready to let her go. Her skin, so underdeveloped, was translucent and red. I could see all of her newly developed veins. Her fingers and toes were so tiny. She looked exactly like Ryan with her little hands placed gracefully under her chin. She was so peaceful, which gave me some comfort.
The next day, my head was so cloudy, I was overwhelmed with anger. I was angry with God, I felt my faith slip for sure. I could not understand why He would bless us after 2 years of trying only to take our blessing away. I refused to see anyone or take any calls. I was in a dark place and not even Ryan could pull me out. Our home was filled with sadness. I could see it in Chase's eyes when he looked at me. I could not move, I was not functioning. My anger faded as I desperately needed answers. I began praying and asking God for understanding. People continued to call and ask to visit, but I was still waiting on God.
I went into a place of solitude. I would sit for what seemed like hours waiting on God to speak to me or send me a sign. I continued to pray and it soon turned into meditation. I began spending more and more time with Him each day. The pain and the cloudiness in my head improved each day. Once the doubt, anger and distractions from the enemy were gone, I was able to focus all of my attention on God. After I went into total isolation and it was only us in my quiet time, where my mind was perfectly still, I began to hear Him. His voice was so evident and clear that it actually scared me.
He began giving me an overwhelming amount of clarity and peace. Each time I would hear His voice or receive a sign from Him, I would cry tears of joy because I knew He not only heard my cries, but He did not leave me in my darkest time. He revealed the purpose for my pain. The test of my life and faith, has become my testimony. He replaced the darkness with the brightest light that I so humbly carry daily. My grief has become gratitude and my sorrow has become a song.
Chase(My Miracle) changed my life and God used Cooper(My Angel) to show me my life's purpose.
Pictures: Easter 2019 was the last picture that I took with Cooper in my belly.