I am a mother to seven. Seven babies I have carried in the womb, given birth to, prayed for, and most importantly loved. I did not know how much I could love until I had my children. Before Mr. Right and I had our first child we had two miscarriages that saddened us and set us back at our loss, but we still kept moving forward.
When I was in high school I thought I would have two boys after getting married and my family would be complete. However, things often do not go the way I plan them. After we had our fifth child we knew we wanted “just one more” child to round off our flock and be complete.
When we were pregnant with our sixth child, we had hopes of having a son. Another son would have given my son Daniel a brother so he would not be the only boy in the family. We held onto the hope of having a son until the 20 week ultrasound. However, our lives changed at that point when we learned our unborn child was diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis which is deemed incompatible with life. BRA or Potter’s Syndrome is the absence of one or both kidneys. The kidney’s produce the amniotic fluid, which is a cushion for the internal organs, most importantly, the lungs. Our unborn child would have an underdeveloped heart and compromised lung function.
We were unable to determine the gender of the child at this point, but we knew we loved this child and would carry the child to term. We wanted to enjoy the time we had and enjoy the blessing of this child, no matter how long he or she had on earth.
Our son, David Cooper, was born at 34 weeks gestation and lived for over two hours. He changed our world from the minute we met him and to this day he has had a lasting impact on our lives. We were the one’s blessed to have met him, loved him, and held him. While David is no longer with us in physical form, our love for him has not faded away, but in fact grown stronger in each passing year.
My walk with grief had been brief prior to my son’s death. I learned that there is not twelve step program for overcoming grief. In truth, grief is messy and there is no way to overcome it. We all deal with grief differently. Some stuff it away never to be talked about again. Some pretend everything is okay. Some cry all the time. Some turn to unhealthy methods of coping, such as drinking or drug use. Marriages often do not survive the loss of a child. Divorce is common. Lives are turned upside down after the loss of a child. Coping and just plain surviving become the new normal.
Personally, I dealt with my grief by reaching out to others who have suffered similar loss, praying, and the writing down of my thoughts. Through my grief I have began to turn to my faith more. I read my Bible and saw the truth’s the Lord had promised me. Peace, written in Philipians 4:7 ” the peace of God, which transcends all understanding…” was real. I leaned heavily upon the Lord for strength. The peace carried me through up until David’s death and to this day.
David would be three years old now. I can imagine my blonde haired blue-eyed boy and the bundle of energy he would be. I have missed all the stages one would having a child that is three years old. His death has left a hole that will never be filled. It may scar over, only to be torn open and left raw. The pain is so fresh some days, I cannot do anything but cry. Then there are days we retell the stories of surrounding his birth and the impact his short has and will continue to have.
It is an honor to have been chosen to be David’s mother and an honor to carry the pregnancy to term. We were given the choice of termination, but it was not even an option for us. We knew he had a purpose, even if his life was short, what right did we have to cut it short?
I have much more to say on grief, the loss of my son, and the impact its had on my life. However, the call of motherhood is pulling me away from my blog at this point. I have two year old that needs a snuggle and wants a book read to her.