The closer it gets to being a year that we have lost Cohen the more unhealed I feel. I thought I was doing good, working through my grief and living our new “normal” life. Getting out with the kids, smiling, laughing, and doing things that normal people do.
But now, now that Cohen will be gone for a year in just a little over a week I feel that maybe I have not healed at all. The tiny scab that was starting to form has been ripped off and my heart has been exposed again.
I can remember so well now exactly how I was feeling at this time last year. Hoping that my baby would come soon. Excited to find out if the baby that I had carried for 9 months was a girl or a boy. Tired, oh so tired of being so big.
I think about how I could hardly walk because he was down so far and thinking that this labor should be fast since he was practically in the birth canal already. I had to pee all the time and was so thirsty.
I remember how excited my mom was. How she always sounded excited when I called her, like maybe this time I was calling to tell her I was headed to the hospital to have the baby. How she had her bag packed months in advance to come here to take care of Cole and Carson. And then I think about the phone call she actually received, me hysterical telling her we were headed to the hospital because the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. I was crying so hard she couldn’t understand me.
I can even remember exactly what was happening on certain days now. Like yesterday, Memorial Day. A year ago it was hot. We got up early and went to the park and got pregnancy and family pictures taken. The boys threw stones into a pond. My mom was there to help with the boys during the picture-taking. I remember thinking that I was lucky to even be getting these pictures since I had waited so long to ask my friend to take them. I was surprised that I didn’t already have my baby. That afternoon we had a cookout with my mom. When she left we were both excited that the next time I saw her would probably be because I was having the baby.
This Sunday it will be a year that I sat in church and felt Cohen flip and move around. This is the last time I can really remember feeling him move although I am sure he must have on Monday because I don’t remember feeling worried Monday. He was crazy during worship. My husband and I watched my belly jump and bounce the whole time. We sat in the balcony that Sunday and I timed contractions. I thought for sure I would have him later that day but unfortunately the contractions stopped.
Then came Tuesday. A year ago I sat in my friends living room and looked at the pictures she took of our family on Memorial Day. We talked for a while and when I left we said the next time we see each other I will have a baby. Then I went to the grocery store. I came home and when I went to bed that night I told my husband that I couldn’t remember feeling the baby move all day.
The next morning I got up. My mother-in-law came a took Cole and Carson for the day. I did wash and took a nap. I had contractions most of the day. Then my husband came home. We went to the doctor never expecting to hear what we heard. I remember the doctor telling me that we would have to go to the hospital right away and that he had called them to tell them I was coming. He told me my friend, Kristel, a labor and delivery nurse, was working and that she would meet us there. In the parking lot of the doctor’s office I called my mom, like I always did after an appointment. We drove to the hospital, the only sounds were of me crying and begging God to please please please let this not be true and to start my baby’s heart again.
In the parking lot of the hospital I called my friend, the same friend whose living room I had sat in just 24 hours before, and told her to contact our old small group and for them to pray. Pray that everything would be ok, that the doctor had somehow made a mistake.
I remember standing in the lobby of the hospital and the woman in front of me staring at me like I was crazy for sobbing. I wanted to scream at her, “They can’t find my baby’s heartbeat!” I remember checking in to the hospital and telling them that I didn’t information with me because I wasn’t expecting to go to the hospital.
I remember the triage room and the ultrasound tech who said absolutely nothing to us. She did the scan and looked at the nurse (who was wonderful) and said, “Do you need anything else?” but never spoke a word to my husband or me. We sat there wondering if by some miracle his heart was still beating. But it wasn’t. We called my mom and our friends to let them know that our son had died.
I was admitted to the hospital. My friend, Kristel, came in and tried to make me as comfortable as possible. She was in and out all night. My cousin came to the hospital and sat with me. My mom came too. We cried and talked but no one slept.
I remember getting an epidural and having my blood pressure drop. My mom and husband had just stepped out of the room for a minute and my cousin and Kristel were the only ones there. I felt so dizzy and everything went black but I could still hear everything going on around me. I remember finding a bit of humor in such a horrible situation when I came to and saw my cousin fanning me with a sterilized catheter bag.
My cousin went home at about 2 in the morning with the promise to be back later.
Shortly after she left they came to check me and it was time to push. I didn’t want to. I did not want to push my baby out. As long as he was inside of me there was hope that he was still alive, that this was just a big mistake. But once he was out and I saw him I would have to face reality. That he really was gone.
But with two big pushes he was out. The room was silent. No newborn baby cry. No one announced if the baby was a boy or a girl. They just placed him on my chest. I looked at him and whispered, “He is perfect.” Only after I said that did anyone else talk. The confirmed that the baby was in fact a boy.
I cried and cried and cried. I never knew I could cry so much.
All of these feeling are coming flooding back now a year later. Yes the entire year has been painful but now that I can actually remember exactly what I was doing and feeling it hurts like it happened yesterday.
I miss my sweet boy. I miss my Cohen who should be having a first birthday party in a week and a half. I miss calling him the silly nicknames that I think of him as in my head like my Coco Puff or my little Coco. I miss his smile that I never saw, his laugh that I never heard. I miss the sound of little feet trying to walk down the hall. I miss seeing my three boys playing together. I miss what our family should be.
I miss my son.