Kooper's Story

I was so excited to be pregnant. I had a 2½ year old little boy and couldn’t wait for him to have a sibling. I was almost done with school and ready to have another baby in the family. My pregnancy was great and Kooper was such a mover. We called him our little monkey. My best friend (Jenna) and I were pregnant and only due 3 days apart. It was so fun to have someone to talk to that directly related to what I was feeling. She found out she was having a girl the same day I found out I was having a boy. We had so much fun being pregnant at the same time. We really wanted to have our babies on the same day. We had the same doctor and told him of our plan. My friend was definitely going to have her baby before me with the way she was progressing. I carry high and don’t really dilate so it wasn’t looking good on my end. The doctor sent me in to get the baby measured on July 1, 2008. We got to see our little monkey moving all around. Everything looked great. He wasn’t too big, so I wouldn’t be induced like I had hoped.
July 3rd came and Jenna and I were both having contractions. We both ended up in L&D, but unfortunately I wasn’t dilating so they sent me home although my contractions were consistent. My friend Jenna got admitted and ended up having her baby girl on July 4th. I was jealous and couldn’t wait for Kooper to come.

The following day I didn't really have any more contractions. So I just decided he would come when he wanted to. I prayed and prayed he would come soon. I had a doctors appointment on July 7th. Everything seemed fine. I was scheduled to be induced the following Tuesday. It was perfect. My Mom and sister would be flying in on Friday and we would get the weekend to spend with each other and then the baby would come. Thursday I was preparing for my families arrival and also for Kooper to be here soon. My husband Ryan got home from work a little later than usual because of the monsoon storm. I remember lying on the couch and Ryan coming in and then he asked me, “How’s Kooper doing?” That was when I really had to think back to the last time I felt him move. I started poking him and no movement. This had happened before. A few weeks before he wasn’t moving like he normally did so I went into the bedroom and laid in the dark poking him and he woke up. So I decided to try the trick I used last time. I would poke at him and moving from side to side. Still nothing. I started to get a little worried. I thought I would try to have something cold so I grabbed an otter pop out of the freezer, downed that. Nothing. I jumped (not literally) in the shower…that always got him moving. Nothing. I wasn’t too worried. I just wanted him to move. The thought of him being dead never really entered my mind. I called the L&D and asked if there was anything else I could try before coming in and they said to just come in. By now it is 11ish and we call our friends that live nearby…no answer. At first Ryan said to just go ahead and go and I tell him, “What if they have to do an emergency c-section and you aren’t there?” He says, “Right, we will bring Kade then.” Then I think of Kade already asleep and think about how I will get there and they are going to hook me up to the monitors and find his heartbeat and send me home. I tell him, “No, it’s going to be fine. I am sure I will get sent right back home. I will call you while I am there.” So off I went on my drive to the hospital. The whole time I was praying that he would move. I text Jenna to have her call me if she was awake. She was a new mom and I figured she was probably up with her baby. I wanted to tell her what I was doing and that I was hoping when I got there that they would check me and maybe I would be dilated enough to deliver. As I got closer I thought I felt him move but wasn’t sure. I even contemplated turning around but then figured I would go just in case, plus what if I was dilating and they decided to keep me? The roads were still pretty wet but it stopped raining and nobody was driving on the streets.

I got there and they didn’t waste any time. I didn’t have to pee in a cup or change into a gown they just put me in a room and hooked up the monitor. When the nurse was searching for the heartbeat I had no clue. My thoughts were, “Really you can’t find the heartbeat? How long have you been a nurse? It’s not that hard!” So she said she was going to have an ultrasound tech come up. I called Ryan and told him what was going on. The ultrasound tech took FOREVER! Probably because they knew the baby was already dead. I was optimistic. Ryan freaked out and was getting Kade ready. I kept telling him “It’s fine Ryan. I have a good feeling. I feel at peace and I am sure everything is going to be fine.” Now, I know what the feeling was. I know that Kooper was there with me. Telling me it was going to be fine. I am sure he had his arms around me telling me that he loves me and that it will be fine and I will make it through this.

The Ultrasound tech came into the room and was making small talk. Ryan was on the phone. He wanted to stay on during the ultrasound. She went right to his heart. I will never forget that image. There was no kicking or moving, there was a still baby. There was no beating of his heart. She typed "4 chamber heart" on the screen. I was hoping that they were still shots. But deep down I knew. I knew what it meant. I told Ryan that I think he better come now, trying to be brave, trying to sound brave so that he wouldn’t worry. He had already pretty much had Kade ready and in the car at that point and was on his way.

As I sat in the triage room waiting for results I prayed that what I just saw wasn’t what I thought. I thought "there is no way". "Not me!" "This isn’t happening to me." Bad things like this don’t happen. Then my doctor walked into the room with tears in his eyes said, “Kami, I’m so sorry!” It sounds lame but I said, “Tell me it’s not true!” I cried and I cried and he gave me a hug. We talked a little bit and Ryan called again. He was almost there. He asked what was going on and I couldn’t keep it from him. “He’s gone”, I said. Ryan didn’t understand and that is when I had to tell him that he died. Ryan was full of anger and sadness. I remember him saying, “We should have had him last week. No. I am so mad at the doctor!” I am sure he didn’t blame the doctor but he wanted to blame someone. Before he got there my doctor did an ultrasound to see if he could see any causes for Kooper’s death. He had good amounts of fluid and everything looked ok. Now we would just have to wait and see. Ryan got there with Kade and Ryan and I just held each other and cried. Poor little Kade was confused and not really understanding what was going on.

They induced me that night. I got an epidural to make me as comfortable as possible. Then they started pitocin and broke my water. The doctor was surprised to see that there was no meconium in the amniotic fluid. This means that Kooper wasn’t in distress before he passed away. It was finally time for me to push. Once the head was out they noticed that the cord was around his neck fairly tight 2 times. Then his body emerged and he was perfect. The one thing that wasn’t was the cord. There was a true knot in the cord that was tightened completely. You could see that from the knot to his body the cord was completely white. From the knot to the placenta you could see blood. So the knot must have tightened and completely cut off his blood supply. This brought back a memory from when I had Kade. I remember the doctor pointing out that Kade had a knot in his cord but it wasn’t tight enough to cut off blood supply. He also said that it looked like there had been a knot that had come undone.

The moments following his delivery were so special. I stared in awe at his perfect body, his head full of dark hair. He was perfect in every way. It felt like at any moment he was just going to start crying or breathing. We spent quite a while with him. The nurse bathed him and Ryan helped dress him in an outfit. We had a volunteer photographer come from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to take his pictures and our family pictures. The hospital where we were at didn’t have much to give grieving parents. We got a little booklet to put hand and fingerprints on and they gave us a beautiful blue crocheted blanket.

We love and miss him more than ever but know that we will see him again and be together as an Eternal Family. He is a blessing to our family and although it has been the hardest trial I am grateful for it because I am his mom. I am honored to be his mother.