Kendra

Baby Sala

Early Miscarriage April 2010

Cooper Michael

August 19th, 2011 – August 28th, 2011

Wichita, Kansas

My husband, Michael, and I had been married for a little less than a year when decided wanted to start our family.  We decided we would let nature take its own course, we weren’t ‘exactly’ trying but we weren’t preventing either.  When it happened it would happened. We were extremely surprised to get a positive pregnancy test the next month. We were so excited; we called everyone we knew to tell them the exciting news! Less than a month later we were devastated to discover that the baby had never developed. It was extremely heartbreaking to have to tell everyone that we had lost our baby.

We decided to wait some time to try again for another baby.  At Christmas we decided we ready to try again.  Again, we became pregnant immediately.  I was terrified that I was going to lose this baby as well.  My husband is in the military and frequently travels out of the country for periods of time.  About a month after we found out, he was sent to Korea for 6 VERY long weeks. I had my first doctor’s appointment while he was gone.  My blood pressure was a little high, but we assumed it was because he wasn’t there.  She sent me to have an ultrasound to check on the baby.  It was such a relief to see our baby wiggling on the screen.  I stayed up late that night just to be able to show Michael the pictures I had of our sweet baby via Skype. He was so excited to see that our baby was growing.

After he was home, Michael never missed an appointment and she didn’t think I’d have any more issues with my blood pressure.  My pregnancy was close to perfect.  The only problems were with morning sickness, which was should have been called evening sickness.  It came like clockwork every day, after lunch and not letting up again until morning when I woke up.  And heartburn, everything gave me heartburn, including water.  I can’t tell you the number of bottles of Tums I bought.

Michael and I found out the last week of April in 2011 that we were having a boy.  We decided to name him Cooper Michael.  Michael was so excited that he was going to have a son to take fishing with him! The very first outfit I bought for him said “Daddy’s Little Fishing Buddy”.  He called people in his office after the ultrasound just to tell them we were having a boy! I’d never saw him smile so big in his life. 

The next few months were wonderful.  We spent hours picking out the perfect items for our Cooper.  We went and saw all the movies we wanted to see.  We took little weekend getaways, just the two of us.  We’d lay in bed late at night thinking and dreaming about what features Cooper would have or what his personality would be like when he was older.  We could not wait to meet our son in September.

We had a very hot summer and I had spent most of my time inside.  I started back at school at the beginning of August getting ready for the upcoming school year.  I worked on lesson plans to leave for the teacher who was going to sub for me in my classroom.  Around 30 weeks, I noticed that my blood pressure had started to increase just a little bit but the doctor wasn’t worried so I wasn’t worried. I had even started to swell as soon as I came back and I just assumed it was because I was spending more time on my feet than I had in a long time. 

My husband and I went to a wedding and I was painfully swollen the entire weekend.  The swelling would go down at night but as soon as I was up and moving around I was swollen almost immediately.  I decided on Monday August 15, I should probably call the doctor.  They had me come in and my blood pressure was higher than it ever had been.  Our doctor decided to run some tests and for me to come back in on Friday.  They assumed it was just PiH.  I wasn’t really concerned and just figured I’d be put on bed rest until he came.  They ran the tests and we had an ultrasound done to check and see how big our boy was getting.  They couldn’t tell us anything at the ultrasound other than he was just a little small and was still breech.  Still not concerned because I had still had 6 weeks left to go.  I went back to the doctor’s on Friday. None of the test results were back and my blood pressure was even higher.  She told us that it was probably time to go to the hospital.  She wanted the tests run again and they’d be able to get them back much sooner.  She said the worst that would probably happen was bed rest until he came. 

We went home to pack a bag just think we’d be there for the night.  We even ran to the book store to get books and magazines to pass the time.  We got to the hospital around noon and were settled in a room by 1.  A doctor came in and asked a few questions and said they were going to run a few tests.  Later that evening another doctor came in told us they had some concerns with some of the test results.  It looked like I had Pre-Eclampsia.  She asked a few more questions and was going back upstairs to consult with another doctor.  My husband asked the nurse if it would be all right for him to run and get a bite to eat. Before he could get back, the doctor was back and telling me things had just gotten a lot scarier.  More results had come back and Cooper was coming sooner rather than later.  She did a quick ultrasound to see if he was still breech.  He was, so it was decided I was going to have to have a C-Section.  I called Michael hysterically to tell him he needed to come back NOW because Cooper was coming.  We called our family and told them to come as well.  They quickly started the 3 hour trip there to be with us.  At 9:29 PM, Cooper Michael quickly entered our world.  He was born at 34 weeks and 5 days.  He weighed 4 lbs. 14 oz and was 16.9 inches long.  He was the most perfect baby we had ever laid eyes on. I was only able to hold him for a short while before the whisked him away to the NICU.  His doctor was impressed with how well he was breathing and his body temperature for being born almost 5 weeks early. Cooper looked just like me but his daddy’s personality.  His nurses quickly fell in love with him.  The following week was the best week of our lives.  We loved being his Mommy and Daddy! We posted pictures and updates on Facebook to family and friends about his progress he was making each day.

On the morning of August 27, his doctor was so pleased with his progress she told us to expect him to be coming home very soon! We quickly made a list of all the things we still needed to buy for him and everything that we needed to get done in our house before he came home.  We spent the rest of the day trying to get ready for him.  At 6 PM we received a phone call that something was not right with him.  By the time we made it to the hospital, they had diagnosed Cooper with having NEC.  Necrotizing Enterocolitis is an infection of the bowels.  It causes bubbles to form in the lining and kill the intestines.  Our sweet boy had one of the worst cases they had ever had in the hospital. They doctors and nurses did everything that they could to help him fight off the infection.  Cooper fought NEC for another day and half.  He grew his wings at 11:15 AM on Sunday, August 28, 2011, one day before our 2nd wedding anniversary.  We love and miss you Sweet Boy, you’ll always be our Cooper Trooper!

 Kendra can be contacted at mrs.sala@yahoo.com

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Comments

  1. Amy says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby Cooper. It must have taken you a lot of strength just to share this story right now. My heart breaks for you and I wish you healing and love as you remember your little boy and greive his loss. I hope that in time you can find peace.

  2. Nicole says:

    Hi Kendra. It shows much courage and strength in sharing your story, It is a huge thing to do. Im so sorry though to hear about the rough journey that you have taken. The reason why i am writing to you is because your story hit home to my husband and I because we went through the same thing with our daughter two years ago when she passed away from NEC as well. I would like to extend the offer if you ever would like to talk feel free to send me a message. Keeping you and your precious angel cooper in our thoughts and prayers through this journey.
    <3 Nicole

    • Kendra says:

      I would love to talk. It’s new to us. But I’d never met another mother whose child passed from NEC. I have so many questions about NEC. I was not in the mindset to ask anything when it happened. But now that it’s been a while I just want to ask them more about it. I’m sure most of them can only be answered by a doctor though. My e-mail is mrs.sala@yahoo.com

  3. Vicky says:

    I am so sorry about Cooper, I know how hard it is to lose a son, I have recently lost my own little boy in NICU. He died from a brain hemmorhage. I hope you can find peace in Cooper’s memories and hope for the future.

    Vicky

  4. Laura says:

    My heart goes out to you. I am so so sorry.
    I lost my son last month and had pre-eclampsia as well. He was born August 1st and died August 4th.
    He was born at 29 weeks and only weighed 2 lbs. He died from his lungs bleeding but autopsy showed heart and brain bleeding as well.
    You and i must have been due around the same time, my EDD was Oct.12th.

    My thoughts are with you. <3

  5. p shah says:

    HI! Sorry for you loss. I have lost 2 babies, the first one in 2008 at 7 monts she was still born. The second one was born 5th sept 2011 and we lost her 6th sept 2011 i was 36 weeks her lungs just didn’t function.
    It is very hard for us but we have to be strong . We have a 5 year old girl she keeps us going and we are proud to have her.

    Please be brave & Positive and hope for the future.

  6. Megan says:

    I too lost a child due to NEC. My daughter Mackenzie was born July 8, 2010 at 35 weeks and 4 days. She was taken to the NICU immediately as she was born in a congenital heart defect. She spent 26 days in the hospital before we lost her. She had started to improve and was expected to come home any day. Then, she got NEC and was only able to fight it off for another day. I lost my little girl on my mother’s birthday.

    It’s been a very tough year. While the pain never goes away, knowing she’s no longer in pain makes it a little easier to bear. I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant again. It’s very scary going through it all again but it feels good knowing there’s light at the end of the pregnancy loss tunnel.

  7. MamaHope says:

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. Losing a child is the hardest thing that has ever happened to our family. Our twins were born prematurely in another state while we traveled. One sister was stillborn on July 21 and the other sister lived in NICU for 38 days after being born at 24 weeks. She had NEC, had surgery and did well for a few days. Then they found the tell-tale bubbles again and only after they looked inside at her intestines did we know that she would not be able to survive. We were able to hold her for hours for the final three days of her life.
    It is so very hard; I am sorry it happens to so many of us.

  8. Becky R says:

    This story gave me shivers. I too had Pre-E. My son too developed NEC and passed away. I had never heard of NEC before my son got it. I don’t know anybody whose child developed it. I would love to talk more with you if that would be okay.

    • Kendra says:

      I would love to talk sometime. My e-mail address is mrs.sala@yahoo.com. We had never heard of NEC before. When we talked to our OB/GYN the day after he passed away, she said she had never heard of a series of events quite like our ours.

  9. Amy Stevens says:

    HI Kendra,

    Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story with us – as well as reaching out to others. There is a support group in Wichita, KS called Glory Babies. It meets every 3rd Thursday at 7 PM. You can find out more on the blog: http://www.glorybabies.blogspot.com. You are welcome to come in whatever mental/emotional state you are feeling that day. There is no need to ‘clean up’ for us. Its a safe place to share. I am praying for you.

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