I first read Cooper's story about 2 1/2 weeks after Marcellus died. It was a time I was scouring the internet for any and every loss story out there. I was trying to not feel so alone. I didn't want this to happen to anyone else, but at the same time I had to know I wasn't the only one. I found my way to Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. From there you can use a drop down menu to search by category. There's a category for NEC. The first story I saw when I clicked on that was written by Kendra, Cooper's Momma. I read it and wow, so many similarities.
I immediately had to email Kendra. I didn't remember what I wrote (I don't remember a lot from that time), but I just went back in my email and read that first message I sent her. It was on 11/27/11, Cooper had been gone one day shy of 3 months, Marcellus should have been turning 1 month old the next day and had been gone for almost 3 weeks.
I just wrote his story. To a complete stranger I started at the beginning and wrote Marcellus's entire story. I didn't know if she'd read it, I didn't know what she'd think. I knew she lost her sweet boy too and that NEC was the reason. That was enough for me to open my soul and pour out my heart. I shared everything about Marcellus with Kendra that day. Not something that could be done with any stranger.
Through our emailing back and forth we learned more and more similarities about our boys. They were both breech. They were both doing great before they got sick, Cooper was supposed to go home soon and Marcellus was supposed to move out of the most intensive room. They read Cooper "Guess How Much I Love You" too. Kendra and I were both so dedicated to getting our boys breastmilk and they were both only on breastmilk. Babies that only get breastmilk have a lower chance of getting NEC. And just the way she talked about Cooper, his personality, made me think of characteristics in my Marcellus.
Kendra and I quickly became close friends and I just know Marcellus and Cooper are Heavenly BFFs.
I just can't get over that today is his first birthday. Cooper would be one! I remember when I first emailed Kendra and thought, "3 months...she's already done this for 3 months. How can it even be possible to live that long without your baby?" And so now, Kendra being one of the first loss moms I really connected with, I'm finding it hard for me that it is Cooper's first birthday. I can't imagine how it must be for her. But I won't have to imagine for long. In just over 3 months I'll be doing the same thing when it is Marcellus's birthday.
So today I celebrate the short life of Cooper Michael and the impact he has left on this world. I may have never met him, but I love and miss him all the same.
I wish you were here Cooper, I wish your momma and I didn't have this reason to know each other. You are loved and missed by so many. Happy first birthday!
|Marcellus Bear with the cupcakes we got to celebrate Cooper's birthday.|