Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cora Logan McPherson - The Tiny Angel Who Changed Our Lives

It seems that many of the memories I have written about lately have be very hard to write. Above all of the hard days of my life this particular one will forever remain the most excruciating.

Valentines Day 2013, while watching TV I suddenly had a strange urge to take a pregnancy test. Strange things had been occurring over the past few weeks and after piecing it all together in my mind, it suddenly occurred to me that I must be pregnant...

As I looked at the three positive test several things ran through my mind.

First & Last Belly Photo almost 10 weeks
  1. It is FINALLY my turn to be a Mommy.
  2. This is really not optimal timing. (Just getting over a broken tibia, financially not the best place we have been, and far, VERY FAR away from all of our family)
Ben got home from work, what seemed like ten million hours later, and I presented him with the three positive tests. Over the next few weeks many stages of shock, excitement, and sheer terror happened. You see it is not that we are not "Ready" for a baby. It is simply that we want to give our children absolutely everything in the world they deserve and right this second we don't feel we have it "All together."
My Congratulations, Mommy! Flowers
At our first sonogram everything was beautiful. Baby was measuring bigger than our estimated due date, heartbeat was great and the little monkey was wiggling around as though he/she was excited to meet us as well. Those little arms and legs simply slayed me. Our little monkey was trying so hard to suck those tiny fingers but they just wouldn't quite reach yet. 

In that room, that day, my heart just melted. As we walked out of the room Ben turned to me and sang, (well, white boy rapped) "I love it when you call me big PAPA!" I knew at that moment that it was all going to be okay.
9weeks 1 day
A few days later I had some strange pains in my abdomen but really was not alarmed. I just thought gas maybe... At four O'Clock in the morning I shocked myself out of bed with the feeling of blood running down my legs. I ran to the bathroom, sat down, turned on the light and there it was... BLOOD, everywhere. I immediately began to sob uncontrollably..

This was soooo not like me. I am such a reasonable person. I was so prepared for this. I have been through this with both sister-in-laws, with friends, with my birth mother, with my grandmother, with my amazing mother who raised me and my brother after so many heart breaks with her own infertility.... My mother... My Mommy... My Momma... Oh my Momma will be so devastated.

We had told my Mom and Dad the day before, on Daddy's 60th Birthday. A little waving arm had showed up on his cell phone exclaiming, "Happy Birthday, Grandpa Markie!"

It was just not how I had pictured myself. I had "known" that it would all be okay... that it happens to so many women... That it does not mean the end... It did not matter. There was so much blood and I was NOT okay.

Ben ran to my side faster than he ever had before. He sat there on the floor and he held my hand and he told be everything was going to be okay. He held my hand and stroked my hair as I sat motionless in the bathtub. I just could not take all of the blood, I had to wash it off. 

Ben ran to the corner store at 5am to get maxi pads. I hate those darn things!! I had used one the first time I started my period because that is what A.J. Seymore's sister used and that is all they had. A.J, her sister and I had sat in her living room and raised wine glasses of cherry KoolAid and giggled about me becoming a woman. The very next day, I had sat in the the bathroom while Jamie and Aunt Cathy instructed me from outside the door on how to insert a tampon. I was so proud of myself... If I only knew at 11 years old what this all really meant!

Sitting there in the tub I began to notice the most insignificant things... How the water in the tub drained... The way the candle that Ben had lit flickered in the dark... Ben's body wash bottle had a long drip down the side... It was all so very sad. Where was this great sorrow coming from? I had not felt this pain since... Since my Grandma Peal... There was that feeling. That sheer and utter, despair. Where was my baby?

As Ben handed me a Maxi-Pad I began to laugh in my head. "MAXI-PADS, MOMMA, MAXI-PADS!!" My mom had once told me the story of how a two year old Scottie had began to shout these words in the middle of the Shop-N-Save as he knocked packages from the shelf while she pushed the cart down the isle. "He must have seen a commercial or something," she laughed.

I lined my biggest most granny pannies with one of the Maxi-Pads and went back to bed with Ben holding be so tightly from behind. Hours went by and I checked the pad but there was nothing... two hours, four hours, six hours... nothing. At 2pm we finally decided to call the midwife. why had the blood stopped? Where was our baby? We had prepared ourselves for what we would do if a miscarriage happened but this was not in our "natural way" plan. 

The next day as we entered that sonogram room we were fully prepared for those dreaded words, "There does not seem to be a heart beat." What we saw and heard on the monitor completely shocked us. Woosh, woosh, woosh, went that little heart. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle went those little arms and legs. "Everything looks great!" were the words we heard next.
9 Weeks 5 Days
We were stunned, mystified... Where did all of that blood come from?? It's just NOT normal, I demanded!! The doctor assured us. It's not the norm but it is certainly common. We may have placenta previa she warned and if that was the case then our natural home birth dreams would be shattered. An MD, hospital and cesarean section would be the ONLY choice. We left the office in utter shock. Our baby was right where he/she was suppose to be. In that belly that was quickly beginning to protrude. We were scared again though. Ben was quite frankly terrified. C-Section, high-risk, bed rest, bleeders...  these were the words the MD was throwing out and conservative medicine hubby was not a happy camper.

Everything was starting to return to normal and then it happened. Saturday, March 23, 2013, our little angel went to Heaven. Ben came home from work that morning and made me a tuna salad sandwich on toast. I ate the entire thing had a little hubby time and then we both went to sleep. I was again shocked awake but this time it was not blood. It was a different kind of toilet action and it was not pleasant. Six more times I would run to the bathroom. After the first few times I noticed some blood and I even casually said, "Hey, there is a little blood here." No worries though, I thought. As the doctor had said, "Those placenta previa, mothers are real bleeders!" 

After diarrhea that was never ending it got worse. My stomach began to hurt like It had never hurt before. These were not normal cramps. "Something is VERY WRONG," I screamed in agony. Ben had been right next to the bed holding my hand and then pacing on the phone with his friends from the ER and ICU. This was not like him AT ALL! He was afraid. My level headed, cool as a cucumber, always calm, conservative medicine, RN, husband was coming unraveled. We were going to the ER he decided. 

"Please, the trash can," I whimpered from bed. As he put a fresh liner in it and pushed it over to me, it ALL came out. My entire stomach full of food. There was certainly nothing left. I felt soo much better for a split second. Then, after running to the bathroom one last time, I felt the worst feeling I will ever feel. My baby Cora Logan left my body.

I know now that I was in pure shock. I just sat there with no emotion and stared at Ben with motionless eyes as he began to sob. It was all okay I told him. Everything was fine. I was FINE. He would be okay. We would be okay. The only thing I vividly remember was telling him that We need to get Cora out of the toilet. I don't want my baby in the toilet I had told him.

I did not cry at all that day, not even once. It may seem odd or morbid or maybe wrong to some but it was what we had talked about in the days before and we knew it was right for us so we decided to get our baby out of the sac and take our time to say goodbye and burry our Cora in our favorite place.

We bought a wooden box, we carved our thoughts into the top and sides and wrapped our Cora Logan in a blanket. Our little Angel was so very tiny. 1.57 inches is what the sonogram had told us. He/She had ten of the littlest toes and fingers we had ever seen. Two little ear buds, big black eyes and a chubby little belly. The little heart that we had seen beating so well could still be seen from the outside. Little organs were all there ready to go. It really was a miraculous sight. Maybe it's because we are a little more science based toward life but really seeing our little before we said goodbye was pretty darn amazing.

That night we took our little Cora Logan and we buried him/her in one of our favorite spots. We almost got caught by a very nice police officer and he was certainly suspicious of what we were doing with a shovel in a closed park. I could only imagine how that conversation would have gone. "Oh, pardon us, kind officer, we are just burring our baby in this public park." Luckily we had no explaining to do; just a quick thank you and, "Oh, we did not realize the park was closed in the middle of the night.."

The next day, we visited Cora in the morning and did some sun baking on our patio in the afternoon.
That evening I went to Ben's comedy class with him because I did not want to be alone. While he was in class I did some shopping at the mall next door and adopted a new look.
It just felt good to change something, even if it was a small change. New haircut, new glasses and the smallest size jeans and sweater I have worn in a few years! Go figure, I get pregnant and end up four sizes smaller than I was a year ago.

That night we went out with some friends to a dance club thinking that it would help to be around other people. It did help a little but really we just ended up hanging around a lot just the two of us. Me and my agoraphobic tendencies really don't mesh well with dance clubs.. 
In the passing weeks we have gotten angry, shed many tears and even done a little self blaming but we are slowly getting back to "normal" or actually a little better than normal. Cora has changed us. Changed us for the better. Made us see in ourselves where and what we want to be. Somehow I feel like we are happier than before. Still morning in a way but, just closer to contentment. We're going to get there. We will make it one day soon. We just can't stop believing we will. We love you, Cora Angel. 
Mommy is thinking of you always, Cora Logan McPherson
This little guy really got me choked up at the beach the other day. Just another reminder or our little Angel Baby.
Pretty sure you were on Daddy's mind last night.

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