31 January, 2011

three years

dear cooper,

it's been three years. three years ago today my water broke while i was finishing teaching my 6th period class. i stood up to walk the kids out and i felt a gush. i ran to the restroom. my pants were soaked.

i had used a suppository to heal my yeast infection. it wasn't really a yeast infection at all. it's what dr. white at McGyno called it because she couldn't take the time to figure out what it really was. i didn't trust my body. so detached. i am so sorry, little baby. i followed doctors orders blindly. i will never do that again. this was your your first lesson for me.

i actually went home to change. and do laundry. and i came back to teach 8th period.

i had called the drs office but they put me on hold. typical. i hung up. they took so long. i figured i would call after school. this wasn't a big deal.

that's what i told your dad after school when i went to tell him about what had happened. he was about to get on a bus to go to a far away wrestling meet. he looked worried. i cried a little. but i said it was all ok.

i went home. called the doctor. they said to come right in.

that scared the shit out of me. they never made time.

grandmom drove me. i was nervous and terrified and tried to stay calm.
she was nervous and terrifed and tried to stay calm, too.

there was a lot of traffic.

they took me right in. i didn't have to wait.

i always waited. this scared me more.

the dr checked me. said she'd be right back. came back with an ultrasound machine.

your water broke. you have to go to the hospital right away. can someone drive you?

yes. my mom. how bad is this?

well. sometimes we can keep you pregnant a long time.


i ran out with my shoes half on. yelled at grandmom to hurry up we have to go to the hospital. i cursed at the receptionist as she asked for my payment. left my jacket there. called your dad from the car. he said he would get to the hospital. how i didn't know. but i knew he would.

my water had broken at about 1:30. by this time three years ago (about 8 pm) i had been checked internally at least three times. i regret that. they gave me morphine to keep the contractions away. i regret that.

i called the vice-principal to tell her i was in the hospital and hopefully i would be there a long time.

i figured you would stay inside until your lungs worked. then we'd be in the NICU. and someday you would come home healthy.

you had other plans.

i went to sleep that night with daddy squeezed in the bed next to me.
the next night we would do the same.
except you wouldn't be with us.
you would be downstairs in the basement in a plastic box dressed in a doll's outfit. cold and purple.
and daddy and i would lay there together with me crying so hard that it hurt. so hard that my eyes looked literally like i had been beaten in a dark alley somewhere. i would wake up wailing that you were gone. all night long.

the next morning. the morning of february 1, 2008 i began to have contractions. the day went by slowly. they moved me to l&d. they gave me an epidural. why not? you weren't likely to live. why should i feel that pain?

i am sorry. i regret that, too. i wish i had felt every second of it. every second of my experience with you. i was scared. and lacked knowledge.

i miss you.

the pediatrician came in to tell us about 22-weekers. you weren't likely to survive. did they want us to be aggressive? if you did survive you would likely have multiple handicaps. we had to give an answer.

no. don't be agressive. just let him go. i had to decide this about my baby. i had to say this out loud. this i do not regret.

i knew you, cooper. it wasn't your spirit. you didn't want that fight. you were here for a reason. and it wasn't to live that kind of life.

you were born at 5:04 that day. one pound six ounces. 12 inches long. tiny hands and feet. tiny ears. a tiny head. tiny knees. a strong heartbeat. strong little lungs.

not strong enough.

you were here breathing in my arms for about ten minutes. i held you and cried for you while daddy and aunt cole stroked your hair. we all cried.

i wish so much that i had known better. that i had done better for you. or at least that you had ben born here at home. in our bed. with meredith guiding you out. and no drugs. i wish i could have bathed you. and that you didn't have to wear that tiny hospital wristband. and that you could have slept with me all night long instead of in the cold darkness all alone. you were gone. you are gone. and there is not a day that i don't think about you.

you were such a tiny person. you had so many lessons for me. i have regrets and wishes. but i know that you had these plans for me. i know that it should not and could not have happened any other way. and if given the chance, i don't think i would choose for it to have happened any other way. i know that i am a better mother because of you. a better person. and that mason, your baby brother, is going to have a better life because of you.

i thank you. we all thank you, cooper.

but there isn't much i wouldn't do just to hold you one more time. to kiss you without tears.


  1. Thinking of all of you today Tiff. Sending Love ♥

  2. I love that you have been able to share this with the world. While reading this, I had chills and tears streaming. I almost had a Tiffany of my own but she didn't make it as far as Cooper. I was never able to share my story. I would buy the book if you ever decide to write one about Cooper.:)