Three months ago I shared with you the story of Kristen’s still birth. The comments you left on that post and emailed to me have meant so much to Kristen and me. As a thank you for your kindness, we would like to bring you an update on how Kristen is coping with the tragic loss of her son. This time the words are coming straight from Kristen. I am honored to share her words to you…
Three months ago I walked into my doctors office for what was supposed to be a routine 38 week check-up. Only 10 days from my due date with my third child I was hoping that I was in labor since I had been having contractions most of the afternoon. After a perfect pregnancy the last thing I expected to hear when the doctor went to listen to the baby was, “I’m sorry there is no heartbeat.” I was heartbroken, crushed, and prayed that somehow I would wake up and this would all just be a nightmare.
The hours and days immediately followed are somewhat of a blur…
Driving to the hospital praying that the doctor was wrong.
Learning that are baby really didn’t have a heartbeat.
Giving birth to a beautiful 21 inch, 7 lb 11 oz baby boy we named Cohen Bradley.
Learning that there is no medical reason that Cohen died.
Having people come in to talk about a graveside service and burial arrangements.
Explaining to our 4 and 2 year old sons why their much anticipated baby would not be coming home with us.
Letting as many friends and family as possible come meet and hold our sweet Cohen before we had to let him go forever.
Leaving the hospital and leaving my baby there with strangers knowing I would never hold him again here on earth.
The long ride home realizing that even though our world had stopped everyone else’s still was going on.
Coming home and seeing the car seat that we were supposed to bring our baby home in.
Seeing the empty crib that was going to remain empty.
Burying our third son, our sweet baby, Cohen that we had only met two days earlier.
Feeling an emptiness and knowing that I would never again be completely full.
So many emotions ran through me during the days and weeks that followed Cohen’s birth and continue to do so. The expected emotions of sadness, disbelief, sorrow, and shock. And emotions that I didn’t expect as much like anger, guilt, and fear.
Anger at God, anger at the lack of answers as to why this had happened, and anger at people who said things that were just not helpful and even at times unkind.
Feeling guilty for smiling and laughing with our other two boys. For doing things that seem too normal when I feel anything but normal. Even doing things that I know we wouldn’t be able to do if Cohen had lived make me feel guilty.
Fear of losing my other children. I always thought to myself that God would never let me lose one of my children because I wouldn’t be able to handle it and now here I am with one child gone and scared that God might think I can handle losing another. Fear of being alone, that I might not be able to handle doing the normal everyday things. Fear of the quiet and of the night.
But in the middle of all these horrible emotions and feelings one good feeling did come out. I have never felt so loved and blessed as I have these past three months. We have received cards, e-mails, and messages from people we don’t know saying that they are praying for us. People that we don’t know who have reached out and told us their stories of loss and offered to help in anyway they can.
My husband and I have been blessed by some amazing people in our lives. A group of women from the church I grew up in signed up to have someone pray for me a different day of the week for a year. People brought us meals three days a week for over a month after Cohen was born. I have been blessed with an amazing group of friends who I can talk to and cry with without feeling judged. Friends have come over just to be with me because I didn’t want to be alone. Friends who pray for our other two boys and the effect that this has had on their lives. People who have seen us at our lowest low and still love us. I am truly blessed to have true friends surrounding me and lifting me up in prayer at this time.
It has only been three months since my world was shattered and I am still so far from picking up all the pieces. I cry everyday for what I am missing in my life, for my sweet baby boy who should be here bringing joy into our lives. My heart is far from healed, in fact most days it feels more broken. But in the midst of all of this pain I am thankful. Thankful for my family, friends, and even strangers who have prayed for and help me up during the hardest time in my life. I hope one day that I will be able to use what has happened to our family to help someone else going through something similar. To be able to hold them up and give them hope.
Photos by: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Photography