Laurie’s Story

Cooper Family

The Perfect Life

It was a long time ago, 25 years ago on May 4th and yet each year it still haunts me. I was living the dream, new husband, new house, a good job and a baby on the way! I had all I had ever hoped for and dreamed about while I was growing up.

Then it happened… I was at my mother’s home and it started with an excruciating headache, then came the vomiting. I was so week and could hardly stand, I was seeing stars and very dizzy. I got my mom and my friend out of bed and asked them to take me to the hospital. Something was very wrong. I wasn’t due for another 3 and 1/2 weeks, but I knew my baby was in trouble. Just two weeks earlier he had been kicking books off my belly now I couldn’t feel him and I felt horrible.

The next thing I remember was trying to get my seatbelt on, I couldn’t I was having a grand mal seizure. Somehow they got me out of the car and my step-father was able to give me CPR until the ambulance arrived. I came to in the ambulance and they started asking questions, which I think I answered until the next seizure came. At the hospital I was put on morphine to stop the pain and taken into a delivery room, I could hear noises and someone telling me I was doing fine and just one more push.

I woke up expecting to see my baby, but I couldn’t, I couldn’t see anything but blurry shapes and hear all those beeping hospital machines. As I slowly came to I realized I was hooked to any number of those machines and was in I.C.U. My sweet little baby boy who was so strong two weeks ago was now an angel in heaven and I was fighting for my life.

I made it through and came home, everyone was so overjoyed, everyone except me. I would wake up each morning and see my husband off to work and then I would go stare blankly at the empty nursery. Why did this happen to me? What had I ever done to deserve such misery and pain? Could anyone ever understand? Some people tried to be nice saying well lots of people have miscarriages. He was fully developed; I carried him with me for 7 and ½ months! I was supposed to be a mom now taking care of my little baby boy. Instead I was in a brand new house with an empty nursery, trying to find a new job.

My perfect life was gone. My dreams were destroyed and I was alone day after day. How could I move forward? I had never been a very religious person, but one morning after my husband left for work I got down on my knees and surrendered myself to God. “I don’t know what you want from me!” I yelled out. “All my plans and dreams are obviously not your plans for me!” “So what am I supposed to do with my life now??” I’m not going to say I was struck with a sense of Awe and a new plan, but something changed. The complete hopelessness started to subside and I felt a need to begin looking for a new job. I still felt the desire to be a mother, but I knew in my heart now was not the time; there was something else I was supposed to do first.

I can’t even tell you what it was I was supposed to do; I just know I began to heal. I had a very long road ahead of me, but each day I saw something positive. Many of my friends would not invite me to things with children because they were trying to protect me, but those who did actually helped me heal and hope again for my own children someday.

One of my dearest friends invited me to a party at her parents’ home on the lake and I went with my husband and a few other friends; it was so good to be back among the land of the living. Children were laughing and playing, we swam in the lake and drank cold beer and had wonderful picnic food! I can’t say when I fully came back to myself, but I know that day I yelled at God, surrendered to His will and returned to my closest friends and family I was on the right track.

I am not sure if I have helped others or done great things, but I know my life has meaning. I see the beauty in the world and in the people of this world. I do have children now and still have that same man as my husband; he stood by me through all my struggles. I guess sometimes we have to scream, fight and surrender our way to what is really our life; not just assume we know the plan and control our destiny. I have learned there is life after tragedy, sometimes we just have to be willing to go deeper and let God take the lead to find it.

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