I miss you, son. I wish you were here. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It is also the two week mark of your birth and death. The last two weeks feel like they have lasted an eternity. And at the same time, they have gone by too fast. Your Daddy and I are arguing (again). I just want him to listen. I want him to at least pretend to care like I do. The only time he cried was the first time he saw you. He doesn’t talk about you. He doesn’t carry your bear around. All he does is yell at me and Cayce and Beau. And I don’t know how much longer I can take it. He went to the couch the other night–and I didn’t even ask him to come back to bed. I wanted him to sleep somewhere else. It’s hard when you expect someone to do something that they should, and then they don’t. I hate him sometimes. And that is hard for me to admit.
Yesterday, I talked to the doctor that delivered you. The results on my placental testing came back. It was severe chorioamnionitis. Meaning my body rejected you. I had to break down yesterday, and I couldn’t put it in yesterday’s letter because I needed to process it first. I still haven’t come to terms with it. And it literally breaks my heart. MY body rejected you. MY body killed you. And I hate my body. I hate my uterus. I hate my vagina. My uterus expelled you. And my vagina opened the door to your death. Every time I remember that, I cry so hard that my chest literally feels crushed. I blame myself for your death. And this literally physically means that I killed you. Maybe not intentionally, but I killed you. Maybe if I had been more careful. Maybe if I had showered more. Maybe if I had fought harder and stayed in the hospital longer in a cleaner environment. Maybe…maybe…maybe. And I will never know. You’re gone and I am left here, and I will never know if anything I could have done would have made a difference. I just want to wake up. Please wake up. Please, please…just wake me up. Wake up…wake up…wake up. I want this to have all been a horrible nightmare. I want to wake up and realize that I had one of those super vivid pregnancy dreams. I want to wake up and still be pregnant. I want to wake up and feel you kick me from the inside, reassuring me that you are okay. But you won’t. You’re gone. You’re dead. You’re never coming back. You’re nothing but ashes and a memory. And when I am dead, you’ll just be ashes. And someone will throw you away. And then you will be nothing and I will be nothing and our lives won’t have mattered. You were supposed to outlive me. You were supposed to go on and remember me. But I am remembering you, and my days are shorter than yours should have been. And when I am gone, nobody will remember the little baby that fought so hard to LIVE. Nobody will remember Carter Samuel Cowley. Where is the justice in that? People say, “Everything happens for a reason.” People say, “You might not see it now, but God never closes a door without opening a window.” People say, “Out of every bad situation, something good comes out of it.” No. Screw your reasons. Screw your windows and the doors they rode in on. NOTHING good will ever come from the death of a baby. And nothing you can say will make me feel any differently than I do. Sorry.
I had someone call me today and say, “But what about The Carter Foundation? Who knows how many children and women you will help?” Yeah? Is that the “good” that is supposed to have come from your death? Is it? Because the fundraiser for it has earned ONE DOLLAR. One. Fucking. Dollar. And I was the one that donated the dollar to make sure that the donation button worked fine. Yeah. It’s helping a lot of people alright. And even if it does go on and become some huge non-profit like I really dream (dreams…lol) and it saves a hundred million babies…at the end of the day, I would have traded every single one of those babies for my YOU Carter. And I know that I should be the selfless one that “spares other women the despair” and lets her son die. Nope. Not me. Sorry not sorry. I would trade all of those babies and those women to have you back. And if that makes me a bitch, so be it. I’m a bitch. So in what world do all of those babies balance the equation for me and for you? In what world does that make it okay that YOU DIED?! Fuck them and their platitudes.
I spoke to another person today that said he “found it weird” that I held you after you died. You know…I managed to not cuss him out. I don’t know how. I guess the antidepressants are working. You were still my son. Dead or not, that is ALL I HAD OF YOU. Yes. You’re god-damn right I held you. I held you until your face bloated and was discolored from death. I held you until your face was so swollen that you couldn’t even tell you had a nose anymore. And you were still the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. And I still held you. I couldn’t let you go. You are my son. I kept wanting you to just start breathing. You know…I have seen those videos where the mom just held her baby against her chest and the baby came back to life. Great for them. That shit didn’t work for me and you. And I am not saying that people shouldn’t keep the hope and try it anyway. Try everything. Try a naked rain dance. Try standing on your head. Try it all. You’ll never forgive yourself if you give up and you don’t TRY IT ALL. “Never give up on hope.” All of that stuff. But you know what? If you end up on the shittier side of the spectrum of outcomes, not one single bit of that will matter. You will still feel like you are dying on the inside. You will still feel the chest crushing agony that is the death of a child. But you have to hang on while you can. Because if we don’t, what the hell is the point?
I guess what I am really trying to say is that in a hundred years, none of us will matter. But to us, right now, it matters. And that is all that matters. Never give up on hope. It’s all we’ve got.
I love you more than all the stars, Carter