Friday, November 30, 2012


a time to reflect what one is thankful for.  I am Thankful for so many things,
but this Thanksgiving I am Thankful for the opportunity the Lord has
given me in crossing my path with Josh & Ashley Bradley.
Unknowingly we were chosen to be parents to children with a Congenital Heart Defect.
Not something that we would have chosen on our own, but chosen by God.
God has a plan, a plan only He understands........
   Kirby Faith Bradley
was born April 10th, 2012
and spent every day of her life at MUSC fighting for her life. 
I really didn't know Kirby,
or her parents Josh and Ashley very well, but I knew them. 
When you are apart of a "family" like ours,
you reach out.  You reach out to those you hardly know, because 
we are all associated by someone
that knows someone that knows someone, that knows you.  
I met the Bradley's back in May
when we went to Charleston for Charlotte's surgery. 
Charlotte was in the bed right at the entrance to the unit,
so every time Ashley and Josh came to visit Kirby, 
we would always chat for a few minutes, 
catching up while they washed their hands. 
After Charlotte was moved to 8D, I didn't get to see them anymore,
but they stayed in my heart and prayers as the days and weeks passed by. 
I would send Ashley a message or two on her blog,
but I never really kept in touch
 because I knew how busy she was trying to get Kirby home.  
I knew that once they got home, which is about 10 minutes up the road from us,
I could hopefully visit and stay in touch. 
I NEVER once thought that Kirby would never come home. 
I was heart broken, I was devastated
when I got the news that Kirby had passed. 
I immediately called Brian and broke the news to him, he cried, we cried. 
It was close to home for us.  I don't mean distance, I mean it could have been us.  
Kirby was someone we had come to know, and talked about daily. 
I would read Ashley's blog to keep updated on how things were going
and Brian and I would pray so hard that this little miracle would make it home. 
Kirby had been through so much and had made it through so much......
She was a fighter!!! 
Kirby Passed away November 11th. 
She was 7 months and 1 day old.
 I went to see Ashley after they had made it home from Charleston,
she told me that she knew God had a plan,
that He had a reason for taking Kirby home. 
It was a blessing to be with Ashley,
she was such an encouragement.  
Ashley showed how strong she was in her faith!!! 
I was an emotional wreck, I felt terrible for being an emotional wreck. 
I had come to comfort Ashley, but she was the one comforting me! 
I can't imagine the pain, the emptiness, the loss that they are feeling.  
All I could do was hug Ashley and tell her how sorry I was and I loved them.  
After seeing how Josh and Ashley have leaned on the Lord for help and support,
it makes me THANKFUL for friends like them.  
Makes me THANKFUL for knowing GOD,
knowing He is helping them through the most difficult time in their lives. 
Makes me THANKFUL for my husband, that we are on this journey together.  
Makes me THANKFUL for Charlotte,
blonde hair, brown eyes, loud about
everything and into everything.  
 After realizing just how fragile
life is and how close we came to not having her
makes me even more
THANKFUL to have her. 
Our lives are definitely MORE with her in it!!!    

Saturday, November 10, 2012


          Sorry it has been a while 
but life in the Cooper house hardly ever slows down
and when it does,
I usually fall asleep :)
 Charlotte had a cardiology appointment on Oct. 9th
and it went VERY well. 
Her O2 was 98% and that is the highest it has ever been!! 
Charlotte did great for her echo, nothing had changed. 
As far as Dr. Horne is concerned he will see us in 6 months. 
Thank you Lord for a good check up. 
Now if we can just make it through the winter without any hiccups,
(like hospital stays, which Charlotte is know for)
then things will be good.

has made a move over the last month,
a move out of my bed!!! 
I never thought that night would come. 
I thought that she would be in my bed til she left the house,
but daddy had other plans. 
I must admit that it has been nice to have my bed back :)
Not being woke up by feet in my face or being nudged off the bed
has made a difference in my sleep for sure. 
Charlotte moved to the bed with Emma and Lily and they love it. 
Every night they get into trouble talking and giggling after the lights go out.  
Brian and I sit and listen to them laughing and talking,
and get tickled ourselves at how silly three little girls can get. 
I must admit it is nice.  I want to take a minute to thank the Lord
for what he has done for Charlotte, and our family.
The Lord listens to our prayers and He has been so gracious in answering them.
It truly is amazing to see Charlotte, to see how healthy she looks,
how great her color looks,
to see her act like nothing has ever been wrong.
Thank You Lord!!!

is growing like a weed, 5 months old and the sweetest thing ever. 
Stellah is such a pleasant baby and Charlotte loves her so much. 
The minute Charlotte wakes up in the mornings
I hear her little feet pitter patter across the floor into the bedroom
and I hear her asking if Stellah is awake. 
For the most part, Charlotte is pretty good with Stellah. 
Charlotte wants to hold her all the time
and when Stellah is laying on the bed I have to watch them like a hawk
because Charlotte is right there beside her the whole time. 
I think Charlotte is afraid she's going to miss something. 
Last month when I took Stellah for her 4 month check,
the Dr asked if she was rolling over, I laughed. 
I told the Dr that Stellah probably will never roll over,
probably will go straight to walking, 
because every time I lay her in the floor 
she gets swarmed by her
sisters :)

Just want to ask for prayers for a few heart families. 
The Bentley's
are in Charleston with their
daughter Anna Grace,
she had her 3rd surgery, the fontan on the 9th. 
Please pray for this family
as they have made it over the first of many hurdles
 these next few weeks.

(This is Anna Grace) 

The Bradley's,
they  have been in Charleston for seven months. 
They have been there since their daughter
Kirby was born April 10th. 
Kirby REALLY needs to be lifted up in your prayers. 
Thank you for your prayers!!!

(This is Kirby)     
Photo: ****ATTENTION PRAYER WARRIORS**** Kirby needs extra special prayers tonight. She had to be put back on the ventilator!  This precious child of God needs to come home for the first time healthy and healed in Jesus name!!!Thank you all so much for Praying ..... This is an update from ashley and josh her amazing parents!!...... Well the roller coaster rides again :( .....please pray for Kirby again. She has been breathing hard all day, so they have put her back on the ventilator. Not quite sure what's wrong but they are trying to find out. This is hard to take, seeing as how she has been doing so good lately. Please join us and lift her up tonight!

Fighting the good fight, Josh and Ashley


Friday, July 13, 2012

8 Wks Post Op

Seems like a long time since I last posted and I am sorry for the delay, but life has been a little busy with little Miss Stellah and Little Miss Charlotte fighting for reign of "Ruler of the House".  I get so tickled at Charlotte, she lets me know in a hurry that it's her time for mommy time and I need to give Stellah to whom ever is the closest that will take her.  Sunday at church, Charlotte told me, "you hold me, Meme hold Stellah".  Charlotte wouldn't have it any other way and was even pulling on Stellah to get her out of my arms.  I would have to say for the most part, Charlotte has done very well with having her world turned upside down all in a 2 week span.... open heart surgery and a new sister.  She is very loving and caring to Stellah and I am so proud of her for being such a great big sister!!!  If you had asked me before Stellah how Charlotte would act, I would have told you she would be jealous and mean.  Charlotte has made me out to be wrong, not to mention that she has bounced back from surgery like a champ!! 

Today Charlotte had a cardiology appointment with Dr. Horne and she got a great report!!!  Her O2 level was 95%, and she weighs 32.6 pds.  I knew she had gained weight since surgery, but she has gained 4 pds since our last cardiology visit :)  I can't believe how big she is getting.  Dr. Horne said her Echo looked great and he couldn't see any sign of a fenestration.  Glad to know the fenestration has closed up on it's own, no heart cath to close it :)  We don't have to go back for 3 months, so October will be the next visit, YEAH!!!

I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with my girls!! Each and every one of them are a blessing.  I couldn't imagine my life without them.  I am thankful the Lord saw me fit to be their mother.  When I look at this picture, I see love, miracles, bonds that will never be broken.  I see my oldest daughter and wonder where the time has gone.  I remember when she was the little bundle of love swaddled in my arms.  Now I see a beautiful young lady that amazes me every day.  I see all of the girls growing and becoming beautiful young ladies, amazing me as life passes by.  I look forward to the future, wondering who they each will marry and how many children they each will have.  I wonder if they will have little girls running around squealing and laughing and fighting, or maybe the Lord will see fit for me to have a grandson :)  Whatever the future holds, I look forward to it!      

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our New Arrival

Well, let me just say that this last week has been busy.  As you know, I was expecting a baby and I was due June 13th.  I had an OB appointment last Wednesday morning and while I was there I had a talk with the Dr about what I wanted for this delivery.  With the last three deliveries, I had to be induced and I didn't want to be induced this time.  I really wanted to go into labor on my own.  Well, while I was at the doctor's office, the Dr. suggested that she strip my membranes to possibly help get things going.  Dr. H. said it could be right away or not even work at all, it was a gamble, but at least we were trying to do everything possible to help me.  I left the office and acme home, nothing was happening.  I just knew that I would have to endure that procedure again as painful as it was, but to get what I wanted I would do anything.  Brian came home from work around 5:30, we sat down with Charlotte for supper (the other girls were with my mom going to Bible School) and I felt a pain.  After supper and while Brian was getting ready for church, I had a few more pains but nothing consistent or painful so I took Charlotte outside to play.  It was about 7:00 and Brian was getting ready to leave for church when he asked me if I wanted him to stay home with me.  I felt pretty good, but with the circumstances, I thought it would be good for him to stay because church is 20 minutes away.  Brian napped on the couch while Charlotte and i were out side playing and I packed a bag for the hospital just in case.  Around 8 p.m. Charlotte and I came in to get Brian because it was time to leave to get the girls from Bible School.  We left the house at 8:10 and within a 10 minute span I had 3 contractions, so I called my mom and told her we were heading to the hospital because I thought I was in labor.  I didn't want to take a chance seeing as I was 4cm in the office.  After my husband drove 80 mph to the hospital, we got there around 8:45, went straight to L&D to get checked in and I immediately asked for pain medication :)  I was hurting pretty good by this time.  I was contracting about every 3 minutes and begging for medication but the nurse was taking her time getting me admitted, my IV started, and to my room.  FINALLY around 9:30 I was moved to my room and I was STILL begging for pain meds and the nurse checks me to see how far I had progressed and I was 8 cm and she just looked at me with pleading eyes and tells me I have progressed to far to get an epidural O_O.  You gotta be kidding me, I am screaming at the nurse and begging God to help me cope with the pain as I endure contraction after contraction.  I had no idea that I would progress so fast.  I remember the doctor walking in the room and me telling him I felt like the baby was coming and the nurse asked me if I was sure.  I wanted to reach up and smack the crap out of her but I couldn't let go of the bed rail.  While Dr. P was getting dressed, the CRNA came in and they were talking if there was anything that could help me with the pain.  After a few minutes of them discussing options Dr. P asked if I could roll to my side to get a shot or something that could possible help, but he felt like I was going so fast that the shot wouldn't have time to work.  Dr. P asked what I wanted and I told him I wanted to push.  Dr. P told me to push if I needed to and when he checked me and I was 10 and complete and he could feel the bag of water.  I started begging him to break my water because in the past it usually sped thing up.  Dr. P asked if I was sure if that was what I wanted and I said yes.  I heard him ask for a hook and I was having a contraction and started pushing and my water broke!!  Thank you LORD, I felt better as soon as it broke but I was still begging God to help me!  I can't explain the difference in the pain, it still hurt but it was a different  hurt.  I heard Brian tell me to push and out she came!!  Immediate relief flooded my body, I was so overwhelmed with emotion, and shock. Shock that I had just experienced natural child birth and all the emotions of giving birth.  I just birthed my 6th daughter into the world and gave her life........very overwhelming.  I wanted to see Stellah so bad, she was in the little warning bed being checked out by the nurse and finally the nurse brings her to me, my little miracle from God, so tiny and small.  Stellah Louise Cooper, born May 30th 2012 @ 10:06 p.m., weighing 6lbs 15oz's, 19 inches long. 
I must admit that I was a little worried how Charlotte and the other girls were going to react when they got to meet Stellah, but it was a blessing.  As soon as the girls walked into the room, Maggie's face said it all to me, all smiles and squealing, "mama, she's here".  They all just gathered around the bed and wanted to touch Stellah, sizing her up counting toes and fingers and giving her little piggies kisses :) it was so sweet.  I wish that I had had time to set up the video camera to capture those first moments of Stellah's life.  The love that was present in the room, the bond of sister's that is present immediately, it was astounding!!!  I love my girls, each and every one of them.  I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me as a mother with 6 wonderful daughter's, and as a wife with a wonderful husband that loves me and our family and the Lord.  I was afraid that Charlotte would be so jealous of Stellah, but as you can see, Charlotte is filling the role of big sister just fine :)  Charlotte loves Stellah so much, she is constantly touching her or trying to kiss her.  I get tickled because I can just look at her when she touches Stellah and she will tell me, "I just touch her" or "I just kiss her" like she's gonna get in trouble for touching or kissing her. It is so sweet, but I have to watch her like a hawk because she tries so hard to hold her all by herself and she climbs the bassinet to look at her.  I gonna find her all up in the bed with her if I am not careful and boy wouldn't that be a mess!!!
Thank you Lord for my miracles!  One little miracle holding and kissing another :) I feel so blessed!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Post-Op Check

Charlotte had an appointment with Dr. Horne for her post-op check.  The best thing about the appointment was to see Charlotte's oxygen level was 92%.  Thank you Lord !!  I was really dreading this appointment because I thought Dr. Horne might take out the stitches that Charlotte has in her tummy.  Charlotte thinks that her stitches are a spider, it's really cute.  I can ask her where her spider is and she will pull her shirt up.  I don't know how she came up with "spider" because if we are outside and she sees a spider she screams bloody murder, so I would have thought it would scare her to have a spider on her tummy??? 
Anyway, Dr. Horne wanted to wait til the following Tuesday to remove the stitches and have a chest x-ray to make sure the plural effusion had totally resolved.  I was hoping that he would have an x-ray during the visit because Charlotte has had a wet cough that doesn't seem to be getting better and I wonder if it's related to the effusion, or allergies?  I pray that it is only allergy related so that maybe allergy medicine will take care of her symptoms.  The only thing that worries me is that it is more apparent at night when she lays down.  I think that I will call the pediatrician Saturday morning and see what she thinks.  I know I am probably over thinking things, but I get worried very easily when it comes to Charlotte.  I hate  to think that something could be going on with her lungs and me wait til Tuesday for the x-ray, I would never forgive myself.  Besides, the only time she complains about anything is when she coughs.  She gets this look on her face and I can tell it hurts and she tells me "I ok mama, I ok".  Bless her little heart.

I decided to call the Pediatrician on Saturday and she agreed with me that Charlotte is suffering from allergies.  Charlotte's x-ray looked good so I am feeling much better about the labored breathing at night.  I think maybe the muscles in her chest are just tight and it hurts when she lays flat.  Glad we got the x-ray out of the way instead of having it at the cardiology office.  Lord, I pray that you heal my little angel, and help her overcome the pain that she is suffering from.     

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home bound :)

Six days, the longest six says of our lives since out last stay in Charleston (Charlotte's birth) and finally we get the green light to go home.  Brian has gone with Charlotte to x-ray and echo and I stayed behind to make a few phone calls.  Around 1p.m. the doctor came in and announced that as long as the reports of the x-ray and echo come back normal we get to leave today.  I am so ready to get home, back to my children, our life, back to being normal.  About an hour later the doctor comes back in and informs me that everything looks good, he is waiting the final report, but we are getting discharged!!!  I hug this man, the doctor, and I head straight to the echo department to find Brian and Charlotte.  I want to tell them the GREAT news!!  Seems that the echo took a little longer that I thought because when I got there, I had to wait about 5 minutes before the door opened.  I didn't want to disturb the tech knowing so I just waited.  When the door opened, Brian is carrying Charlotte out to the wagon and I just started crying.  Brian is all worried and all I can say is "home".  I think after a few minutes, Brian finally understood what I was telling him.  As we walk down the hall, I finally get it together enough to tell him everything looked good to the doctor and we were being discharged.  We get back to the room and I get everything all packed up, Brian takes it to Ronald McDonald House and he packs everything there so that when we are ready to leave all we have to do is put it in the truck.  It's probably 1ish by this time and we decide to head to the cafeteria to get lunch because Charlotte is hungry.  We wanted to eat somewhere else seeing as we've ate hospital food but o-well.  We didn't get back to the room and seated when the nurse walks in with discharge instructions.  Brian said, "I knew this would happen".  Charlotte ate half my pizza and right as the nurse was finishing up instructions, Charlotte thew up all over herself :(  I am about to panic thinking we are going to have to stay.  Seems that the wet cough is a little drainage as well and it has made her tummy sick.  I am surprised that we are getting to leave but THANK GOD we are out of here!!  I am so happy, but I think Charlotte is more excited and happy than I am.
    I thought when I laid out her clothes that the shirt I chose was fitting for the occasion.  It tells a story that only a heart family would understand.  We head back to RMH, pack up the truck and head to the ponderosa.  We get home before the girls get there, but we are waiting outside for them.  When they get out of the truck, Charlotte runs to the girls and they run to her :) such a sweet sight.  It gets a little crazy having everyone together, but I sure have missed the crazy and loud giggles and screams of all of the girls playing together.  The sound of laughter is music to my ears.  I am so glad to be home, THANK YOU LORD for all your blessings and answered prayers! 

Just a little note, there was a little girls names Katherine in the bed beside Charlotte in PCICU.  Her parents have just found out that Katherine is in need of a heart transplant.  The day we left PCICU, they had found out that Katherine had been approved and placed on the transplant list.  Please keep this family in your prayers!!  Also, I met another couple that live in Boiling Springs that have a daughter named Kirby.  Please keep this family in your prayers as they travel the road of unknown like so many of us.

Post-op Day Six

This morning at 3 a.m. when the nurse came in to check vitals, she woke Charlotte up and I was upset.  Why can't these people realize that we all need sleep?  Well, I guess the Lord had a blessing in store for me.  After the nurse left, Charlotte asked me to turn on the movie Despicable me.  While we are laying in her bed trying to get her back to sleep she looks at me and says "chickalay mama".  I get the box and cut up the chicken and gave it to her.  Little to my surprise, she ate all the chicken, 2 strips, and drank the rest of her orange crush from supper.  A little picnic does the body good:)  I have been praying for her to get her appetite back and the Lord answered my pray!

  Finally around 4:30, Charlotte falls back to sleep and so do I til the nurse comes back at 6 a.m, vicious cycle around here.  I figure I just need to get up and get a shower because around here after 6 a.m. the revolving door of doctors and nurses start.  Charlotte is scheduled for another chest x-ray and echo this morning.  Hopefully we will get good news, because if they look good, we get out of here today!!  The x-ray looks good from the one yesterday morning, so now we wait to hear about the echo.

Poor Brian, Charlotte has walked his legs off this morning, asking him to pull her in the wagon.  He pulls up to the door of the room after walking all over the hospital, and she just sits there looking at him like hello, what are you doing, take me for a ride!!  He falls for it every time and off they go.  Charlotte doesn't care where you take her, just as long as you take her.  I know for a fact that Daddy would move heaven and earth for his little angel, so a little wagon ride, nothing to it.  After all that she has been through, if it makes her happy, he's happy to do it :)