Circle of Life: A Story of Loss, Life & Love
Last I wrote, everything was going along swimmingly and I had a lovely pregnancy despite all the heartburn. That all changed when I decided to innocently check my blood pressure and discovered it was very elevated.
This then led to an immediate appointment at the doctor, a diagnosis a disorder that can be dangerous for both the baby and myself. With several more visits to the hospital in one week, the doctors made the tough decision that my symptoms had become too severe and it was time to induce labor, at only 33 weeks. At the end of 60 hours and a terrible labor, Conor William Cochrane was born on April 16th, 2017 at preeclampisa1:of ,06am weighing 3lbs 6 ozs at the age of 33 weeks. At least he was an Easter baby and not a Tax Day baby!
Because of this, Conor spent 7 weeks in the Cedars Sinai NICU before he was able to come home. I won't go into details of that stay, but to say it was difficult would be an understatement. He quickly healed from some severe lung problems but spent several weeks adjusting to life outside my belly and learning how to eat. He was released from the NICU on June 5th - one day after his prospective due date! He had a difficult beginning and was on oxygen for the first couple months that he was home, but now has gotten a clean bill of health and is a wonderful little baby.
The same week I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, my father went to the hospital for pneumonia and eventually had a stroke. He was in the hospital and a rehab almost the entire two months that Conor was, which caused a very difficult split between the family, as Conor and I couldn't travel to see him and my parents weren't able to travel here to meet him.
We had hope that as Conor got healthier we would be able to fly to Colorado for him to meet his Grandpa. Until then, they did daily FaceTime and my dad would always greet him with a smile and would often try to touch the screen as he said, “look at him.” Unfortunately, this was the extent of their meeting as on August 1st, my father returned to the hospital and on August 4th, he passed away. I was able to fly to Colorado for his final two days and the whole family (minus my husband who was in LA with Conor) was with him at the time. It was sudden but peaceful. My dad was a wonderful father and man and it has left my mom and our entire family heartbroken.
He also was a huge part of my life and inspiration for this career as I grew up watching him as an artist making incredible water color paintings. Although I was never able to draw anything better than stick figures, I know that my photography was influenced and encouraged by him and will always be a major party of my life. And although I was never able to snap a picture of them together, I do have this one here - a onesie that he drew for Conor at my baby shower and a gift that I have come to cherish as it is a way to remember the meeting of their souls.
To say that I have been overwhelmed by emotions since April is an understatement. It has been a roller coaster, but I am more than thankful to have a beautiful, healthy, baby boy that has my father's smile and reminds me of him every single day. There is still a lot of family things to figure out and legal happenings, but I have decided that it is time for me to now begin to get back into my routine and work. I am getting stronger every day and feel excitement and joy at the idea of seeing my favorite clients and returning to my passion of capturing the beautiful moments of people’s lives.