Dear Cooper

Dear Cooper,
Laying quietly, eyes unopened, breathing tube, feeding tube, IVs and fluids could sum up the first few days of your life. We never planned for you to have such an early delivery nor such a scary one but you are loved just the same. We have no "excuses" or tall tales of why you came early, it was just in our cards. Maybe your father and I were so excited for you to arrive God granted our "Can't wait until Cooper comes," small wishes.

I want you to know this isn't your fault. That you are special enough to be born early, that the world wanted to meet you 16 weeks early. And we will never regret that. You were created out of pure love between me and your father, a young and innocent marriage that wanted and planned for you.

You may face hardships later in life because of your prematurity but know that this is you, and still perfect. Remember that we as your parents will make sure you get the best of the best and that you have had the best of the best nurses and doctors to help you thrive in this big world. Between brain bleeds, blood transfusions and supported breathing you have already conquered more in your little 3-pound body than most adults do in their entire lives.

Cooper, please remember to be honest and true as you meet new people in life. That every single person is fighting their very own battle so be kind. Be yourself, because you are good enough. Always tell the truth because in the end the truth will never get you in as much trouble as a lie.

Always remember that you are loved. You will make mistakes, you will trip and fall but as your parents we are always there for you. Always. Life isn't always easy but remember that just at 10 weeks old you have already overcame so much. Cooper you are a warrior you have overcame so much pain and near-death with endurance, love and pure dedication for life, even as a tiny baby.

We never want to let you down, but in all honesty I am sure there will be a time where both your father and I will let you down, make you mad or even disappoint you. But please remember we are only human as well, we don't mean to hurt you but we aren't perfect so don't hold it against us. We may not always be the best mother or father but it won't be for lack of trying. We promise that we will do everything we can to prepare you for what you will face in life. We promise that we will never desert you, that we will always be there for you, no matter what hardships you face. We may not always give you what you want but we will always do our best to give you what you need.

Above all else Cooper, we promise that we will love you and do our best to make sure that you have everything you need. We realize that our life is no longer our own, it belongs to you and our family now. You are our treasure, never forget that.

Dad and Mom

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