During her recent conversation with Good Morning America, Kara, 31, shared how she wanted to do things differently while preparing to welcome her second child than she had when she gave birth to daughter Decker, who is now 4. That included waiting until the baby was born to find out the sex and opting to have an unmedicated birth "to see what the female body is capable of," she said.
Kara, who is the daughter of The Real Housewives of Orange County alum Jeana Keough, decided against a hospital birth amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in favor of a home delivery with the support of a licensed nurse-midwife at her home in Jacksonville, Florida. She explained that her hospital was going to limit the number of people she could have in the delivery room, and she wanted the support of her doula there.
A close friend of Kara's had also given birth to twins at home and spoke highly of the experience. "Part of my decision-making was, 'Well, if there's a need for me to transfer, I'm four blocks from a hospital and my midwives are trained to know when that point is that they can no longer have the birth successfully at home,” Kara explained.
Kara went into labor at at home late at night a few days after her due date. When she "pushed his head out quickly," but the rest of his body didn't follow, Kara knew that McCoy was stuck.
After the midwife's assistant called 911 immediately, Kara said she went into "fight mode" as she and her birthing team, which consisted of her husband, Kyle Bosworth, her nurse-midwife, her midwife's assistant, and a doula, put in an "Olympic effort" to deliver her son. Kara told GMA that she was "literally begging God to save my baby" as she moved her body as her midwife went through various maneuvers.
Kara delivered McCoy, but he wasn't breathing or moving. The emergency medical team, who had arrived just as McCoy was born, performed chest compressions on the 11-pound, 4-ounce baby while Kara just stared in shock.
McCoy had suffered shoulder dystocia, which occurs when one or both of a baby's shoulders gets caught in the mother's pelvis during delivery and is not predictable or preventable. Everything looked normal during Kara's doctor's appointments and ultrasounds prior to McCoy's birth. However, she now wonders if she should have taken more precautions. "I will sit here and regret not getting [another ultrasound] for the rest of my life, because I'll think, 'Maybe we would've known. Maybe they would've seen that he had 7 1/2-inch shoulders,'" Kara said. "But that's just going to be [in] my head."
McCoy was rushed to the hospital following his birth, but Kara stayed behind at first to deliver the placenta. Kyle accompanied his son in the ambulance, and after 45 minutes of chest compressions, McCoy's heart began to beat again. “It seemed like an eternity,” Kyle told GMA. “But he came back to fight, to see if he could live, and it was a miracle.”
Doctors told Kara and Kyle that McCoy's brain activity was "extremely suppressed." “They were telling us that they were trying to prevent further brain injury, but the baseline wasn’t good,” Kyle said. “There was severe trauma.”
Kara and Kyle spent as much time as they could with McCoy in the hospital, first separately due to COVID-19 restrictions, and later together when it became clear their son wasn't coming home. The hospital "made an exception to let us both be by his side," Kara said, as well as his big sister Decker.
"We got some milestones we didn't think we'd get," Kara recounted. “We got to change his diaper. I got to get peed on, which is a boy-mom thing I didn't think I'd ever get. We got to hold him, we got to feel warmth in his body."
After several days in the NICU, an MRI revealed that McCoy's brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long, and he had severe brain damage. He was unlikely to ever gain consciousness. Kara and Kyle removed him from life support on the sixth day and donated his organs. Kara also donated her breast milk. "We're at that point where we just want his life to mean as much to as many people as possible," she said.
Kara is still experiencing the physical aftermath of having a baby. “As a mom, you’re dealing with the very real repercussions of the postpartum body," she told GMA. "I still have the pain of my milk coming in. I’m having to wrap my breasts to stop milk production. I’m still bleeding. All the unsightly, unpleasant things of having a baby, without the prize of having a baby.”
The Bosworths have channeled their grief into helping other families with the launch of the "McCoy's Warriors" fundraiser to raise money for March of Dimes. They have also been attending a monthly bereaved parents group, as well as weekly virtual meetings with a grief counselor. Kara told GMA that she has found writing helpful, while Kyle plans to honor his son's memory with his first-ever tattoo depicting McCoy's footprints.
Though Kara's family is "suffering" and trying to find "a new normal," her mom, Jeana, recently told HollywoodLife, she has found a lot of comfort from friends and others who also know what she's going through. “She’s reached out to a lot of friends. She’s reached out to people who’ve lost children,” Jeana shared. “Morgan Beck, Bode Miller‘s wife, lost a baby, [a 19-month-old] to a swimming accident. She and Kara were close throughout all of that and Morgan was one of the first to reach out to her this time. And a lot of women that have lost children for different reasons have reached out to her. So that’s been great.”
Jeana also added that "it's been rough" losing a grandchild, as well as her ex-husband, Matt Keough, who passed away on May 2 from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 64, in the span of less than three weeks. Kara told GMA, "My son's spirit is somewhere with my father's spirit... They're together."
Kara has been honoring McCoy's memory by sharing photos of her and Kyle's time with him before his passing. In her most recent post on Instagram, she imagined what things would have been like if he were still here on the day he would have turned 1 month old on May 6. "Decker still wishes she could hold you more. And I still wear you on my heart all day," Kara shared in the post. "We miss you like crazy, baby."
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