Tiny brothers bring joy to heartbroken mum
WELCOMING two babies ten months apart has helped heal Janelle Cooper's heart after the tragic death of her teenage son in a horror head-on collision.
Isaack Cooper-Rozynski, 18, died at the scene of a two-car crash, which also killed his girlfriend Shelbi Cate Berechree, on the Arthur Highway at Dunalley on December 27, 2018.
A heartbroken Ms Cooper gave birth to baby boy, Hafidh Tulwo, at the Royal Hobart Hospital on January 1 last year after being induced 10 days early so she wouldn't run the risk of missing Isaack's funeral.
In a turn of events Ms Cooper described as a "big shock", she fell pregnant again about a month later, but didn't realise until she was halfway through.
The West Moonah mother-of-seven, 40, told the Mercury her only symptom was extreme exhaustion.
"I didn't know I was pregnant until I was 20-plus weeks," she said.
"I had just had a baby, so my belly had not even recovered yet from last time and grief can be a bit distracting."
Ms Cooper and husband Ibrahim Tulwo welcomed another son, Micah Tulwo, on November 14.
"It's been the hardest year of my life, but those emotions have been counteracted by the absolute joy and love of having two newborns," Ms Cooper said.
"Even though you're so broken, they keep you busy and you've got to push through to be there for them.
"They both do a lot of things that remind me of Isaack.
"It gives you a nice feeling to think that he's here with them, even though he can't be physically. But it's also heartbreaking because he came so close to meeting them."
There is a 21-year age gap between Ms Cooper's first child and Micah.
She had her firstborn Jaiden at 18, followed by Bryana, Isaack, Abraham and Selena, before the arrival of the two boys.
The registered nurse this week returned to work, a qualification she completed in 2018.
"Being a mum is the most important job to me," Ms Cooper said.
"It's a juggling act but I have my husband here, the older siblings, my mum, and my sister is my day carer.
"The boys have also had the presence of one of Isaack's best friends around for the past couple of months, like a surrogate big brother for them."
HAFIDH AND MICAH BOTH FEATURE IN THE MERCURY'S BEAUTIFUL BABIES OF 2019 ONLINE ALBUMS, AS WELL AS A SPECIAL 24-PAGE LIFTOUT IN SATURDAY'S PAPER. CHECK OUT THE GALLERIES BELOW: