This is a personal post, so if you are here for flowers – you can skip it! Also, it’s super long and personal. Just a heads up!
I’ve always known that I wanted to be a mother, in the most traditional sense of the word. I’ve always wanted to carry biological children inside of my body, deliver them, raise and nurture them. I have a mother that is just short of perfect and has shown me exactly what a mother should be.
When Parker and I got married, I was ready to start on babies right away. We compromised on a dog. On July 28, 2015, Porter was born and my world changed forever. Cliche, I know. That’s really what it was. Parker and I had just moved to Lubbock for him to start his PhD program in Counseling Psychology and I had just finished my Master’s in Education Administration. I had big plans to be the provider, put our son in daycare, and pursue my career. Everything changed when he was born and I couldn’t leave him. We made the decision to find alternate ways to earn money, live on a very tight budget, take out student loans – all so that I could stay home with Porter as a full-time mom. This led me to teaching college-level writing online and starting my floral design business.
Being a mom is super hard and there are days that I just want to lock the door to the bathroom, take a shower, and hope everyone survives on their own (I don’t do that, BTW… unless Parker is home). Even though it’s so hard, I wanted more babies. I wanted to fill my house up with kids and be the old woman living in a shoe… or 3 bedroom 2 bath house with newly updated features.
When Porter was about 6 months old, I had a very strong impression that there was a little spirit waiting to come to our family. A few months later, we found out we were pregnant. We were scared, because the kids were going to be so close in age, but we were super excited and started making preparations. When I was about 20 weeks along, I had a doctor’s appointment where we didn’t hear a heartbeat. We were sent to an ultrasound technician where they confirmed our baby had passed away. I know that the life inside of a mother’s womb is a real life. A whole person. This baby was very real.
We went to the hospital knowing we would be leaving without a baby. We were walked to the end of the hallway in Labor and Delivery. There was a leaf with a rain drop taped to our door – surely to indicate to everyone that this was a room with a baby that was not alive. There was no incubator waiting for a crying baby to lay in. That was hard. I was induced, labored with real contractions, and delivered our tiny girl, Noel. I remember thinking that there was nothing I’d ever experience that would be harder than that moment. We held her, talked to her, and then sent her with a nurse to be prepared for her funeral.
After Noel, we had 4 miscarriages. They were all fairly early. It was hard. That’s an understatement. It was horrible and devastating. We had no complications with Porter and were really confused. So began the tests. I had all the blood drawn, all the uterus tests done, and all the fertility specialist appointments. I’m grateful for a supportive family (shoutout to my mother in law) who helped pay for a lot of this, as Parker was still in graduate school and we were BROKE. The best part of all of this is nothing came back unusual (sarcasm). The only explanation for Noel’s loss was a twisted chord. All of her genetic testing came back normal. All of my testing came back normal. Parker’s – normal. With the help of an amazing doctor, Dr. Phy, we tried again to get pregnant and carry a baby to full-term.
Our Jane. What a miracle. I’m crying while I type this thinking about all of the stars that aligned to get her here. All of the answered prayers and tender mercies of a loving God. I took progesterone shots twice a day for the first trimester with her and that seemed to do the trick. Jane was born on September 3, 2018. She has been such a blessing and such a pain in the butt all at the same time. She’s wild, strong, independent, and stubborn. She is a fighter and I don’t doubt that she fought to be here on Earth.
While we were pregnant with Jane, we became foster parents. That experience could be a totally different post. Our first placement was a little boy and girl that have since been adopted by another family. We met and fell in love with a tweenager that we were hopeful to adopt, but she was pretty set on going back to her biological family when she turned 18. She had some things to work through, as well. We then met J and were very excited about him being in our family. Unfortunately, he, too, was set on being with his biological parents. After a few months in our home, we found that he had some behaviors and trauma that we weren’t prepared to handle and we didn’t feel it was safe for him to be in our home with Porter and Jane. He is now in another home that he loves and is still waiting for his chance to be with his biological family again.
During all of this, we found out we were unexpectedly pregnant, again. Honestly, we weren’t getting our hopes up, which was good, because we lost the baby early. We then got pregnant, again, and I was at my specialist’s office within the hour I took my pregnancy test. I did progesterone again, which was totally worth it if it meant I could have another healthy baby. We saw Jack three times on the ultrasound during my first trimester. I saw his heartbeat and saw him move. Our specialist “graduated” us from her care after the first trimester with a very confident 98% chance of a full-term delivery and healthy pregnancy. I met with my regular OB a month later, heard his little heartbeat with a doppler, and felt at peace. We were very excited to have three kids and were feeling very grateful. I even felt him move inside of me one night while binging The Mentalist with Parker.
On Friday the 28th, I started to feel cramping and on Saturday we went into Labor and Delivery just to hear a heartbeat to put my mind at ease. I didn’t bring anything with me. I was pretty confident in that 98% chance that my specialist gave me. I’m a rare breed, though. I’m that 2%. There was no heartbeat. I had two nurses and three doctors in my tiny triage room double and triple checking. He wasn’t moving.
I got to relive my worst living nightmare all over again. Parker and I were led to the same room where we delivered Noel. We were greeted by a leaf with a rain drop on it. No incubator. Just a bed waiting for me. In a way, I wasn’t as scared this time around, because I knew what to expect. I knew what he would look like and I knew what it would be like to say goodbye before even meeting him.
Jack was born quickly. I won’t go into too many details, but I cried. A lot. I couldn’t breathe. I repeated over and over, “This can’t be happening again.” We held him. We talked to him. We gave him to the nurse to prepare him for the funeral director to pick him up. The doctors literally drugged me up, because I couldn’t calm down. Honestly – that was pretty nice. I felt numb. I needed it.
On Monday, we drove to Dallas to bury him close to his sister and to be with family. I love the picture above of our family waiting for us while we walked towards them. We have been flooded with support and absolute and perfect love from so many people. I had this clear image of Jack standing in a field full of wildflowers and tall grass blowing in the wind. In my mind, he is wearing overalls without a shirt and barefoot – holding a pinwheel and watching it blow in the wind. We placed pinwheels on his grave and watched them spin in the breeze.
On Wednesday, I ended up in the emergency room, because I had lost so much blood and ended up needing a blood transfusion. So here I am, now, on doctor’s orders of bedrest and rambling for my own benefit.
I know there are more children meant to be in our family. I know they won’t come to us biologically. I know they won’t come to us through foster-care. Our next big adventure is private adoption. We are giving ourselves time to process and grieve Jack. To process the trauma we experienced on Saturday. To grieve the reality that we won’t have any more biological kids. We have an exciting year coming up with Parker finishing up at Texas Tech and we are moving to Waco for his internship. I’m excited to get settled there and start making plans for our next big adventure.
Thank you for your support and the time you took to read all of this. To clarify, please don’t feel sorry for me or my family. I know these angel babies are waiting for me in heaven. Because of Jesus Christ’s Atonement and Resurrection, their bodies will be made perfect. I know that we are an eternal family and I am the mother to Porter, Noel, Jane, and Jack forever. They are watching us and waiting to be with us, again. I know God is aware of me and my deepest desires to love and mother children and grow our family. His timing is perfect and I am along for the ride and waiting for Him to guide me to a child(ren) that I can love perfectly and unconditionally.