For my Fab-ruary post today Helen gave me the perfect prompt to share my special story. I've been cautious about wanting to share it as my situation was different than many folks' typical situation, and it's so special to me that maybe I've been worried about being judged or something. But I'm ready now.
The Fab-ruary prompt is what is the coolest thing you've ever seen. Well for me it is the birth of my daughter because I got a front row seat to the whole thing. How is that possible do you ask? Well here's my story - buckle up it's not short:
When I was pregnant with my son almost 15 years ago I had several complications. I wish I could say the day he was born it was joyful and wonderful, but it wasn't. It was actually kind of a nightmare. He was born almost 7 weeks early and I almost died...a few times. Then even after he was born I still had several complications, suffered depression and anxiety, had to be on medication. Basically his first year of life was kind of a blur. However, there were many good moments in there too. I felt so blessed to have him - that we were both alive - and to have such wonderful support from medical professionals, my hubby, and our families. It turned into a very happy ending.
Until I was told that with fair certainty that I should not do that again...meaning I would have no more children. This was harder for me than anything. There was a lot of leaning on my faith, a lot of prayer and soul searching, some very hard dark days. Then my hubby's brother and his wife approached us that they would like to carry a baby for us. At that point my sis-in-law had only had one child...although in about as wonderful and easy a fashion as you can have a baby. She's also about 10 years younger than I am & I was 29 when I had my son.
My hubby and I felt we couldn't ask that of anyone so we declined and said we would adopt. We felt blessed to have our son and I felt so blessed that I was at least able to know what it was like to be pregnant and have gone through that - even with the difficulties at the end. As time went by we discovered a new complication - we could not agree on our adoption plan. I very adamantly wanted to do domestic adoption and know everything about the child's health and background - even get to know the birth parents. My hubby very adamantly wanted to adopt internationally in a very far off country with no connection or knowledge of birth parents - EVER. So more tears, prayer etc. At this point my sis-in-law had their 2nd child...again in an incredibly easy fashion. And they approached us again. This time we listened and talked for hours over every scenario and talked to our families and got their thoughts. Everyone thought it was wonderful and so supportive. So we started going to a fertility clinic and after a lot of not easy events (my SIL and I had to do injections in our abdomen daily and other fun things) - including 2 failed attempts our daughter Annie was placed in my SIL's womb - and took! So she is our biological child but, as we've always told Annie her story, her Auntie "cooked" her for us.
The day she was born was absolutely amazing! My SIL made it look so incredibly easy. My hubby bought us both large bouquets of roses - the room smelled like flowers, we were all joking around and had to tell my SIL to stop laughing so she could push and literally 20 mins later there was our daughter. I was able to be present, feel good, and witness every second with a front row seat. Through my blurry tears I was able to cut the cord. It was the coolest, most beautiful, precious moment I have ever seen in my life. My BIL and SIL, the fertility clinic folks and medical professionals are all angels to us and were so amazing!!
Now 8 &1/2 years later our daughter is healthy and still just our miracle. My SIL has gone on to deliver 3 more kids of their own (so they have 5 now!) and everyone lived happily ever after - except when Annie and her big brother fight. Lol! So that is my special story and the coolest thing I've ever seen. I think the why is pretty obvious. Thanks for letting me share. Here's some photos but I took them quickly out of the baby scrapbooks so please excuse them if they're not the clearest:
My son was a preemie and weighed only 4 pounds when he was born and at his smallest was 3 pounds 9 ounces. You can see he fit right in my hubby's hands.
After implantation my SIL had to be on bed rest for 24 hours
Here's some belly shots. My favorite is on the bottom of my son hugging the belly.
This was at a baby shower for us. My SIL and I often joked that at doctor's appointments we must look kind of like a lesbian couple. To be funny sometimes I would joke to people as I rubbed her belly "she's having my baby" - but then of course explain. Lol Sometimes humor is the best way to get through difficult and awkward moments, right?
We did it!! Whew!!!
Big brother Aaron making sure his baby sister is "working right"
One of my favorite photos after we brought Annie home. Those boys didn't know what to make of her.