My story, like most others, is unique. It’s a story of love, joy, heartache and disappointments. Our journey has taken us from the happiest of times to the saddest of times. It took us 8 years and a lot of praying to actually get pregnant and another 2 years to have a successful pregnancy. 

Our first pregnancy ended too early. At 20 weeks and 5 days I went into labor and spent 10 days in the hospital trying to keep our sweet girl in, but she still came. She lived for 1.5 hours. That was the single most horrifying day in our lives. My dream of being a mom was completely crushed. After 8 years of praying hard and trying to get pregnant, I felt like my dream was never going to be my reality. The next day I was discharged from the hospital. When we left the hospital without our baby, we left in tears and heartache.

A year after we lost our daughter we started an international adoption. We knew we really wanted to have a family, but we had no idea if we would ever get pregnant again. We began gathering paperwork and raising money and was able to send off our paperwork in just 6 months. We had some very generous donations that allowed us to move quickly and I am forever thankful for those people.

About 6 months after we sent all our paperwork off, we conceived our second baby, Owen. Hallelujah! We were pregnant again! We were so excited and scared at the same time. After the first trimester, I had a cerclage put in and I was put on bedrest. I thought I would only be on bedrest for about 2 weeks, but I ended up being on bedrest for 4 months. I was only allowed to quickly shower, go to the bathroom and fill up my water cup. Other than that I had to be laying down flat. It was very stressful. The thoughts of what if we have to bury another child would play over and over again. I spent so much time praying and asking (often begging) God to keep my cervix closed till its time. My amazing SIL would even call me daily and pray with me for sometimes 2 hours. I truly believe that is what kept me sane. 

At 32 weeks I had my once a week appointment with my high-risk doctor and she saw that I was 4cm dilated and that Owen was breech. She did want to take any chances so she sent me straight to the hospital for a magnesium drip and a c-section was scheduled. The NICU Doctor came to my room that evening and prepped me for the very worst. I cried and cried thinking I will get discharged from the hospital to go home without my baby once again. I hated it! I didn’t want a NICU baby. I wanted the dream of being able to hold and nurse my baby right after he was born. 

 After a night of getting no sleep and a day to prepare my thoughts, I was rolled into the OR and a few minutes later we finally got to meet our baby boy. Luckily, he did breathe and cry right after he was born and all I could do is cry and Thank God our baby was here and breathing. The doctor let us kiss him and take a few pictures and then they took him to the NICU. Thankfully, he only spent 3 weeks and 3 days in the NICU and he was able to come home. That day was AMAZING.

My dream was finally my reality. My husband and I were the happiest we had been in a long time. Having a NICU baby meant that we would have to wake him up and feed him every 3 hours around the clock. Since I wanted to breastfeed I would nurse him first for 10 minutes and then we had to give him a bottle, just to make sure he was getting enough (doctors orders). We were tired and it was tough but totally worth it!

He was such a great baby! He was not a good sleeper though and still to this day does not sleep well. I read books and talked to other mommas and it all boiled down to this; you make them cry it out so they can learn how to fall asleep on their own or you don’t. I could not let him cry it out. I tried for 2 nights when Owen was about 9 months old and my husband was on a mission trip to Africa.  I’m still traumatized from that. Sleep training is the worst for me. I finally said well, “at some point in his life he will sleep all night long and won’t need me anymore and I will wish he did.” And left it at that. 

Two months before Owen turned 2 we welcome two foster kids into our home. We went from 1 kid to 3 kids overnight. To say I was instantly overwhelmed would be an understatement. We had less than 24 hours to totally prepare ourselves and welcome 2 kids into our home. We thought we were prepared but, we honestly had no idea. 

It’s been a year now, and in that year things became official and we have adopted them. We are now a family of 5 and couldn’t be happier. Yes things are stressful at times and I am still trying to figure out how to do things with 3 kids, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world!