I am so grateful to my friend Dani for sharing her difficult, yet miraculous journey to become a mother. Heavenly Father is aware of us always. I hope today’s Wednesday story will inspire you to listen to that still small voice that guides us all through the challenges this life brings. Whether your challenge right now is praying to be a mother, praying for an illness to pass, praying for a job to come, or praying for a miracle, this story will bring you hope. Dani has an incredible love and knowledge for family history research. You can find her on Instagram @roots2blossoms and @seasonforfamily. And she blogs at http://www.roots2blossoms.com
Not one person has the same experiences in life, motherhood is no different. We all have different experiences in our journey to becoming a parent. I would like to start out and say that I have shared parts of my story before, but not in full. It is still very vulnerable and though I am not experiencing it now, the emotions never leave. I remember growing up my list of career choices always changed, but one thing never did, my desire to be a mother. I met my husband young and I remember that I wanted to wait maybe a year and then try to have a baby. Only six months into our marriage I was having a lot of pain and I went to my doctor. We found out that I had a couple ovarian cysts and he wanted to do an exploratory surgery. After surgery we found out that I had Endometriosis. That was when it really began. Years went by and there was no baby and my pain had increased immensely. We had started fertility treatments and I had to have several surgeries as well. I was on medications, getting shots, counting days, doing ultrasounds, and it was exhausting for both me and my husband.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we believe that we can get revelation through prayer, priesthood blessings and going to the temple. Over the years we had prayed a lot. We had received blessings and gone to the temple. We were patient and waited to get an answer. The only answer that came was to have faith. That was really hard, after 4 years of trying for a baby we felt the impression that we were supposed to try to adopt a baby. We started the process and if I thought that the fertility treatments and years of trying took a toll of my body, the adoption process took a toll on my emotions. With my husband’s support, and months of interviews, paperwork, parenting classes and home studies after six months we were approved for adoption.
I remember hearing my daughter’s cry from outside of the hospital room, she had lungs! Several minutes later the nurse walked up to us with a crying baby and said, “I’d like to introduce you to your baby.” It was a beautiful moment, as she handed me my daughter. She immediately stopped crying and stared up at me with her big eyes. I will never forget this because my daughter has never stopped being curious and looking at the world with her big beautiful eyes. Life as a mom was wonderful and really hard, but already I knew that it was worth it.
Being a mom didn’t end my medical issues and only two weeks after she was born, I had to have another surgery. My disease had taken over my body and I had been told on several occasions that a hysterectomy was in my future. He thought sooner rather than later. I was only 24 years old. When my daughter was nine months old, I had the strong impression that I was supposed to have a baby. My husband felt the same and we talked to my doctor. For the first time in the last five years of trying we were pregnant. I was shocked and elated. I was being closely monitored. My doctor decided to do an ultrasound at 11 weeks. The feeling when I saw the tech’s face drop was devastating. The baby was not growing and there was no heartbeat. It was one of the hardest things we had ever gone through.
I remember saying to my husband that I am never doing that again. I didn’t think I could handle it again. We decided that I needed to heal and that we would try to adopt again when we felt ready. I enjoyed the next year being a mom to my little girl, I had one more surgery that year and things were the same.
January 2008 came, and I decided I was ready to adopt again. We filled out paperwork and just had to go turn it in. I don’t know what it was, but I felt different. I knew that I needed to get a pregnancy test, but I thought I was wrong so I didn’t even tell me husband. When he went to work I took the test and within seconds it was positive. I was shocked and scared. I tried not to get my hopes up, but I knew that I wanted to have faith and enjoy the pregnancy. Everything went mostly smooth, towards the end we found out that I had Preeclampsia and I didn’t realize the severity. I was just a few days from being 37 weeks and my doctor explained that my blood pressure had doubled in a couple days and I had to go to the hospital to deliver. I was scared and wasn’t ready, but I had no other option. I was thankful for a good doctor that trusted his instincts and I had a fairly simple delivery of a healthy boy. I truly was blessed.
Fast forward a year later I found out I was pregnant again. This pregnancy was a lot harder, I had Gestational Diabetes and also had Preeclampsia again. My delivery went well, and I had a tiny 5 pound baby girl. I was so thankful for my three kids and it truly was the best days of my life. We were so happy. I didn’t know my future and I didn’t know if I could have anymore children. My Endometriosis had gotten bad again and at that point had had about 15 surgeries. I knew I wanted more kids, but often felt the criticism of others saying that I should be grateful for the babies I had and why would I be selfish and need more. It was hard and I really did ponder the decision.
My husband and I both decided together that we loved our three kids and no matter what we were grateful for them. We chose to not do fertility treatments again, but to continue trying and see what happens. Years went by and with the pressure off we were happy, but inside I longed for that baby that I knew I was supposed to have. After four years, I had to move on. I told my husband I was okay with being done. We decided to take our family on a trip to enjoy each other and help myself heal. It’s hard to explain why I had to heal, but I still felt that longing for a baby. We spent a few months planning our trip and I was excited to enjoy my kids and to do more things as a family that is hard to do with babies and little kids. A few weeks before our trip I had that feeling again, I wasn’t sick, I just felt different. I took another pregnancy test and it was positive. I couldn’t believe it!
It seemed interesting that our babies always came when we chose to put it in Heavenly Father’s hands. We had exercised so much faith throughout the years and He knew what was supposed to happen, and when. I was very sick with this pregnancy more than my others, I was nervous that it was so different. We found out early on that I again had Gestational Diabetes and later Preeclampsia. I kept on the diet and took my blood pressure, but still I didn’t feel well. I was sick, dizzy, and more lethargic than I had been with my others. I blamed it on my age and tried not to complain.
When I was 37 weeks I had a routine blood draw and we found out that things were off. My doctor decided to use a different lab and do it again, but the results were the same. A normal Hematocrit is 36 to 46 and mine was 27. I figured it meant that I was just a little anemic, but my doctor informed me that it was abnormally low. He did several tests to see if we could find the source causing me to lose blood and we came up with nothing. The scary part was that after delivering a baby I would lose much more blood. We had a plan and decided that I needed to be in a controlled environment, we scheduled my induction and they did a crossmatch to have blood on standby.
The day of my delivery I felt scared, but from some personal spiritual experiences I felt that everything would be okay. Even after all the preparation, my delivery did not go as planned. Before delivery I passed out and my blood pressure dropped to 40/20. I woke up feeling okay and was able to push out my baby on the first push. I heard the doctor say it was a girl, and then I blacked out again. It became an emergency situation and it took a couple of months before my husband was able to tell me everything. He thought that he was losing his wife that day. For personal reasons I am not going to share all of what happened during my delivery. After delivery my Hematocrit went down to about 15. They had given me several medications and I had to get two blood transfusions before I felt normal again, but I was still quite weak. It was a very different experience, but I felt blessed to have my husband, a little baby and three kids at home.
It’s been four years and the pain and emotion from that day has not left me, but I have a better understanding of my experiences. We found out since that delivery that I have a Connective Tissue Disease, a blood disorder and during that last delivery I had HEELP Syndrome. It was a miracle that I delivered my last baby and survived, let alone the two previous. My journey to motherhood was a very rocky road, but along the way I learned a lot. I know that with each child, every trial and all my pain I was blessed even more. We won’t always know why we go through things, and we don’t always see the blessings, but I believe that our Heavenly Father does know. He is there for us and blesses us. I am thankful for all the storms in my life, because after the rain there are rainbows. Some rainbows hide behind clouds, but some are vibrant and shine for all the world to see.
I hope this week that God’s hands in your life will become more visible to you. We all must journey through life. And with this journey comes joy and sorrow. Both must be present. And I believe that when we share both with others, it is like we are pouring our strength into someone else to help them in their journey.
I pray that you know you are known by God. That He is very aware of you and what you are going through. May angels be ever by your side.
Please check out Dani’s blog and follow her on Instagram! She is an amazing light! Her light will bless your life.
Life is Good. Share the Good.