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Monday, March 3, 2014

Complete


For five, very wonderful, yet still achingly painful years, people told me to be grateful. They accused me of being greedy for wanting more--wanting more when I already had so very much to be grateful for. I’d struggled to bring my son into this world. He was my gift. The miracle who took and grew in my womb when other embryos had failed.

As a result, I turned inward. I no longer talked about my desire for more with family and most friends. Instead, I found support in strangers...strangers who became friends and didn’t think  I was greedy, women who got me, and understood my desires.

But only a woman can know when her heart is complete. I love my son beyond anything and everything in this world…but a woman knows when there is a hole. A piece missing.  When the doctors told me to quit, and when family and friends told me to quit trying to have more children and to be grateful, I persisted. I would ask each doctor; “there has to be at least one egg, no?” Several of those doctors rejected my question that was really more a statement. They insisted that all my eggs were faulty and that I would never be a biological mother to any child other than Rory.

Many times during the day, I will stop and think…what if I’d listened? What if I’d quit when family and friends had encouraged me to do so? What if I’d traveled a different route as doctors had urged?

How would my life be different?

Now I know how very, vastly different it would be.

There would be no magical moment of a brother looking at his sisters for the first time:

There would be no daddy's little girl:

(or in this case)...
Daddy's little girls....

There'd be missing smiles:

 And perfect little noses...

For nearly ten long years, I battled infertility. I battled tests and procedures and even doctors. So many times since they've been born, I will look at them. I will caress their precious cheeks and hold their tiny hands and think; what if I’d listened? What if I’d quit? 

And I'm grateful...that I held onto hope and faith. Because now. At last. I'm complete. 


7 comments:

  1. Love, love, love this! It's so easy for others to tell you what they think you should do. I am so glad you found people that understood your desire and I am so very happy that you held on. What beautiful girls they are and I know they are very loved.

    My son Luke was supposed to be it for us. I was going to have my tubes tied during my c-section with him, but my husband didn't want me to make things so permanent. We had planned on four kids and he wanted four kids. During my pregnancy with Luke my twins were diagnosed with autism and I was told there was a 25% chance that any other children would also have autism. I was pretty sure that Luke would be it for us. By two month we knew Luke was fine and by the time he was crawling at 6 months I was already feeling the need for another child, but kept telling myself that it was crazy to want another child, especially since things were so stressful in my marriage and with getting the twins, who had just turned 4, the help they needed. Luke walked at 9 months and was feeding himself before he was a year old. He didn't need me anymore and I mourned the fact that he was it and I would never have a baby again. It took me almost a year to resign myself to the fact he was it. I would look at our family picture on the wall and feel like someone was missing from it. When Luke turned three I got rid of all the baby stuff, including the crib. It was final. 2 months later I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. My husband and I were both happy and upset at the same time. My parents were less than thrilled. I was miserably sick with that pregnancy and it was summer, school was out and it was hot. We had the first ultrasound at 9 week and saw that precious heart beating and we were in love. 4 weeks later we were back having an ultrasound, only this time there wasn't a beating heart. I had to have a D&C the day before my 32nd birthday. At my follow-up appointment my doctor told me that if I really wanted to she would do the tubal ligation, but in her opinion she didn't think we were done having kids. ON the way home from that appointment I told my husband that if we weren't pregnant by the time I was 33 we were done. That was July and I was pregnant in February. Seth was the perfect baby and is pretty near to the perfect boy. Yes, he also has autism which makes me sad for Luke who so wants a "normal" brother, but I wouldn't trade Seth for anything in the world. He certainly stayed a baby much longer than any of his brothers and even at the age of four he loves to sit on me or right next to me. We nap together at least once a week. He truly was our unexpected blessing. And even my parents who so desperately did not want me to have anymore children are so glad I had one more. Yes, I did get my tubes tied after the c-section. I still love babies but like you, Christi, I finally feel that my family is complete and it's such a wonderful feeling, isn't it?

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    1. Oh Sarah,
      Thank you so much for sharing. I understand this on so many levels; as a woman who wanted more children and as a mom to a child with special needs.
      You are so right...no one can possibly understand the desire for more...and it's really not their place. And yet, so many people presume to know and freely offer their opinion.
      I also connect with the feeling of Luke 'staying a baby much longer...'...that has been the case with Rory, too.

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    2. Check out the NACD, Sarah, and if you haven't run across the work of Dr. Ruth Harrell, check it, too. I was blessed to find her when Jacob was tiny and her work has made a lot of difference for her, as has the NACD. We were told when I lost my fifth child that I shouldn't leave the hospital without having my tubes tied, but we prayed about it and couldn't get the confirmation. I am so grateful we listened to our own inspiration. I went on to have five more babies with none of the complications that had arisen and that we were told would reoccur in subsequent pregnancies.

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  2. What a lovely blog, Christi. And Sarah, thanks so much for sharing your story too. :)

    I think it's true that only the person knows when life feels complete. I never had a number of children in mind when I was growing up. In my early adulthood, I wasn't even sure if I would become a mom, but I was in an eight year relationship with the wrong person. I had no desire for children at that time, but once I met my husband, that all changed.

    When our son was an infant, I thought I wanted two more, but the minute my daughter was born almost five years later, I knew that was it. Our family was complete. :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing, Samantha...I think you are right. Women know what their hearts need. For me; this was my journey, these were the babies I was supposed to have. Others will travel a different path, and it will be just as every bit as special and destined as the path I had taken.

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  4. Congratulations on the birth of your two little angels Christi! Children are in my view the ultimate blessing, there is nothing like a sweet smile or a young voice. I cannot begin to express how much it pleases me when someone can beat the odds and prove their doctors wrong when it comes to having children. You see, I was four and half months pregnant thirteen years ago and suffered a miscarriage from a push down a set of stairs. I did not have insurance at the time and was given the basic medical care, meaning I was sent home from the clinic untreated and left for nature to take its own course. A few years after my loss, during a routine doctor visit it was then told to me because I had gone untreated I suffered complications that would leave me unable to conceive children of my own. It has always been my most heartbreaking pain to bear. However even now as I draw closer to turning forty, I still in my heart still believe that it could happen if it is meant to be. I have never lost hope or faith, that someday I could be that parent that I should have been.

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    1. Misty,
      I believe in listening to our hearts. Motherhood is all about loving a child no matter how they come into our lives.

      Our family has had personal experience with adoption, and the love we have for our niece and nephew is just as strong as if there were biological ties. My best friend also adopted, and there has never been any doubt he is their child. I also have cousins who were adopted. It has been a blessing for everyone. :)

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