Waiting on Our Miracle

“That’ll never be me. My daughter will never have identical features. Some days it really breaks my heart.” 

Infertility is something I will always carry around with me. It still gets me emotional, looking back and rereading the struggle I faced alone, it’s a miracle that I’m at this point in my journey. 

I’m about to give birth to my biological daughter. 

4 years ago that was never an option. That dream dissolved in front of me as the rest of the world spun in circles around my broken body. I grieved so much for the biological child I was told I’d never have. I still grieve for the long journey and sacrifices I have to make if I do want to pursue more children. I never gave up hope. I knew deep down our journey was not complete.

And here we are.

Shannon Lee Photography

I always reflect back on my journey from time to time because in all honesty … I’m still trying to convince myself that this is real. 

Jackson is preparing as his big brother role approaches, Bear is hiding in the new nursery hoping we don’t bring another human home to chase him around, Jared is busy working full time & continuing his schooling… but I’m here, rereading the past and shocked that it still hits me like brand new information. She is coming, she is real and above all odds, we made this happen. 

Blessed is an understatement. My beautiful family is about to grow and I just can’t believe my body didn’t give up. I don’t know what will happen next year as I’m projected to hit menopause at 26.. but right now,  I don’t care. We went into Jackson’s pregnancy never expecting it to work out. If it had, we knew that he might be our one and only child, and that was perfectly okay with us. Going from a world where we could not have a baby to a world of possibilities, we were content. If we could get just one baby we wouldn’t dare ask for more. It’s far too often women who go through infertility just beg/pray for one child.  One healthy baby and that’s that, they wouldn’t dare ask anything else of the universe because this is a big deal. But why? Guilt? Maybe knowing others are crying for their first baby meanwhile the Kardashian’s are popping them out left and right? We are human, we are women, and if having a baby or 4 babies is what we want we shouldn’t feel guilty for that. Everyone around us seems to get that regardless if they planned it or not… what’s wrong with continuing the journey for a sibling?

I lost some followers on my IVF/TTC Instagram once my successful natural pregnancy post hit the internet,  and that’s okay. I get it, but I also don’t.. Even when I struggled, there was nothing that made me happier than seeing my fertility warriors dreams come true. I feel so much love and pride for that community,  I just don’t get why someone going through that crazy path would wish bad things for others or not be able to cheer them on after so many long hard battles of testing, donors, IUIs IVFs adoption etc… If you can’t be happy for others do you expect them to be happy for you when your time comes? On the followers side though, I get it… everyone around you is getting what you want but it feels like you are just stuck making no progress and the darkness is just growing within.  I must say positivity goes a long way. If you have days of struggling, message me, I’d be happy to let you vent and be your cheerleader. The world needs good vibes.

Surrounded by a fertile world is so difficult at times. I remember during my egg donors cycle I had a former friend who said she didn’t love her kids as much as the boyfriend she was dating at the time. It crushed me. I’m fighting for dear life to have a child and she can’t even see the beauty of those unplanned miracles that she carried into this world.. Baffled. I often find myself stuck in between comforting those who are desperately trying to just have one miracle and telling the others that struggled to stop feeling guilty about wanting more kids after infertility that IT’S OKAY!

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As far as my natural pregnancy, it has been smooth sailing! I thought my pregnancy with Jackson was easy, no morning sickness and pure disbelief that it was finally happening but I did have 4 hospitalizations from SCH bleeding, a fall, food aversions, he was hiding in my ribs the majority of my pregnancy, preeclampsia, 28 hours of labor and an emergency C-Section… I still thought that was easy, until this pregnancy.. Baby girl was also no morning sickness, I could actually eat meat this time and aside from fertility diet the first 12 weeks and one 24 hour flu scare she has been an uneventful pregnancy.

We had lots of adventures during this pregnancy. A few trips (Idaho, San Diego, DC) Some fun gatherings like Friendsgiving and our annual cabin vacation with our old high school friends. Finishing off our adventures back in San Diego for our Babymoon.

We let my mom throw a gender reveal once we were given the baby’s sex during our genetic testing. That was a huge surprise to this mama because I was so sure it was a boy because I had no sickness (I always heard each gender is totally opposite). My naturopathic doctor told me that morning sickness is determined by hormone levels, I had hormone therapy for this pregnancy and all those IVF drugs must have done something with Jack’s journey too! I’ll take it!!

We had monthly ultrasounds with a perinatal specialist,  had a little hiccup in the beginning because she had a few cyst in her brain but the doctor was very optimistic that they would go away and they did. She is much lower than my son ever was. Less rib pain is nice however pelvic pressure and the constant feeling that she is going to fall out of me is neat too…

The only big difference in this pregnancy is that chasing a toddler wears you out! And having a husband here (although he travels a ton) beats his Japan deployment during pregnancy any day. 

Daddy differences… I feel like our first healthy pregnancy for Jared was very hard to connect to when he was deployed for 7 months, there isn’t much room for the connection to grow with oceans in between us. This pregnancy Jared has a little more experienced in the hormone field haha. He is way more concerned about baby coming early than he ever was with Jackson. Even to go as far hiding workout equipment so I don’t force it before he is done traveling. Apparently he claims he is gaining pregnancy weight, which I’ve heard happens with girls but in all fairness… if he was around me for Jackson’s pregnancy I’m sure it would happen as well. This mama likes the sweets and will sometimes share. Sometimes.

Nikelle Bennett Photography

Jackson is preparing as well as one could hope so far. He has tested out the couch in sisters room, we have been knocking on doors before entering (which as baby girl gets older she will appreciate).. he carries around his ‘baby’ and constantly plays and lays on my belly.. kisses and squishes baby girl nonstop. It melts my heart. 

Bear is convinced the nursery is his new room.. So someone will have to break the news sooner or later. He knows she is coming soon and always follows me around when I’m pregnant. I think he’ll enjoy a newborn phase much more than the toddler phase.. she can’t chase him around yet.

Baby girl got so spoiled at her little sprinkle! So much pink and glitter! She also owns more shoes than anyone in the house now. 

Our maternity photo shoot was amazing, despite the demon that enter my toddlers body that day. Last pregnancy my pictures were scheduled April 2nd. With Jackson’s preeclampsia delivery we missed it by 2 days… I told myself I would never allow us to miss that opportunity again. Shannon Lee Photography CRUSHED all expectations though and I still can’t stop gushing over the pictures.

Baby moon in San Diego was amazing! Got some much needed couple time while Ga-Ga & Pa watched Jack Jack. Met up with one of my amazing fertility warriors. Even went out to dinner past 6pm like the rebel I am.. All in all it was very nice!

So now we wait for this little miracle. Almost finished with her room.. C-Section is scheduled even though we are convinced she will arrive in her own time possibly putting me in labor just hours before scheduled to keep me on my toes. Last ultrasound estimated she was 5lb 10oz, 41%.. She looks just like her big brother. I am getting anxious about surgery/recovery. I had some serious tooth pain that was wisdom teeth coming at me with a vengeance. I got some dental stuff done (the stuff my obgyn approved while pregnant) I have the wisdom teeth and grafting scheduled for after my recovery so I’m a little bummed I will be in pain the first 2 months of her life but this year is a year for mental and physical health. Our goal is to make sure we are the best and healthiest versions of ourselves so the show must go on..

We want to thank everyone for their love and prayers throughout this journey. Can’t wait to update you with our newest addition in our arms and our big adjustment to a family of 4. (5 including Bear Bear)

Next post will feature our sweet miracle baby, all her visitors arriving these next few weeks and her nursery!

Shannon Lee Photography