Mother’s Day is tough. Many have lost children. Some face infertility. Others have lost their mothers. I am very lucky to have my children. I have been pregnant seven times in my life. I have two living girls. In my twenties, I studied hard and worked hard to get a career. Nothing in life prepare me for what was ahead.
In 2010, we learned we were the first documented case in the world for carrying a rare disease. Nothing in the universe prepared me to hold my first born child, then end life support the next day. I had never watched a human die before. Months afterwards, I remembered over and over. I became obsessed with is there an afterlife or God. I tried to reach out to others. My soul begged, please just hug me and love me. People misjudged this. I was told to get over it… I planned my entire pregnancy. I brought things. I took my folic acid three months before hand. I went to the doctors. I toured churches looking for that perfect family church. I went to the OB GYN. I made sure all dental work was complete. When we learned our baby had multiple birth defects, it tore me apart. Although not every pregnancy had a happy ending with us bringing home a baby, I appreciate and give thanks for each one. I am forever their mom.
My first born Avery died a day after birth in our arms. I wanted to take her place so bad. Avery barely opened her eyes. When we spoke to her, her head would turn and she would look for us. I nicked named her Avery Bravery. In my darkest moments in life, when I need to be brave, I whisper, “Avery Bravery.”
My first rainbow is 11 years old. She gets so excited and happy. She still happy dances. I have so many wonderful memories. I am filled with her love and wisdom. At times, she says things with such great wisdom as if she is 11 going on 80. Her name is Hope. I love to see her dance with such gratitude and grace. Hope fills me with Hope. Every day, I see a young lady growing up fast. I am honored that her care as been entrusted to me. I am proud of her.
I wish a rainbow meant it would never happen again. Sadly, we lost a pregnancy at 6 weeks and 13 weeks. I love them from the moment, I tried for them. My heart was empty. They were mine for the time they were here. I desperately tried and lost them. They are apart of my being.
At 18 weeks, we lost our son Haven. For weeks, we did not know if we lost a boy or a girl. We had to name him something either a boy or girl could use. Years later, unknown to me, I was gathering medical reports. In the pathology report, it questioned if Haven had been a twin. I found myself grieving two babies. I could not hold him because he had been dead over a week. We buried a baby without knowing if it was a boy or girl.
My miscarriage at 13 weeks as previous mentioned in the blog was at Christmas time. Shortly after Christmas, I was outside crying and shoveling snow. I heard an animal crying horribly. Under my neighbor’s porch was a all black kitten with a small patch in the shape of a heart on his chest. He had an abscess on his neck. We took this kitten in with the intention of finding a new family. The kitten was estimated with the actual birthday of Haven’s original due date in September. We named the cat Raven. When I tried to give this cat away, Hope said, “my cat.” She was 2 years old at the time. Raven is like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. He gets so excited that he pounces on you. As small as he is, he can almost knock the wind out of you. It broke my heart, when I had breast cancer, because literally I need to put Raven in a room because he would pounce on my chest or treatment area so hard.
This leads me to my daughter Addison. She was born still with the same rare disease that the doctor’s said it would most likely never happen again a week before Thanksgiving in 2009. My heart broke as I watched Hope, who was 4 year old cry. For many years afterwards, Hope took it hard when she learned someone at school became a big sister. She asked when it was going to be our turn.
Eight years of infertility and pregnancy losses, I am happy to say it was with Joy that Joy was born. At 20 months, she has taught me a lot. She is not sitting in her highchair what so ever until she gives Buddy, our dog, a treat. She is going to strap herself in. Joy is still trying to change her own diaper. She is independent and going to be an outstanding CEO someday as soon as we survive toddlerhood. She is your classic toddler with a heart of gold. Over half of my steps on my pedometer are from chasing her. Keep reaching for that cell phone or keys, because sooner or later when no one is looking she gets them. Set goals and reach them. Life is adventure.
I have said this before. Without seeing all my babies, it’s like I am a painting at a museum half covered. If you look at my professional accomplishments only, you miss the picture. If you see me as a breast cancer survivor only, you miss the picture. If you only see me as the mother to my two Earth girls, you miss the picture. You see the whole me, when you can acknowledge everything. Without one piece, you miss the picture. I carry my love always. My gratitude is to be alive to see another Mother’s Day and to all my babies, who chose me to be their mom.