The Long Way Around

You will see pictures of my 2 beautiful miracle babies but it would be very remiss of me to not speak of my journey in motherhood. My journey included 2 miscarriages, foster mom to 3, stepmom to 1 and Mami to 2! All of those titles have one common denominator-Mom! I believe God took me the long way around to experience what I did for a reason.

My first miscarriage was way before I met my husband but I remember not because it was my first but because of a text I received while in the Emergency Room from a friend who was like a little brother to me. The text was a forwarded chain letter, that I normally ignore, but the way it was written made me actually read it. Plus, I was going through a rough moment. It simply stated the date and said “because today is a new day and the number 8 means new beginnings “! Anything else written after that was a blur. After reading that though, I remember flinging my flip phone across the room (when cell phones weren’t so fragile lol). Just earlier, as the doctor confirmed my miscarriage and nonchalantly stating “Well it’s for the best” after asking if the pregnancy was planned and I muttered “No”. I bawled my eyes and accepted my loss as God’s plan, picked up my, now dead, phone, disconnected my IV and walked right out of that hospital. I walked to the nearest 7-11 and bought hot Cheetos and the biggest monster energy drink and sucked up every tear.

Let’s fast forward to when I met my husband in September, ’09. I’ve always been pretty bold in how I speak with people and when I met him I didn’t have time to play games. I was only 24 but I’ve always been pretty mature and just knew what I didn’t want. After a nice session of grilling him on questions, he shares with me he has a daughter that is still being figured out if she was his or not through the courts. What caught me was the date she was born! It was the same month I was due when I was pregnant. Y’all! That messed me up and I secretly hoped she really was his after we began to date. After 5 months of dating, she was indeed his daughter. She was 13 moths old at the time and when I met her, I wanted smother her with kisses because she was just that cute. 2 months later we were married and we were getting her every other weekend and I instantly became “Mom”. We corrected her a few times but “Mom” just stuck so we went with it.

A few months after being married my husband left for basic training in the Army. No longer able to see his daughter, we got through 4 months of Basic Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) and now awaiting our new adventure in El Paso, TX (Ft. Bliss). He came to get me a month later than expected but we got to see her one last time before driving down to Texas. Once he got to his unit, though, he found out he was supposed to deploy September of that year!! He actually called me and told me on my drive back to Chicago from Ft. Benning, GA, which was not a good idea but at the time it was not set in stone. Welp, once I got to Bliss it was set, and they just had to work out the details on who was shipping out first and so on. Given his job title of Infantryman, my mind raced and reality set in that he may not make it back home. We wanted to try to have a baby every chance we got but to no avail. While he was deployed, I had seen a doctor to try to figure out what I may or may not be doing wrong. After some tests and ultrasounds, they actually noticed an ovarian cyst(which doesn’t affect fertility) and they wanted to do surgery because the doctor mentioned possibly having something called ‘endometriosis’ which can’t be detected on ultrasounds. What the heck is that?! Never heard of that in my life! Now endo is pretty much the endometrial tissue(the stuff women shed when we get our menstrual cycle) outside of the uterus. So when I would get my monthly cycle, apparently the tissue backed up, per say. I had a history of cysts but this endo stuff?? I took pride in never having surgery or any broken bones but now you want to do surgery?! While my husband was deployed?! Ugh was my exact word! I tried to get my husband to come home for the surgery but they denied it. Neither of my parents were able to get vacation time but God blessed me with the most loving neighbors when we moved on base!! After the surgery, I met with the doctor and she said I had the worst possible kind of endo there was. Endo was the cause to my infertility and now I wanted to do research on how to “cure” it.

A year later, after my husband safely returned home we began to try again because, well, I kept hearing the best way to “cure” it was to get pregnant and with my surgery, I figured the surgeon took most of it out, right?? WRONG!! What I didn’t know was that endo can come back apparently. Once my husband was home, I was referred to a fertility specialist, who then, prescribed me 50mg of Clomid. 3 months later, she upped my dosage to 100mg then a month after that 150mg. When I say my hormones were crazy! They were crazy! She then added hMG, which was supposed to stimulate my follicles. I took 2 rounds of that on top of the 150mg of Clomid and besides feeling bipolar, still no baby! We were determined to conceive, so we saw another doctor in regards to my endo and to our surprise there was a more invasive way to “get rid of” my endo and since my husband was home then we had a better chance at getting pregnant. So, exactly a year from my last surgery, I had my 2nd surgery in life!! My mom was able to be with me and this time I had my husband here! This time I had more holes cut and felt worse than my first surgery but it was all for a good reason! That’s what I told myself to keep from crying after seeing one of my wounds looking like raw meat! 😦 A week later, we met with the surgeon. Hoping for good news, he began to explain what was done by going over the footage, very jokingly. Which, by the way, was no joking matter to me especially because of all I had already went through. Only to conclude the sum of the surgery by saying because the hole to my uterus was so small it would be a slim to none chance of getting pregnant naturally……..Tears, tears and more tears!!! My husband reminded me, after the meeting, that we serve a God much higher than these doctors and He ultimately has the final say so. I won’t lie, that was the last thing I wanted to hear. Now my bonus daughter was still back in Illinois and we had seen her the year before my 2nd surgery, but only for a few days. Seeing all these post on social media about pregnancies made me bitter. Some days were better than others but being able to conceive felt like a far-fetched dream that may not be able to be achieved. We did try, however a couple of months after the surgery but once again, a dead-end!

A doctor proposed I get a depo shot to suppress the endo and afterwards, my cycle should go back to normal. Welp, desperate, I took one round and once again with hormones raging and now added hot flashes, I refused a 2nd dose after those 3 months and tried again with the clomid and hMG. That lasted a couple of months and being physically and emotionally tired I stopped all treatments because nothing seemed to be working. I gave up! I wanted to give my body a break, along with giving my husband a break from my craziness. Lol!! Some time in January, 2014 I began to feel weird. Something I ate maybe? Any who, I waited a week after I was supposed to get my cycle, and actually got my hopes up. I think this is it!! A good friend of mine came with me to purchase a pregnancy test and sure enough this was it….PREGNANT!!! I was so overjoyed that I took my girlfriend to my husband’s job on base to give him the news!! I couldn’t wait!! He shouted to his colleagues “I’m gonna be a dad!!!” We told everyone closest to us. Took extra care not to do anything to strenuous but by week 7 I began to spot but it was super light. Taking precautionary measures, we went into the er. Each time I used the restroom in the hospital, my bleeding got heavier and after 5 hours of waiting to be seen, it was confirmed, I had miscarried. I think I sounded like I lost my mind by remembering how I saw the embryo attached to the uterus in my 5 week ultrasound only to see a sem left in my current ultrasound. They gave me morphine to calm my nerves then and I don’t think I had seen my husband cry as hard as he did. Later that day, My older brother facetimed me and words were far and few in between as we cried together on the phone. I asked God, why?? Who was I to ask, right? I asked anyways. I had such a great support system!! Later that month, my church had a guest speaker talk about becoming foster parents. I prayed if it was His will to do so, then my husband would go after service to get more information. Sure enough, without saying a word, my husband grabbed a couple of pamphlets and put his name down to find out about possible classes that they would be offering soon, just not sure when.

The road to becoming a foster parent began a few months after that guest speaker and I remember my dear friend, Amy, sending me a link to a woman named, Charlotte Gambill called “The Long Way Around”(I believe). Her testimony was basically the same to an extent. Seeing all these people getting pregnant and it just wasn’t happening for her. She said sometimes God takes you the long way around. He didn’t say you won’t get there, you’re just gonna take the long way around. It was so encouraging to hear this preaching so I figured my long way around was becoming a mom to a baby or child that needed love. This was it! We got 2 different placements that year. One was an 18 month old boy who, the agency was more than sure, would be up for adoption soon. We were instantly in love. He was the sweetest little boy and all that went through my mind was how could someone neglect this precious child?? Within a week, we got told he was being taken elsewhere because the parents wouldn’t give up parental rights unless he was placed with the mom’s foster-mother. They had a right to decide for this boy to go where he has never been and he JUST got accustomed to us?!?! 4 days after that notice, just as fast as he was placed with us, he was gone! It took a toll on us but we were hopeful for the next placement which happened a month later with 2 girls. They were sisters, 2 years and 4 years old. Super sweet but had their toddler tendencies of mischief, haha. The girls had visitation with mom twice a week and each visitation would throw off their routine with us. We loved the girls like our own but kept our hearts guarded.

While the girls were in our care, we found out I was pregnant again!! January, 2016!! Being super cautious, I think I went to the doctor for every little thing. Can you blame me though? In March, we were told that the girls paternal grandmother wanted to keep them so we would no longer have them in a week. We then told the agency that after this placement we were going to take a break to focus on my current pregnancy. I also had quit my job because, once again, we didn’t want any added stress. Around 8 weeks, I began spotting brown blood. Trying not to panic, I went to see the nurse practitioner right away. Did an ultrasound to see my baby safely nestled in the placenta and the nurse practitioner said it was old blood that was trapped outside of the placenta. Praise dance!! I was so grateful!! I carried full term thank God!! SHe even went almost 2 weeks late LOL!!

Though the road was painful and bumpy, I’m grateful that God saw me through it! It took awhile to be content where He had me and to enjoy the moments without children because, let’s be honest, children take all your time. I’ll be writing on my first full term pregnancy in my next entry.

hugs!

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