Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Jackson,

Dear Jackson,

Twenty one days ago my life was altered in ways that have deeply penetrated the core of my existence. Daddy and I didn't just welcome home a happy, healthy baby boy... it wasn't neither that simple, nor as amazing as being blessed with my hearts desires. My dear son, it was so much more than that. It was beyond wanting you for 5 years, it much more than the medical tests and treatments, it was so profound it changed me from the inside out. Wanting you, longing for you, praying for you, it all changed me on so many levels. And when we finally, finally brought you home, when that day finally arrived, it was greater than anything that has or will ever happen to me again in my life.  Marrying your father, he was the first best thing. Bringing you home, that was the second best thing. You two together, you complete me.

I don't know if I will ever be able to put into words how my heart feels. Some things can only be felt. But I will always do my best to share with you how I feel, to communicate all the emotions that fill my heart and the words that occupy my mind.

I was really worried that by loving you, I would be taking away some of my love for daddy.....silly me. Little did I know my heart would swell, double it's size, to accommodate the love I have for both of you, I didn't have to take away from him to give to you...or vice versa.....I just allowed the love to flow and there is so much space for both of you, with extra to spare! There are no limitations on love, it is endless, it is boundless. You will one day know what I mean by this.

Since I have met you, my life is so different. You have become the center of our everything - our life as a family is so wonderful. We eat, sleep and breath differently because of you. Imagine our home filled with love by your daddy and me and the puppies, and then imagine taking that same 
beautiful home and adding more love to it. We smile bigger and brighter because of you. We gawk over you, we are smitten with you and we are so very proud of you. You truly are our pride and joy.

There are so many people who love you, your family, our friends, your birth mom and her family, you are surrounded by love. You fairy godmother comes to visit often, she was at the hospital when you were born and she will always be a part of your life. You are often wrapped in her baby blanky that her dear grandma Jiggs knitted for her. You are always surrounded by and wrapped in love.

Everyone warned me how fast the time would go, and I couldn't imagine it going by so fast with so little sleep and long endless days.....but it's true, the minutes and days fly by, and before I knew it, it has been three weeks. And soon it will be a month....I'm trying hard to stay in the moment because 
they escape me way to fast as it is, without jumping ahead on my own. The moment is where it is. It's where I get lost in your being, your smell, your cute little noises you make, you cooing while eating, squeezing my finger...our skin to skin time, bonding, every single moment your awake I just want to spend it loving on you.

You are such a great eater and sleeper. You eat every 3 hrs during the day and every 3-4 hrs at night. You pretty much sleep, eat and play for short amounts of time. Initially I was lucky to keep you up 2-5 minutes. Now you are alert for 30 minutes to an hour sometimes. You love to fall asleep on daddy's chest, he falls asleep too. Mommy likes to snap photos when this happens. I wish I could capture every single minute of your life on film, but that goes against me being in the moment, if I am always behind the camera, I am not always being in the moment. So while there are lots of pictures, I sometimes forget to take them, because I am enjoying just being with you.

We spent our first Christmas together as a family! Your grandma & grandpa Corica came to visit. 

Unfortunately you, daddy and I were all sick. We caught bad colds and gave them to each other, I was so heart broken and scared when you got sick.....but you healed really fast. That nosefrida and essential oils were life savers! Mommy is still recovering, I hope to be back to 100% soon so I can give nothing but my very best to caring for you. Regardless, you made this the best Christmas I have ever had.  You are living proof that what matters most is not what's under the Christmas tree.

Jackson, you have rocked our worlds. I look forward to every minute of every day. When I wake up and see you, it makes my heart smile. When I hold your small fragile body and realize you depend on me for so many of your basic needs, I feel so honored to be the person you chose to care for you. I love you ....and your daddy, well he loves you too. Together we share yet one other thing in common, our unconditional love for you.

In one breath I wish I could freeze time and keep you this little forever, yet in the next breath, I look forward to watching you grow, to sharing many more special moments with you. Little man, you didn't just fill a void in my heart or an empty room in the showed me that dreams do 
come true, that with faith and prayer, anything is possible. To never lose sight or hope - that God will always fill our hearts desires...He has given me a testimony that I will share and cherish forever, the testimony and gift of you, my son.

I love you always Jax, 


The gift of a son.....

God answered our prayers and sent Haile our way
To carry our child and take our heartache away
It was just when we had truly surrendered
That such an amazing gift was rendered...

Honored is just one of a million ways to describe how we feel
For receiving a blessing that still seems surreal
Our child is growing inside of her tummy
But one day soon he will call me mommy

Thanks be to God and all of you who prayed
Sometimes there's a reason the answers to our prayers are delayed.
He knew all along how our story would unfold...
And now that it has, I love hearing it told...

"Not flesh of my flesh"

Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it.

 Author: Fleur Conkling Heyliger

Sent from my iPad
Friday, December 13, 2013

And Then There Was Three

 I have always dreamt of having a family. When that reality became less likely, I had to grieve the idea of ever having children… of having our very own family. I embraced living life as two, with my wonderful husband. The mere fact that he was my knight, made it easier to accept. We were living a good life. We had found true love and while it was a tough pill to swallow that we weren’t going to get to share that love with children of our own, it was ok. I have always trusted that God had a plan for us, I just had to learn to surrender to that plan. So after many years of trying to control the outcome, I finally folded. I embraced what was, and stopped trying to control what would be. I learned to love what we already had instead of trying to ask for more.

So as I sit here looking at our beautiful son Jackson, I just smile and often times cry tears of joy. I think I cry more often now out of happiness than I ever did out of sorrow. It doesn’t take much…a thought, a look, an idea…and I lose it. My heart was already full, now it spills over. That’s where the tears come from, I cannot contain the joy. There is still some sadness in my heart. I do acknowledge that our new found joy is another families loss. Not loss in the sense of ever knowing him, but loss in the sense of grieving what could have been if she was able to parent him. I sense and feel what that must be like for them... I know it cannot be easy and so my heart aches for them.

On Monday December 9th,  Halie was checked into the hospital to begin the induction process. Our son was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday December 10th. For those of you who know me, I am a numbers girl. The numbers 1201 have repeated themselves my entire life. While this is not an exact sequence match, I was thrilled to see he was being born on that day, 12.10.

Halie was zero percent dilated at her Dr appointment earlier that day, so she was admitted the evening  around 8:00 pm before induction to begin the dilation process. It took her until 4:00 am to become 3 centimeters. We figured it was going to be a while. Except when the nurse checked her at 7:00am, she was already 10 cm! Frank had spent the night at home with the pups, and planned on coming up to the hospital that morning of induction. I spent the night along with Halie and her mom and the biological father. The hospital staff was amazing, they were kind enough to provide Frank and I with our own room, which allowed for privacy on both ends. I wanted Halie to be able to rest before and after birth. I wanted to breastfeed and needed privacy for that (I can write another blog on this, but short story is I successfully induced lactation in the months leading up to his birth and am currently breast feeding him). Halie was in support of it and encouraged me to do so, so she understood that meant that I would have to keep him with me most of the time after his birth in order to feed every 2 hours. Thankfully we had the privacy to do so, and the support needed. The lactation and nursery nurses all helped tremendously. They treated me as the mother although I didn’t physically have the baby. Halie was also treated wonderfully, the staff attended to her needs equally as well.

Around 7:00 am I had to let Frank know he needed to step it into gear after I went to the delivery room and Halie’s Ob/Gyn asked how far away Frank was, as calmly as she could…. me knowing exactly what that meant, she was going to be having the baby very soon. Libby, our little fairy godmother,  had swung by that morning on her way to work,  just to say hello when she got caught up in the excitement and ended up staying until after he arrived. How fitting it was to have her there, when she was the one who informed me of this possible adoption to begin with. God used her as one of his angels and he continued to put her in the perfect place at the perfect time. She was meant to be part of this fairy tale happy ending story from day one.

I was in the delivery room for the birth, along with Halie’s mother. We coached her through the hard labor and I witnessed the miraculous birth of our son. I felt so honored that Halie allowed me to be there through this entire process from beginning to very end. It was one of my wishes and she made it come true. To think that I was able to go to every single Dr appointment and sonogram with her, what a blessing.  And the blessings just kept pouring down on us. Halie and I made a birth plan together and part of it included me cutting the umbilical cord and holding him first after he was delivered. Frank was not in the delivery room but came in as soon as she was cleaned up, he just made t there on time! He held him next. Then Halie and her mom both held him. That little boy was loved by so many already! Libby came to the room when Frank did and was allowed to hold him as well. This was the part of the story where all past disappointments and hurts were quickly erased by this little gift sitting before our eyes. It didn’t matter all the sudden that we had to wait 5 years to meet him.

Much of what happened from there forward felt like this crazy whirlwind. I lost all concept of time, my new reality was beginning yet my mind couldn’t even keep up with how quickly our lives had changed, one quick minute, @ 9:15 am and all the sudden, there was three . I sat there and cried in sheer joy, on so many occasions. As I was doing the push count for Halie, and I would look to see his head crowning, I would choke up and could barely count.  As I stared at him lying in his hospital bassinet, I cried. But when it really hit me, was when I drove home from the hospital with him in the backseat, realizing that he was really coming home, that this precious little boy was really going to be ours in a few short hours.

Halie’s ob/gyn and Jacksons pediatrician both agreed to release them after 24 hrs of birth, but the adoption paperwork couldn’t legally be signed until 48hrs after birth based on state laws, so while he was released to go home with us, we still had to wait another 16 hrs for it to be official.

Halie stuck to the birth plan 100%, I never really doubted her, but I also had to protect myself and remind myself that it was a possibility. So I was prepared to mentally face whatever the end result was going to be. And either way, our lives were going to drastically change, so you can truly never be prepared for what was about to happen.  You will always hear me brag about what a beautiful soul she has. She was so mature and consistent, not once changing her mind or steering away from the original plan. I am not sure I have ever met or will ever meet anyone quite like her.

At 9:30 am Thursday morning, I received a text from Halie’s mom, letting me know that the paperwork had been signed and the attorneys office was on their way to our house to have us finish signing. It was real, it was done, he was ours.

We had looked into adoption during our Infertility journey and had come to a decision point where we chose fertility treatments over adoption due to the high cost of both and only being able to choose one or the other. We took a gamble and while at the time, it appeared we had rolled the wrong dice, that simply wasn’t the case. I believe in my heart that the reason we didn’t get pregnant all this time was because Jackson was meant to be our son.

He is beautiful, he is perfect, he completes us, in every way. We were a lovely little family of two,  and after many years of yearning,  struggling, grieving and hurting, we are now a perfect family of three.