Thursday, August 30, 2012


We have a tradition in my family to do breakfast in bed for birthdays. I carried that tradition with me into my marriage and I got up early to make Jason breakfast in bed. I set my alarm but there was certainly no need for that. I couldn't sleep. I watched the clock turn from 3 am to 4 am to 5 and so on until I finally just got myself out of bed around 6:30. As exciting as making a big breakfast may sound, that's not what was keeping me awake. I was supposed to become a mother today. A storm of emotions hit my insides the first time I got up to go to the bathroom a little before 3 am. This is what I had always dreamed of and of course I was beyond happy, but that was not my only emotion. I would feel a twist in my heart every time I thought of what Bailey would have to do today. Was the happiest day of our lives going to be her hardest? We have grown to love her more than I can express and it killed me to think about the emotions she was going to have to face. But she is stronger than I am and she saw the eternal picture better than any of us. I was talking to her on the phone a few nights before and she said something incredible. She was talking about how grateful she was for this whole experience and she said, "I love Jade so much for who she has helped me become. I mean, I am a whale with this giant belly, I have stretchmarks on my boobs and my butt, yet I have never felt more beautiful. She has helped me become someone that I want to be for the rest of my life." I was amazed as I listened to her perspective and the things she was taking from this experience. Bailey is 19 years old but her maturity and understanding blew me away. She is my hero.

Bailey was induced at 2pm on Sunday, June 24th. Since it was going to take awhile until she would actually be ready to deliver we were instructed to just wait at home and they would call when it was time for us to head over to the hospital. Just waiting at home is way harder than it sounds! What was Bailey feeling now that it was finally here? Was she having second thoughts? Were we really about to become parents? Every few hours we would receive a text from Bailey or her mom, Michelle, with an update. Not much was happening and we continued to wait. We watched White Collar on Netflix to kill the time but hit our last episode by 8:00pm. Still nothing. Neither of us had seen Meet Joe Black and we decided to watch it, though it was a three hour movie and we didn't think we'd finish it. We finished it and still nothing. At 11:15pm I got a text from Michelle saying that Bailey was dilated to a 6 and the nurse would be back to check her again in an hour. Thirty minutes later she texted again saying Bailey was now at an 8 and to hurry to the hospital. We made it to the room around 12:20am. Bailey's dad, two younger sisters and younger brother came in a few minutes after us. She was progressing super fast at this point and the nurse started prepping Bailey to deliver.

I felt so different standing there. Although we had gotten to know and love everyone there, in that moment I felt like a stranger watching this family come together to witness their daughter and sister give life to a perfect little girl. I felt unworthy to be involved in such a sacred experience, yet this perfect little girl was going to be our daughter. Bailey had included us since she first met us five months before and I was so touched and grateful that she had invited us to watch the birth of our daughter. She knew that Jade was ours, that she was the vessel that got to bring her to us, and she knew how important it was for us to be there. She made sure that I could see everything and when it came time for her to push she asked me to be at one of her legs and her mom at the other. That made me feel so happy.

It was probably 1:05 in the morning when Bailey's doctor came in, snapped on some gloves, sat down and told her to push. The next three minutes were the most pure, hallowed, and life-changing three minutes of my life. First her head, then her tiny little body came into this world and the room broke out in emotion. They placed her onto Bailey and Bailey sobbed. That was when I lost all control of my polite, quiet, little tears and I bawled. Bailey's little sisters were also bawling and Michelle buried her head in her husband's chest and cried. My heart broke. What were we doing to this family? How could we take this baby away from such incredible people who obviously love her? Then as everyone passed her around and cried as they looked into her big, wide eyes I made my way back over to Bailey. "I feel so much peace!" she told me after we hugged. "I didn't know how I would feel but I really just feel peaceful. I just know this is so right." I cried again, of course, seeing her strength and hearing her conviction. I realized that  I was misinterpreting the emotions in the room. We weren't taking a baby from anyone. Bailey was placing her baby into our care and giving us a daughter because she knew it was right for her baby and loved her enough to put her first. Her family loved her and stood behind her in her decision, also knowing it was the best thing for Jade. We were going to be the recipients of the most selfless, charitable, and Christ-like gift ever given. I held Jade in my arms for the first time and tried to understand the sensation. I wish there were words, or at least that I was better with them, to explain what I felt. She was beautiful, but she was a little stranger to me and I couldn't believe that I was going to be her mom.

Jason and I left the hospital a couple hours later and walked to our car in silence. We were both terrified to become parents and if I am being honest we both felt a little worried because we didn't feel like parents right away. I realized later that it's because we weren't parents right away. Jade was Bailey's baby and that time she spent with her in the hospital was important and special for both of them. She became ours when we took her home from the hospital the following day after a tearful goodbye to our sweet Bailey. I felt it settle in as I sat in the back with Jade and held her little hand with my finger the whole drive home. It was amazing what happened to me in those thirty minutes. It honestly felt like a transformation from a disney movie, like stars and sparkles should have swirled around me as I turned into a mother on the drive to our house.

I didn't sleep much that night. I got up to feed her every few hours and when I was able to fall asleep I dreamt about feeding her. I didn't mind one bit. I already loved being a mom!

The next day we got a call from our caseworker. There was a snag in the paperwork and our background checks hadn't come through. I asked what that meant and almost dropped the phone when I heard her response.

"That means that right now you are ineligible to adopt this baby."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Little Gems!

The idea of two girls was overwhelming me! All I could think of was the drama, the hormones, the fights over clothes, friends, and boys. How would we ever handle two girls? I felt guilty for feeling more overwhelmed than excited but I couldn't help but worry about how things would be. Then I got a text from my sweet BL sister Hannah after she found out that said, "Aaah!! Sisters!" and I realized that any drama that may come attached with having two girls so close in age will all be worth it because they'll be sisters! There are very few relationships more special and important in this life than that of sisters.  I have five sisters and they are my very best friends. Our girls will always have each other and I wouldn't change having two girls even if I could. I couldn't be more excited!

Time started disappearing and our first baby's due date was getting closer. Jason and I had decided we wanted to name her Jade shortly after we found out she was a girl. We have both loved that name independently of each other since before we got married, so it wasn't a hard choice. There were actually no other girl names in the running so when we found out that I am also carrying a girl we were stumped with no names in mind whatsoever. My friends and I met up with our husbands after the ultrasound when we found out I was having a girl, too, and we started talking about names. Since Jade is a gemstone we joked about naming her after a stone as well. It was amusing to us as we listed off stones and laughed at how funny they would be as names. One friend said, "you could name her Diamond! Haha, or Sapphire!" We all laughed and then another said, "or Amethyst. Hahaha! Or Ruby!"

Ruby...hmm... Ruby! I like it! I have a great aunt Ruby who I respect and love so much and would love to keep her name in the family. I stopped our game by saying, "Wait! I actually kind of like the name Ruby." Jason perked up and said, "I love it!" I was surprised at how animated and excited he was. He said he used to tutor a couple little girls and the younger of the two sisters was named Ruby, who was super cute, so it left a good taste in his mouth. Plus he agreed that she would be lucky to be named after such a saint like Aunt Ruby. So that's how we decided on the name Ruby. What started out as a joke to name them both after gemstones turned real, and even though Ruby isn't even here with us yet both of their names are so fitting. I'm not sure if anyone cared to know about their names but you got the story regardless.

I had waited a long time to even let myself think and get excited about a nursery, but it was finally time! For help I called on my dear friend Heather, who is not only one of my closest friends but also creative master and face behind Whipperberry, one of the greatest creative blogs out there. My style for a baby girls nursery is far from the traditional pinks, pastels, princesses, etc. so here's what we came up with. Well, you get to see one side of the room anyway. I have been lazy and haven't taken any pictures of the whole thing yet. I will.... some day I will.

I felt like if I got the nursery ready, clothes washed, diapers stocked and every baby thing I could think of readily available then I would feel prepared to have a baby join us. Who was I kidding? Everything was ready except for me. I had no idea what to do with a baby! Everyone says it just comes naturally when you become a mother but what if it didn't for me? I mean, was there something that came with giving birth to your child that allowed those natural instincts to kick in? I wasn't giving birth to my child   so was I going to miss out on that? I prayed that wouldn't be the case and tried to stay calm and relaxed but again, who was I kidding? I was freaking out.

Jason and I both went with Bailey to her last doctor's appointment and we were all surprised when they did an ultrasound! We were excited to get to see this cute little face and wondered if it's what she would really look like. For the record, she does this grimace all the time!  

The doctor scheduled Bailey to be induced that coming Sunday, June 24th. That was Jason's 30th birthday and it was three days away. THREE DAYS! I spent the next three days biting my nails down to little stubs. Each hour felt like a year and it was hard to believe that Sunday would ever come. But guess what? It came.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Deep Breath

I probably should have practiced what I might say to Bailey because I was all over the place, but somehow at the end of my ramblings I managed to get out, "and believe it or not I am pregnant!" I braced myself for a long, awkward pause that didn't happen.

"Ahhh!! Are you serious? Oh my gosh, I am so happy for you guys! That is so exciting! I couldn't be happier for you!"

My heart started beating again and melted at the same time. Who was this amazing girl that was so selfless and full of love? I assured her that we still wanted to adopt her baby more than anything and that I felt no different about the baby growing inside of me than I did about the baby growing inside of her. Both are our children, determined to come together, just getting here in different ways. I asked her if this changed anything for her and she said, "Are you kidding? Not at all. This means that she'll have a little brother or sister!" I love Bailey so much and it grew a billion times stronger in that moment.

So there I was three months pregnant and adopting a baby girl due three months later. It was hard to wrap my head around and I caught myself grinning every time I thought about it. I couldn't help but see the divine orchestration that was taking place and felt so undeservingly blessed. We had already told our family and closest friends but when I was 15 weeks along and felt a little more secure about my pregnancy I made the announcement on Facebook that we were adopting and pregnant . Announcing on Facebook makes it official, right? =) I was overwhelmed and touched by the response that I received and the incredible love I felt from so many people I had never even met. I was also surprised at the amount of messages and comments that I got saying "That's how it ALWAYS happens! As soon as you stop stressing about it you get pregnant. I know so and so who that happened to as well." Apparently it is believed to be a common story to find out you are pregnant right after you are chosen to adopt, but we found out that wasn't true. At a group meeting at the adoption agency one evening we learned that the statistic of someone getting pregnant after adopting is less than 3%. I was shocked that it was so low, especially because everyone seems to know someone that it happened to. Again I recognized the divine hand in our situation. There was no doubt in my mind that this was exactly how it was supposed to be FOR US.

When we were just going to be having one baby we planned on staying in St. George and I would continue to work for the resort part time. With two babies coming it changed our story. There was no way that I was going to have two babies 3 1/2 months apart and be able to work. Since there wasn't anything in St. George for us besides my wonderful job, Jason accepted a job offer in Las Vegas and we moved back in May. Luckily our renters got out of our house and we were able to move back into our own home.

At this point I was 16 weeks pregnant, which meant I was far enough along to be able to see what we were having! Jason and I both felt like it was going to be a boy but we were dying to find out for sure. I didn't have another appointment with a doctor for another month and we were super impatient, so I looked up the 3D/4D ultrasound places in Vegas just to see. I compared prices, referrals, reviews, etc. and found the best of the best is a place in town called Baby's First Image. I spoke with the owner, Maria, and she was so awesome that I ended up making an appt. for that same day! A few hours later I was sitting in her office, which is super cute and comfortable and not at all like a stale doctors office. Jason couldn't come so I brought my two friends Heather and Kristin with me. Before she told us the sex of the baby we got to watch it on the 4D imaging. It was moving around, although I couldn't feel anything, and I could not believe that it was inside me. It was still so hard to wrap my head around.

Finally she showed us where we could see the sex of the baby and let us try and figure it out. Heather videod the whole thing, which is long and I don't expect anyone to watch it because it's probably super boring to everyone else besides us, but you are welcome to watch the part when I found out what we were having. Click on the video and start it at about 6:30 minutes. It lasts about 30 seconds.

Needless to say I was shocked! I told Jason with a cute little gift and of course he was schocked as well. TWO girls!  How the heck are we going to raise two girls? We are so in for it and we couldn't be happier.

Friday, August 3, 2012

No Way

I had been away for a few days at an event for work and was happy to finally be back with Jason. It was the Friday morning after Valentines Day and neither one of us wanted to get out of bed. We weren't tired, we were just having a great time laying there talking and joking around. Then out of the blue Jason asked me if I had had my period while I was gone because he remembered that we should be testing again soon. I hadn't, but I told him that it had to be coming soon because I had been feeling all of the symptoms (crampy, tender, tired, etc.) for the past week or more. Then he laughed and said, "haha, what if you were pregnant?"

Funny thought and even funnier that I hadn't thought it. I had spent the last four years diagnosing any little feeling in my body as a pregnancy symptom. I am sure that many times I even created symptoms in hopes that they were real and I would be pregnant. Every single month for the past four years I charted, calculated, hoped, prayed, pleaded, tested, cried, committed to let it go and not think about it for a few months only to start the cycle over a few weeks later. But ever since the IVF didn't work either time I assumed something was truly broken and I let it go for real. Although I had said it eight hundred times before, for the first time I believe that I actually handed it over to God and wanted whatever He wanted for us. And when I did that, it happened. Bailey chose us to adopt her baby and we were going to become parents in four short months! That's all we had ever wanted and it was going to come true. So when Jason joked about me being pregnant, and that's all it was was a joke, I was shocked that my mind hadn't even gone there yet. Wow, I had actually let it go! What a relief! But of course now I was thinking about it! Thanks a lot, Jase!

It wasn't possible, I mean how could it be? Both tries of IVF failed so it's not like my body was just going to magically get pregnant on it's own with one tiny dose of clomid... right? I said to Jason, "Maybe I'll stop at the dollar store and get a pregnancy test on my way to work just to see since it is a little weird that I haven't started yet." He immediately responded, "uh-uh, Sare, no way. Don't do what you always do and start obsessing over this and go  buy a bunch of pregnancy tests just to get your heart broken. Wait one more week and if you still haven't started then you should go buy a test, but only then." Of course I agreed to wait a week, and of course I didn't. =) I stopped at the dollar store on my way to work a few hours later and bought two tests. I know, I'm so bad, but it was like a habit! I had done this so many times before it had become like mindless eating! I knew that I wasn't pregnant and it's not like my hopes were up, I just bought them to calm that tiny curious bug in my mind that Jason had set off. See, it's his fault, really. His comment drove me to go get a test, so could he really blame for buying a test right after he said not to? I don't think so either.

I got to work and focused on my responsibilities, which is totally against the norm for me when I have two pregnancy tests sitting in my purse. An hour or so later I even got half way to the bathroom before remembering that I had them and turned around to sneak one into my pocket. This test was a different brand than I normally buy at the dollar store and one I had never used before. I took the test, set it on the little, silver garbage can attached to the wall and threw away the wrapper. By the time I looked back at it (probably 10 seconds later) there was a magenta line where the test line usually is on the other tests I've taken from the dollar store. I was so confused and I grabbed the box out of the trash and read the back to assure myself that this test must be different than the other brand. Usually the second line appears and then I stare for ten minutes at the test hoping for even the faintest first line to show up, though it never does. I read the box. It showed that the first line would prove a pregnancy. I looked back at the test and there were two bright pink lines staring back at me. There was nothing faint about this. According to the test I was definitely pregnant! I freaked out, couldn't believe that the dollar store had sold me a faulty test because surely that's what was happening here, wrapped the test up in toilet paper, stuck it deep down into the garbage and locked myself in my office. There's no way. There's NO way! That's all I could think, there is just no way! Luckily I was able to squeeze out a little more 30 minutes later and I took the second test to prove that the first test was a fluke. Sure enough two bright lines popped up instantly. Holy crap, I was pregnant!

I couldn't believe it. This didn't mean that I was going to have a baby, it just meant that I was pregnant and that could be a scary thing. Because my last pregnancy was ectopic I was told that if I were to get pregnant again on my own it would first, be a miracle, and second, have a 75% chance of being ectopic again. So there was a 75% chance that I was going to be having surgery very soon and go back to not being pregnant. I had only lived in St. George a month and didn't know any doctors so I googled OBGYN St. George, UT. I called the first one that came up and told them my situation. The doctor said he could see me in 20 minutes and I left work right then. I called Jason on my drive and told him that I had done something that he told me not to do.

"You took a pregnancy test, didn't you?" I told him that I actually took two and they were both positive. He laughed out loud and said "No way!" and I could hear the smile on his face. I told him I was on my way to the doctor and to not expect anything until I got home. The doctor did an ultrasound and to my surprise and relief I saw the most beautiful little dot in my uterus. It was in the right place!! I was only 6 weeks along and he couldn't say that it would stick for sure, but it was in the right place. He asked me to come back in two weeks so we could check it out again, but he said as far as he could tell everything looked good and I was definitely pregnant.

I was pregnant! Imagine me trying to think of anything else! I rushed home and showed Jason the sonogram of our dot in the right place. He was so happy. We were going to have TWO babies!!! Wait a second, what was Bailey going to think? Finding out that I was pregnant never once made us question our decision to adopt. Bailey was carrying our daughter and we felt that super strongly from the beginning so not once did we wonder if it's still what we should do. But how was Bailey going to feel about it? I know it made her happy to know that she was able to give us something that we couldn't do ourselves and was this going to change things? What if she changed her mind? What if she chose to find another family who wasn't going to have a baby on their own? What if the agency wouldn't even allow us to adopt anymore since we had to prove infertility? These thoughts made me sick (well, everything made me sick day and night for the first 12 weeks but these thoughts made me especially sick.) How was I going to tell her? I decided to wait until after the next ultrasound so we'd know if it was still going well before telling her. When that came and went and all was well I still couldn't tell her. I decided to wait until 12 weeks when I felt a little more secure that I wasn't going to lose this pregnancy because of my crazy history. At 12 weeks I ran out of reasons to wait to tell her. I felt like I was lying by keeping this from her and if she was going to choose another family because of this it wasn't fair that she didn't already know.

I tried to prepare my heart for the worst but I wasn't exactly sure how to do that. Jason suggested that we call her together so I left work early and met him at home. We said a prayer together and called her on speaker phone. As it rang Jason put his arms around me and pointed out that I was shaking. I had never felt more nervous. I hoped that she wouldn't answer because I didn't know what I was going to say, but she answered. After some friendly chit chat, some pauses, a few nudges from Jason, and a huge deep breath I told her that the unthinkable happened. I told her that I was pregnant.