Our Journey to You

Josh and I had been married for 8 months when we learned that we were expecting a baby that next June! We were so excited to meet the sweet spirit we already loved so much. We had a boy name picked out so when we learned that we were having a little man, our hopes were confirmed.  He was the first grandbaby on my side and some of Josh’s sisters are unable to have children of their own so we decided to do an ultra-sound with all the sisters. It was such a neat experience to have all my sisters and Moms there to see him and the feeling in the room was one I will never forget. I was instantly attached to this boy we called Mac. He had so much personality already; in every ultra-sound he played pick-a-boo, moved enough that I thought he was doing back flips every day, and constantly had the hiccups.

My pregnancy went well until the end when I started to retain water and was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Because of that we were going in for routine non-stress tests to monitor Mac’s health and to determine when delivery was necessary. I was going in every other day and everything still looked great. Because of all the additional ultra-sounds I was able to have with Mac, I grew fond of him and had a bond I knew no one could break. The morning before my last non-stress test, two days before my due date, Mac was not moving but I had felt him the night before so was not worried. My Mom came with me to my appointment because Josh had to get some work done before I had McKallister. I knew something was wrong as soon as the nurse started the ultrasound. The look in her eyes was not the same that I had become so accustomed to seeing.

Our world shattered as we learned that Mac didn’t have a heart beat and had passed away sometime during the night. My Mom comforted me as we waited for Josh, our parents, brothers and sisters to arrive at the hospital to be with us. I learned a lot about my family during this heartbreaking time. Each one had a strength or quality that I needed in order to get through this trying time. They all stayed with us throughout the night and into the early morning as I progressed through labor.
McKallister (Baby Mac) was born one day shy of his due date weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 22 inches long. We were able to spend 12 hours with his sweet body and our family and friends were there to see this perfect boy. The feeling in the room was unforgettable. There was so much peace and comfort and the veil was so thin. Josh and I were able to feel a love from our Heavenly Father that will be with us the rest of our lives. Mac taught us and our family more in his short time here on this earth than many can in a lifetime. Mac still plays a huge part in our lives and is talked about frequently. We visit his sweet grave every chance we get and he’ll never be forgotten. Click here to view McKallister's blog

18 months later we had our precious little girl, Oakland. My pregnancy with her was hard, but only in the sense of how scared and anxious I was. I cherished every moment I had with her, every ultra-sound and movement. We got a heartbeat machine that I used daily to ensure she was still healthy. I’m grateful for the outlook I had during my pregnancy with her because I did not take one moment for granted. I remember so vividly every kick and the hard times were easier because of how excited I was to get to hold my baby girl. She was born at 8 pounds and 19 inches long and it was the most tender moments I have ever experienced. I have never felt such happiness and hope for the future as I did then.

A week after I had Oakland I started to notice some leg pain and swelling, went in to the emergency room and had a blood clot that ranged from my calf to my thigh. I was hospitalized for a week during which time Josh took care of our newborn girl on his own. He did a great job but I was anxious to get back to her. After being released and home for a few days I went back in when the pain worsened. The clot had spread from my ankle to my abdomen and I was in the hospital for an additional week. We learned that I have a clotting disorder, so was put on blood thinner that I would take the remainder of my child baring years at least.

When Oakland was two, we decided that we wanted to try for another child but being on blood thinner and having already clotted complicated things. I started taking shots of blood thinner daily and would during the entire pregnancy. We learned I was pregnant and would have another baby in October! It was an extremely hard pregnancy, but one I am grateful for non-the-less. I was very sick the first few weeks and went in for hydration therapy multiple times, lost 10 pounds and was very anxious.
Because I was on blood thinner and had lost a previous baby I was considered a very high risk pregnancy so was able to have ultra-sounds every other week. At 14 weeks I started to bleed but ultra-sounds didn’t show anything abnormal. We learned at that time that we were having another baby boy and let Oakland name him, Quincy. I went in twice a week for a few weeks until the bleeding stopped. By that time the sickness had all but disappeared and it looked like it was going to be a great pregnancy from there on out.

Oakland was so excited to have another brother and we talked about him often. Bought him clothes together, got ready to set up his room, etc. When I was 21 weeks pregnant, Oakland and I were taking a nap on Sunday afternoon. Josh was supposed to be at church for his calling, but luckily came home and was downstairs. I called him on his phone in a desperate voice and he ran upstairs calling 911. I had gone in to cardiac arrest and was not breathing. Josh did CPR on me until the medics arrived at which time they took over. I was taken by life flight to the hospital and it was determined that I had an Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE).
Read more about my Amniotic Fluid Embolism here

In order to save my life, they had to sacrifice sweet Quincy. The Dr's hoped that this would be enough but in the end they also had to do an emergency hysterectomy. I was lucky to be alive, for many reasons I should not have survived and was in the hosptial just shy of two weeks. Through the next few weeks I was in and out of the hospital, continued to heal and am fortunate to have gotten my health back so that I could be the Mom I want to be to Oakland and my future children.
We knew that our family was not complete so as soon as my health permitted, we submitted our paperwork for adoption. We learned of a little boy who was born in May of 2013 at 4 pounds 10 ounces and 17 inches long. After 3 weeks in the NICU, his amazing birth mom signed the paperwork to make him a very important part of our family, Oakland's best friend and our 4th little miracle. We brought him home on the year mark of having my AFE and losing Quincy.

Josh and I feel blessed to have the four children we have, we have learned so much about God's plan for us and are humbled by those that have reached out to us during these times. We have such a strong testimony of the atonement, resurrection and plan of salvation. We know that these experiences have been the journey that will bring us to you and wouldn't change any of it. We are ecstatic to add to our family once again, adoption is such a miracle and something that we are honored to be a part of.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't stop crying as I read your blog. I am amazed at your family. you have endured so much it is no wonder you were chosen parents of such special children. I hope you know that you have a strong spirit and I can feel it just through reading your blog. Thank you for your strong testimonies and your example. I am excited for you for the day you will get to be with your whole family....and I hope you are blessed soon with a new addition to your family... best of luck and prayers are coming your way!!!