Party of four

As we counted down the days until we became a family of four, I sat reflecting on this pregnancy and everything that had gone in to it.

This entire year seems like a whirlwind; Brett left a job to run his own agency full-time; five minutes later we discovered I was pregnant! Throw in a major house renovation and a toddler and it all adds up to a chaotic, messy nine months.

It’s been a (mostly) beautiful mess. During the last nine months I’ve watched my husband grow and support a business; something he’s wanted to do for a long time. I’ve watched my son grow and thrive in ways that catch me off guard and take my breath away. I’ve watched the relationship between him and his dad evolve, strengthen and deepen. It’s such a beautiful thing and I’m eternally grateful to witness it.

I’m forever grateful for the opportunity, because there were times when I thought I’d never get to see it.

We have been pretty open about our journey toward starting a family and the struggle we endured. Henry is our miracle; fearfully and wonderfully made. It took a long time and a lot of tears to get him here. What most people don’t know is that the journey to get his brother here has been equally as difficult.

After Henry was born, we knew pretty quickly we wanted to grow our family. And since we didn’t know if we would experience the same challenges, we started trying as soon as we could. And we gave it time, and no expectations. And were met with the same challenges. Month after month. It was hard to walk through the battle of infertility a second time.

But then, last July, after nearly a year of struggle, I had a positive pregnancy test! We were elated. We did the calculations and discovered that we’d be having a St. Patrick’s Day baby – how fun!

But, the pregnancy didn’t stick. I was home by myself with Henry. I called Brett at work, sobbing. I could barely get out a sentence. “I need you to come home.” I choked out. And he did. And we sat together and cried at our loss. Wondered if our house would be full of kids like we had imagined. I felt guilty for my sadness since we have Henry and he’s perfect.

It took nearly another half of a year, but eventually I received another positive test! I was ecstatic. And terrified. And anxious. I told Brett and we cried happy tears and worried together; every day. Until we heard his heart beat. It was beautiful and perfect. We cried more happy tears. We worried some more. Until the fetal scan that showed us how strong our son was growing. We cried more happy tears.

When March arrived, I told Brett “I think the timing of this pregnancy is not an accident. I think the universe knew that March was going to be a hard month for us, so while we fight through the grief of not holding a baby like we expected back in July, we have a new joy in this pregnancy to help us through that.”

And now, nearly two and a half years after Henry made us parents, we are finally a family of four!

I am so looking forward to watching Brett and Henry grow closer, and I’m equally excited to watch him bond with our new son. I can’t wait to see Henry as a big brother; I think he’s going to be amazing.

I sit in awe at the absolute miracle that life is. And while my path to creating it has been anything but smooth, I am so grateful for the opportunity and blessing. I hope I teach and show my sons that they are precious and loved. And I hope they understand that if I seem like I over-worry about them it’s because I made them from scratch and they are the best things I’ve ever created.

You’ll Never Remember

You’ll never remember the two and a half years you spent as an only child.

You’ll never remember life before your little brother; before you were promoted and given the title Big Brother.

You’ll never remember a time you didn’t have an upstairs bedroom and that your brother’s room was once yours.

You’ll never remember that two days before your brother was born I made us take this picture.

That this is the last picture we have of you as an only child; our last picture as a family of three.

You’ll never remember that I hugged you extra hard as you left for school the Friday before you became a big brother. That I sobbed as you walked out our front door saying “bye, Mommy.” for the last time as an only child.

You’ll never remember that you went to bed on a Saturday night as our only baby and that when you woke up on Sunday we weren’t there because your brother was being born.

But I will.

I’ll remember all of those things. I’ll remember the two and a half years where my time and energy weren’t divided; where my sole focus was you and your every need.

But, I’ll also remember the look on your face when you came to visit us at the hospital to meet your baby brother. How you beamed the best, most proud smile I’ve ever seen. How you immediately knew to be soft and gentle with your brother.

I’ll remember your sweet voice saying “hello” and “I love you.” And how you gave soft kisses on his head.

I’ll remember that you were very concerned about all the people looking at your brother and you instructed the nurse “don’t hurt my baby brudder.”

I’ll remember how excited you were when we came home with your brother and how you just wanted to sit next to him and hold his hand.

You’ll never remember any of that. But I will.

And I’ll get to witness every single day of you as a big brother.

Happy Birthday, #BabySuddreth

You are officially 48 hours old. So I guess, technically, it’s not your birthday anymore.

We are lying in bed at the hospital, in the middle of the night, and I am just staring at you through the dim light I have in the room.

You’re beautiful and perfect and I am so in love with you.

Becoming your mom created a piece of my heart I didn’t even realize I was missing; so thank you for that.
I guess in a way today is my “birth”day, too. It’s the day I gave birth to my new role in life…Mom. I like the sound of that.

I like the way you fit in my arms so naturally and so perfect – like you have always been meant to fit there; like you’re the missing part of a puzzle piece.

I like your soft little whimpers and the way you nuzzle your head against my chest. And I like the way your tiny hand wraps around my finger and holds on as tightly as possible. Like you’re holding on for dear life and asking me to never let go.

The last thing I wrote before you were born was about things I hoped to teach you. This time, I’m telling you don’t worry; I’m not letting go.

I’ll give you space and freedom to explore and fail, but I’ll always be here. To help you back up. To help you find the lesson. To show you how to keep going.

That’s my birthday present to you. Never letting go.

A Letter to My Unborn Son

Dear Son,

I’ve been awake for the last three hours. That happens a lot these days; being awake. But, I’m not really complaining. I’m tired and uncomfortable, but that’s okay.

It’s okay because I know that all of the sleepless nights and backaches (and swollen feet) are going to be worth it.

Currently, I’m laying in bed feeling you move around. It’s such an amazing feeling; odd, but amazing. I’ve been in awe of you since I found out you existed. Since I learned that your father and I created a miracle from scratch. You are such a blessing and an answered prayer. And in 12 days, you’ll be here and I’ll get to meet you face to face.

I wanted to take a moment to let you know how loved you are. How happy I was when I found out you were coming. How overjoyed your dad was when I got to tell him our family was growing. How your grandparents screamed with joy when they learned they were getting a(nother) grandchild. How excited all of your cousins are for a new cousin to play with. And how happy all of our friends were when we told them that you were coming. You are so loved, Son.

I want to tell you those things, because I know that sometimes, the days will be really long and we’ll call those “bad days.” There will be days where we just won’t know how to communicate with each other, and we’ll both cry; probably a lot. I know that when we take you home from the hospital they don’t send us with an instruction book on what to do with a new person. And that means we’ll just have to make things up as we go.

Which means I’ll have to be very patient, something I struggle with right now. But please know that I am trying. But, I’m going to fail. Probably everyday. But, I’ll try again and again and again to make you happy. To make sure you’re healthy. To ensure that you have everything you need, and some of the things you want.

Your Dad is going to teach you how to do things; things like take care of the yard, and how to fish. He’s going to teach you the meaning of hard work and why it’s important. He’ll teach you how to play baseball, and my heart will swell and I’ll probably cry. He’ll show you so much love and patience and that will help me be more patient, too.

I hope to teach you that kindness, compassion and empathy are not bad things. In fact, they are the greatest tools you can possess and will make you stronger than anything you’ll ever face. I hope that I teach you that being silly isn’t a bad thing, and that life is a beautiful miracle worth celebrating every day. Even the days that are yucky have good moments, if you remember to look for them.

Most of all, I hope that you always know how loved you already are. How loved you were before you were even created and how loved you will always be. If I can show you that, then I will know that I have succeeded in this world as a person, but more importantly as the person chosen to be your mom.





Happy Mother’s Day

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year I was not looking forward to Mother’s Day. Not because I don’t have wonderful women in my life worth celebrating, but because at the time I was in the midst of an infertility struggle that I hadn’t planned on ever experiencing and the pain of celebrating all of the awesome moms in my own life and not being part of the celebration was almost unbearable.

I did all of the things I normally do on Mother’s Day; went to church, called my Mom, spent the afternoon with my in-laws and sent messages to all of my girlfriends who were celebrating their Mother’s Day with their own children.

And I spent a lot of time crying. Crying because I was celebrating and not being celebrated. Crying because I was giving gifts to mothers and not being given gifts. Crying because yet another box of unsolicited baby formula had shown up at my house and reminded me again that the baby I wanted didn’t exist.

Needless to say, it was a long and painful day. And I felt so selfish for those feelings. But, they were there.

This year, I’m 18 days away from becoming a first-time mom. I’ll do everything I did last year, but this time any tears will be tears of joy and gratitude instead of ones of pain and longing.

So to all the moms out there; the veterans, the first timers and the moms-to-be, a very happy Mother’s Day.

And to everyone for whom this day is a painful reminder of something lost or unfulfilled, I wish you the day you desire and the peace you need to get through today.