IMG_0056I met Laura through her husband Aaron. Aaron and I used to be coworkers. When I first heard that Laura and Aaron were expecting, I was excited for them, but also for myself too. Sweet, I’ll have another Dad friend, and when Laura is on maternity leave, I’ll possibly have another mall-walking friend! Laura and Aaron rwelcomed their first child, Zoe, in October. But it wasn’t an easy ride for them. Here is Laura to share their story. (Click here to see Laura’s own blog)

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR CAN MAKE

46556-IMG_9320I met my husband in high school.  The extent of our friendship consisted of sharing a homeroom which meant we really didn’t spend much time together.  We ran into each other junior year of college at a mutual friend’s twenty first birthday, and shortly thereafter, Aaron made the phone call that would bring our separate paths together forever.  My best friend and roommate answered the phone and just smiled at me when she said it was for me.  In true girl fashion, I got off the phone and immediately ran to here room beaming from ear to ear. I gave her a quick recap of the conversation, “Yes, it was Aaron.  And he wanted to go out on a date.”  Considering he went to school in Detroit, two and a half hours from Mt. Pleasant, this was big.  She just looked at me and said, “This is the guy you are going to marry.”  Now, we have been best friends since kindergarten so she knows me better than anyone, but I told her she was crazy, it was just a date.  Well, one date turned into two and before I knew it we were together, engaged, and married over the next several years.  And my best friend, also my maid of honor, made sure to mention her prediction in her toast 🙂

Two years of marriage came and went.  We bought a house, got a dog, and were settling into our lives together.  The big conversation finally started creeping up, “When should we start a family?”  I was definitely ready at this point, but as it probably most often works out, he was not.  So we waited a little longer and I started pressing the topic a little harder.  Around our third anniversary we finally decided we were ready, or I should say, Aaron was finally ready. Months went by with no luck.  I’m a natural worrier (friends and family will tell you I have terrible anxiety) and scheduled a doctor’s appointment.  With a plan in place and medication in hand, we slowly started moving into the fall months.

Then suddenly after peeing on so many sticks, I saw that second blue line!  But I just knew something was wrong.  Aaron on the other hand was much more optimistic which is so not like him.  It was the day before Thanksgiving and I just remember sobbing all night.  I did not know how I was going to put on a happy face all weekend around family when I was so miserable inside.  I am very close with my mom, we’ve become best friends over the years, but I did not want her to find out she was going to be a grandma this way.  I wanted it to be happy and special.  And if this baby was ok, I wanted to wait to share that special moment with her.  Thanksgiving was hard.  Family told me in the coming weeks that they could tell something was wrong.

After weeks of blood tests and ultra sounds, it was determined that it was an ectopic pregnancy; the baby just wasn’t in the right spot.  I can’t even count how many times I just completely lost it.  Some nights I would just sob in the shower after working out or sob on Aaron’s shoulder at the most random moments.  I couldn’t understand why this was happening to us.  We are good people, we have our lives together, we love each other, we have good jobs, we wanted this baby so badly.  Yet, for some reason, we were being put through this hell.

We were now just waiting to see if my body would move things along on its own.  The wait was excruciating and Google was not my friend.  I should have stopped researching, but I just couldn’t look away.  I found articles where women had the same problems only to learn it was a vanishing twin meaning they still had one viable baby.  Other articles talked about women having emergency surgery to remove the damaged fallopian tube.  I had no idea where I would end up on the spectrum.

Days went by and my blood work was not showing any signs of improvement.  The next step was to receive a shot to help my body move things along.  After talking with the doctor, I learned this was the same shot that cancer patients received to help kill cancer cells.  The office did not administer the shot, so I had to go to the hospital to the chemo patient area.  Aaron asked if I wanted him to come with me, but at the time I thought it was silly for him to drive all the way to the hospital when I’d only be there for a short period of time.

However, as soon as I got there and realized where I would be placed, I wished he was there.  Those were some of the longest minutes of my life.  Here I was waiting for a shot that would kill this baby growing inside me.  Rationally, I knew that this was not a healthy, viable pregnancy.  I knew that it was dangerous for me not to have this shot.  But just the thought of what was actually happening was heart wrenching.  The side effects were also horrible.  I did not feel well at all for days.  My doctor kept telling me those were normal side effects.  Christmas was quickly approaching and I just wanted this all behind me.  I wanted to feel better physically so I could move forward and begin to heal emotionally.

Time passed and I began to feel worse.  I began to wonder if something was seriously wrong the Friday before Christmas.  I went to bed that night and got up immediately to tell Aaron we needed to go to the hospital.  We sat in the ER for hours.  Tests were run, doctors were in and out.  I was finally moved to the recovery area where I was supposed to be discharged in a few hours.  Aaron went home to sleep for a few hours before our drive back to Grand Rapids for the holiday.

Suddenly, I was awoken by several doctors and nurses surrounding me letting me know I needed emergency surgery.  And I was alone.  I called Aaron and he didn’t answer.  I kept calling and calling and finally called my mom.  She lives 2 hours away but I knew she’d answer and I just needed someone to talk to.  I finally got a hold of Aaron and he made it to the hospital just as they were taking me into surgery.  I was so thankful I got to see him before going back.

We left the hospital and I finally felt at peace.  I was finally feeling better physically.  Yes, I was sore from the surgery, but I was no longer nauseous with a horrible stomachache.  I could finally start working on my emotional well being.

Aaron was my rock throughout all of this.  I know he was struggling with his own hurt, and I was a complete, emotional mess.  But he always listened, let me sob on his shoulder more times than I can count, and made sure to keep my spirits up.

We soon had a plan in place for our next steps on our trying to conceive journey.  We saw a specialist who saw a few things in my history that she wanted to clear up before preceding.  I was excited yet bummed that we had to wait even longer to get this show on the road.  She did say that she saw no reason for us not to try on our own before we started treatment.  Well, apparently all we needed was to have that meeting because we found out soon after that we were expecting!  Again, I had that feeling that something was wrong.  I just couldn’t be lucky enough that this baby would actually stick.  Because we were seeing a specialist, I had blood draws every other day and weekly ultra sounds to monitor the pregnancy.  We both breathed a huge sigh of relief when we saw that little peanut in the right place on the ultra sound.

Seeing the excitement on Aaron’s face at each appointment and when he felt those first kicks come from my belly on the outside was amazing.  And he put up with a lot, I mean A LOT from me during those nine months.  One minute I was on a high, so excited about life, and the next minute I was a complete monster, uncomfortable and just ready for this baby to get here already.

On October 28, 2012, we finally got to meet our Little Miss.  After a fairly short labor, Miss Zoe Louise made her debut.  We didn’t know what we were having so when Aaron got to announce it was a girl, we were both ecstatic (while we really just wanted a happy, healthy baby, I think we were both secretly hoping for a girl).  Seeing Aaron get teary eyed when she finally popped out made me even more weepy than I already was.

It’s amazing how you fall in love with someone and know you want to spend the rest of your life with that person.  Then suddenly, in an instant, this new little person that the two of you created comes into this world and you now look at your husband completely differently.  I never knew that I could love him any more than I did before.  Yet I do.

Seeing him with Zoe brings tears to my eyes every day.  The nicknames he has for her, the cute voice he uses when talking to her, the way he always wants to hold her, and is so worried when she cries.  And for someone who hates Christmas music (well, most of it), he’s always singing it to her – making up most of the words – because he’s convinced she loves it.  After taking a week off with us, he realized it was already Thursday and said he had to go back to work on Monday.  He said he had no idea how he was going to leave her that Monday morning.  Melt.my.heart.IMG_3056

And that’s just with her.  He has been such an amazing help to me.  He was up with her several times into the wee hours at the hospital so that I could get my rest upon his insistence.  He takes care of dinner almost every night, takes care of Wally, ran errands when I was unable to, gotten up with her and I at night even when he doesn’t have to, and so much more.

After a not so great 2011 holiday season, we have so much to be thankful for in 2012.  It’s amazing how far we’ve come and how much we get to celebrate this Christmas.  We are truly blessed.  I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for a little family.

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2 thoughts on “LAURA, STEP UP TO THE MIC

  1. Thank you for sharing your story Laura! I know it wasn’t easy… Zoe is beautiful and lucky to have you and Aaron as her parents! She is an absolute blessing. 🙂

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