Navigating the world with a bump that’s not my own

Life is good right now. The holidays are coming, fall weather is actually happening in Texas. Big things are happening at work and my children are just as wonderful as ever! June bug is a normal part of my every day. I think about her mommy and daddy every single day, every time she kicks me. I don’t ignore her, I rub my belly lovingly and tell her how loved and wanted she is. I tell her that her birthday will be the best day in so many peoples lives. I tell her that I love to take care of her, but I can’t wait for her to go home. My kids talk about her sometimes, sometimes the feel her kick and talk to her. Mostly they ask her if she’s doing good and not to kick their mommy too hard. Curtis interacts with her when I get super excited about major movements, and as she grows he’ll play with her (with lights on my belly or making funny noises on my belly or even playing music for her).

We are all very content with our life and our little visitor.

But now that my belly is expanding more and more people are starting to notice that I am without a doubt “with child”. I know that my pregnancy is not the “norm” so I have no harsh feelings toward people.. but I am more aware of people being intrusive on pregnant women in general. “When are you due” “How many kids do you have” “Did you mean to get pregnant” “Is it a girl or a boy?” “You’re tiny!” “You’re huge!” Just to name a very few things I have already heard.

When my kids are with me, they are the first ones to say “June isn’t my sister, my mom is just holding her for “mama B” which is the truth, but just leads to a whole new slew of questions. “Are you gay?” “Are you her sister?” “Why would you do that?” “What about your poor confused children?” “How does your husband feel about all this?!”

So I guess I really just want to take a minute to put this out in the universe somewhere. This belly is mine, what’s growing inside is not:

22 weeks

My husband and my children adore J&B and little June. We were all WELL aware that we were not going to have another child (AND DON’T WANT ONE). My children think nothing of it other than mom is getting fat. They are not confused, they are not scared, they are happy to help another family. This woman is going to have a beautiful daughter in a few short months:

Mama B & Collin
Mama B & Collin

Doesn’t she look beautiful!? Glowing even?! Because she’s having a baby! She’s going to be a mom! YAY! You know what else? She trusts me. She trusts me with the most precious thing in the whole world. So next time you ask me “Are you aloud to eat that?” or “How could you do such a crazy thing?!” Stop it. Because not a single person who has said anything like that, has been someone who has struggled with infertility, or simply can’t have their own baby. So just leave me be to grow a little human while I raise my own little humans. I’m very happy to say that my family is NOT normal and I like it that way, thank you very much!

June Bug says mind ya own!
June Bug says mind ya own!

June Bug is on the move

It’s funny how life can get away from you sometimes. Or maybe it doesn’t get away, but you’re so caught up living it! So much has happened since my last post in MAY! We transferred one beautiful embryo on June 17th in Austin Texas. I got to spend some more time with mom and met pretty much ALL of her family. It was a really amazing trip.

Me, mom and June Bug! Ready to get pregnant!
Me, mom and June Bug! Ready to get pregnant!

When I came home from Austin, it was a waiting game. I felt the morning sickness and exhaustion start almost immediately and started taking home pregnancy tests. I got my first faint positive on June 21st, fathers day (just four days after transfer)! I wanted so desperately to call mom and dad and tell them the news!!! But alas, they had decided they wanted to wait for my blood draw which wasn’t until June 29th (12 days past transfer). I peed on 2-3 sticks a day! Watching that line get darker and darker and I knew, our first try was a success!

How many sticks can someone pee on!?
How many sticks can someone pee on!?

July 29th came, and mom called me early that morning. I told her I had been testing, and we both just couldn’t wait until the blood draw came back, I told her over the phone that she was going to be a mommy and I could feel her joy all the way from NYC to DFW through the phone. My blood work felt like it took FOREVER to come back, but when it finally did! BETA was 550!!!! I was ecstatic! I skyped with mom and dad and got to look them in the eyes and tell them both the great news. The emotion was overwhelming. It is truly a moment that I will never forget and treasure my entire life.

Since then we’ve hit a few little bumps, and had some shocks. Turns out that our one little embryo SPLIT into TWO baby girls! We were all in shock! Just as much as we were when we lost the twin around 9 weeks.

Medications turned into a huge challenge, making me unable to move without being in extreme pain. I ended up bed ridden for most of July. Since then it has been smooth sailing, outside of some major nausea and morning sickness that lasted until about 15 or 16 weeks.

Today I am 19 weeks pregnant and as I type this, June is belly dancing while we listen to some grunge music (which seems to be her favorite). My belly is smaller than it was with my boys but I’m glad to be able to still sleep comfortably and fit in MOST of my clothes. I haven’t seen dad since we first met in March (though he works a lot), but we do communicate sometimes via messenger on facebook. I talk to mom almost once a week over the phone. She’s coming for a visit next week for the anatomy scan. It’ll be the first time I’ve seen her since transfer.

My everyday life both is and isn’t effected by my surrogate pregnancy. I don’t work even close to the 50 hours I was working before I got pregnant. I do miss work, but I’m cherishing this time with my youngest child who will start Kindergarten next year. I’m also taking this time to figure out my own career and long term plans for my families future.

Some funny irony is that it was one year ago, in October that I filled out my application for the Surrogate agency. I’ve been actively on this journey for a year now, but only halfway through my pregnancy.

Little 17week bump with June Bug.
Little 17week bump with June Bug.

So now it’s a waiting game of growing a chubby healthy baby and living life. Planning her grand entrance and enjoying all the people who will be there to help welcome this miracle into the world.

Keep growing little June girl.

Let the hormones begin!

Four days ago I started my medication. This first medication is called “Lupron” and is a hormones that I inject into my own stomach. Yikes.

The Lupron is used to STOP my cycle. No ovulating for this girl! I’m on 20 units for about two weeks, and then once I start OTHER medications, I’ll cut down to 10 units before switching medications completely, but more on that later.

I took a video of myself taking the Lupron so you can all see how it’s done (Not a pro, not yet, but I got it down). Warning, if the body of a mother of three bothers you, look away and get yourself some help. ūüôā

I have had some side effects already, but nothing TOO bad. Right after I take my injection my stomach becomes sore (which is expected when I’m stabbing myself with a needle), red and itchy. And also so horribly bloated which sucks. I also get extremely tired after my injection and am thankful I take it at night. I’ve also noticed an increase in… uncontrollable crying (one full year with not a tear shed and now I’m crying because… well no reason, just crying)!¬† I’m hoping that it stays there and I get no other side effects.. but we shall see.

Dear J & B: An open letter to my intended parents

Dear “J” and “B”,

We have talked many times, we text often. I keep up with you on facebook as I’m sure you do me. Still we know very little about each other. We met over a phone call and are thousands of miles from each other. Yet we chose each other. I chose you to go along with on this crazy journey. You chose me to carry your most precious cargo. I feel like we have already gone through so much, yet we haven’t even started.

The first time we talked I made you a promise and I want to tell you, it still holds true. I am an open book. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I am honest. I will always make sure you are the first to know anything baby related, or not, if it effects me in any significant way. I will always answer any questions you ask me to the best of my ability and honestly. And above all, I promise to take care of myself, and love your child like I love my three nieces and two nephews. I will talk with you with joy about baby plans or comfort you when you have concerns. I will be unattached if so asked, or your best friend. I will hold your privacy as long as you want, or tag you in every single adorable baby thing that I can possibly find. I’ll stay a secret to friends and family, or tell them to add me on facebook to see baby bump pictures. Invite them to visit for appointments you can’t make, be there with you, or be there when the baby is born.

I want you to know that I know this is long awaited for you. Know that this has been long awaited for me too. You’ve heard my story that led me to you, but you haven’t been able to see my heart yet. My life has been filled with joy and pain. I have too, loved and lost. But my heart is forever growing, forever giving. If I could say one thing about me, it would be that I love to give. I have given time, advice, love, money, clothes, food, hair,.. any opportunity that I can find to give something to someone, something that they couldn’t give themselves, I do. I don’t say this with an ego, or a big head. I want no pat on the back or award. I just want you to know, that I truly care. I care about what you want, and I care about what I can do best for your baby.

I know that we are still a month away from transfer, and I know that in your heart you are optimistic, but are still weary that things may not go as planned. I truly believe that what we put into the universe, we receive back. I promise you with all that I am, that I have put out as much as I could (and some days, more than I really could). That in my heart, I know this will work. I look forward to the day that I get to see you hold your child. The day that your family becomes whole. When that day comes, I still want no pat on the back or award. Seeing you happy and together, is all the reward I could ever ask for.

Your loving surrogate.

Worth the wait

“Hurry up and wait” is not a new concept to me. It was our number one motto in the military. You hurry up and get everything that you can done, but in the end, it’s on someone else’s time. And the waits can be long and excruciating. Then you wake up one morning with all the information you’ve been waiting for, and then some.

Today is one of those days.

After going through interview processes with IPs. Past medical paperwork screenings. Getting my Uterus poked, prodded, photographed and framed. After being mentally evaluated twice. After going over all the craziness that is a contract. After getting an MMR shot and an up to date pap. Running around in circles and much MUCH waiting… today is a big day.

This morning we received my med calender. What does that mean? It means my medications are on their way, it means we had a date that June bug will come to stay in her new temporary home, and we have a estimated due date before she’s even in there! The SUPER amazing parts? June bug will be transferred in JUNE, and she will be due 4 days after her mamas birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY “B”!

“J”, “B”, Curtis and I are ecstatic! It has been a long time coming, and we have made it to the FIRST “home stretch” (there will be many more.. the dreaded 2WW, and of course waiting for June to go home with her mommy and daddy).. but for now, this is a dream come true.

One step closer! Just keep swimming!

Dear June Bug

Dear June Bug,

I dreampt of you many months ago, before I even met your mommy and daddy. I dreampt of a little girl, and i heard the words June bug over and over. I didn’t know then the significance of that dream.

I met your mommy and daddy in March. They are so wonderful June Bug. Both so smart, both so beautiful. You’re a very lucky little girl and you don’t even know it yet! You are so loved, and so wanted already! I asked your mommy what your name would be, and when she said June, my jaw dropped. I told her of my dream, and we both knew this was meant to be. Something even funnier? It looks like you may be coming to stay in my belly starting in June! It’s funny how these things work out!

June bug, I know you’re so tiny right now, and I know you are locked up tight far away from home, but me, and mommy and daddy and all our friends are working as hard as we can to get your snuggled into my belly as fast as we can. You’re going to like staying with me (you can order womb service any time of night).

So all I ask little June Bug is that you make me one promise! When we go to Austin in June, you snuggle in really good and hang on tight for a long ride. We still have awhile before you can go home with mommy and daddy, but I can make sure that you get big and strong before then. We’ll work together! And I know that my babies are going to love having you with us.

Just know June Bug, you are a miracle, and a dream come true.

Love your Surro mama.

Red Threads

After getting caught up with my own children’s birth stories, I have decided to change the name of my blog.

A long time ago I read about an ancient Chinese belief. There is an invisible red thread that connects each of us to all of the individuals who have been, currently are, and will in the future be important to us in our lives. This red thread can stretch, twist, and bend… but will never break.

I believe this to not only be beautiful, but true. Talking about, and thinking about all of the lives that are connected to mine, how could I not believe that they are meant to be. That when I was born, Emma and Collin and Alexander where already connected to me. That they were meant to be. More lives, hundreds, maybe even thousands of strands are still connected to me. Strands that I have yet to meet the other end of. But this blog is to document those strings. Those people. Those life changing events.

This isn’t just my story. This is theirs too.


A little Caterpillar of green: One, two, THREE! (Part 2)

So now you know how I got here. I’m in Fort Mitchell Alabama, pregnant with my third child, a perfect 4 year old daughter, a perfect 2 year old son. I’m determined to have the birth I want, and I’m determined to go into labor on my own…

My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.
My 20th birthday, 20 weeks pregnant, in a hotel on my way to Arizona.

I woke up on Sunday, October 16th (2011), with so much energy I knew I had to do something with it. I made a plan to spend time with the kids doing fall things We made homemade cookies, carved pumpkins, and I even ran to the store (twice, because of course I always forget things). We had a wonderful afternoon together. Around 4pm Curtis suggested that I drink the Castor oil that he had picked up while grocery shopping the day before. I poured about 2oz in with some V8 splash and drank it as fast as I could. You know what? It’s not even half as bad as everyone said it was going to be. If you haven’t done this before, there is no taste, at all. The hard part about castor oil, is the texture, its literally oil and can be hard to tolerate. Anyways, because of all the horror stories, Curtis and Mike (my brother-in-law who was living with us at the time) didn’t want me to leave the house, even though I wanted to walk, in fear that I would go right into labor or possibly not make it to the bathroom in time (for those of you who don’t know, castor oil is a very strong laxative and is thought to send you into labor because it irritates your bowels and makes you contract). After a few hours of nothing, no contracting, no running to the bathroom, no changes at all I decided to try one more time. Around 7pm I drank another 2oz of castor oil with V8, but this time I insisted on walking, so Curtis and I walked around the neighborhood for about an hour, talking and looking at the stars. We came home and I finally had a BM, but still felt no contractions. Around 11pm I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes with some minor cramping but I was sure that labor was just not going to happen. Curtis and I went to to bed at midnight and I tossed and turned as normal for a few minutes before I was back in the bathroom. I would sit down for a few minutes, then stand up and rock back and forth because I could feel real contractions coming on, then sit again. It was a terrible hour. Finally I sat down again and *GUSH* my water broke over the toilet.

October 14th, three days before Lex was born.
October 14th, three days before Lex was born.

My jaw kinda dropped, and I just sat there for a minute, trying to take in that my son was coming, that I had gone into labor without being medically induced, and not only that, but I was finally, actually going to get my ‘It’s time’ moment! I yelled for Curtis… and again,.. and again, but he sleeps like a rock. I got up and went to the bedroom and called him name again and he shot up with owl eyes! “Don’t freak out! But my water just broke. ” his response? “That’s it?”.. I guess he was dreaming about Iraq and thought a bomb went off. So I had to say it a few times before he realized what was going on and he said “I can handle that”… I got my things together and called my sister and mother-in-law to let them know Lex was on his way. Then we hopped in the car and were off for Martin Army Community Hospital.. an hour away.

On our way to the hospital I called labor and delivery to let them know we were on our way, and I talked to Tabbatha (my sister-in-law) for awhile. When we got there is was about 1;30am. We went to L&D where they hooked me up to the machines and checked for amniotic fluid. My contractions were 4 minutes apart and strong, about a 7 on the pain scale. When they checked me I was 50% effaced and 2cm, and they couldn’t find any fluid, but I knew that my water had broke, that it wasn’t all in my head. So my Dr had me put on a giant pad and told me to walk for an hour in hopes that more fluid would leak. So Curtis and I went down to the parking lot to walk, and talk, and even dance together a little (it was a magical,¬†intimate moment I will remember forever). When we got back to L&D it was about 3am. I was now 75% effaced and 3cm. I knew it was going to a long night. Still no fluid though, so the Dr. (who I had never met and seemed very young and inexperienced) gave me a sonogram to measure fluid. There wasn’t a lot, but there were pockets here and there. They admitted me and sent me to the room they were expecting me to deliver in. After being asked 500 questions, I told the nurse that her and the Dr needed to know what I wanted now. I gave them the rundown and my hopes were crushed. The Dr would not do a water birth, and my midwife MIGHT be in sometime after 8am. If I wanted my water birth, I had to hope and pray she was going to be in, and that I was still in labor at that time.

From 4am to 9am I labored uncomfortably, without sleep. I walked, I sat on the birthing ball, and I tried to stay out of the bed knowing its the worst place to labor, as my pain steady got worse and my contractions became 2 minutes apart. At 9AM my favorite Dr, and my midwife came into my room and I sighed a great sigh of relief, and she saw it. Right away she started filling up the tub as my Dr checked to see how I had progressed, and it became apparent why after 8 hours of labor I was only 4cm and 90% effaced, The other pockets of water needed to be popped. At 10am they broke the rest of my water and put me in the tub.

The bathtub felt amazing, it took so much pressure of my hips and back. It was soothing, it was quiet. But my contractions went from a 7, to a nine instantly. But I’ve been here before, I knew what I had to do, and I knew it would be over soon. After just half an hour they checked me, and I was 7cm. Suddenly the long hard labors I was used to, were flying by! But I had the feeling like I needed to push! I knew it was too soon to push, but my body was getting ready to have the baby so fast, I tried with all I had NOT to push. There was talk in between contractions of how the hospital was going to get rid of the midwives, and that I was the 11th person in 10 months to deliver in the tub. I was shocked. How has America become SO lazy that they get to the hospital, ask for a giant needle and sleep through labor laying in a bed, or ask for their baby to be c-section simply because they don’t want to deal with the pain. The pain in a natural part of life! A few Drs had never seen a water birth, and I approved for them to be in the room. If I could spread how simple this is, how much better it is, maybe other Drs would start doing it, and more women would have the beautiful experience I did.

At 11am, about 10 hours after my water broke, I couldn’t resist the need to push. My midwife checked me, and I got terrible news. A lip of skin was stuck over the babys face. This is not the first time that I’ve had this news. While in labor with Collin, this happened, and I pushed for 4 hours to get the lip over him. I almost lost it. But my midwife re-assured me, and told me that during my next contraction she was going to try to remove the lip. I crossed my fingers and suffered through another contraction, and I could feel the same terrible pain I felt with Collin, and then relief. She had been able to move the lip, and now, I could push.

Ten minutes. I pushed in the big bathtub for just 10 minutes. No pushing on my belly, no one holding my legs, no one pulling my sons head. I did it. I finally got the birth I’ve been dreaming of. Where my body did it, no medication, just me.


Alexander Michelangelo Kimball was born at 11;35AM on October 17th 2011. He was 8lbs 11oz and 22inches long. He was placed directly on his mothers chest where he sat for 5 minutes before his father cut his umbilical cord. He was never taken from me without my permission, he wasn’t given certain unnecessary medications, he roomed in, and he was released early.

Lex is three now! He has a huge personality. He’s bossy and sassy. He’s a “boy’s boy”. He likes to fight, and play sports and run (because he’s the flash)! He loves Dinos and the ninja turtles. He is tough as nails and with a name like his, why wouldn’t he be? He’s his sisters twin, and a daddies boy. And I love him.


A little Caterpillar of green: One, two, THREE! (Part 1)

After about 18 months we moved back to the states, thinking we would be getting settled in our new duty station. The military had other plans. Curtis was to go to Arizona to train for a new position for 4 months. My plan was to set up shop in Fort Campbell (KY/TN) and wait for him until he returned to our new home. Well, we couldn’t find a new home, and nothing seemed to go right. So after almost a month of staying with a “friend” we packed up our car and went back to New York (where “home” is).

While we were there “visiting” I decided I would rather just stay with my in-laws for four months, then go back to Kentucky alone, Curtis agreed. He was on a baby kick. Desperately wanting another child. Me? No way. I didn’t want any more babies, I was DONE with babies… or at least I thought so. I tried my hardest to “please” my husband and not get pregnant. *sigh*

A month after we got to New York he flew to Arizona. I knew I was pregnant, I could feel it. I took a test while he was traveling, and what do you know!? A big fat +

He called me when he got there and I told him the news. He didn’t believe me.¬† There was no way that I could know that soon that I was pregnant.¬† But lets be real, by the third time you’re a bit of an expert. I knew my way around a pregnancy test, I knew early signs, I just knew. This made us fight until I could get to the Doctors to have my pregnancy confirmed. Why would I lie? Oh well it’s in the past.

After it was confirmed, I felt like I had with Collin. Dis-attachment. UGH! Why can’t I just enjoy pregnancy?! It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. I really loved being pregnant, but stress,.. it gets the best of us sometimes. At this time the military was screwing us over, not paying my husband the right amount, put him in a hotel because they “forgot” he was coming so there wasn’t lodging for him, and he had to pay for a freakin rental car! There was little to no money, I was fighting with my in-laws (who I was stuck living with). It was just a mess. It was finally the icing on the cake when he told me that he wanted to move back “home” to New York when he eventually got out of the military.

Let me just tell you,.. I HATED “home” with a passion! I never wanted to go back, I hated it so much I would do anything not to go back. So we fought, and fought and then we stopped talking. I decided that being a single mother of three, just wasn’t what I wanted…

That leads to a whole other story (<This was written the day of, in my own words, with a lot of emotion) but for this purpose, long story short I almost got an abortion. But we’re not going to go into that here and now. I didn’t do it and I was scared. How in the world would I take care of these kids by myself?

Well not long after that I was kicked out of my in-laws house. Me and the kids moved in with my (very reluctant) dad. And slowly Curtis and I fixed our relationship. After about a month, my dad said “You guys gotta go!”.. so I made plans to leave. Take my kids, and my best friend and drive all the way to Arizona from New York halfway through a pregnancy. But come on! I’m all about adventure! Let’s get this show on the road! But first, lets find out if I’m having a boy or a girl.

So I took my best friend, mom, Aunt and Daughter to the Doctors and got a sonogram. Everyone wanted me to have another girl including my daughter who was desperate for a little sister. When the time came, I knew as soon as I saw in-between that babies little legs.
It’s a boy.

This time, I feel much different then with Collin. I’ve learned now, boys are SO much easier (at least to me)! So I pack up my car, my kids, my support (aka best friend) and we drive, for 5 days and 4 nights. And when we get to Arizona, it’s back to bliss. But I’m worried about my little growing caterpillar, I’ve eaten like shit, I’ve been moving and on the road, and honestly, I haven’t quit smoking. I feel like a horrible mother… again. I’m ready to get to a home with my husband, and take care of myself… the military? They had other plans.

Curtis gets pulled from his class and told that we’re going no where. “Where you going? NO WHERE!” (sorry, I lost myself for a minute there) So we are stuck, living in a hotel for a month. Until finally one day the military says “Hey guys! So, you’re gonna go to Fort Benning Georgia now! Bye!” Which we’re cool with because we’re ready for our own bed, a home cooked meal, all that jazz.

We took our time getting there, stopping to visit family and friends in Texas and exploring. It was a nice little vacation, and we fell in love with DFW. When we got to Fort Benning we fell in love with a house in Alabama (Fort Benning is on the boarder of GA and AL), but the problem was the owner wouldn’t be leaving for a month. Well, I had already lived in a hotel for a month, why not!? So that’s what we did. By the time we got into the house, I was about 28 weeks along, with not a single thing ready for my little caterpillar.

So we did everything we could (which, after having two kids, you realize you don’t need THAT much for a baby), and I researched. I looked up everything and eventually, I had a 15 page birth plan. I had it memorized and I made Curtis read it multiple times. It covered everything from the beginning of labor to the day we go home. I even covered ‘in the event of an emergency c-section’. I knew what I wanted. I knew I could fight for it. As far as I was concerned, this would be my last baby, and my last chance to prove to myself that my body CAN have a baby naturally. That I was ‘woman enough’ and all that jazz.

To be continued…..


The Color of happiness is blue: And then there were two.

When Emma was four months old, Curtis turned 18, and joined the Army. He left just a few weeks later for basic training, and I was left to figure out motherhood on my own. I had some high points and some low points, but in the end we both survived. Curtis came home in December for two weeks before he was sent to his first duty station. And on December 21st 2007 I married my sweetheart.

aw! Look how young and cute we were!
aw! Look how young and cute we were!

Emma and I moved to Germany in May 2008. It was exciting and new and wonderful. A month later we found out that Curtis would be deploying by the end of the year, and that pretty much ended the “honeymoon phase”. We fought and fought, and pushed each other away. Until one day we realized that that was what we were doing. We were pushing each other away, so that the “good-byes” didn’t hurt so much, so that we might convince ourselves that we weren’t going to miss each other so much. It didn’t work. We made up (literally and figuratively) and the next day he was shipped out to train for a month. While he was away I tried to relax, to research “surviving deployment” and convince myself that Emma and I would survive deployment.

I had a regular OB appointment while Curtis was gone and it came up that I had a UTI. No big deal, I kinda ate like shit. So I was given a pregnancy test and when that came back negative I was sent home with anti-biotics. The next morning I went t take my first dose, and threw it up. “That’s no good. Maybe I’m sick, I’ll start them tomorrow.” And then the next day I threw up again, “What the hell?! Maybe tomorrow!?” And on the third day when I felt sick, before I even attempted to take the damn pill, I pulled a spare pregnancy test from under my sink (I always have extra JUST in-case) and peed on that little stick. I thought I was just being crazy,… until I saw two lines instead of one..

I grabbed my pills, my paperwork from earlier in the week saying I wasn’t pregnant and my fresh pee stick and grabbed the first cab to the Doctors office. When I got there I layed all of my things on the counter and demanded to see my Doctor and have a blood test done! An hour later I was sitting in a room with Emma, in a chair that spun, trying to keep her entertained. I COULDN’T be pregnant again! I didn’t even know if I wanted more kids! How was I going to take care of another baby when my husband was about to leave for Iraq?! When I lived in a foreign country!? When I didn’t have any friends, any family?!

The Doctor came in and smiled at me “I think you already know what I’m going to tell you. Congratulations mom and big sister!”

Curtis wasn’t even home for me to tell him. He was somewhere far away training to be even farther away. I was so distraught. At that time (2008) Myspace was the big social media. And i had put something on there about “freaking out” and “going straight to the hospital”. My mother-in-law had read these things and called everyone she could to get a hold of Curtis to find out if Emma and I were both okay. A couple hours later Curtis called me and asked me what was going on. I pretended to be excited and said “I’m pregnant! We’re going to have another baby!” to which he replied “I’m going to have a son.” It wasn’t a question, it was a statement. He came home two weeks later and he tried his best to put my mind at ease. He told me I could go home and be with family and friends. But the truth was that I didn’t really have a lot of support there either. At least in Germany I could be independent, have my own place, not have judging eyes on me at all times. No, I would stay in Germany alone and somehow survive being without my husband, raising a little girl, being pregnant for half the deployment and parenting two kids the other half.

Fast forward to December. I’m about 3 months pregnant and I’m saying good-bye to my best friend. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and I feel like I won’t survive a week let alone a year.

Emma Curtis and I the day he deployed.
Emma Curtis and I the day he deployed.

At this point, I hate being pregnant. I can’t quit smoking because the anxiety attacks are to much to bear. I don’t feel attached to the child I am growing at all. My only concern is to keep myself and Emma alive and thriving. I feel horrible.

As time goes on I quit smoking and start eating healthy (and by healthy I mean no caffeine and subway like 4 or 5 times a week, but I totally lived on Twizzlers). At about 25 weeks I find out that I’m having a son, and it increases my anxiety tenfold.

I have NO clue what to do with a boy! No brothers or nephews or boy cousins. No idea what to do with a baby with a peep (what we later nicknamed boys private parts, I still have no idea where we came up with this)! Circumcisions? Do it or no? How do I clean it? Is he going to pee on me all the time? Daddy isn’t going to be here the first 6 months of his life! What if I make him too “feminine” with just me and his sister around? What if? How come? Whyyyyyyyyyyy!?
My attachment didn’t grow at all.

Now THAT is a belly you can't ignore!
Now THAT is a belly you can’t ignore!

Some of my anxiety was eased when Curtis came home on R&R a couple days before my due date. We spent every second together. Two days after he come home, we were informed that a friend of his had been killed by friendly fire in Iraq and I was brought down from my “high” yet again. I didn’t think I could handle him leaving me again. What if he never came home? I was far too young to be a widow with two children (by this time, I was 17 years old). We agreed to pretend that the rest of the world didn’t matter, at least for his short time home.

The three of us visiting a museum on my due date during Curtis' R&R.
The three of us visiting a museum on my due date during Curtis’ R&R.

My due date was May 2nd. It came and went, and we were worried that Curtis wouldn’t be able to meet his son before he went back to Iraq. I was in no hurry to get the baby out of his home in my belly, but I knew that my husband wanted to see his son. So I called my Doctor and scheduled yet another induction.

I hated myself. Why did I feel so little towards my son? I thought I must be the worst mom ever. I didn’t tell anyone. I had worked the whole pregnancy on a beautiful nursery, posted pictures of the belly and pretended I was happy like when I was pregnant with Emma, but, I just wasn’t. But the time had come to yet again go through the horrible experience of labor which only made me hate myself more! Why couldn’t I go into labor by myself? Why didn’t my body work right?!

So on May 6th 2009 I was induced. This time the Doctors didn’t want anything to do with an induction (oh the beautiful cultural differences) and they didn’t want me in the bed. But this time I was a little different too. I wasn’t calm an cool and collected like I was with Emma. I was pissed and anxious and I didn’t want to do it! So I yelled, and I cussed (oh I would have made a sailor blush) and it was so bad they cleared the maternity ward because I was disturbing other mothers who didn’t even speak English. But did I care?! HELL NO! That baby was on my sciatic nerve and I couldn’t feel my legs, I was in pain!

Curtis was playing with all of the equipment, I was screaming and the staff hated us! After 4-5 hours of labor, I felt like I had to push. They checked me, and to my surprise they looked worried. I was then told that my son was sunny side up (facing up) and that his face was stuck of a lip of cervix. I was told that they could do nothing, that I had to push him past it. Now let me just add that this nurse decided to leave her hand up my crouch the entire time and continued to ask me if I were in pain (which led to much more screaming and cussing).

I pushed for four hours. The longest four hours of my entire life. Finally I felt relief and Collin, was placed on my chest. I looked down at my very red newborn son and I sobbed. Why you might ask? Because he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. His whole body was red from getting stuck for so long, but he was beautiful. And you want to hear something else? Even though the Doctors told me that Emma was going to be too big for me, Collin was 8lbs 8oz 20 3/4″ long. Even bigger then Emma.

Love at first sight.
Love at first sight.

At that moment all of those scared and anxious feelings were gone. They were nothing. All that mattered was that he was there and that I loved him and I would figure out the rest no matter what. He was the other missing piece in my life. A mothers love for her son, it’s so unlike anything else in the entire world.

Emma came to meet her little brother and it was amazing. I couldn’t believe how much love my heart could hold for my children and my husband!

And then there were two.
And then there were two.

10 days later Curtis went back to Iraq and I was left alone for another 6 months to care for two children on my own. And you want to here something? It was fine. It was more then fine. We were wonderful. Of course we missed Curtis and couldn’t wait for him to come home to us, but we thrived together. Emma Claire and Collin Francis and mommy, we grew from our love and we learned together. I breastfed exclusively and Emma was the best big helped ever! Collin slept through the night from the first day¬† was born and it was bliss.

And just so you know, Curtis made it back home to us in one piece. And we were a whole family.

Welcome Home Soldier.
Welcome Home Soldier.

It’s been FIVE years now, and Collin has turned out to be such an amazing little man. He’s my cuddle bug, my sensitive boy. He can read (and he’s only in Kindergarten), and he loves to build everything he can with his legos. He’s a nerd and a rocker just like his mama.

Oh, and he'll probably be a model someday.
Oh, and he’ll probably be a model someday.

I wouldn’t change him for the world. And I know now that no matter how scared you, some things are just meant to be. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.