{Our Family Story}

They say everyone has a story right?  
Jen over at Denton Sanatorium is doing a linky party on your mothering story 
and how your family came to be... 

I am linking a bit late....mothering a "sick little no napping teething 17 month old" took a hold of my day yesterday 
and just wouldn't let go!!:)

Dave and I were married in 1999 at the age of 33.  We both always knew we wanted children and feeling a bit older (seems pretty young now!!), we decided to start trying right away.  A job transfer brought us about three hours from our families.  We were building a new house there so I decided I would finish up my year of teaching where I was and then just sub once we moved. That's how confident I was that this whole baby thing would happen quickly for us.  Little did I know...

I had read all the books and had all the information.  I was a walking encyclopedia on trying to conceive, I knew how everything was supposed to work...but for some reason it just wasn't!   I remember thinking and feeling I was pregnant so many times and then finding out I wasn't....it was a monthly game of preparing, trying, waiting, hoping and then being devastated. I always thought it was one of your bodies cruelest jokes...to give you a period, a loss of another chance right in the middle of the time you were feeling the most emotional and vulnerable.  Sometimes mother nature has a really bad sense of humor doesn't she???:)

We tried for about 11 months before the stick finally had two lines. It was the greatest day of our lives!  We were so excited and so naive...we told everyone!  After all, we had waited for so long for this, we wanted to share it.  It was near Christmas time and I remember the way we told our parents, we wrapped up two little baby booties to give them as an early gift.  It seemed the whole world was happy for us.  We had our first doctor apt and saw the little flicker of a  heartbeat at 6 weeks.

Several weeks later I began spotting.  We read the books and talked to the doctor, sometimes this was normal they assured us.  But we waited what seemed like an eternity for that next dr apt at 10 weeks.  When they tried to find the heartbeat it wasn't there.  They said sometimes that happens, and wheeled in the stronger machine to try and find it.  That's when the dr said the baby was gone.

Our life changed forever in that second.  All we had dreamed for and prayed for was gone. In an instant.
The next few days seemed like a blur.  Family and friends crying for us. But at the end of the day it was just us. And no baby.  I am crying even writing this now....those feeling of loss can come back so quickly can't they?  I guess they never really leave us, they just get buried a bit.  I had a d&c and was told to try again in a month or so.

We did.  But nothing.   We decided to see a specialist.  He did lots of tests and found nothing "wrong".  He told me to stop charting, and to go out on a date!!!  Oh how I did not like that guy! :)  I had always handled any kind of problem in my life with tons of research, facts and effort.  I had never come across a "problem"  I couldn't hard work away!!  Until  now...and boy was that frustrating for me!  Which, in hindsight I know made it so much worse.

We got pregnant and lost our babies two more times.  By now the feeling of joy of seeing those two lines were so quickly replaced with fear and doubt.  It had turned into something other then the joyous moment it was meant to be and that was so hard for both of us.

Finally, on October 30th, the stick showed two lines and this time it was for our sweet Riley Grace.  I have never felt so overjoyed and completely overwhelmed with panic in my life.  A strong heartbeat and assurance from the specialist, that "our work with him was done" and we could return to our regular doctor.

We didn't share our news with anyone except our parents and closest friends.  By now I had taken that full time teaching job I thought I never would and was facing the year ahead with a first pregnancy at a new job.  I was so nervous about every little twitch and pull.  I can not tell you the hours and days I spent crying to Dave that I couldn't feel her anymore.  She wasn't moving.  Every little thing felt like a problem to me. It was so hard because on the one hand I was so happy...but I was so petrified  of losing her too.   We finally started sharing the news with more people.  I actually didn't tell anyone at work until I was almost 20 weeks.  I guess I hid it pretty well!!  It was a great year of teaching.  I got to share our pregnancy with my 20 wonderful kindergartners. They actually used to love reading to my belly and would ask to feel her move.  It was a lovely year filled with so many great memories!

The day after school got out and I packed up my classroom to be a full time stay at home mom, we went to our regular dr apt and my blood pressure had started creeping up and Riley's heart rate was dropping.  They rolled me over on to my side to try and "find" it and it took the dr

Finally we were admitted for good, and after tests to check her lungs, they decided to induce me at 34 weeks.  It was a fast and furious delivery with her heat rate dropping and my bp soaring.  After she was born they rushed her to peds to check all of her vitals.  She was here and she was healthy and we were overjoyed.  What a miracle indeed.
{I apologize for the photos of photos....}

We felt so grateful and oh so blessed that our little miracle was finally here.  I actually looked at the time it took to get her as a gift.  Not to take away anything from moms who get pregnant right away, but I had prayed for her for so long and I felt a true since of gratitude and awe every time I looked at her.  She did not come easy.  She was not something I could snap my fingers and get.  It took loads of prayer and a true miracle to bring this little one into the world.  Our year home together was wonderful and I loved every minute of being a full time mommy. At last I had found my calling (I still feel a calling to be a teacher, I guess in a way I am just a different type of one....)

After all the issues we had getting Riley, we decided to try for another before Riley turned one.  We got pregnant right away, but lost that baby at 7 weeks.  It was an all too familiar pain.  We figured we were on that road again....but at least we had our sweet Riley to love along the way.

We got pregnant again the next moth and actually found out the week of Riley's first birthday.  We had also just found out we would be moving to IL!!  Talk about a crazy next few months but we were happy beyond belief!.  Being pregnant and having a little one was some of my greatest mothering memories.  I remember walking through the mall pushing Riley in the stroller with a big belly feeling like an absolute walking poster for motherhood!!  I know that sounds strange, but I just felt like this was such my true calling in life and I felt so absolutely beyond honored to be living this life.

Janey's  pregnancy and delivery were just like Janey....easy!  My bp elevated a bit at the end, but it never affected her heart rate.  We had her at 37 weeks in a peaceful, easy delivery.  After she was born they placed her in my arms (something I really missed with Riley) and she nursed almost immediately.  We had two sweet girls to love and we felt so blessed and so very happy.

All growing up and even when we first got married I always said I wanted four children. Looking back, I think the demands of two little ones may have pushed me to thinking we were done a bit before my heart was ready.

Fast forward two years and a new house.  Janey was potty training and our new friends across the street were expecting a baby.  All those familiar feeling came rushing back and the day I held that newborn, we went home and talked seriously about another.  Could we really do it???  After all, we were 39!!!  We decided to give it a try.  And even when we began that journey, it was always two more I felt my heart was calling for.

We tried for about 8 months and then saw another specialist.  He told me my FSH numbers were really bad and that the chances of getting pregnant again were pretty low. I drove home from that appointment in tears.  We decided to be thankful (which we already were) for the two beautiful blessing that we already had and to move on with our lives.

Fast forward another year.  We were not even really "trying" anymore.  I barely even wrote my cycles down on the calendar.  It was near Halloween and I stated wondering where I was in my cycle.  Could it be?????....nah!!!!!  Finally Dave took that long drive to Walgreen's to buy a test.  We took it in the evening...that's how sure we were that it would be negative....who takes a test in the evening?????:)  The girls were outside playing and I remember taking the test and then leaving it on the counter for him to read and going downstairs.  He went up to check it and then yelled out "what am I looking for again???  Am, I supposed to see two pluses or just one"??!!  I yelled I think any plus is good?!?!?:)  And that is the day we found about about Aubrey Kate.  Exactly 6 years to the day that we found about Riley!!!

To say we were shocked was a huge understatement.  I think we walked around with this strange awed look on our faces for several days!!  I knew all too well not to let my feet get off the ground too quickly.  We had a long road ahead of us. But somehow in our hearts we knew it was going to be ok.

To our surprise and delight, everything went smoothly.  Being able to share this pregnancy with the girls was so magical for us.  We didn't tell them or our families until Christmas.  We told the girls with a scavenger hunt where we hid pieces of a letter we had written them that they had to put together. We have the whole thing on film and it is such a  beautiful memory. We surprised our families by wrapping up a sonogram picture for them to unwrap on Christmas morning! It was the best Christmas ever.

My bp spiked again with Aubrey at 37 weeks one day and they induced us that afternoon. Like her other June Bug sister, her delivery was a bit fast and furious too.  When they placed her into my arms and I looked into that very alert little face I fell immediately in love.

It is funny how all three of our girls have such different stories.  They all came into our lives and into our  hearts in such different ways didn't they?

When we began trying for Aubrey, I felt in my heart that four was to be our number.  I had lost four babies, and I hoped and prayed that God would somehow send them back to me.  I guess I am still hoping.  I do not know what the future holds for us and our family.  I do know that I am beyond blessed to be called mommy by these three beautiful girls.

Thank you so much for reading my rather long story. 
My heart goes out to all those women who may never be mothers even though their hearts so desperately long to be.  
Enjoy the day,


  1. Oh Cindy. Thank you for sharing this story. You have such beautiful little girls. And, I love the pictures that you included with this post!

  2. It's a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Your pictures look so "complete" with your 3 girls. How wonderful that there was a little surprise after the two and years of trying...

  3. Wow, a beautiful story Cindy! I loved getting to read this and know you better! I am not surprised that you were a teacher - of course you were! My heart broke for you and your losses, but overjoyed to be on this side and know your life is full of little girls! Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. Oh I love your story...the pain and trials you endured and huge joys you have celebrated!
    What a blessing to have your 3 little girls! yay!
    I had forgotten about all those books I used to read too.

  5. Oh Cindy and you and Kerri reduced me to mush!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart. . .

    You are a wonderful mother and I think you are way more patient because you did have to wait. I wish I were more like you that way!

  6. Oh Cindy, I think I gasped each time I read that you miscarried. What a beautiful and heartbreaking story. I loved reading every single word of it, and now knowing you and your 3 miracles is just a blessing!!

    You and Dave have been blessed beyond measure.

    I just love you! :)

  7. You've written your story so beautifully! Though very different, isn't it amazing how special each of our children are?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog to say HI today!


  8. So beautifully written Cindy. I can't believe how everyone's story has affected me. Everyone does have a story, don't they? You are such a cute pregnant woman!! I always wanted to be that too...but when you gain 68 lbs...there's not much cuteness there!
    Thanks for sharing your story...I'm sure it wasn't easy. You have such a beautiful family...loved all your pictures!

  9. Thanks, Cindy. Aren't children miracles? Such miracles. I'm glad you linked up today.
    One thing about your story is great to know--no wonder you love doing crafty stuff with your girls--you're a k teacher at heart!

  10. Thank you for sharing your precious story ... such a testimony of God's love and graciousness in our lives! Your girls are beautiful!

  11. Beautiful!
    What a wonderful story of three beautiful blessings!
    Thanks for sharing your story!

  12. Cindy, I loved reading your story! Wow, what a journey! Isn't life crazy? So happy you have your 3 little gifts from God.

  13. I was also late to the link-up party, but cindy oh my goodness - your story, the photos, it's all amazing ... such pain and joy all at once. I really loved reading it - thank you so much for your honesty, what a journey!

  14. I am amazed at your strength. I know the temping and charting vicious cycle so well. To add all those m/c's on top of it? I cannot even imagine! I am so, so happy your story has such a happy ending. You are truly blessed!

  15. Such a beautiful family story! Thanks so much for sharing it. I'm so sorry for your loses but you have 3 such beautiful girls. I love all the pictures, so fun to get to see your family growing!

  16. Love you Cindy...and I'm so happy for you and your little blessings!

  17. What a beautiful story, so honest and heartfelt. I am so happy that you were given these three gorgeous girls, you sound like a wonderful mummy. I love the last photo of the three of them...precious.