Since Jane’s first birthday is upon us, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the ways in which our children came to us.

Ruth: adoption. Adoption is beautiful and complex in so many ways. We hopped off of the plane to Vegas to rent a car for the first time (we had just turned 25) and raced to the hospital to meet our sweet girl, which was all a blur. It’s that same rush of excitement, love, and nausea you have when you physically give birth. I’ll never forget stepping into the nursery and seeing her laying there so peacefully. She was the most stunning sight I had ever seen. Beautiful, jet black hair sticking out of a pink, blue, and white striped hat. Cheeks for days. She looked just like our niece and me. I held her and became a mom forever. And I still had a six pack…

Ila: 11 months later, a vaginal birth after 16 hours of labor, no six pack to be found. Only three hours of horrible contractions and then hello, epidural! Nice to meet you. It is 2AM and I am joking around with my husband and sister. My contractions kicked up and then they needed to add a little something to my epidural to keep my pain management bearable. We get to 10cm around 2:30PM and then the doc informs me it’s time to push! Great. Then the doc also says, as if I’d actually taken a birthing class before pushing (we already had a kid, remember. Why would I take classes??), “to remind you, pushing lasts typically within the range of 45 minutes to 4 hours.” “Excuse me, what?” I replied. No one had told me this before and I certainly didn’t read What To Expect When You’re Expecting because I already had a kid you guys! Well our sweet nurse stayed past her shift and we got Ms. Ila out in 50 minutes because no thank you to all that pushing. They put that tiny thing on my chest and I had the exact same rush I experienced with Ruth. She was perfect.

Jane: Frank Breech. Velamentous cord. Extra placenta. High risk pregnancy. Honestly, y’all, I never got too excited about Jane because so many things went wrong with her pregnancy. I prayed daily that God would allow me to have this baby. Our sweet, baby Jane. We scheduled my c section for February 22 because it was the safest option for me and baby. I was so scared for this surgery, but I was even more scared of not having my baby come out healthy. Naturally I got a cold a few days before and had a cough when I went in to have Jane. They prepped me in a room with my hubby by my side and wheeled me into the OR by myself. Luckily my nurse had essential oils on hand because if it wasn’t for the peppermint oils I would have puked before the operation started on account of the drugs administered/my nerves. They brought my husband in at the beginning of the surgery and he was all too happy to be on the other side of the curtain because he caught a glimpse of them cutting me open and he almost lost it, too. About 15 minutes later I felt a pressure and then this tiny wonder named Jane was hoisted above us looking at all of us suspiciously. She was clearly comfortable and not ready to make her appearance yet. She cried deeply and it was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. Our baby was healthy and beautiful. Brian tended to her and while I got sewn back up he brought her to me and I was able to kiss her and talk to her. She just stared at us and I got that same exact feeling I had with Ruth and Ila all over again. Our family was now complete.

Kids are a gift no matter how they come to us. God forms families in the most beautiful ways. I am so thankful for all three of our birth stories. They brought us the most wonderful girls the world has ever known. I am so privileged to be their mom.

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