the first words out of my mouth {a chapter from my sister’s story}

Nathan and I had been married for 6 months that September. I was starting my first semester of Nursing School at Troy-Montgomery, and Nathan was starting his last year of seminary school. Nathan worked two jobs, one full-time at his family’s business and the other as a bi-vocational family pastor. We were living out in a small, country town in a house that was owned by the church. Our plans were to knock out school for the both of us, find really good jobs, buy a house, and then start a family.

Wrong. I had been having several headaches while at school and had been just feeling really yuck for several days. The nursing student in me, at the time, started diagnosing, but then the realist in me started denying the diagnoses. I thought “what the heck,” I’d take a pregnancy test and just mark it off of my list of possibilities. I went into CVS, very ashamedly (as if I had done something wrong), and got two pregnancy tests. When I got back to our house, I went ahead and took one of the tests. While I was waiting, I was thinking back to my last period and then adding it all my symptoms. I began to feel like I was going to vomit.

Positive.

No way.

I can’t be.

Took the second one.

Positive again.

I immediately started crying and screaming…. “God, I’m going to have to give this baby to my sister!”

I had no concern about anything accept for what this was going to do to my sister. I began pleading and asking God for this to not be real. I was 22 years old, just married, still in school, broke, and had a sister who desperately longed to be pregnant. Nothing could shake the fact that my sister was going to be heartbroken. I knew she would still love me, but I knew this would tear her insides apart.

After taking three more pregnancy tests when Nathan got home, and throwing up several more times, we needed to prepare ourselves. We couldn’t get past the idea of us having a child. Even Nathan kept bringing up how much of a struggle this was going to be for my sister. I had to tell someone and there was no question that the person I would tell would be my mom. We were at lunch at Olive Garden and I started acting all weird and finally just blurted out that I was pregnant. Shock. Then immediately, I told her about Kailey. I just did not know what I was going to do. Since my mom is the best ever, she immediately turned it back to the fact that I was the one that was pregnant and how much of a blessing this is and that Kailey would be ok, eventually.

I scheduled an appointment with my OB/GYN to confirm the pregnancy and have an ultrasound. Nathan had to be in New Orleans for school so my mom went with me to hold my hand and tell me to breathe. I figured I was maybe 4-5 weeks along and we wouldn’t be able to see anything…wrong, yet again. I was 9 weeks and 5 days and the little one inside of me had the strongest heartbeat. It all became real. There was no mistake. All the feels and emotions became just as real. I was going to have to tell my sister. Ready for one of the worst ideas I have ever had? I’ll tell Kailey over lunch, in a public place. That way she’ll be mildly distracted.

Dumbest idea ever. My mom, Kailey, and myself went to Panera in Auburn and grabbed lunch. Towards the end of lunch I told Kailey I had something to show her. I pulled out my freshly printed ultrasounds pics (ya know, the ones every mom is so excited about getting) and handed them to K. Of course, she was like “no way!” trying to act all happy/surprised…and then immediately started to cry, hysterically. Worst. Sister. Ever. We all began crying and had to leave. Kailey told us before she left that she was really upset but she’ll be ok. She didn’t come over immediately to my parents’ house but eventually showed up later. The whole time she wasn’t there, I just knew she would never be ok. I did not realize it until I became pregnant, but being pregnant is a BIG deal.

Not everyone gets to be pregnant. Many, like my sister, pray hard and dream of the day that they can carry a child. And here I am, wishing I wasn’t pregnant. How do you deal with those thoughts and emotions? After we all hugged it out and knew that we would get through this, I became intentional with my words and thoughts about pregnancy. I began to see how this affected my sister and knew that she can’t be the only one.

She wasn’t the only one. There are so many, heartbreakingly, too many woman who deal with infertility. They long for the one thing I didn’t want right at that moment of my life. What could I do? Not complain. Yeah, pregnancy was not my cup of tea. I puked my guts out with both of my pregnancies until about 20 weeks. I was dilated early on in pregnancy with both of my kiddos and was uncomfortable. But I would not gripe about that to those who I knew would do anything to be in my place. I also began to retract those questions to friends and acquaintances. You know, the ones like “Hey, isn’t it about time for y’all to have some kids?” OR “So is she/he your only one? Don’t y’all want more?” Those tear and rip some waiting mothers to pieces.

So, to complete my pregnancy story, Brooklyn Chase Farris was born on May 7, 2012 at 5:42pm, two days before my last final of my semester. Which is totally fitting because I prayed almost everyday that she would be born after May 9th (her due date was May 21st). God just really showed me what was up during this season of my life. He showed me that HE had plans for Nathan and me. He showed me how to love my sister better. He showed me that my words, and other peoples’ words, could have a huge impact on someone’s heart. This all led me to become more sensitive and aware of the women around me who might have the same struggles as my sister.

My sister and I shared things when we were growing up BUT, by far, killin’ this whole motherhood thing together has been the best.

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We would love to hear if you have experienced something related to our story or if you need prayer.

Leave a comment or touch base on social media.

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October Adoptive Family ::: Matt & Kaylin

My husband, Matt, and I got married in April of 2014 and began trying to grow our family about year later.  We got pregnant in August of 2015 and were excited for what the future held.
Even though we had just found out, we could not keep the excitement to ourselves and we immediately shared the news with our parents, siblings and a few close friends.  I remember going to get my first set of blood work drawn at my OB’s office at around 5 weeks, excited that it was my turn to experience this miracle.  We were so thrilled as this was the next big step in our lives and everything seemed to be falling into place accordingly.  The same day I had my blood work completed was the night we spent six hours in the ER because we were experiencing a chemical pregnancy.  We spent the next few days working up the nerve to inform those who knew that we, in fact, would not be welcoming a sweet baby like we thought. I felt many emotions; sadness, anger, embarrassment and grief – just to name a few. It took us a while to grieve this loss and muster the strength to try again, but almost 6 months later, we felt ready.
We found that we were pregnant again almost a year to the date. We were ecstatic.  This is what we had dreamed and prayed for, but there were a lot of nerves.  We were very cautious due to our previous loss, but after my OB confirmed that my levels were rising, we felt a little bit of ease.  At 8 weeks we had an ultrasound and were able to see our little baby’s heartbeat on the monitor.  Although it didn’t look exactly like a baby yet, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  The more time that passed was a little more weight off our shoulders and the farther we got from 5 weeks, the better we felt.
In October of 2016, we had plans to travel to Disney World with our friends. It was a trip that was planned prior to finding out about our pregnancy and we scheduled our 13 week appointment a few days before leaving.  We were looking forward to being able to not only see our baby’s heartbeat again, but to hear it for the first time.  Our wait time took longer than expected and unfortunately, my husband had a very important work meeting to get to.  I assured him that it was fine if he left and that he would make it to the next appointment.
After they took me back and put the doppler on my belly:
silence.
It took the doctor what seemed like an eternity to determine that there was no heartbeat.  I was alone and was so numb that I couldn’t come up with what words to say. The blob that was hard to previously make out, couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a baby.
He immediately began talking about next steps.  The next few days were a whirlwind of surgery and carrying on with our vacation.  We made the difficult decision to carry on with our plans and felt that it would be nice to get away from our lives at home and deal with our loss elsewhere.  It was helpful to be away from the additional stresses of life, but made it that much harder to settle back into our lives with the knowledge that my womb was empty and we had to find a way to move forward.  The biggest step included God and trusting that His timing is perfect, even though it was not our original plan.  He knows best and we needed to lean on Him to guide us forward.
After another year, we decided to meet with a fertility doctor to determine the cause of our miscarriages and struggle to carry the pregnancies to term.  After months of blood work, various tests and non-invasive fertility drugs, we were told that our best bet of having a successful pregnancy was through IVF.  Prior to this information, we felt a strong calling towards adoption and decided that if we were faced with IVF as the next step, we would pursue adoption instead.
This strong pull was something I like to think of as God’s way of guiding us to the path we were are supposed to be on.  In May of this year, after much praying, we decided to officially take the first step in our adoption journey and signed with Christian Adoption Consultants. We are just finishing up our home study and will be a waiting family before we know it.
Although we came to the decision to adopt by way of infertility, we know that this is what we were called to do and feel confident that God knows our baby and everything will fall into place in His perfect timing.
Our hope is that as we share our story, it will provide a small sense of healing for others who have walked a similar path.  We want other women, couples, and families to know that you are not alone and that God will guide you to where you are meant to be.
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If you would like to donate to support Matt & Kaylin click here. It will take you straight to their donation website. You can follow along on their journey to their baby on IG.
As we journey through this month of raising funds for the Barnett family; please make sure to lift them up in prayer. Also, please pray for all unborn babies, mothers choosing how to best care for their babes, and for every relationship involved.
Thank you again for caring and supporting this family, the ones before, and the ones to come.

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