Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Only a few days shy of being five weeks, I sat in the cold exam room at the doctors office completely unprepared for what my doctor would be telling me shortly. When my doctor finally came into the room, he pulled his chair up and sat down only a few feet in front of me. After a short silence, he began by saying “Meagan, I know this is the last thing you are going to want to hear...” and then we were back to an awkward silence. It was right then, during his long pause, which my heart rose to my throat. I was terrified to hear what he has to say. I could barely breathe as he proceeded to tell me that my pregnancy test had come out positive.
I broke down.
I had a million thoughts running through me alongside a thousand different emotions. I first thought of my two year old son, and how this wasn't fair to him. I already felt I wasn’t there for him enough the way it was between school and work. I couldn’t provide everything I wanted for him. How on Earth was I going to do it for TWO little ones?!
After leaving the doctor’s office, I went to my best friend’s house. We sat on her couch curled up together crying. She has a son as well and understands the challenges of raising a child especially when you don’t even have your own life figured out. She also knew the amount of love a mother has for her children, and knew that no matter what I chose to do it wasn’t going to be easy.
That night, I laid awake wondering and thinking about how I was going to break the news, not only to my family, but also to the one who fathered this baby. I knew I just had to do it. I knew I couldn’t just assume how he’d react. For the sake of this child, I needed to tell him.
After struggling to tell him I was pregnant, his response was abortion. This was never an option for me because this wasn't about him or I, but about this unborn child.
For the next several weeks I struggled with what to do. I love children and I loved the idea of giving my son a sibling to grow up with. I thought he wouldn’t have siblings until he was older and I was married. I missed having a newborn. Being a mother already, I knew the unspeakable amounts of love a mother has for her child even before she sees or holds him. Could I even go through with an adoption? I was beyond confused and for the longest time I told myself I was keeping him. I couldn’t handle the idea of not having my baby, of just giving him up and not being there for him. Even though I was telling myself I made my decision, I couldn’t stop thinking about my other option. I knew what I wanted but deep down I knew I couldn’t make that happen. Making sure this child had the life he deserves meant more to me than being able to be the one to comfort him and to have him call me mom. I still wasn’t sure whether or not I could go through with it, but I started looking into adoption.
I knew nothing about this process or what to expect. With so many adoption agencies and so many legal aspects that I became overwhelmed. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to do this so the last thing I wanted to do was to get some agency or legal firm involved. Once again I told myself I’m going to be the one to raise MY baby. I tried telling myself I could do it. I’ve made it this far on my own raising one child; I can do it with two. That’s when I had to correct myself. I hadn’t been doing it on my own. I’d be discrediting my family if I said I was. I then started procrastinating with making this important decision. I didn’t want to rush it and make an enormous mistake. I didn’t want to make a decision I would regret.
One day I found myself on the couch watching Teen Mom. The episode was a Doctor Drew session with the Teen Mom star that chose adoption for her little girl Carly. I had been watching trying to imagine myself in her shoes. That’s when my mom came down and sat in the chair next to me. For the first time, she was actually watching the show and seeing that it wasn’t bad. I decided to use this time to break the news to my mom. Doctor Drew had just finished telling the audience to stay tuned to hear more about Catelynn’s story. When the first commercial came on, I stated “I’ve been looking into that.” I didn’t take my eyes off the television. I knew my mom was looking at me but I couldn’t look at her. She was so unsuspecting she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. She asked “You’ve been looking into what?” I remained looking forward as I responded “adoption.” I could still feel her looking at me but neither one of us said anything more. I sat down there a few minutes longer before looking at mom and then running off to my room to cry. She didn’t follow. I composed myself and we went on with the night as normal, making dinner, cleaning up, and playing until it was time to get someone ready for bed. It was after my son was asleep when we found ourselves on the couch in the living room together. It was that awkward silence when you both know nothing is alright but you act like everything is alright. My mom finally broke it by asking “how far along are you?” I responded matter-of-factly and didn’t say a word more. She could see how much I was hurting and how scared I was. She knew I didn’t want to talk about it, that I just wanted to know she was there.
It was a few days later when she brought it up again when we were alone in the kitchen. She asked if I had been in contact with any agencies and what I was doing to check into adoption. I told her that I had contacted a few but never gave them any information. I told her that I was scared to get involved with an agency because I didn’t know if I could go through with it. She started crying and said “you know that would be the best option for the baby.” Having someone tell me that that my baby is better off without me killed me. Even though I was well aware of this fact, hearing it cut like a knife.
I decided to talk with my ob doctor about my option and he was so helpful. He didn't push a decision on me, just provided me with the information I needed. He also mentioned of knowing some couples that cannot conceive and are considering adoption. He said he would check with them and if it were okay, he would compose a list of potential adoptive parents I could chose to get in touch with. I fell completely in love with this idea! I felt in control. I didn’t feel there would be anyone forcing me to do anything I wasn’t sure of.
I started looking into a few of the families, but something just seemed to be missing. I started losing hope and felt like I was running out of time to find a family for my little one. I knew I wanted to get to know the people before I just handed my beloved newborn over to them. I had to be completely secure in my choice if I were actually going to follow through with it.
That’s when I was told of another loving couple who was struggling to have a child of their own. They have been trying for numerous years and they’ve tried every type of fertility treatment possible; all without any luck. I was given three phone numbers, his cell, her cell, and the home phone. Contacting a new couple was terrifying. What where they like? What were their views of you? About a week later, I picked that piece of paper up and grabbed my phone. I was ready to go, call the home phone in hopes to get the answering machine, and got an error instead.
My heart sinks.
I call the woman's cell phone expecting to get her voicemail when she answered! I was caught off guard and started freaking out. I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t prepared to actually talk to her just yet. I started choking on my words when she took the pressure off of me. She started telling me all about them, even going back to when and how they met. She told me about her parents and her nieces and nephews, I mean absolutely everything. I didn’t even know this woman but something felt right. People always talk about finding the one you’re meant to marry, and just knowing they’re the one. Well this was a similar moment for me. I wanted to waste no time meeting up with them, which was extremely weird because I hadn’t had any desire to meet up with any of the other families I had talked to. She was feeling the same way. She told me that she was going to go home that night and talk with her husband to see when we could meet up.
We ended up meeting for supper a few days later. I remember all the emotions running through me. I remember hoping that they wouldn’t look down on me for being pregnant when I couldn’t take on the responsibility of a child. I had no idea how things were going to go.
Would I feel something special when I saw them?
All my concerns melted away when I met them though. They were it! They were perfect! You could see the love they had for each other. They were religious, had good stable jobs, and they both came from good families. They were accepting and considerate of all my feelings along with my family’s feelings. I knew that they knew pain and struggle and that they would make an impeccable team in overcoming the challenges of parenthood. It was so perfect; there was no doubt that it was God’s plan to have our two families become one in raising this unborn child of mine.
The maternity session we were able to do put all of my feelings into a photo. I knew in my heart that the four of us were a family and now we have photos that captured that. You can see the love and strength we all bring to the table. These photos hold so many memories and I couldn't imagine not having them.
To this day, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of that family of three. They truly are a part of my family and I couldn’t imagine my life without them in it. I couldn’t be more proud to have them be Mommy and Daddy to my precious baby boy. They truly are a blessing.
Be sure to look back on Friday for the final part of this story, Tiffany and Dustin will tell us about their struggles with fertility and how blessed they are to have been able to find Meagan and Judah.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Blown away with emotion.
These were just a few of the emotions I was experiencing leading up to this very session just over one year ago today. Wonder why?
Around a year ago, this sweet mommy-to-be, Tiffany, contacted me with a very special request. After years of struggling with fertility, she and her husband, Dustin, were looking to adopt and found a beautiful young mommy that they instantly bonded with, and whom was looking into adoption as a possibility for her unborn child and felt that Tiffany and Dustin were just what she was looking for.
Tiffany's request to me? A maternity session that would be including the birth mommy.
Understand why I was feeling the emotions that were stated above? :) I was so nervous it wasn't even funny. What if I mess up. What if I don't do these pictures justice like they deserve. There's not very many times I doubt myself, but for this session, it was one of those times. I knew what emotions were already invested in this relationship and I wanted to capture the emotions, capture the love, capture the gratitude.
Oh yeah, I forgot to inform you that Tiffany mentioned that no one in their family knew about the adoption yet and was hoping to wait until Thanksgiving to tell their families. They were hoping to use some of the pictures from the maternity session to suprise their families, and what a joyful suprise it would be. So not only was I a nervous wreck, I couldn't talk to anyone about it! Only to Tiffany, so she got quite a few emails from me to say the least :)
But once I got to the session, and snapped that first picture, I was back in my element again. This moment then turned into one of those "This is exactly what I need to be doing with my life" moments. I was so incredibly grateful that this amazing couple had enough confidence in my ability to capture such an emotional time in their life.
They shared with them their stories, we got emotional, they even let me here a personal song that they all would listen to, and I'm honestly not sure how I held it together. But when I looked into the birth mommy's eyes, I saw raw pain and emotion, but above it all, I saw love.
I feel that when I hear these stories, that have such meaning and emotion, that I want to share it with those that enjoy my photos, so that they can truly, truly enjoy the pictures like I do. But I'm going to switch it up a little bit this time around. I'm going to let the ones I captured on this sweet day, tell everyone about their love story, about a little boy named Judah.
But I first want to tell each of them thank you for being so willing to share their story, their emotions, their reality with all of you. I know they also fought tears and emotions while writing up their stories, as I did when I was reading them. But one day Judah himself will read these stories and I have a feeling he's going to see just how truly loved he really is, in so many more ways than one.
Be on the lookout Wednesday evening for Part II of Judah's Love Story...
A Mothers Love.