Our first kid came to us in a crazy way. I was significantly overweight, unhealthy, and suffered bedrest/pre-ecclampsia, and a premature birth. His birth was so traumatic for my 21 year old naive self, that we believed the doctor that told us never to have children again. Thus, the hubs had a vasectomy.
After I dropped the first 60lbs, my new doctor told me we had been grossly misinformed. He said we could in fact go on to have healthy children. So, two years after our son was born, John had a reversal. He’s really amazing. We had always considered adoption, so at this time, we became foster parents. What an eye opening experience that was. There are so many heartbreaking stories out there.
Towards the end of our second foster placement, I discovered the reality of orphans with Down syndrome, in Ukraine. This discovery led to us finding Reece’s Rainbow, and ultimately our adoption of Anna and Tanner. They are a year older than our first bio son, both have Down syndrome (Tanner also has fetal alcohol syndrome and reactive attachment disorder), and are seven months apart in age.
When we brought our kids home from Ukraine, I was pronounced infertile at a doctor’s appointment. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which makes it very hard for women to get pregnant. This made me extremely sad, but at the same time, we had three kids with a lot of needs. A year after we brought them home, we sold our house and bought a home in the country. Then we were surprised with the pregnancy of our fourth child. What a miracle!
Having PCOS and conceiving a post vas reversal baby was literally a miracle. I had the most amazing pregnancy, I exercised every day right up until the house came down with what I thought was strep throat at 37 1/2 weeks. My water broke, I had a fever, and my 37 hours of natural birth attempts, ended in a second c-section. Following her delivery, I still have an unbreakable fever around 104. For two days, I went through chills and every antibiotic they could give me. At one point, they thought I would go septic. Thankfully, the fever broke! We brought our newborn baby home to three kids and a dad all having RSV.
When number 4 turned a year old, we found out we were expecting our fifth child! There was so much unbelief, literally another miracle. Another completely healthy pregnancy, I even walked 5 miles the day of his birth. Unfortunately, I labored naturally for 33 hours, and then I had a uterine rupture. We are very grateful for that c-section, the fact that we both lived, and that there weren’t any other complications. That was the end of our plans to have any more children.
Then one day a year later, I got wind of a little girl in Ethiopia that the agency couldn’t place. She had hydrocephalus and at the time, she wasn’t engaging in communication, couldn’t stand, walk, or talk. We committed to the adoption, and put together our dossier for Ethiopia. It was supposed to take less than a year. It took over two. What a crazy, expensive, heartbreaking time that was. She came home in 2017 at “3” years old.
The summer after our last kid came home, our first bio son was formally diagnosed with high functioning autism. Something the doctors had thrown around informally over the years, and that we knew he had. So, out of the six, we have 2 with Down syndrome, 1 with autism, 1 with hydrocephalus, a whole lot of adoption/institution behaviors to deal with and 2 neuro typical kids with food allergies. It is most definitely not boring around here.