The road to parenthood

Short story (for you impatient people who were going to scroll to the end): God is good. This past month he made us foster parents. And in seven months we’ll be biological parents as well! That’s right folks, we’re pregnant!!

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Long story (for you crazy people who actually like my stories): Back in February, I started blogging about our journey to become parents. (If you missed it, fear not–it’s here.) Since then, Spring has sprung and now Summer is almost set, and let me tell you it’s been a long six months. There were times when I thought our home study would never end, but of course I see now that it was all part of the plan. It was our last summer of “couple-freedom” we got to travel a bunch–going to weddings, and visiting friends and family. I got to spend two weeks down home getting to know my newest little niecelette. We got to take an anniversary trip to Niagara Falls! It has just been a great couple of months. I was able to relax, and keep my mind off all those unanswered questions. Obviously, me being me, my mind was not completely off it all. I was still checking in with our social worker on the progress we were making, and researching more natural remedies to fix my own issues.

Then came July. It’s affectionately referred to now as Our Month of Intercessions. Our social worker was assuring us that we were in the home stretch. We got to spend a few days in Sanibel, where my mom shared with me a very special story about a child she had been praying for for months. She felt God’s conviction that this child would be important for us, and that we would have a child in our arms soon, some way or another. Then a dear friend of ours whom we met through foster care went on pilgrimage to Mexico with our Parish and prayed so fervently for us. And finally we capped the month off attending a Healing Mass for couples struggling with infertility. The blessing we received was so beautiful and powerful, it brought me to tears and chilled me to the bone all at once.

God only gives you what you can handle, right? Well in came August, and I was ecstatic. Our home study was getting approved–we’d be licensed any day. It was coming up on our 5 year (dating) anniversary, and I wanted to celebrate! So I threw myself into planning this surprise weekend getaway to Niagara Falls. I was calling it our “fosterbabymoon” and I wasn’t telling Liam a thing (aside from which days to take off work). The week of came and I was a mess. I had three sessions in four days, I was still planning out the weekend, and I was annoyingly late. I attributed it to the same reason I was always late: stress and hopefulness. I woke up Thursday morning outright pissed.  We were leaving that afternoon, and I really didn’t want to get hit by the recurring disappointment of not being knocked up while we were away. So I said screw it, I’d just take the test now, see the negative, get over it, and go enjoy my weekend. (Fun fact: when you’ve been trying for a year and a half, there is always a random pregnancy test in the house, waiting to be taken at the crack of dawn.)

In case you haven’t realized yet: it wasn’t negative!!! I was freaking out. I Facetimed my sister and woke her up to make sure I wasn’t imagining that plus sign. I wrapped up the test with a gift I’ve had since we started trying, because again I’m me and after this long you bet your ass I’ve thought up an awesome way to tell Liam. I frantically packed the car, after spending way too much time on the phone telling my family, dropped the dogs off, and all of the sudden I was picking up Liam and it hit me–I’ve got 8 hours ahead of us in the car NOT telling him. I was bouncing off the walls of the Prius. At one point Liam asked how much coffee I’d had that day. But eventually we crossed the border, and made it, and I gave him his anniversary gifts (the last one of which was the test). He went so painfully slow opening them I thought I was going to burst. But then he finally got to the big finale and his reaction was so worth the wait–from shocked to ecstatic in a split second! It was awesome. The whole weekend was awesome. We were on cloud 9. You could not wipe the grin off my face.

That trip was the brightest point of the past month, until today. Today I finally got to see this little nugget growing inside me. Today I finally got to hear the heartbeat. And it became real in a way it just wasn’t before. Before it was a dream, a little plus sign on a test. But today, today I saw her. (Yes, I’ve decided she’s a she. I don’t want to find out one way or the other, but I also don’t want to go 9 months saying it, so I’m just going with she. Liam of course has gone with he to balance out my “unfair swaying”.) I heard her. I cried–duh. I became a mom. It was incredible. And I’m just so excited for the months ahead!

And to answer the most common question we’ve gotten: this really doesn’t change anything with our fostering. We had never planned to stop trying when we started foster care, or to stop fostering when we got pregnant. The way we see it: God wanted us to become foster parents. If we had gotten pregnant right away when we wanted to, we never would have. And now that we have, God is showing us that He knows we can handle both. And so we shall. 🙂

And as for this picture–well there’s this app that gives you size comparisons to food every week, and I’ve sort of been fascinated by how quickly this little nugget grows in the beginning, so I decided to document it that way. (Obviously, this pregnancy will be completely over-documented so don’t worry, you’ll be seeing bump pics too.)

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September 9, 2014 - 7:02 pm

Sherri reaves - Congrats Taryn & Liam

September 9, 2014 - 10:32 pm

Liz - I am so excited for you! I have spent the better part of my hour tooling your website. Your photos are gorgeous. Your story is heart warming. Congratulations!