Looking back I never would have pictured myself as a mommy to four beautifully unique and amazing individuals! However life has other plans for me and I am ever so grateful for the journey I have taken. I have been blessed as many times as I have been denied, but I know that my journey needed the down times in order to better understand the ups! Here's my journey of motherhood......
At the tender age of 17 I found out that I was about to begin the journey that I would later learn would be my calling. Nolan came into this world and all of the nerves and anxiety I felt at being a teen mom drifted away. Sure there were still times when I would be out in public where I felt like people were judging me and to be honest looking back at pictures, I look about 12! It was in those times that I felt weak but I used that weakness to push me forward and be the best mom I could be. Joe followed my lead and together we raised an amazing and well behaved young man. Nolan is currently 12 and just starting to test his boundraries. He is still a very polite and incredibly caring and helpful kid. Maybe it's because he has three younger siblings or maybe it's because he is growing into such a great person but I am not sad that he will soon be a teenager. Even in those moments when I feel I could pull my hair out for having to remind him for the one thousandth time to put his laundry away, I still find myself in awe of what I have accomplished as his mom.
Before Jonah came along I experienced my first loss. It was a hard to go from complete excitiment to devastating loss in the matter of moments. The doctor reassured me that with a little time we should have no problems getting pregnant again. This is where Jonah joins the picture. After our loss, I tried to enjoy every single moment of my pregnancy and was very much ready to meet this new little man of mine. Jonah was such a laid back and easy going baby. He had a few little oddities but that was just Jonah. We thought for a very long time that because of my miscarriage we were more lenient with Jonah when it came to parenting him. During his preschool screening we learned that he had some developmental delays that we all felt were caused by a speech delay. A few years of preschool and we still felt we were missing a piece of the puzzle but we were all still unable to pinpoint what exactly that piece may be. It wasn't until kindergarten that I began to realize that Autism was the answer. In the spring of Jonah's kindergarten year he was given a school diagnosis of Autism. I felt reassured but I knew that I needed firmer ground to stand on so we began the process of getting a medical diagnosis. The day that we recieved his diagnosis I sent a text message out to Ramee and Rachel telling them that I was right and that it was Autism. Reading that back may sound harsh but for me I knew there was something special about Jonah and I needed to know what it was so that I could parent him in a way that was best for him. Jonah's diagnosis hasn't changed who he is, he has always been and will always be an amazing and loving individual. Ramee has written about my patience and calmness as a mother to Jonah in the past and for me it still touches my heart to read her words. However I am just doing my job to the best of my ability each and every day.
When Jonah was four I had three miscarriages back, to back, to back...... It was a very hard time for me both emotionally and physically. My doctor couldn't explain why this was happening and I desperately needed answers. These were very much babies to me and I desperately wanted them in my life. After the third miscarrage I told Joe I was done, I just couldn't go through this anymore. My body was tired and if we were meant to have more children then it would happen on its own. So I grieved the loss and moved forward in my life. My little monkey man Liam joined our family almost four years ago and I couldn't have been any more nervous and excited to meet him. Joe and I were about to be outnumbered and what was I going to do with another boy! Liam soon prooved that he was meant to close the gap between Nolan and Jonah, who got along but were complete opposites. Liam has enough of both of his brothers to make all of their personalities mesh together. Nolan very much enjoyed being an older brother to Liam. As for Jonah, over the years Liam has taught him how to use his imagination and play again. Their bond is what I always imagined brothers to be: perfect and insync one moment and a tornado of noise and arguments the next. It has been a complete whirlwind of energy and noise since Liam has entered this world and I wouldn't change a moment of it!
Now if you have noticed I have a pattern of healthy babies and miscarrages. So when I found out I was pregnant I didn't know what to expect. Would I meet this baby or would I be forced to say goodbye? I shared my news with Rachel and Ramee by asking if they would pray for me until sometime in June. I will never forget the look on Ramee's face when she understood what I meant. We cried and hugged and I'm pretty sure we both sent up prayers in that exact moment. Everything about this pregnancy was shared with Ramee and Rachel. I don't think that I would have enjoyed this pregnancy so much if I didn't have them with me. I sent texts while at dr appointments and I shared cravings of cupcakes with them as well! I even found out the sex of this new baby with these two ladies by my side. The day was beyond perfect in my eyes and I am so grateful for the memories I have to cherish. With my very best friends by my side (and my husband at work....) we found out that a little lady was about to join this world of boys I was living in! Finley graced this world and was soon wrapped in the arms of both of these women who share her middle name! For almost twelve years I have known the special bond that a mother shares with her son. I have cherished that bond and will forever. Even with all of that I knew that something was missing and with the birth of Finley I finally understood it. Finley completes me in a way that I never knew she could, she soothes my soul. She completes our family and has made the boys more aware of their softer and gentler sides. I can't wait to see how she continues to influence this family of men but for now I am enjoying watching them rush to her side at the slightest whimper of distress.
This is my family, they are my everything.
I have been beyond blessed to have an incredible group of women to help me walk this part of my journey. We have shared happiness, sadness, excitment, heartache, and everything in between. I have not ever expereinced such a bond with as many woman as I do with this village we have created. I am about to leave this village behind in Illinois and move my family to Washington. I am nervous what that will mean when it comes to creating new memories but I am confident that if I should call they will come. We mother, we nurture, we care, we laugh, we cry, we love, and we do it all together! I will just be doing it from afar but I am still here.