The Season Of Waiting...
"So are you wanting to have another child?" That was the resounding question I kept receiving in the beginning of 2018 from multiple doctors, physical therapist, and other trained professionals in the medical field. In the winter of 2018, I suffered from a severe back injury. I didn't think it would be the thing that would change my life forever. At first I thought just taking a long weekend would allow me to recover and get right back into the life pace I was currently trending. That pace being 110% burnout, denial, and not physically taking care of my health -- mentally, physically, or emotionally. At the time I was a retail manager that was required to work 46 hours a week minimum. Although I had the dream of Addie Joy Company in my heart, I didn't feel ready to take the leap quite yet.
The type of injury I had, took doctors 4 months to diagnose. I can remember the 4 months leading up to that diagnosis was pure agony. I pushed myself to continue to work. There were times I could barely walk. There were times I couldn't even drive myself to work, and would have to call someone to take me in. Sitting hurt, standing too long hurt, getting up from a laying down position was the absolute worst. I was unable to accomplish normal life tasks. I wasn't even able to pick up my daughter from her crib, or let her sit on my lap. I wasn't able to be the mother or wife I needed to be, and it was breaking my heart every single day. During this time I also put unnecessary pressure on myself to stay as professional as I could due to my title. I have to be honest and say that I would break down regularly in the bathroom at work, I would cry on the way home, and I slowly started losing myself. I was not ok, and I didn't know what to do about it. Here I was in a season of Adeline's life that was so precious, but I couldn't even enjoy the little moments because all I could think about was the pain I was currently enduring. The day finally came when I got some answers from my doctor about what was actually going on. I remember going into that appointment so expectant, like I was finally getting the answers I have been searching for for so long. Little did I know this was only the beginning to a long journey ahead.
I had two options. First option was back surgery, which would not allow me to carry another child through pregnancy in the future. Second option was trying to allow my body to heal naturally so I can carry another baby through pregnancy, but it was going to be a very long process, and could turn into back surgery in the end If I was unable to recover properly.
I didn't tell many people about what the doctor told me about having to have back surgery, because I didn't even want to speak it out. In my mind back surgery just wasn't an option if It left me with no option of holding a baby at the end. My husband and I agreed that me leaving my current job prematurely was the only option for me to get better naturally. Putting in my two weeks notice was hard. My last day of work was emotional. Handing over the store keys, my title, my office, my staff, and saying goodbye to 8 years of hard work. I knew I was doing the best thing for my family, but It didn't hurt any less. It was a huge lifestyle change for me. I drove away on my last day crying because I truly felt like I was forced between choosing a career/comfort or my health/ family. I knew that there would be no possible way for my body to recover to the extent that I needed to recover if I stayed -- even if I took a medical leave. I knew that I had pushed myself way too long for it to be a quick recovery. The thing that got me through was picturing myself holding a new baby in the hospital. A baby I had carried for 9 months. At the time that vision felt so far away, but that didn't stop me from focusing on the end goal. I wish I could say that once I made the tough decision to leave my job, launch Addie Joy Company, and recover that it was uphill from there, but it wasn't.
2018 was brutal for our family. Two months after I left my job, my husband lost his job. We went from a double income household, to one income, to no income or health insurance. I was placed on a medication that would allow me to function at a somewhat normal pace to recovery, but the side effects of the drug listed were "infertility." Then things just started spiraling downhill. Our Ac broke, our refrigerator broke and leaked all over the kitchen floor, the garage door broke, and somewhere in there my husband got sick with pneumonia in the middle of the summer. At one point we were just laying on the bed looking at each other like.. "what just happened?" I remember I would always ask him, "We are going to be ok right?" His response was always "yes", even in the moments of "I don't know how we are going to do this." Having another baby was still my goal, but during this time in our lives if felt so far away, and nearly impossible. I was still reminded daily with the pain I endured that my body wasn't ready to even start trying.
We moved to Michigan in 2018, selling our first house was an emotional roller coaster. I was thankful the house sold so quickly, but I was sad to say goodbye to a house I loved with so many wonderful memories. Our home sold so quick it didn't allow us time to set up a place to transition to in Michigan. We also didn't know we were moving to an area with a severe housing shortage at the time. Thankfully, we did have family who took us in and allowed us to live with them while we searched for a place to call our own. I am still so thankful we had people who sacrificed so much for us during that time when we truly needed it. At the end of 2018 we had been unemployed for almost 6 months, we by definition were "homeless," and I was running Addie Joy Company out of a storage unit. Anytime I would get an order I would drive 15 minutes to our storage unit to supply the order, all while being reminded that our entire lives fit into that unit. It was a humbling experience to say the least. Through all of this, I still woke up with pain everyday.
Finally 2019 hit, My husband found a better job, we found an apartment of our own, and we were finally approved to start looking for a new house. In May of 2019 we moved into our new home and things were finally coming together. I made a new goal for myself -- I wanted to be able to stop taking the medication I was on. It took me until July 2019 to be off of all medication completely for my back. By the fall, I was pain free. We decided to start trying for another baby.
I assumed that it would happen immediately, since it didn't take us long to get pregnant with Adeline. I remember the first couple of months went by, and every month that passed after that felt like a dagger to my heart. I had put in so much hard work, effort, emotion, and sacrifice just to get to this point, so why was this season still dragging on? Why did it feel like everyone around me was announcing their pregnancy but me? Why did it feel like my journey was so much harder then everyone else? I reached a point when I started to get worried. I knew the medication I was on so long had side effects, I just didn't believe it would effect me. I prayed and prayed. There was a time when I started doubting, questioning, wondering if maybe it just wouldn't happen for us.
That was when I heard God say, " I created Adeline to be a big sister."
It still brings tears to my eyes. It was the word that I needed to push me through. It took the focus off of me, and onto someone else. When I looked at Adeline, I saw her as a big sister. She was meant to be a big sister-- It just fit. I told Aaron that if we didn't get pregnant soon, then we would need to start seeking medical help to see if everything was ok.
I remember Aaron asking me what I wanted for mother's day. I answered, "All I want is another baby." I meant it with my whole heart. When we did find out that we were expecting another baby, the emotions behind it were so much deeper than any trial we had weathered before. It was almost symbolic to a season of agony coming to an end. A season where the only thing I was able to cling to was hope. I finally had a tangible event that I could look forward to. It felt like I was crossing a finish line. All the tears, hard decisions, late night conversations, and prayers all came together.
Here I am in December, still waiting for this baby to arrive. Reminiscing the trials we faced just to get to this point. When I finally get to see her face, it will remind me of a journey not easily weathered. A promise of hope. The end to a season of mourning. The beginning to a season of celebration. A reminder that sometimes the things you are believing for come at a time when you would least expect them. A true miracle. When I finally get to hold her for the first time it will remind me of the hope I had to hold on to for so long just to meet her. Seeing Adeline hold this baby for the first time, will be a reminder of a promise. A reminder that God is still in control. Our timing may not be the timing that we prefer, but ultimately it is the timing that was meant to be.
We can't wait to meet you baby girl, our true gift of hope.
Ecclesiastes 3:1- "To everything there is a season..."