“ ‘If this turns positive, it is freaking baby Jesus,’ I said to my husband as I had just finished peeing on a pregnancy test I knew would be negative. He was standing outside the door, holding our precious newborn baby girl we had just brought home from Utah through adoption. I had been vomiting for two weeks, but thought nothing of it because it was ‘just a bug’ that was hanging around a little longer than normal. I will never forget vomiting the morning I took the pregnancy test, and instantly wanting fried chicken. This was when it hit me that this ‘stomach bug’ might not be the stomach bug after all. I can’t blame myself for not thinking much of it; I was severely sleep deprived [of] spending six weeks in a NICU with our teeny 32-weeker, that also happened to be 1,600 miles away from my 4-year-old and 2-year-old.
Let me take you back before our lives took a major plot twist. My husband (who also happened to be my very first boyfriend) and I had two beautiful biological children, but our hearts knew our family wasn’t complete. We prayed continuously to expand our family. We were extremely nervous about having another biological child. I had placenta abruption with our healthy son, but he was pre-term. We knew that adoption was on both of our hearts and felt like it was a sign to move forward with expanding our family through adoption. No sooner than we went active with our consultants were we matched with a baby girl, due in late June! Little did we know at the time, our Goldie girl had other plans. She decided she couldn’t wait to meet her precious first mama and us!
Goldie Mae came bursting into the world almost 10 weeks early, in April of 2017. Our worlds were rocked. We flew across the country, formed an amazing relationship with her first mama, and prayed that our tiny girl would grow healthy and strong. We spent six long weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), while our two older kiddos were at home, across the country. Georgia, our oldest daughter, was 4 and Griffin, our only son, was 2. My husband stayed in Utah as long as he could, but ended up flying back home to be with the kiddos and return to work. I flew back and forth a few times and was blessed enough to have my mom, Goldie’s ‘Honey,’ come and stay with her for a long weekend. [Six] exhausting weeks of watching our girl grow and fight and we finally were able to bring her home. I was so thankful that the rollercoaster of emotion was coming to a close… or so I thought.
Now we are caught up! Enter Sam, my loving, supportive, AMAZING husband cuddling our sweet newborn outside of a bathroom door that I was behind. One stick turned positive and a different kind of vomit happened… word vomit… ‘OHHH SH**!!!’ I guess I said it loud enough for Sam to hear me because he opened the door and asked to look at the test. He then started reading the box saying aloud, ‘Noooo, I don’t think two lines mean positive.’ He handed me two other tests, which both immediately returned positive lines. If I remember correctly, I am pretty sure I threw the last test at him in hysterics. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So, I did both. We looked at each other and then at our tiny newborn asleep in his arms. He put his hands on our baby in his arms and then on the baby that was growing inside of me. We cried and then we laughed some more. That ‘emotional rollercoaster’ had just taken a sharp right and we were tracking up a STEEP, STEEP, slope.
I remember my newborn baby girl sleeping on my chest, laying skin to skin at just 7 weeks old, while I was experiencing morning sickness. I remember holding my belly, knowing a 7-week-old baby was growing inside of me, while I held a 7-week-old baby on the outside of me. I had moments of extreme guilt. I was sad that I was taking the ‘baby’ status away from Goldie so quickly. I was heartbroken for my friends who experience years of infertility and failed matches through adoption. I thought, ‘Why me?!’ so, so, many times. I cuddled and loved on Goldie every single day, and soaked in the [nine] months of her being the only ‘baby.’
Miraculously, I carried our newest baby girl to 39 weeks. I had never carried a baby that long before! I didn’t know how I would feel when I saw our ‘plot twist’ for the first time. I had created a beautiful bond with Goldie and was scared that I wouldn’t be able to bond with the new baby as easily. Then out she came, like the gorgeous ray of sunshine that she still is today, my Gwyneth Reese. I’m not even kidding you when I say that this baby smiled for the first time at two weeks old. We brought home Wynnie to be welcomed by our 4-year-old, 2-year-old, and 9-month-old. I wish I could accurately express how I felt in that moment — the moment I saw my FOUR babies together, I was breathless.
I can’t believe we almost missed this. This true, unbelievable, miracle. I’m just so thankful God’s plans are far better than my own. Everything I had ‘feared’ when pregnant immediately vanished.
Goldie was and still is ‘our baby’ of the family. We actually refer to both of them as ‘the babies.’ Goldie and Gwyneth are now 18 months old and 9 months old. They have the most [amazing], beautiful, bond. Some days are extremely tough, double the diapers, double the crying, double the midnight feedings. I specifically remember the day my husband went back to work. Can y’all believe he left me at home alone with all four?! I remember Gwynnie wanting to breastfeed and Goldie was ready for a snack. I had no idea what to do or how to balance them both. I strapped Gwyneth in the ring sling, whipped out my boob, and prayed my milk wouldn’t drown her while she nursed in the sling for the first time. I strapped Goldie into the high chair, fed her a snack, and EPICLY failed at doing both. Gwyneth screamed and Goldie just wanted mama. I felt like the biggest failure. Like, how do moms of multiples do this? But, the next day, I tried again… it went a little smoother.
By the end of that first week by myself, I felt like I could nurse in a sling and hand out baby puffs to an entire tribe. But in the midst of this utter chaos, I’ve found myself. While there may be double the diapers, double the spit up, and double the crying, there is also DOUBLE the love. The pure joy and peace these babies bring me is something I can’t even put into words. I can’t believe I ever wondered, ‘why me?’ Because I am absolutely CERTAIN that my heart was made to be a mama to the most amazing little humans I’ve ever met, and two of them just so happen to be ‘almost twins!’”