{Emmett James} Asleep in Heavenly Peace

In my heart I knew this day was coming. I watched the days tick by as the months moved forward on the calendar. March 5, 2018 you were born into this world sleeping and my heart was broken once more. Emmett James you left this world with more love than your soul could ever handle. You were wanted. You were needed; yet God our God needed you more.

My heart still wonders who you would have been. Would you look like your mama with a head full of curls or would you have your dad’s eyes. Would you giggle at your muppet like dog or would you frown when Dexter’s tail crossed your face. Would you have your Grandmas wrapped around your finger or would you be toddling after your Papa with eyes filled with wonder. I dream of the outfits you never got to wear and the steps you never got to take.

I dream of the life you never got to live. Emmett my dear you were cheated and so were we. We were cheated out of a lifetime together and because of that our hearts will be forever broken. Your life though short taught us to have faith and to believe in miracles. You my son were the child that we had prayed for and you were worth the struggle. Our baby you will always be.

Emmett’s turtles were thrown in Lake Superior

I walk this earth with a broken heart; because three piece of it rest in heaven. Apart of me was jealous when you left. Jealous because you got to meet your brothers before I did. I have no doubt that Lucia and Baby E were waiting for you and now you are the big three causing trouble in heaven. I can only imagine what you three are up to. This life I live is for you and I will carry you with me for all of my days. My babies you will always be.

Emmett’s beach

If I had to do this all over again; we would always choose you Emmett James. You are ours and we are forever yours. Our baby you will always be.

{Infertile Me} Hope Addict

I am starting to believe that just maybe unicorns, trolls, and mermaids do exist. Lord knows I am pretty much a medical unicorn. A girl with complicated anatomy that prevents her from getting pregnant the natural way. I must have been late when God was handing out the good cervixes. Because I got the broken one that came from the bottom of the barrel. Even though she’s broken, she’s mine and I wouldn’t trade her in. She’s caused me a lot to trouble and now she’s held together with scar tissue and hope.

I’ve faxed and scanned my records to more clinics than I can count. For one reason or another all of them told me no. I drove to Green Bay and was told no. The doctor waited until that morning to look at my records. I was to complicated for him. My BMI was .3 to high for him. So he sent me packing and I was defeated. It stung, the hope that I had instantly left my body and in my heart I was done.

Four hours on the road gives you time to contemplate and to organize a plan. In that moment I wanted to walk away from all of this. Yet something in my gut told me “take one more step, one more leap, we are not done yet. We can go a little bit further.” That little embryo of ours is counting on me, counting on me to bring it into existence. Embryo #3 deserves a chance to become a baby.

You can call me a hope addict. I am addicted to hope with a dash of fear. Do I regret getting fired from CCRM Minneapolis? Nope not one bit. In m my heart I always knew CCRM was not the right place for me. I stayed because I felt held to the wall without options. Did I receive good care form CCRM? Nope, my complicated anatomy and I were treated like an inconvenience. I was a lepar in their books, I didn’t fit the mold, and no matter how much they tried my fat ass wouldn’t fit in their box. CCRM’s lab is all you really need and any qualified doctor can do a frozen embryo transfer.

I think to myself “one day Embryo #3 will read this very blog and will know how hard we fought for him or her.” When you are addictive to hope you do not know how to stop fighting. When life throws you a block you curve to the left and find a solution. Google and I have become BFFs as we search for a clinic capable of taking me and embryo #3. Somewhere out there is a doctor just waiting to put a feather in his or her cap and that doctor will say “yup I will take you on.” I will continue to scan and fax until I find them. Motherhood is something I have always dream of and I am to addicted to give up.

{Infertile Me} Grace

Something told me to find my family before I attempted to transfer Embryo #3. I cannot explain it. Deep down my soul was telling me “find Grace, find your family, and go HOME.

In early September my Dad and I went home. Home to Crow Wing and the White Earth Reservation. There I touched the house my ancestors built and walked amongst their graves. I did what my Grandfather never did, I went home for him. My heart she wasn’t settled, she needed to find Grace. She needed to stand before the woman who never gave up on her children.

Find a grave. com is an amazing tool and it helped me immensely. Fate had a hand in this too. Someone had documented Riverside Cemetery in Seeley WI, Grace Geneviève Beaulieu Cox’s stone was amongst the photos. My Great Grandmother’s stone was staring back at me plain as day on my iPhone screen. When I looked it up I realized that I had driven right by her for years.

Hayward is Wisconsin’s vacation land and it’s a place I try to visit every year. The Main Street is lined with cute little shops and there are lots of restaurants serving down home north woods cooking. If you venture outside of Hayward you will see “canoe landing” signs dotted along the highways. The area is amazing for canoeing. Speaking of canoeing; I AJ canoed right by my Great Grandmother’s grave and didn’t know it. I have driven by Grace’s grave every fall on my way to Bayfield. She was there in Seeley, just waiting to be found. Waiting for us to stand before her and say her name.

She was lost, but now she’s found. My dad and I instantly spotted her grave when we pulled through the cemetery gates. My dad never got to meet her when she was alive. I watched as he laid the tobacco down and said “Grandma you’ve been found.” After Irene died I was allowed to go through their home and pick out items I wanted. Nestled in a corner covered in dust was a statue of an Indian woman with a baby on her back, I was drawn to this and put it in my box. It’s been sitting in my garage ever since and I had no plans to bring it inside. It came to me that the statue was meant for Grace. I held the statue steady as my dad squirted the glue and I stuck it to the concrete. My dad instructed me to push down and give it a little twist so it will stick. We gave Grace her heritage back.

After Grace’s children were taken she did what she had to do to survive. She got married and made a new life for herself all while still holding out hope that her children were alive. Grace reunited with my Grandfather, her son was lost, but now he’s found. I cannot imagine what that moment looked like, when he was taken he was around 5 years old and when he was found Clifford was a middle aged man. Grace was whole, her children were found. Seeing my Dad stand before Grace, his grandma was something I will always treasure. My Dad is now whole too. He got to touch the stones of his ancestors and lay tobacco down to acknowledge that because of their battles he exists.

And now I feel whole too. Whole because I stood before the grave of the strongest woman I never got to meet. The courage and determination she had was beyond measure. I relate to Grace; our lives are similar. Like her, I know what it’s like to have your life ripped to shreds. I know the strength it takes to build a new normal. To never give up fighting for your children. Dead or alive your children will always be yours and you need to fight for them.

Grace once was lost, but now she’s found and we are never letting go. My Dad and I decided that we are going to visit her grave often and I have faith that one day Embryo #3 will stand before her.

{Infertile Me} Emmett James 03/05/2018

I have been trying to will the month of September to move slowly. My heart, she is not ready for the calendar to turn to the 23rd. She is not ready for that day to arrive for her womb is empty; Emmett left this world earlier than expected.

Right now Jay and I would most likely be holding Emmett in our arms and cooing over him as he looked up at us. Due dates are not concrete, we knew that I would deliver early via a planned c-section. Jay should be out in the parking lot making sure the car seat fits just right, while our mom’s are at our house making sure bottles are washed and the crib is ready. I should be posting photos of our sweet Emmett to Facebook as friends stop by to hold him. This time should be about our Emmett, a miracle that defied the odds. But it isn’t. The little embryo that could left this world all too soon.

Life she makes us strong before she gives us what we long for. Fate called Emmett home on 03/05/2018 at 11weeks 1 day, his heart it stopped at 10weeks 3 days. His story was done before the first words were written and our hearts are forever broken. Emmett was the child that we prayed for; the child that we so desperately wanted. He is our boy and we are his.

Emmett’s ultrasound photos sit in a book on Jay’s desk. In the beginning they made me sad, but now they are a reminder that he existed. That he was apart of this world and that he will forever be apart of our story. For 11weeks and 1 day he was our entire world and for that I am grateful. Our heats were filled with anticipation and awe because the little embryo that could was our baby and no one can ever take that from us. He was a 9.4 beta that turned into a heartbeat at 6weeks 1day. Even the fertility clinic was surprised by that.

When we found out that Emmett died I asked Jay if we could do a bucket list of things that we would have done had he lived. One of those items was a trip to the North Shore. On a beach just outside of Duluth we said goodbye to our son and threw two small stone turtles into the turbulent waters. The power of the lake washed over us and as tears flowed we said our goodbyes to the baby we never got to hold. I have faith that one day we will find Emmett’s turtles on the shore, the lake she will return him to us.

We chose to have Emmett James cremated and his ashes were spread in BabyLand at LakeWood Cemetery in Minneapolis. When I moved to Colfax Avenue in 2010 I had no idea that the cemetery just down the street would be the final resting place for two of my children. I walked by it and through it quite a bit. It’s a beautiful place and BabyLand has a view of Lake Calhoun a place that is near and dear to my heart. Emmett is not alone here, Baby E’s cremains we’re also laid to rest in BabyLand. I cannot bring myself to visit BabyLand it’s to painful right now but one day I will have the courage to go and put tobacco down for my sons.

The memory of my children is alive and well in our home. We have 3 Jizo statues one for each of my sons. Red for Lucia; Yellow for Baby E; and Purple for Emmett. A sign in our hallway reads “because someone we love is in heaven we have a little bit of heaven in our home.” My Dad is working on a memorial garden at the cabin with three dogwood bushes, a plant that is sacred to the Ojibway. Lucia, Baby E, and Emmett will always matter, our babies they will always be.

Emmett was proof that against all odds miracles do happen. I have no doubt that all three of my son’s will be watching over Embryo #3 for they want him/her to live the life that they never got to see.

{Road Trip} HOME

For as long as I can remember I was told “you are the descendants of Voyagers and Indians.” A pedigree anyone would be proud of. The stories I was told were validated in my sixth grade Minnesota History class and again in college. My family, my amazing courageous family had a hand in shaping the Minnesota that we all know and love. This, this place that I love has always been my home. My roots are forever tied to this land. I am Minnesota and she is me.

For years I have heard about the Clement H. Beaulieu house in Crow Wing State Park. The park is a little over two hours from minneapolis, practically in my backyard, but I never felt the need to venture. I am a firm believer that we are drawn to locations and when it’s our time to go, we go there. This day was 35 and 66 years in the making, it was time for us to go HOME.

As far as weather goes, today was a beautiful sunny calm Minnesota Saturday. A day meant for exploring. Only I could get lost in a state park. If the arrow is pointing left, I will turn right and then wonder why I’m doing a U turn. Only me. Anyways, with a little rerouting we found the parking area for the “Crow Wing Main Street” trail, parked and headed on down the path. My Dad is one of those types who likes to stop and read all of the signs, so I trudged ahead of him and waited. He caught up to me as I spied the roof line through the trees a huge gust of wind came up and my Dad looked at me and said “He knows we are here!”

We reached the over look and began to read the plaques. I will admit it’s kind of weird seeing your last name in print and tied to the historic building in front of you. This house is simple by today’s standards, however back in its day the home was a bustling hub of hospitality and business. Clement a “half breed” was sent from Wisconsin to develop the fur trade in Minnesota. He was a well respected man who had great success. His home over looked the river and Crow Wing village.

I circled the house many times in an effort to engrave all of its details into my brain. Faced pressed to the glass I tried imaging what the inside looked like in Clements day. The interior of today is a far cry from what it looked like in the late 1800s. This house if it could talk, would have an incredible story to tell. Stories of love and loss, business deals, parties, family, and of the community that once surrounded it. My dad and I soaked it all in. This place was our place, this this home is where our story began.

Clement lived in this home until he moved to White Earth in 1873. White Earth, a place that I know of so well, but never visited. This reservation is where my Grandfather’s tale began. My Grandfather was a product of the assimilation and relocation of the American Indian. The government calls the program a success, I call it a failure. Ripping children form their parents, their language, their culture, and their religion does more harm than good. My Grandfather was taken form the White Earth when he was five years old and he never returned. Today, my Dad and I were the first ones from our branch of the family to return HOME.

Our name is present on the Reservation. There is a Street named after us and a township too. My goal wasn’t to visit the township, but to find the graves of my ancestors. Find A Grave . Com told me that Clement was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Which is a small cemetery nestled on top of a hill surrounded by soy bean fields. It was simply beautiful. As we pulled in I noticed a plot with a large fence around it and figured that had to be our family’s plot. I went to the fenced in area and my dad wandered to the very back of the cemetery.

The gate gave me some trouble, but I was determined and eventually I won. AJ 1, Gate 0. As I walked through the gate a strong swirling wind came up and I was home, my ancestors were acknowledging me, their lost family who returned HOME. I traced my fingers across their names as I read them aloud to the wind and laid tobacco down. I can honestly say I have never seen my last name on so many stones at once. Heck I’ve only ever seen it on one stone and that is my Grandfather’s.

I looked up to see my dad waving his arm and the wind carried his shouts, so I bid them goodbye, wrestled with the gate again, and walked to the back of the cemetery. He had found more of our family. Two graves nestled along the fence line. I laid tobacco down and moved through the cemetery along side my Dad. We made our way back to the more populated area and found five more sets of graves. I started to notice a few stones for babies. When I traced my hand across their names, I no longer felt alone, for my ancestors know the heart ache of child loss too. Our babies no matter how much time has passed, will always be ours.

My Dad and I got back in the car and on our way out of the cemetery I looked up to see an Eagle soaring over the soy bean field. Our visit had been acknowledge and our ancestors were happy to have us home. From the cemetery we drove to the town of White Earth. As we drove around I said to my dad “just think your Dad could have fished in that pound or played in that field!? It’s beautiful here, he got ripped from beauty and dropped in an orphanage that lead to a farm.” My dad said “Yeah,” as he looked out the window. He had done what his Dad never did, he went home for him. We went HOME for Clifford, a child of the White Earth who was once lost, but now is found.

This trip meant the world to me. It was simple yet profound and I am grateful to have had my dad along for the ride. This trip was for him as I know he has always wondered where his Dad came from and today he found his HOME.

{Infertile Me} She was lost; and Now I’m found

It’s been a stressful past few weeks. I found myself in a place I never thought I would be in. I’ve called more fertility clinics than I’d care to admit. All of the clinics in MN will not take our embryo. Between you and me; I feel like Dr. B put the word out that I am a terrible patient. Several of the clinics said it’s a liability after they found out who I was. After the last clinic said no I felt defeated. I was ready to throw in the towel and face a childless life head on.

Yet something in me was tugging away. Something in me told me to pick up the pieces and continue the fight. Geneva is a name that I carry. I carry my Great Grandmother’s name as my middle name. Now she was a warrior. Geneva’s children were taken from her during the relocation and assimilation period. That woman, that strong woman never gave up on finding her children. Even when authorities told her that they had died in transport, she never gave up hope. Geneva picked up the pieces of her shattered life and never stopped searching for the missing pieces. Geneva lived his life knowing that pieces of her were scattered and she rode the wind until they were found.

Geneva was reunited with my Grandfather Clifford. Life came full circle. June was found too, along with her other son. This woman, this patient woman was finally whole. I thought to myself “Geneva didn’t get you this far for you to give up. She fought like hell for her children and her battle paid off; she died whole.”

I need to honor this woman’s legacy of determination and grit. Knowing she walked this road before me and that I would not be walking this road alone I turned to Wisconsin. Wisconsin is in my blood and is my second home. My mom, she is from Wisconsin and Geneva is buried outside of Hayward in a sleepy little cemetery. My roots run deep in Wisconsin, so it’s the perfect place to bring our embryo. I called a couple clinics in Wisconsin and they will take Embryo #3! I got ghosted by one doctor in Johnson Creek, which is ok. My gut is leading us to Green Bay. With a little luck and a lot of faith Green Bay will be where Embryo #3 is transferred back to me. Our little embryo, this little fighter of ours will be made in Wisconsin and with a little luck born in Minnesota.

Call me crazy but, I deeply believe that Geneva is leading the way that somehow someway she is going to make this work for us. She’s been in this fight, she brought me this far and now it’s up to me to bring it home. Her blood, her fight runs through me and I know IVF got this.

{Road Trip} Traveling with Littles

Every time I told Sophia “Papa and auntie are going on a trip,” she would ask me “Auntie when are you going to take me? I am more fun than Papa!?” I knew in my heart she felt left out and that she needed to experience an Auntie led road trip. Duluth is one of my favorite places to visit, it is the gateway to the north shore after all. And the north shore has a special spot in my heart. One because I love it and two, because it was my home away from home for four years. I went to college across the bay from Duluth at the University of Wisconsin Superior and I had the time of my life.

Enough about my love of the north shore, let’s get down to business. Friday night proved to be an awful traffic night. A major crash on HWY 61 backed up the road for what seemed like miles. With snacks in hand we powered through and slowly crept along. When seeing the state of the cars involved I said a silent prayer and hoped that at least one person walked away from it. Jack & Sophia just saw the fire trucks and police cars, which was good because I didn’t want to explain that sometimes cars don’t make it home. About an hour into the drive I learned that Sophia has to pee a lot, so she got cut off from liquids and we made it all the way to Hinkley before she needed to go again.

We rolled into Duluth around 10:30PM checked into our hotel and immediately went to bed. Well those under the age of 7 went straight to bed. I showered and went over my plan for Saturday with my mom. It got the Nana stamp of approval. We woke up around 7:30AM and were headed out the door by 8AM. Jack was super excited to start his adventure and Sophia was still a little groggy but forged along side of us. Breakfast, did I mention I love breakfast? We went to Uncle Loui’s Diner and it did not disappoint. Did I mention that I love Diners?

Uncle Loui’s has your traditional diner fair. I ordered the tailgater, my mom the country fried steak, pancakes for Sophia, and strawberry stuffed French toast for Jack. Jack didn’t know what to think of his French toast and Sophia immediately eyed it and whined that she didn’t have it too. We explained that she chose pancakes and that is her breakfast and Jack’s is Jack’s. Jack sat next to me happily munching away asking me “Auntie what’s next, what’s next!?”

Next was Canal Park. We were running ahead of schedule and had sometime to burn before we needed to be at the train station. Jack climbed on everything he could and demanded that we take his picture. We of course obliged. Our arrival couldn’t have been more perfect, I heard the familiar alarm and directed their attention to the lift bridge. The bridge was lifting up to let a large laker through, which if you are not familiar is a large ore boat. Jack was intrigued by the large ship and sat on the canal wall waving until it passed him by. The crew on the ship waved back in his direction and he was beaming from ear to ear.

Sophia didn’t really care much for the ship, she was instead trying to find a way to climb down to a tiny strip of beach. I advised her numerous times “if you were meant to go down there, there would be a path. There is no path so it’s not meant for us to climb down there.” She gave me this look and begrudgingly stopped asking about it. Sophia was amused with the seagulls and curious about the lighthouse. We walked around the park until it was time to head to the train.

Jack happily played at the train table while I waited in line to pick up our tickets. With tickets in hand I showed them to Jack in which he squealed and shouted “TRAIN” he squealed again and let out a choo choo! He was one incredibly excited little. I let Sophia and Jack peek into the gift shop before boarding the train. Each of them picked out a little something and ran over to the boarding line. I chose the short one hour ride and it was just long enough to hold their attention. If you have little ones I recommend the Lake front express ride, which as you guessed it goes along the Lake front past the Cogdon estate and returns to the station. After our ride was over we made our way up the north shore.

I mentioned that I love the north shore right!? Because it literally is God’s country and to me it’s special. Getting to show Sophia and Jack why I loved it so much was part of our adventure. A trip isn’t complete unless candy is involved. We pulled off at the Great Lakes Candy Company in Knife River. It is a cute little shop filled to the brim with delicious hand made confections. I can of course only attest to the white Chocolate confections. Which are delicious by the way. Sophia and Jack both got a bag of candy fruit slices and happily paid for their treat with their own money.

The Candy company had a sweet little sitting area nestled amongst the trees and a bear trail for the kiddos. The bear trail is adorable and includes a candy kitchen play house and bears nestled along the path. Sophia and Jack loved every bit of it and asked if they could come back again. Candy, is always a hit!

Just up the road from the Candy Kitchen is Tom’s Logging Camp. I’ve driven by it for years but never ventured in. The cost of admission is $5.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids 6-12. You do not have to do the museum, you can stroll through the gift shop aka trading post or grab a sandwich at the restaurant across the parking lot. I chose to do the museum. The sweet woman at the counter advised me that we needed quarters to buy feed for the animals and that the baby goat was not stuck. She also advised the kids to look for the red horseshoes and to tell her how many we found to get a treat. With quarters in hand we followed the path exploring the buildings and looking for horseshoes. The kids loved feeding the animals and looking for the horseshoes. We found 7 total and with that they earned a sucker.

With suckers and souvenirs in hand we hit the road again. We stopped for lunch in Two Harbors to avoid the rain and continued our drive to the black beach in silver bay. As I watched the kids play in the sand it hit me “there should be four kids playing on the beach and I should be 7 months pregnant.” Sophia and Jack have no idea that they were cheated out of a lifetime with their cousins. Sophia has no idea that she is the second grandchild and Jack has no idea that he is the third. Moments like this break my heart, yet I know that my babies are together in heaven watching over them. Their cousins they will always be. As I wiped a few tears away I looked up to see Sophia & Jack giggling happily and waving their shovels back at me. Those two were having the best time on the beach.

It was getting late and I wanted to make good on my promise to Sophia, so we packed up and headed to the car. I promised Sophia that I would take her to a waterfall, Gooseberry Falls to be exact. As a child I loved coming to the falls and climbing around on the rocks under my parents not so watchful eye. Jack is to little to navigate the slippery rocks of the falls, he stayed back with Nana and watched from the viewing area. Sophia grabbed my hand and looked up at me beaming “Auntie! This is so cool,” as we skipped over streams of water. She kept telling me “Auntie! There is a way to the edge.” I loving explained “you are a klutz like your mother, the edge is not meant for you.” She groaned and asked if we could go closer to the upper falls. Which I obliged and Jack squealed as we came into view. It was starting to get dark, so Sophia and I made our way back to Nana and Jack.

Once back in Duluth we stopped at Grandma’s for dinner. As we waited for our table I kept Sophia and Jack amused by winning them rubber ducks from the crane game. Soon our buzzer went off and it was time for us to eat. Jack & Sophia munched happily on Mac & Cheese while Nana and I discussed our plan for Sunday. The Prius decided it would be fun to make a weird noise and we promised their Daddy that we’d be back by 5, so we decided to abandon the boat trip. We would head out after breakfast. After dinner we walked around Canal Park for a bit. The bridge is lit up at night and the kids loved being out after dark. Sophia proclaimed “vacation means staying up late,” with a giggle.”

After breakfast I had one more adventure up my sleeve. Jay Cook State Park. The swing bridge to be exact. Sophia happily darted across the bridge while Jack cautiously clung to my side. The movement of the bridge scared him, yet he was brave and made it across. On the way back over he paused to look through the bridge and shouted “Auntie! Water fall,” with a smile.

Soon it was time to get back in the car and head home. Jack slept the entire way back to Red Wing, while Sophia mumbled about being stuck in traffic and asking when she could go on vacation again. I told her “Next summer Sophia” she grinned up at the rear view mirror as she twirled her coin purse in her hands.

Thirty years from now Sophia & Jack will remember this weekend and will look back on the adventures they had. As their Auntie I get to provide experiences for them and in turn make memories that will last them a lifetime. This life is about living outside of the box and creating memories that are yours and yours alone.

{Infertile Me} With shattered HOPE

Some days I wish I could go back to September 2017 and tell myself not to cling to hope. To tell myself that this journey is going to suck beyond belief. That you will put all of this work in to end up with empty arms, just like you did before. You my dear girl, your heart will be broken again.

Yet I can’t. Because 2017 me was so full of hope and faith. Her heart though broken still beat with courage and strength. She believed deeply in the process and had her eyes set on the prize. For her sanity she broken it down into pieces, first eggs, then embryos, then transfer, and finally a baby. The first two parts were easy for her to digest. 15 eggs brought her 3 quality embryos. Those embryos meant the world to her and she was certain she would transfer two and she did. Those two ended with one baby. One baby whose heart beat stronger every day until there was silence. Her world just like before crashed around her with the words “there is no heart beat.” At that moment she was done trying. Her heart couldn’t take anymore. She had given three babies back to God.

Little by Little and day by day she grew stronger and her heart started to look to Embryo #3. She knew if she didn’t go for it, she would always wonder “what could have been.” With withered strength and threadbare hope, she decided to move forward.

Forward with shattered hope. In March I was certain that I could not bare going through a transfer again, yet I am stronger than I think. Yesterday I put the ball in motion. The clinic was so glad to hear from me (I’m sure they say that to everyone). Dr. B has formulated a plan, we are not messing around this time. Workup in July, dilation surgery in August, and with a little luck a transfer in September.

September, Emmet was due in September. I just pray it doesn’t end up being on the 23rd, Emmet’s due date. Then again maybe September will be our lucky month and this one I will get to keep.

{Life Lessons} Photo of Happiness

Out of all the photos we took in Nebraska Jay loved one the most. To me it was unflattering, I was in the process of deleting it from my phone when Jay said “no that is my favorite photo, it’s so genuine.” You can imagine the look I gave him, I immediately pointed out my double chin and how this photo made my look heavy. He told me I was beautiful (he’s a smart man) and that he loved this photo because it shows pure happiness.

I let this photo sit on my phone. From time to time I’d go to it and just look at it. After awhile I stopped focusing on my chubby chin (thank you lymph node and saliva gland removal) and noticed how happy I was in this moment. Sure I was suffering from terrible period cramps (a reminder that I was no longer pregnant), but this photo doesn’t show that, it shows a woman living in the moment, smiling at who knows what. Oh smiling because she was about to burst into a full laugh because Jay was playing photographer.

These are the moments we live for. Moments of pure joy amongst the mundane. These moments chase away the darkness and bring in the light. Our smiles no matter how chubby the chin chases away the darkness and brings light into our hearts. This photo doesn’t show a woman with a broken heart struggling to bring home a child of her own. This photo doesn’t show a woman who has three babies in heaven, it is proof that Love and Joy always prevail. That I have a choice, a choice to grieve or grieve while living the best life I possibly can.

I will never get over the death of my babies, those little ones will always be a part of me. Just as I am a part of them. I live this life for Lucia, Baby E, and Emmet. My boys are the reason behind my strength, my faith, my joy, and my eternal happiness. I chose happy because I know that is what my sons want for me, a lifetime of happiness.

{Infertile Me} Emmet James

As the blizzard poured down around me I looked out the window and remembered that the doctor said Snow Pea’s results would be in on Friday. Friday went without word, so I logged in to my online chart, “1 new message” it said. I held my breath, my heart raced, I knew what the message was. It was the answer, the answer that Jay and I had been waiting for. It took a while for the words to sink in, “normal (46 chromosomes) XY.”

In the moment I couldn’t remember if XY was a boy or girl, Dr. Google told me XY = boy. Jay and I had a perfectly normal boy. Snow Pea was a boy. There is no how behind the why, and the why has yet to be answered. It’s a blessing and a curse. My baby, our baby was a healthy little boy whose heart just stopped. The placenta was perfect and Jay & I are genetically normal, it doesn’t add up, but in the end we still had to give a healthy baby back to God.

Emmet James was called home before his feet even touched this earth. Emmet James was born sleeping on March 5, 2018. This little boy was loved beyond measure, deeply wanted, and is desperately missed. Emmet was courageous, he was the little beta that could, he proved that low betas can grow into healthy heart beats. I carried his little heart for 11 weeks 1 day. He was ours and we were his. Emmet James, my baby you will always be.

Emmet James is my second and Jay’s first son. A son that we had to give back before our hearts were ready. I have to believe that Emmet found his siblings in heaven. That Lucia was waiting for him with Baby E at his side, welcoming Emmet to the other side of the rainbow. I am a little jealous because Lucia and Baby E got to meet Emmet before we did.

Emmet James was cheated out of a lifetime. He will never get to go finishing with his Papa and he will never get to play tic tac toe with his Nana. Emmet will never get to take a plane to California to visit his Nana and Papa, Jay’s parents they got cheated too. I will never get to teach him how to ride a bike, tie his shoes, or take him on a road trip. Jay will never get to teach Emmet about World of Warcraft, computers, and Back to the Future. Yes, Emmet’s name comes from Back to the Future, Doctor Emmet Brown. Emmet deserved a life time, to feel the grass on his feet, to laugh, and to love beyond measure. His life was cut far to short and we sent him off with more love than one soul could ever handle. Our baby, he will always be. Emmet James you dear, will always be ours.