The day my life changed forever

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- If you follow me on social media (mainly facebook and intagram) then you see an endless amount of pictures of my beautiful daughter Greenleigh Jo.  I'm not one to post status's that leave people with tons of questions about my life, so I haven't talked much about our birth story.  I figured being that it all went down over 3 months ago maybe it's time to talk about the day our lives changed forever




Everyone tells you when you have kids everything changes and you simply can't be prepared.  I kind of always brushed that under the rug.  I had a sense of entitlement that I was prepared because no one could possibly understand how bad I wanted this baby and couldn't, know one could possibly understand what it was like for me to have to have my little sister carry this baby for me because I couldn't do what so many women do every single day.

I was naive and out misguided.  1 in 8 couples face infertility of some kind... 1 in 8, that is a staggering number that reflects just how NOT alone in my situation I truly was.  But telling that to someone as stubborn as me really does no good.

I went through the 9 months of my sisters pregnancy with Greenleigh believing I was READY, I was going to be super mom, and I was going to adapt to this so easily!

HAH! let me pause and laugh at me from 9 months ago, HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, now that that's out, lets time travel to June 3rd...

I had just wrapped my last day on FOX17.  Something I haven't talked about openly is the disappointment I had in myself.  My dream of being a reporter, was already over... I felt as if I had failed, 2 years and I was already out.  I just couldn't handle it.  Each morning I woke up at 3AM I found myself more and more irritated. I was snapping at everyone, going of the handle about nonsense.  I even started getting to a point where if I didn't have a story lined up for the next morning I would full blown panic, nothing could calm me down, my  husband would try to talk me through it, get me to relax and it only made matters worse, I would get downright hysterical.

I'm not sure what I thought would happen if I just couldn't find a story  but it became an obsession that I could not get past.  What if I have nothing lined up for tomorrow, what will happen?

After a long talk and a lot of tears Jimmy and I came to the conclusion this just wasn't working for me, for US, anymore.  Of course in passing I had said to colleagues and friends that I wasn't happy, I might not work here when the baby came, but I think everyone thought I was exaggerating, or just heated from a bad day, typical work banter.

My parting with FOX17 was fine, everyone there is kind and understanding.  That night of my last day they through a farewell party for me out at Fulton Street Pub, a favorite of mine because they always have karaoke.

I knew at this point I had 10 days until our scheduled c-section, it never crossed my mind that it might not go as "scheduled".  So nothing stopped me from drinking beer all night, dancing with my friends and singing a LOT of karaoke.

By the time we got home and stopped for the obligatory pizza it was 2:15 in the morning.  I was lying in bed thinking about how there's no way I'll wake up and run tomorrow, and how I'll probably have a headache when cell phone started ringing and I saw it was my sister.

I answered immediately to learn her water broke and she rushed to my mom and dad's to drop her daughter off, and dad was driving her to the hospital, the baby was coming NOW.

Jim and I were in FULL panic and I was drunk!  We through everything we could find into a back pack and my unused diaper  bag.  This wasn't how it was supposed to go, it was scheduled, my mind was racing and my anxiety I had been experiencing for months was through the roof.

I cried and began my act of becoming hysterical, I wasn't ready! Why did I think I was ready? Jim got me in the car where I promptly fell asleep, (passed out?)

It's about an hour drive to Kalamazoo from where we live in Rockford and that nap definitely helped me relax a little bit.

We arrived at Bronson and Jim immediately got us each a cup of coffee.  My sister was in good spirits having been woken up by a flood in her bed... her water broke while she was sleeping!  The doctor was very kind and even bent the rules for Jim and I to both be in the room during the c-section.

in our scrubs ready for baby!
The two hours we waited felt like an eternity.  It didn't feel real that in a matter of a few hours I would be a mom to a little  baby.

Finally they wheeled my sister back to prep her for the c-section.  We weren't allowed to be in the room during that portion.  We anxiously sat outside the room, I was in and out of tears and Jim would attempt to calm me down.

about 15 minutes after they started her prep they brought us back and let us sit up by her head and talk to her during the procedure.  They began the surgery and told my sister she would feel pressure.

She felt more than pressure, she began to cry and let out some loud yelps, I could see on her face how bad it was hurting and I became upset.  I remember saying to the nurse, "please be careful, don't hurt my sister, shes crying I think it hurts, I think somethings wrong."

They assured me it was normal and that she would be okay.  I remember mentally beginning to break down.  I prayed in my head for my sister, I asked God to please, just please don't let anything happen to Dani.  I wasn't even thinking about the baby anymore, I was only thinking about how my sister was strapped to this bed, literally, they physically strapped her down.  She was screaming and I was thinking what a terrible sister I was how could I let this happen.

As the thoughts flooded my mind all the sudden the doctor said, "She's here, shes a beautiful little girl"

I was shakey and everything felt so foggy.  They walked us over to clean her and I looked over at my sister who was still strapped to that bed, she was being so brave and here I was just walking away.

They gave her some meds since they had the baby out and I could visibly see her relax.  The nurses said I could hold Greenleighs hand while they cleaned her.  She was so purple and white and not what I expected.  I shuddered and I am embarrased to say I didn't want to hold her hand, I was scared to touch her at all.

After they cleaned her they wrapped her up and let me hold her and I immediately walked her over to my sister and we took a photo and Dani smiled and said, "Hi Greenleigh, it's nice to finally meet you."

The next hour was a blur of moving from room to room, taking my sister to recovery, dressing Greenleigh in clothes we brought.  Feeding her, her first bottle.  We had to wait a few hours for our private room to be ready.  Keep in mind I had been awake since 3AM Friday because that's when I got up for work.  It was about 10AM Saturday at this point.

By the time we got out own room it was about 1PM.  I was sitting in the hospital bed holding Greenleigh and crying.  Jimmy asked me what was wrong and I began getting upset.  I was so tired, my eyes hurt and my whole body felt off.  I was holding this tiny baby that was now mine but still didn't feel like mine at all.

Jim sensed I was beginning to freak out and took baby Greenleigh from me and let me nap for a while. I slept for nearly 3 hours and when I woke up I felt so much better.

My best friend Nikki and her fiance (now husband!) were in the room when I woke up.  She brought Greenleigh the cutest outfit EVER which we immediately dressed her in.


The next morning I sat with Greenleigh in my sisters room and she was easily in the happiest mood I had seen her in, in months.  We took turns holding Greenleigh and joking about life and funny things that had happened in the past. Of course me showing up to the hospital half drunk in last nights makeup came up a LOT.

Greenleigh was so healthy they let us take her home that Sunday, only one night in the hospital.  My sister had to stay a second night to be watched because she did just have a c-section.

So with out an instruction manual, and an hour drive ahead of us Jimmy and I took baby Greenleigh to her new home.


Whew, this was the longest most emotional post I have ever wrote, check back later this week I'll write more about our first weeks as parents, as well as the rest of the process when you use a surrogate.  For us that includes home visits from adoption agency, and more.  I'll end this post with a picture of Greenleigh I took today at her daycare.  I think I love her more everyday.


1 comment

  1. I was prepared for scrubs I ordered to not be super soft, but to wash very well. That is exactly true. The lab coat is not super SOFT, but they are SMOOTH and comfortable for her.

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