I always wanted to be a mother, I just wasn't in a huge hurry to be one. When I was finally told I was pregnant, that's when I really got excited to have children. My journey into motherhood has been a rough one filled with gritty, heart wrenching moments -- but the rewards I have received simply from being a mother make it all worth while. My oldest was in the NICU for 16 weeks and came home on and apnea monitor and oxygen, I felt like I was never going to get myself together when he came home, I don't think overwhelming can begin to cover how that felt. However, I did make it through and I adjusted fairly quickly once I developed a routine.
My very first pregnancy was a miscarriage at 6 weeks, I was absolutely devastated. I just kept seeing all of these pregnant women and I kept asking myself why am I not good enough, why my baby? My second pregnancy was with twins, we were completely floored, their father and I did not anticipate that at all. I was in love as soon as I saw them on that screen in the ultrasound room. At 23 weeks I gave birth to Baby A, Evelyn. The first words the doctor said to me were "I can see her hair, honey, she's coming and I don't think she will make it." I couldn't move in that instant, it wasn't supposed to happen like that, especially to me. My beautiful girl was born March 3rd at 8AM 1.3lbs. She fought a hard fight but passed away that evening at 15 hours old. My grief consumed me. God Bless those NICU nurses because they truly mourned with us. I remember one of them looking at me and start sobbing as she told me "honey I am so sorry but you cant cry too long, we have to protect Aidan" I couldn't cry for my baby, my only daughter, my heart shattered and then I felt Aidan move and I knew I had to do the best I could to protect him so I told Evelyn I loved her and I wiped my eyes. It was hard and I wept the first two mornings after her death and the nurses would rush in and calm me down immediately. Five days later Aidan was born. Unlike his sister, who did not cry at birth, Aidan was screaming at the top of his 23 week old lungs announcing his presence in this world, all 1.7lbs of him. It was hard, Aidan's NICU stay has forever changed all of us close to him. While I was pregnant with Avery I had to have a cerclage placed and was monitored weekly until I passed 25 weeks. While emotionally stressful his pregnancy was a lot smoother.
I found out I was expecting by home pregnancy tests. I felt overwhelmed every time I got a positive test but always happy.
I really wanted Avery to be a girl, so I knew he would end up being a boy. . . I was right :) With Aidan and Evelyn I wanted one of each.
My pregnancy with the twins was easy until premature labor, a completely healthy pregnancy. I was high risk with Avery and had surgery at 14 weeks to sew my cervix shut to help prevent preterm labor. That was tough, I was terrified the entire time, but it worked. Avery was born at 36+1, almost preterm with no known health issues.
My labors were pretty easy compared to some. The twins were born natural, both times I went into labor everything progressed too quickly to do anything but literally push. I was in labor with Avery from 8-5 and ended up getting an epidural but I only pushed two times and he was here.
I didn't know what it felt like to come home with a new baby who hadn't spent time in the NICU until I came home with Avery -- and let me tell you, amazing doesn't begin to describe the feeling.
The best part about being a mom is watching them learn to be who they are going to be. My boys are so different from one another and I think its great. I get to help shape and mold them into the men that they will become, what an honor that is.
The most challenging thing is the temper-tantrums, I still have not figured out that you cant reason with a two year old. Without family and friends supporting me along this journey, I would be nothing. My Mom is amazing!
All of it is going too fast, my babies are growing up too soon. Where are my newborns?? They are turning into young men before my eyes. Now that Aidan is a little older, he likes to be naked -- he will strip himself anywhere if he is able to get his clothing off. He doesn't care who is watching either. I think Avery will be the same way. I see some interesting situations in our future.
The world is a mean, cruel place and I fear I wont always be there to protect them. It is my hope that I raise them to be strong, good men that are able to protect not only themselves but the ones they love as well. I just want them to be good people. I want to instill good morals in them, and values, and teach them right from wrong and to love without predjudice, what more could I ask of them?
I want moms to know it's ok, we are all scared and most of us don't know what we are doing either. As long as you try your absolute best you are a good mom.
Absolutely, we are raising the future.
Ashlee also provides magical and delightful services for: newborn photography, cake smash photography, baby's first year plans, maternity photography, family photography, and Newborn mentoring for photographers.
If you have a milestone or special moment you want to remember forever, let's chat! Ashlee loves to photograph in the woodlands and around downtown Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, and Greenwood. She also has a professional studio space available for sessions.