Trigger Warning: This story contains mention of miscarriage that may be triggering to some.
“Recently, my family and I welcomed our newest child, Reese, someone I never expected to come our way.
Let’s take you a few steps back to my hubby’s and my anniversary weekend getaway to Prince Edward County. We were driving back the scenic route along the water when all of a sudden my husband said, ‘I just feel like we were meant to have more kids!’ I promptly replied, ‘But we decided not to because the other two needed so much attention. I’d love more, but the door closed. You’re snipped and we did that for so many reasons!’ The discussion continued along the drive and ended with, ‘I’ll try and open my heart to it but for now, I’m totally no!’
After my first (who’s now 8), I developed PPD. After my second (who’s now 6) I developed PPD & PPA and discovered our first presented us with various learning and social needs (early on) that would require our focus and possibly a more specialized school (aka money) in the future. Our second child was colic for a year, and this also disrupted our first’s sleeping patterns and overall disposition. All these were on the list of reasons to close the door on our dream of a big family.
This led to the decision for my hubby to undergo a vasectomy. I remember it like it was yesterday: driving with the two kids in their car seats, snow on the ground 4 years ago. We dropped hubby off at the doctor’s office, drove down the street to get gas, came back, and BAM, our ability to have more children was gone. I remember thinking how crazy it was that such a massive, life-altering decision could carry out in only minutes. I mourned the loss of the kiddos we didn’t have but I had moved on… Or so I thought!
Shortly after, Christmas came and a new year arrived. I was still struggling emotionally and had turned into a person I truly didn’t know. I was the heaviest weight I had ever been, I was angry, frustrated and our relationship was struggling. Hubby and I sat across from each other at the kitchen table. I was telling him about this woman (a fitness and lifestyle coach) I had been following on Facebook. I had followed her journey for over a year, waiting, expecting to see her fail on her own health and wellness journey, UNTIL SHE DIDN’T! I saw her become happier, healthier, and more present, and I said, ‘I NEED THIS!’
She had reached out to me multiple times, asking me to join her, but every time I gave her an excuse. Over that year, we became friends. I sent her videos of me pulling tires in the backyard while my kids played, and I’m sure she thought, ‘Gah, why won’t she listen to me and coach!’
So there I was, sitting across from hubby and he was telling me, ‘Go for it! What do you have to lose?’ So, for $2 a day, I dove into the Netflix of workouts and nutrition, slowly peeling away the layers and seeing short time improvements in my mental health. I told my husband, ‘I need to coach too!’ This has changed my life, our family’s lives. I needed to share this gift with others.
4 years later and I never looked back! This journey brought me back! But even more than that, it helped me help others do the same. It helped my family have a mom who doesn’t lose her SH*T, a wife who is present, and even with adding coaching into a busy husband and wife full-time nurse duo life, coaching taught me how to create more time freedom.
Okay, flash forward, I was starting a brand new workout, 100 workouts long. Every workout ended with this pose, kind of like a ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ Amelia’s superhero pose before going into an OR. For 100 workouts, I ended in this pose, and with arms outstretched I would say to myself, ‘God please guide me today and let me know what path to take for our family’s future.’
On workout 80 of 100, with arms outstretched, after saying the words above, I started to cry. Like that really ugly sobbing cry! I saw myself pregnant with Reese. It was at that moment, I knew, my heart was opened. We needed to try for more children. It was close to Christmas again, and I remember standing at Christmas Eve mass as they brought ‘baby Jesus’ down the aisle for the nativity pageant, a baby girl who was just born at the end of November. I had tears, again, flowing down my cheeks. Hubby hadn’t had the reversal yet, but I had this overwhelming feeling next year, it would be our baby girl, as baby Jesus in the Nativity.
My hubby and I agreed we wanted to grow our family, and he underwent a reversal procedure. I didn’t just rely on the reversal, but a lot of prayer, personal development, and leaning in on the ‘Empowerment HUB’ my incredible wellness community and close friends.
Then just a month after having the reversal, we were pregnant, until we weren’t. I woke up, one morning, with blood everywhere. I then realized what had just happened. We lost baby #3. That baby taught us so much in the very short time they were growing, most importantly we really, really wanted another baby, and the surgery had been successful!
We realized we were capable. We could be strong enough mentally to handle what was in front of us in that moment and what may lay ahead. And though I’m crying writing this now, thinking about the loss, I remain so incredibly grateful for the life that taught us so much in such a short time.
The following month, with one strong pink line and one super faint line… We were pregnant again! I remember video chatting with my best friend, seconds after I sent her a picture of the pregnancy test. The line was so faint. We had just lost baby three and it was a dollar store test. I didn’t believe it was true. I remember her saying, ‘Lauren, you’re pregnant!’
Then COVID-19! It was a blessing in disguise because it brought my bestie and her family back home to Canada from the USA. One afternoon, we walked over to her house. They were our ‘bubble besties’ and our kids told her kiddos we were pregnant. Their response was, ‘We need to do our own Christmas pageant and your baby can be baby Jesus, then we can perform it at our neighborhood Christmas dinner.’ Tears welled up in my eyes. They had no idea the experience I had at Christmas mass the year before. It was just another moment I knew this was the right path God put us on.
The next 9 months were followed by a lot of fears of miscarrying again, a lot of personal development, daily fitness, and finally, this beautiful, precious, perfect human came to be ours! Meet Reese, our rainbow baby! I can’t believe you almost didn’t exist!
Had I let fear guide my path, as I did for the previous 5 years, you wouldn’t be here! And our hearts, our home, our family wouldn’t be the same!
That Christmas pageant, by the way, we did perform! We filmed it last weekend with our ‘bubble besties’ with Reese as our baby Jesus! The plan is to play it over zoom for our neighborhood Christmas dinner.
We may not know sometimes if the path we’re on is right. But if you ask for signs, they will show themselves and you will feel at peace with the direction you are going.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lauren Kellar from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. You can follow their journey on their Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more inspiring stories like this:
‘I told the nurse, ‘Tie my tubes. I’m done, I don’t ever want to do this again!’ I begged my fiancé to find another woman. ‘I just can’t do it, I’m sorry.’: Woman births rainbow baby after still birth, 3 miscarriages
Do you know someone struggling with infertility? Please SHARE this story on Facebook to help give them hope this Holiday season.