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{Personal} Mother’s Day 2013 | Southeast Missouri Family Photographer

I remember when I was much younger, being told that I would probably not be able to conceive a child after having issues with my ovaries. At the time, which was way before I even thought of having children, I wasn’t too upset or let it get to me. Then, as I got older, it scared me. It was always in the back of my mind that someone wouldn’t want to marry me if they knew that there was a high probability that I couldn’t have children. And then the thought of, “How does that come up in conversation when you’re dating?” I mean, really. It’s not a first-date hot-topic, but it certainly could be a blow to someone with whom you’ve become serious.

When my sister had her first child, a daughter, I was smitten. Overjoyed. Elated. I wanted to care for this baby girl, raise her as my own, and be happy with being her mom. And under other circumstances, all of that did come to fruition. I was a mom. Maybe not biologically, but I was her mom. I was caring for her, raising her, feeding her, changing her diapers, providing for her. I was her mom, and I thank my baby sister for recognizing something in me to be the one to oversee this life of her baby girl, and knowing that she wanted her daughter to have more.

When I unexpectedly became pregnant in the summer of 2003, I was shocked. No, like really puzzled and scared, anxious and nervous. I woke up that morning in a hotel, as we were on a business trip, took a test, not really believing it to show the positive sign. The missed period, the over-tiredness, the weird queasiness – I just chalked it up to stress and whatever else it could’ve been. We bought the test the night before at a store, not really believing that I was pregnant, and I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to take the test.

I started crying when I saw that I was pregnant. I can’t say they were tears of joy at the moment, as I was scared and shocked and worried about caring for a child, especially since I had just resigned from my very good job as a software developer, packed up, moved 4 hours back to my hometown to live with my now-husband, and raise my niece. That’s how it was going to be. I never in my wildest dreams expected the life I was already leading, but I never expected in my wildest dreams TIMES infinity to carry a child.

The story my husband likes to tell now, is when I crawled back in bed, crying, I woke him up to tell him that the test says I’m pregnant and that I’m scared.

“What’s my momma going to think?” I cried.

“Well honey, she’s going to think you hit the jackpot! It’s fine. We will be fine, let’s just go back to sleep.”

I don’t remember much about that morning, I’m sure mostly because I was in a state of bewilderment. Confused, worried, shocked. Have I said how shocked I was? Let me reiterate: I was SHOCKED.

I went to my doctor that was in Springfield, since I had yet switched over to a new doctor since my move, and since we were over in Branson, might as well just get it confirmed while I’m there. My boyfriend (it’s funny to call him that now!) and I were sitting at a restaurant when I got the call from my doctor that, yes, the pregnancy test came back positive.

“Congratulations!” the nurse said on the other line.

Sitting across from my now-husband, I stared blankly, and told the nurse thank you, then hung up the phone.

“We’re having a baby.”

I can still picture in my mind that afternoon at the restaurant. I remember the smirk that came across my husband’s face. Kind of laughing, kind of anxious, moments of thinking about being parents. Of course, my husband already has children, and he’s a bit older than I am, so it would be like starting over for him. Me? Well, I never thought in a million years I’d get pregnant. I’d already settled on the idea of never giving birth, so this was a certain adjustment for my mind as well.

Long story short, we were married a short time later, but not because of the pregnancy as we were already planning on doing the deed, but this pregnancy certainly made it happen sooner. We prayed and prayed over having a healthy baby, and when we found out we were expecting a baby boy, I don’t think my husband could’ve contained his joy nor tears, even if God had commanded him to do so.

After some complications near the end of my pregnancy, we welcomed our 8 lb. 13.5 oz, 21 in. baby boy into this world in March 2004 in the early morning hours. He was our boy. Our sweet boy. The boy my husband had longed to have, and he was finally here. Healthy and chunky, and just…oh gosh. I can’t explain that feeling of seeing my child, my son, that first time. All of that worry, all of that fear, all of that stress that I felt when I first found out I was expecting – I have to laugh at it now. The Lord does provide for His children, and I received more than His ample blessings that morning.

Over the years, we’ve become parents three more times. Each one a true blessing that so many days, I feel completely unworthy of receiving. Each pregnancy, a surprise. Each newborn baby, another rush of overwhelming joy. Each child, watching them grow, a true testament of daily miracles.

I don’t mean to discount my subsequent children’s births, but it was this first pregnancy, the pregnancy that I had long believed would never happen, that played a major role in the mother of five that I am today. I wish I could tell those doctors that said I wouldn’t be able to have children, that while I appreciate their highly educated prognoses of my future non-child-bearing abilities, miracles take over where science ends. And to say we’ve been blessed with the miracles that make up our lives of these days and years, is an understatement.

My children have been my greatest accomplishment in this imperfect life I live, and they are the legacy with which I will leave this world. They are strong, opinionated, funny, loving, temperamental, independent, happy, difficult, entertaining, and so many other adjectives that would make this boring to readers after a while. They are my babies, my loves, my opposites, my exact-sames – they are every thing I never knew I wanted, and beyond every thing I ever imagined. I love them so dearly, and today, with all of their little creations and handwritten notes of love for me and all that I do for them, just made me love them even more. Even if for this one day, they go all out of their way to make me feel special (even with the attitude that my Aubrey likes throw around), I just know this is where I’m supposed to be in life.

A life I never expected to have. A life that exists because of my husband and my children.

It’s been a good Mother’s Day.

mothers day 2013 mom and children on lawn stephanie greenwell southeast missouri photographer

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