life | The Story of Our Girls

The Story of Our Girls: Traveling to California

By on January 19, 2017

If you are just reading The Story of Our Girls you might want to go HERE to catch up.

 
After announcing we were having two babies, one by adoption and one through pregnancy we had a lot to get done. Ashlyn was due in less than a month. We still had to complete our home study which is a very in depth process, book our flights, hotels and car for the trip, find someone to watch Ace for an undetermined amount of time and tie up any loose ends here. To say it was overwhelming was an understatement. 
As the month went on we met with our social worker who was absolutely amazing. She made us feel so comfortable and encouraged. I was very nervous by this home visit because she would be the person determine if we were fit to adopt our baby. I remember the night before making sure our house was super clean, every single fire alarm worked and running to the store to find a fire extinguisher because we had no clue where ours was. 
The home visit ended up feeling like we were talking to a friend. She asked us questions about our families, childhoods, school life, friends, how we met and our relationship. She also asked about our parenting style with Ace and how we discipline him. She really loved Ace which was awesome. Overall she said she thought we were good to go. She just had to finish her report and would rush it since Ashlyn was due very soon. 
Branden’s Mom came down to stay with Ace. I remember the night before our flight I was so overwhelmed. I was worried about my friend who was going to make the biggest decision of her life, I was worried about leaving Ace for so long and I was just scared to take this huge step. It’s something I can’t explain. I remember there was an issue with our friends doctor, who treated her horribly and we didn’t know if we should change our plans and come later. I felt helpless, she felt helpless. We decided to still go and hopefully at her next appointment with a new doctor in that practice we would get answers.
We flew to California and got there I believe around 9 something in the morning. We met up with my friend and we both got to see each other with our big bellies for the first time. We had lunch and hung out for a bit looking at family pictures and talking some more. Later in the day Branden and I checked into our hotel and passed out super early. The time change killed us. 
A couple days into our trip out there I went to her doctor appointment with her. Her new doctor was amazing. He said he understood the situation and decided if she hadn’t gone into labor by her due date he would have them set up an induction date, something the other doctor wouldn’t even consider at all. He said he didn’t think we would make it to induction so that made us all feel better. We headed out and waited for our baby. The next day our other friend flew in and that was the best, all of us together. Poor Branden had to be the odd man out. 
The next two days were weird, I wanted to give my friend space and be with our other friend. I also was feeling very stressed about being away from Ace. I wish I could have enjoyed my time in California before Ashlyn’s birth because we did have a good amount of time we could have been doing more. We did drive out to a pier and see the ocean there but I felt like I was in this anxious state because I didn’t know when Ashlyn would come, I felt super out of control. 
The Thursday before Ashlyn’s birth Branden took me out to a pier and we walked around it was nice to just get out and walk around in the fresh air and do something fun. After the pier though I got extremely emotional and started crying. I missed Ace, who ended up getting sick, I felt so guilty. I even told Branden maybe I should fly back to be with him and take a last minute flight when my friend went into labor. The idea of being there another weekend (induction date was that Monday) without her being born and Ace being home really upset me. I didn’t even sleep that night.
At about 5AM the next morning I get a call from my friend saying her water broke! I literally jumped out of bed and was rushing to get ready despite my friend saying not to feel like I needed to rush because she would need to get checked in and everything. Yeah, I didn’t really listen and was all over the place getting ready. Branden got up and got ready. I remember walking to the elevator and looking at him with a huge smile saying “we are about to have a baby girl!” 

It was one of the most exciting and terrifying moments of my life…
 
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Adoption | Ashlyn | everly | life | The Story of Our Girls

The Story of Our Girls: The Announcement

By on January 23, 2016

If you are just reading The Story of Our Girls you might want to go HERE to catch up.

The weekend we found out both babies would be girls would be the same weekend I announced my pregnancy and that we were adopting. 
When we made the announcement it took people some time but after some guesses and people putting it all together they found out we were going to be expecting two little ones! One through adoption in October and one through my own pregnancy due in March. 

I made a picture with clues on what the announcement would be. I figured if you didn’t know I was pregnant you probably wouldn’t figure it out but if you knew I was pregnant you would at least know that part and figure out what the rest was. 
So the clues were a pear to represent two girls (like a pair of girls), Irish Twins soap since the girls would be less than a year apart, the calendar to represent when they were due, 4 rulers which meant 4 feet, A&E for their first initials and the baby beanies for two babies one in October (pumpkin) and one in March (clover). 

After the big announcement we had so many people supporting us. We never had anyone who was negative about adopting and expecting at the same time (well, not till later). 
Now that we had made the announcement we continued on with our Home Study and preparing for our trip to California for Ashlyn’s birth. We would meet Ashlyn in less than a month! 
Next up: Part Six: Traveling to California!
 
Don’t forget to enter this months GIVEAWAYS HERE
 
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The Story of Our Girls: Finding Our We are Having GIRLS

By on September 29, 2015
If you are just reading The Story of Our Girls you might want to go HERE to catch up. 

When we got the ball rolling on our adoption we couldn’t wait to find out what our newest little one would be. Since our friend was so far along she decided to find out what she was having so we could start naming our two little ones. 
When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t have a strong feeling I was having a girl but for some reason when we decided to adopt I knew they would both be girls. It was a huge feeling I had. With Ace I never once doubted he was a boy. I just knew from the day I found out so I felt strongly we were having two girls this time around.
The day of Ashlyn’s ultrasound I was on pins and needles all day. We don’t live in the same state as our friend and it’s a 3 hour time difference so the day of the ultrasound felt like the longest day ever. She wasn’t even out of her appointment when she text me “Are you ready to find out what the baby is?” 
I text back “YES!!!” And it felt like those minutes between texts were hours. “It’s a…”
GIRL!” 
I started crying and told Branden “We are having a girl!!!” 
I can’t really remember anything after that because I was so excited to know what this little one was. It made me feel even closer to her. We still wanted to wait to name her because I had two girl names I wanted to use but if only one baby was a girl she would get both names. 
Everly Ashlyn was my original girl name from when I was pregnant with Ace. By the way I screamed when Channing Tatum named his daughter Everly because I knew it would become popular haha. 
Anyway we were going in for our NT scan and I had made sure to schedule it closer to 14 weeks just in case our friend who does my ultrasounds could tell what we were having. She was able to tell with Ace but wouldn’t give us a definite answer for our gender reveal party because it was too early but she was right so I figured it was worth a shot this time. 
We asked her if she could give us an idea of what she thought. I was looking at the ultrasound and thought I knew but she was nervous in telling me. “I don’t want to tell you if your heart is set on one or the other.” She knew we had a son and that we were probably hoping for a girl. So I told her “I promise we won’t be upset because we are actually already expecting a girl!” We told her about our adoption plan and she said ok and told us she will not say 100% but that she is 80% sure this baby looked like a girl but for us not to tell anyone or get our hopes up. She told me to come in in two weeks for a follow up one to confirm and we did just that. We had my sister, sister-in-law, cousins, Branden and Ace there to find out we were going to be having another girl! This meant that our first little girl would be Ashlyn and our second would be Everly! 
There is another reason each girl got the name they got. I wanted Ashlyn to have the middle name Lauren because it is from her biological family and since my sisters name is Ashley Lauren I really wanted Ashlyn for her. I also wanted her to not have the only E name and none family-ish first name. I also wanted Everly for our last baby because it reminded me of my name. It wasn’t a popular name, it was a bit more uncommon and she would get my middle name since she would also be born in March. Both girls got another middle name after each of mine and Branden’s Moms. 
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The Story of Our Girls: Surprise We’re Adopting

By on August 17, 2015

This is the third part of a series I am sharing called The Story of Our Girls. To read the first part click HERE and second part HERE.


After finding out I was pregnant with Everly we were excited but very cautious. I had had my first OB  appointment and I just didn’t feel confident. I worried I would have a miscarriage and it just freaked me out. I had only told my closest friends and family. 

When I was about 8 weeks along I got news from one of my closest friends that she also was pregnant. I thought she might have been due around the same time as me but when I asked she revealed she was almost 7 months along. She then told me she was placing the baby for adoption. My stomach sank. The thought of the pain she would go through made me want to run to her and do whatever I could to help her through this. 

I text Branden while he was at work and his response was “Want to adopt the baby?”
I figured he was joking so I text back “Haha you know me so well.” 

But then a little bit later I get another message from my friend saying “I don’t want you to feel like you can’t be excited about your pregnancy because of what I am going through.” This is where I realize even more how fortunate I am to have the friends I do. With everything she was going through she wanted me to know she wanted me to still be happy. 

From there our conversation turned into so much more. She made a comment not completely asking us to adopt her baby but when she said it I laughed and said “So funny, Branden sent me a text asking if I wanted to adopt the baby.” Then she said “No, I am serious.” In that moment I was a ball of emotions. I was happy, scared, excited, and of course sad. I didn’t want my friend to have this loss. I didn’t want her to go through something that would bring her so much pain. I didn’t want to be the person to cause this by “taking” her baby. 

She later told me she always felt I was supposed to be Ashlyn’s mother. She had told our other friend, her best friend, that she wanted me to adopt the baby but didn’t think we would because I was pregnant. For some reason this always amazes me when she tells me this. 

She told me to really think about it and talk to Branden. She felt we were supposed to be this baby’s parents and for her to have that kind of faith in us as parents meant the world to me. 

When Branden and I got home I told him what she had said to me about adopting the baby. I could see the wheels turning in his head. He of course began to think about the logistics, cost, age of the babies and would we really be able to do this? It didn’t take long, though, for us to decide we were going for it. We had always wanted to adopt. We envisioned our family with two biological children and two adopted. We just always thought we would have two now and then two later on. 

We realized that this wasn’t what we had planned but it what was meant to be for our family. 

Next: Finding out we are having GIRLS! 

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Adoption | Ashlyn | everly | life | The Story of Our Girls

The Story of Our Girls: First OBGYN Appointment

By on August 1, 2015

This is part 2 in a series about Our Girls. If you would like to read the first part click HERE

I knew exactly how far along I was with Everly since we were trying to get pregnant. We had actually planned to stop trying but since I ovulated on my Moms birthday I knew it could be good luck to try. So when I was about 6 weeks I went in for my first OBGYN appointment. 
My OB office does an ultrasound for your first appointment to estimate a due date. When she did the ultrasound I noticed the faint heartbeat. My OB is amazing and looked at how nervous I was. She said “It’s ok the heartbeat is just starting to beat.” I said “You don’t think it’s just slow?” 
She reassured me that she didn’t think it was a slow heartbeat and I was on the verge of having another miscarriage. She told me to come back in a couple of weeks but that she was not at all concerned. She knew I had miscarried in the past and this was exactly what we saw then. A slow heart beat. The only difference was I was further along and the sac was irregular. I tried to not freak out but of course it was my go to reaction. I got in the car and called Branden crying. He immediately went to the store with Ace and bought baby girl outfits. He knew this baby was going to make it and apparently we were having a girl. I couldn’t help but smile.
I got a call from my friend Erin who had been anxiously waiting for me to call her after my appointment. She knew something was up (can we talk about what an amazing friend she is?). I told her that the heartbeat was slow and she could tell I was holding back tears. And here is where she wins, she said “Brenna, that probably just means you’re having a girl and she won’t be crazy like Ace.” After that I couldn’t help but laugh and I kept that thought in my head. This baby was just taking his or her time.
See with Ace I went to the OB at 5 weeks 5 days and his heart rate was fast! My OB was so excited for me that he said now this is a viable pregnancy! So to not get that reaction this time was difficult. My OB  didn’t give me any reason at all to be concerned, it was my own issues but it still scared me. I didn’t want to go through the heartbreak of a miscarriage again. I didn’t want to keep trying for a baby because having PCOS meant long cycles and lower chances of becoming pregnant. This baby was conceived on my Mom’s birthday so I had to have faith that was a sign. She was also due in March which is a big deal for my family. My Dad was due on St. Patrick’s Day, my Grandpa was born in March, my cousin Mike and nephew are all in March too. My Dad actually told my Mom they had to try for a St. Patrick’s day baby and even though I came 10 days earlier it was just something I always wanted too. When we were trying for Ace I didn’t even ovulate for 3 months at a time so I had no option to even try for a March baby. So the fact that it worked was like a little miracle. 
Next up: Finding out about Ashlyn! 
Thanks for following along with my Blog. Make sure to check out the most recent giveaway I have going on HERE!


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Ashlyn | everly | life | The Story of Our Girls

Story Story of Our Girls: The Beginning

By on July 14, 2015

I get a lot of questions about my girls. One of the main things people ask about is which baby did we know about first? Did we decide to adopt then magically become pregnant? How did you end up adopting Ashlyn? I decided to do a series of posts on our girls to help people understand the 9 months it took us to become our complete family. 


The Beginning
This day two years ago I felt a little dizzy and funny. I realized it was the same feeling I had had before and ran upstairs to take a pregnancy test. I took the test and messed around on my phone for a bit. I went back in the bathroom totally expecting a negative test but saw two lines. 
I actually had that moment where I wanted to find the test package and make sure that was a positive. For some reason that positive test didn’t feel real. 
It was two days before Ace turned 2 and we were going to my friend’s house the next morning for a play date. I ran to Carters before going to her house to get Ace a “Big Brother” t-shirt and headed to her house. As I got there she was outside and I said “Erin, come look at this cute shirt I got for Ace for his birthday.” She looked at it and totally freaked out. Erin, is my favorite person to tell things to because her reactions are always be and hilarious. The entire day she would look at me and say “I can not believe you are pregnant!” 
Later that night I put the shirt on Ace’s changing table and asked Branden to give Ace a bath and put the PJ’s I had set out for him on. I was sitting in our room listening to him go in there and look at the shirt. He was like “What’s this mean?!” haha. 
We waited to tell family in person. I had gone to dinner with my cousins for Branden’s birthday and put Ace in the Big Brother shirt and one of my cousins actually thought he had it on for the show Big Brother! It was like the longest time waiting for them to figure it out. 
We were so excited to be adding a little peanut to our family. Little did we know we would be adding TWO little ones to our family within five months! 



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