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Letters for the Broken (Part VI)

Dear Monster,

One week after your dad lost his job and three days before we boarded the plane to Ireland, we found out we were pregnant with you. I had no clue how far along I was and once again, I was scared as shit.

There I was standing in the living room holding 5, yes 5, positive pregnancy tests thinking, not again.

Jarrett could see the worry on my face as he squeezed my hand. “Let’s just go about this as if we never saw the pregnancy tests. We will go to Ireland and have a great time and face what we need to when we get back.” His words were reassuring, but I still couldn’t breathe. The burn in my throat got worse as I fought so hard not to cry in front of him.

As we boarded the plane, my mind wondered. I was doing it again, letting myself fall in love with something I haven’t met yet. I day dreamed about you smiling, laughing and watching you grow up. I thought about you running down the hall in just a diaper, holding a picture you just drew of me and daddy and eagerly wanting to hang it on the refrigerator. Jarrett grabbed my hand as our plane lifted into the air and I was instantly brought back to reality. The reality of, I may never get to see those dreams come true.

We landed in Dublin and we were excited to start our venture across the country. We did so many things and I wish you could have seen it. I liked to think you were experiencing everything through my eyes though. The humongous castles, the salt air and breathtaking countryside, you experienced it all with me. I made a point to talk to you every day and as horrible as it sounds, I didn’t want Jarrett to know that I was acknowledging you. I couldn’t let him know that I was falling in love with another possible heartbreak.

We came to the Cliffs of Moher and I looked out across the water and softly whispered, “It’s beautiful isn’t it, Monster.” Monster, that’s what I called you. You terrified the hell out of me. To me, you were an imaginary creature that I haven’t met yet and largely on my mind all the time. My little monster.

Boarding the plane home, we knew it was time to come back to the situation at hand. There was a dark cloud hanging over us and I sank right back into depression. Our next step, schedule an ultrasound.

We walked into the Women’s Center with a bucket of nerves. Flashes of horrible memories came rushing in as we sat in the waiting room. I looked around at all the blurry faces and felt my heart pounding as I drifting back to our first Little One, “We can’t find a heartbeat.” Those words played over and over like a broken record in my head. My breath was short and my palms were clammy. “Leanna Frazier?” We got up from our chairs and headed into the ultrasound room. My body was in autopilot as my mind told me not to go in.

I slid up on the paper covered chair and reclined back. The tech turned off the lights and squeezed warm gel on my stomach. “Hey, look at me. We are going to be ok.” Jarrett squeezed my hand tightly and I could feel a little shake in his arm. He was nervous but God, was he so strong for me. She slid the wand around on my belly and concentrated on the screen. “There’s your baby!” I turned to look and there you were; a tiny head, torso and four little nubs snuggled perfectly in my belly. “Let’s take a listen to the heartbeat.” Oh no, I’m not ready to let you go yet. I just met you, please stay with me.

The tech flipped a switch and the voices returned, “We can’t find a heartbeat, we can’t find a heartbeat, we can’t find a heartbeat.” Then, the voices were drowned out by the most beautiful sound in the world, your little heart pumping away.

“Hi, Monster.” My voice trembled as I let the tears roll down my face and turned to kiss Jarrett. The tech smiled at us, “Your baby’s measurements are putting you around 9 weeks and 2 days.” I looked back at the screen in disbelief. We had never made it this far in the past. We were nervous, scared and hopeful.

Monster, we walked on eggshells for those next three weeks. We knew there was a possibility that you could leave us, but something felt different about this pregnancy. I had a very strong connection to you but I was worried that it would be cut short. I worried every single day, but when it came time to announce you to the world, it all vanished. Messages and phone calls came pouring in to congratulate us on our little miracle.

Starting around five months, I began to feel you move. Little flutters soon turned into monstrous kicks and punches. It seemed fitting since “Monster” was your nickname. You had me completely wrapped. I started talking to you more. Then the itching started. I was laying in bed one night the bottoms of my feet and palms were crawling. I would be up all night scratching until I would draw blood. No matter what I did, I couldn’t satisfy the itch. Something was wrong. We scheduled an appointment for blood work and found out that I had Cholestasis. After much research and freaking myself out, the doctors and nurses recommended that I be induced at 37 weeks, they put me on a medication that would calm the itching and I would have to come into the office every 2 weeks to have non-stress tests and ultrasounds done. This kind of eased my mind because it meant that I got to see you a lot more.

Month seven; I rolled out of bed to get ready for work and you are usually very active when I’m drying my hair and putting on my makeup. “Monster, you still sleeping?” I finished my morning routine and got out the door for my daily commute. “Let’s turn on some music and get you dancing.” Nothing. At this point I was starting to get a little nervous. I started pushing and tapping on my belly. There was no movement. “No, no, no, don’t do this please.” I tried loud noises and was getting no response. I could feel nothing but panic. “We can’t find a heartbeat, we can’t find a heartbeat, we can’t find a heartbeat.” I kept playing that voice over and over in my head. I nervously called the doctor and they told me to come in immediately. The whole time I’m driving to Hickory I kept hearing the voice, “We can’t find a heartbeat.” My eyes started to burn as I tried to hold back tears. I called Jarrett and told him to meet me at the doctor’s office. I was scared and I didn’t want to be alone.

I wasn’t in the waiting room more than five minutes before they called me back and sat me up on the table to do an NST. Jarrett sat in the chair next to me and squeezed my hand as they hooked me up. It felt like I had been there for hour as I impatiently waited for them to turn on the machine. I looked over at Jarrett and my bottom lip started to quiver. They flipped the switch and a huge sigh of relief came over my whole body. The nurse smiled and said, “little man is trying to give mommy a scare!” All the tears that I had been holding back came flooding down my face. You were still with me. I was told to lay on my back for 20 minutes and click a button every time I felt movement. You started moving and never stopped for the whole 20 minutes. Oh, Monster; you got me good that day.

April 8th, 2019. It was time. 37 scary, bumpy, and world changing weeks had gone by and it was time to meet you.

Bags in hand, I took one last look around the house before we left for the hospital. This would be the last time we would stand in these rooms without a baby in our arms. Soon the walls would be filled with portraits, the living room scattered with toys and our laundry baskets a bit fuller with tiny clothes. Jarrett held the door and I waddled out to the car. We held hands all the way to the hospital and talked about our lives as parents. I was so nervous that my whole body shivered. My mind wondered about the “what if’s” and would we be okay. What if something went wrong. I couldn’t handle getting this far and losing everything. We pulled into the parking lot right next to a grassy patch. I opened the door and looked down to find a four-leaf clover staring me in the face. Thinking this was a very good sign, I picked it and brought it into the hospital room with me.

It was 5:30pm when we finally go checked in. Jarrett and I looked around at the room that we would call, “home” for the next few days. I slipped into the gown that was neatly folded on the bed and asked Jarrett to tie the back. He kissed the top of my shoulder and I shivered thinking about all the work my body was about to endure. The doctor and his nurse came in about 30 minutes later to talk about the process. They would be inserting a tablet called Misoprostol and starting me on Pitocin. This would “ripen” the cervix and start shooting me into labor. This was a long process and the insertion of the tablet was not comfortable. Dilation and labor took forever and 6pm that evening to 5pm the next day, the contraction pains had me in tears at times. My body was exhausted.

Around 6pm, April 9th, Dr. Toy came in to check my progress. I had dilated a little more and they were preparing to break my water. Dr. Toy left the room to get supplies and as soon as the door shut, you were letting me know it was time. My water broke all on its own and then the real pain started. The next words out of my mouth were, “Epidural, now!” They brought up the anesthesiologist and began to prep me for your arrival.

Tons of equipment, three nurses and Dr. Toy came rolling back into the room and Jarrett and I braced ourselves for the big event. “You are amazing. This is it. We are about to be parents.” Jarrett squeezed my hand as they put my legs in the stirps.

Dr. Toy was slipping on her gloves and giving instructions, “Don’t forget to breathe and I want you to push has hard as you can for 10 seconds at the top of each contraction. Are you ready?”

I nodded and turned to Jarrett with tears in my eyes. He squeezed my hand tightly and kissed my on the forehead.

“puuuush, push, push, push!”

“We can see the head!”

“push, push, push, push!”

“You’re doing great, mommy, keep breathing!”

“Puuush, push, push, push!”

“He’s almost here!”

7:40pm, Dr. Toy reached down and said, “well hello, Gavin!”

I took the deepest breath as I felt you exist my body and enter the world. That breath was taken away as soon as they held you up and laid you on my chest. Jarrett reached over to hug us both with tears in his eyes, “You are my hero and I love you so much!”

You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I whispered in your ear, “Welcome to the world, Gavin. I’ve been waiting on you for a very long time. You are absolutely perfect.”

I handed you over to the nurses to get you all cleaned up but never took my eyes off you for a second. They wrapped you in a blanket and handed you to Jarrett. I watched him stare at you with so much pride and love in his eyes. Jarrett looked over at me; rocking you in his arms he mouthed, “I love you so much.”

Watching him smile and talk to you, I thought about our entire journey up to this point. We had been through so much heartbreak and loss, so many tears and let downs, but we finally got our happy ending. Gavin, you are our rainbow after the storm.

Here we were,


A family,


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