My name is Sterling, I'm 22-years-old, and I am the birthmother to the most gorgeous little boy in the world. I started this blog to share my experiences, thoughts, and help myself move forward after placing my sweet little boy. If this is your first time visiting my blog, I invite you to read my story (top of the left column). Feel free to comment with questions or requests. If you follow me, I'll follow you!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Three days.

I've been struggling internally with myself. Three days ago, I found out Ben got engaged. At first, I was angry. Upset, making stupid little remarks in my mind like "yeah, like he's not going to screw THAT one up..."... and then as my blood is boiling over everything, a little thought came to mind.

What gives me the right to make such a judgement? What gives me the right to think I'm so much better?

Didn't we ultimately make the EXACT same mistake? But here I am, still seeking forgiveness of my trespasses with those around me, although I know I took the (incredibly difficult and heartbreaking) steps to be married in the temple to an amazing man. Yet I'm unable to forgive Ben and allow him the same happiness.

Why wouldn't I wish this kind of happiness on someone else?

I can't be truly happy and let go until I forgive. I thought for a time I had, but I realize now that it was just jealousy. It was my mind saying, "Why can things work out so seemingly perfect with someone else, but they didn't with me?"... well, dumb question. One, it wasn't right. Two, we weren't living our lives to be worthy of an eternal happiness. But now we have our separate lives, and somehow (miraculously!) we have both straightened ourselves out - but we had to be separate. It wasn't his fault or my fault. It just had to happen. And now we are both being blessed for it.

The night before last, I had a really hard time sleeping. My mind was racing. I was bouncing between thoughts of, "What if they become Dave and Amy's favorites?" (A senseless thought, I know... but don't judge a sleep-deprived pregnant woman!) "I don't know how to be mother, I only know how to get to the point of delivering a baby!" "Why did I have to mess up what could have been a potential friendship so badly?" and "I am so scared to be a mother!"... Truly, my mind was out of control. After an hour and a half of tossing and turning, I rolled over and told my sweet, dear Bradley what was on my mind. How scared I was. How angry I was. How somehow the fear I felt at becoming a mother connected to me still being angry at Ben for things that happened way before and way after placement. (Placement was truly perfect... blogpost on the left explains that). How I was trying so hard to forgive, but all I could do was be upset about things that happened over a year ago. Bradley held me for a while, kissed my forehead, and offered to give me a blessing.

He blessed me that I would be able to forgive. He blessed me that I would be able to find peace in becoming a mother. He blessed me that as we became a family, I would feel peace and be able to LET GO of the pain I had felt.

I fell asleep soon after the blessing. I spent the day yesterday in a silent prayer, trying to determine where my unsettled feeling stemmed from. What I finally realized is that I'm unsettled because though I am trying very hard to forgive, and as of this moment I am truly HAPPY for Ben and his cute fiance (I'll totally admit I blogstalk her... she's a fantastic writer), I haven't sought forgiveness myself. Knowing that I caused pain and sadness in someone else's life, for whatever reason, has really left me wide open.

In another world, had I known then what I know now, I think I would have handled the friendship/relationship between myself and Ben differently after placement. I used him as a crutch, without once thinking he was feeling the same pain. I silently blamed him for the mistakes prior to little David's arrival in this world. My mind had already determined that nobody could ever hurt as much as I did. It was no wonder things didn't work out! He needed someone separate and free of everything that had happened just as I did. Someone who didn't blame him. And someone who didn't resent him for the pain associated with everything we had been through - pain that I was just as much to blame for!

When I met Bradley and fell in love, it was so different from the feeling I had ever had in my relationship with Ben that I didn't look back. I was so blessed that Bradley found me. That he swept me off my feet. That he loved me because of who I was, and who I was trying to become. He has been my rock. He has been my stronghold when I'm scared or losing control. Bradley was what I needed, and absolutely what I wanted. He his handsome and kind and knows exactly what I need. He is so easy to fall in love with over and over, and he helped me make it to the temple. He wouldn't give up that goal himself, and he did everything in his power to help me make it there, too, so we can be together forever. I was able to because with Bradley, it was right.

My acting angry and vindictive disallows (in my mind) Ben from finding that same happiness. I would be selfish to not want these same blessings for him. Though I highly doubt a friendship will ever reform between us, I do hope he and his fiance know that I am happy for them. I hope they get to experience the blessings I've been able to experience with Bradley.

How lucky am I that little David will have not only his parents, but also BOTH birth parents set a great example for him? It doesn't happen often... if ever. Most people I talk to, one birth parent has gotten their life back on track and the other has gone off the deep end. I truly believe that part of the blessings we each have received from placement has and will be the opportunity to be sealed to our spouses in the House of the Lord for eternity.

My last thought for the day (maybe for a while, as it has been quite a process figuring it all out), is that I am indeed GRATEFUL to Ben's fiance (if she ever reads this, I hope she smiles at the word fiance... it's such a fun word when it's official!) for the example that she has (unknowingly) set for me. All I've heard about her (from mutual friends) and read from her are kind things. Even when I wasn't so nice to her. We spoke once on the phone when I was going through some angry changes, and instead of being cruel and hateful, she stood her ground but she was KIND. It's that kind of woman I'll be proud for little David to know. (Of course I'll still be a little jealous... in an I-want-to-be-the-favorite-aunt kind of way!)

Maybe someday I'll work up the nerve to ask her to guest blog for me. Until then, I'm wishing them the best.  They deserve it. If I deserved it, then they do, too.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. This is part of my healing. Not being angry anymore has helped me feel more at peace about being a mother. I'm not sure why, but I'm grateful.

Congrats, you guys. Being sealed in the temple is incredible. So, so incredible.

Oh, and here's a cool article that I love that talks about adoption and the sealing ordinance. From a birthparent perspective, it makes my heart SO happy. Especially the last line.

For those wondering what the heck I'm talking about with sealing and temples and all of the LDS mumbo-jumbo, please visit to learn more. You won't regret it. :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Basically, my husband rocks.

So a couple of days ago I was bent on a certain blog post I wanted to publish. It was written because I was angry and annoyed. I was almost done, when my computer died. Oops, forgot to plug it in. So I plugged it in, waited for it to restart, and when my page came back up - the post was gone. My husband says to me, "Hon, maybe it's a sign you weren't supposed to post that." ... I immediately got defensive, checked my "Edit Posts" page, and the entire post was there. But then we spent a half an hour talking about fire breeding more fire, and if I really want to call someone out for a wrongdoing, I should confront them directly and not in a blog post. Even though I assured him it wasn't directed at just the person I was upset with, and it had been a long time coming, he talked me out of posting it then. Now, in retrospect, I am grateful. I'm grateful I married a man who has enough sense to see the possible ugly outcome of what I would have considered innocent. I try to not be mean-spirited, but when I get on my high-horse... oh man. Had I posted what I wanted to, it would have caused a hailstorm of anger and backlash. I'm so glad he has more sense than I do.

I'm so blessed to have my amazing Bradley in my life. Now, I'm off to blog on our family blog about our baby girl! Oh, did I tell you we're having a girl!?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Australia - Holly is amazing.

I've blogged about Holly before, but I just want to talk about how much I love her again. We met about four years ago at USU, in the Aggie Marching Band. At the time, we had no idea we would ever meet up again in the adoption world. When I was expecting little David and planning to place, Holly and I started talking. She and Nate were seeking to adopt at the time, and I got a lot of crap from people because I didn't choose to place with them.
After placement, Holly became one of my biggest supporters. She helped buoy me up and gave me encouragement as I trudged through the first year after placement. I tried as much as I could to support her and Nate as they went through multiple failed placements. It was heartbreaking to watch.
Then, last May, they had their sweet little Miles placed into their arms. Oh that boy is so handsome! I got to spend a little time with them this past adoption conference, for which I am very grateful because they are being stationed in Italy. I know, rough life, right?
Anyway, Holly posted *THIS* today and I remember reading it months ago. It still makes my heart ache. But it is so beautifully written. It is worth reading and remembering. Even if you are going to Australia by plane, don't forget the others who are going by boat. Don't take it for granted.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pregnant After Placement

While I know I'm not up to the challenge this year of writing every day, I still want to make an effort to post MUCH more than I have recently. This month is National Adoption Awareness Month. I get so excited for this month every year because I go to my blogroll and almost ALWAYS have new blog posts to read!!! I'll have guest posts from Starlee, a dear friend of mine who had a huge impact on my decision to place, some close friends from group, and (YAY!) my mom... sharing her "birth-grandmother" story. I'm very excited about all of them, but this will be the first time my mom shares HER story. Hers is quite different from most birth-grandmother stories, so it will be great.

I decided to start off, I wanted to contribute a bit of my current personal situation.

Almost two years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy and placed him into the arms of his eternal family. My life has changed so much since that time that I can hardly believe any of it was real anymore. I can still feel every emotion from that day, but sometimes it feels more like a dream than anything else.

As of today, I am 15 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I've been married for 17 weeks. Not quite a honeymoon baby, but pretty close! Bradley and I decided that even though we were both scared to death to have children so soon, we were both getting a strong "yes" each time we prayed about it. Little did we know that our little one was coming a LOT sooner than we anticipated!

The past three months have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. I sort of had the idea that being married and pregnant would be a fairy-tale and all the other hurt would go away. Of course, I was wrong. First, I felt a LOT of guilt. Not because I was pregnant, but because I know SO many people who would give anything to be pregnant. My heart was breaking for them, and what they would think of me. When you're pregnant and placing for adoption, you're seen as a God-send. When you're just pregnant because, well, you're pregnant... Feelings get hurt. I was afraid to tell people, especially my close circle of adoption-world friends.

I also started having very vivid dreams, mostly of little David. I would wake up feeling like I had to let go of that part of my life to truly enjoy this part. I was torn, and I didn't know how to be loyal to both sides.

I want to be a mother so badly... it's something I crave every day. I'm in awe of the life inside of me, and when Bradley and I first heard our baby's heartbeat, it was one of the most glorious sounds I have ever heard. But it's awfully reminiscent of another baby... another life. I'm still trying to figure out how to separate everything so that I can find joy in this new little life. I'm nervous about the hospital, and about going home. I pray every day that everything will be different, and that I'll be able to turn my emotions around.

I'm proud of where I am now. I was able to be married and sealed in the temple to the most amazing man I've ever met. I'm blessed to bring a child into this world, and to have my husband by my side every day. The number one difference I've found with this pregnancy is having a worthy, righteous man by my side CONSTANTLY. There's none of the back-and-forth, horrible mind games. I don't feel used, abandoned, or broken. I am whole. My husband loves me with all of his heart, and I love him right back with all of mine. I'm so grateful that I know the difference, and I pray that every girl who has ever been through a pregnancy alone will be able to know the difference. The Lord is amazing, and I know that the challenges I'm facing right now will only help to make me a stronger person.

I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to bring a child into this world. I'm grateful that I will finally have the title of "Mom" (it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it!). I'm grateful that my husband is doing everything in his power so that I can be a stay-at-home mom and raise our children in a Christ-centered home. I am so blessed, and I still pray every day for others' pain to be lessened.

For those who read this and may feel pain or anger, I'm sorry. I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I want to find joy in my blessings, so please share that joy with me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dear Birthmother (Tender Mercies)

When I was pregnant and had finalized my decision to place for adoption, I was shocked at how many letters I received sharing their stories and their support. Most of these were from people I knew, but I had never known that adoption had touched their lives. I remember very well two letters I received, one from a friend of Dave and Amy's who lives in Florida. She gave the letter to them before I announced I would be placing with them, and told them to give it to their birthmother when they were chosen. I received the letter from Dave and Amy about a month before I delivered. I kept it by my bedside for the entire month, then in my journal for months after placement. That letter was from a dear, wonderful woman who placed her daughter 15 years ago. She expressed her love for me (someone she had never even met!) and told me of the love she felt from our Heavenly Father every day. She assured me that I would be blessed and grateful, and that Dave and Amy were incredible people (I already knew that) who would be amazing parents (already knew that, too!). That letter made me want to help other girls. I figured that if I could give comfort to just one other birthmother, then I would succeed in my mission. I wanted to change the world, even if it was just one person's world.
   The other letter I keep close to me still is from little David's maternal grandmother (Amy's mom). I hadn't met her when I received the letter, but Dave and Amy gave it to me the night of placement. I never knew a grandmother could be so grateful and so humbled by a child joining her family. She had other grandchildren, but in her letter she expressed her unconditional love for little David and my part in bringing him to their family. It made me realize the magnitude of my decision. I wasn't just placing a child into Dave and Amy's family, I was placing him into a long line, reaching back hundreds of generations, and it will continue hundreds of generations... all because he was placed into that family. Adoption is an eternal principle, and I am often humbled by that thought.

   So, as I've been thinking about others a lot lately, here is my letter to birthmothers or birthmothers-to-be,
      Dear Birthmother,
         You don't know me, and maybe you never will. I can tell you that I don't know exactly what you're going through because all our stories are different. But I can tell you a few things about what you are about to experience.
          Please, love your baby. Connect with your baby before he or she is born. Bond with them after they are born. Your baby needs to feel that love from you, because a part of them will always remember that love. You don't ever want to regret not connecting with that baby. It is so worth it. The love you will share, for however short a time until placement, will stay with you forever. It will buoy you up when you start to ache. It is real, and it is unending. You will never stop loving your baby.
          Placement will hurt. So much. You may be numb right after, and that's okay. But let yourself hurt. Open yourself up and just ache. You need to feel that pain, don't try to hide from it. There will be mornings you wake up and you will honestly think you can't live another moment. Sometimes the grief will make you want to just curl up and disappear. But I promise you, it will ease. Slowly, day by day, it will ease some. Pray often, and pray hard. No matter how you lived your life prior to placement, our Heavenly Father is there for you. He will hold you, and though you won't be able to see Him or feel Him, He will be there. Then, one day, you'll wake up and you won't immediately cry. One day, you'll be able to look at a picture of your baby with his or her new parents and you will smile. You will be able to recognize the love that is there, and you will be able to relate to that love. One day, you will do something normal. And you will remember how much it hurt before, and be grateful that you made it through the pain.
          You will run into people who don't understand, and who will not want to understand why you decided to place. That's okay. You don't need to justify yourself to anyone. It was your decision, and yours alone. Nobody else can possibly know what was best for your baby or for you.
         And then... someone will come into your life. He will fall in love with you, and he will think you hung the moon. He will learn your story, and will love you BECAUSE you made the decision you did. He will recognize that you are a strong, amazing daughter of God. You made a selfless, incredible sacrifice on behalf of someone else, and because of that your spirit will radiate out to those around you. He will recognize that, and he will cherish you. He will treat you the way that you deserve to be treated.
         Not all of this will happen fast, and not all of this will happen in that order. But I promise you this, birthmomma... You are loved. By me, and by thousands of other women who made this decision. You are in a sisterhood, and there will always be someone there to hold you. There are thousands of couples waiting to be chosen who love you because you give them hope by what you have endured, and by what you about to endure. Most important, there is a family out there that already feels, or will soon feel, unable to express their love and gratitude. The love they feel for you is overwhelming. You may never know how important you are to so many people. I pray for you every day, and I hope you can look back on this experience in the future and say "I did something so hard, and I survived. I am happy."

             All my love,
              Sterling Bo

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cause or Crusade?

That's what I'm determining right now. I'm about to start on a brand new journey in 2 weeks, and I will soon be sharing my life completely with the man I love. He is so supportive of all the adoption advocating I do, and has encouraged my open adoption fully.

But now I have to decide - Am I part of a cause, or a crusade? I will always be part of the adoption world, I will always advocate, and I will always LOVE and be GRATEFUL for what adoption has given me. It has given me the peace that my little boy is with his eternal family, loved, and adored. It has given me a new chance at life, and has put me in the right place at the right time to meet my eternal companion (to be!).

I will be taking a formal break from blogging for a little while. I will be weaning myself from my support group over the next couple months, and I will begin to move forward. I don't know how long I will be on this blogging hiatus. Maybe a month, maybe longer. We'll see. But in the meantime, I want to thank everyone so much for their support and love. These past couple of years have been the most incredibly heartbreaking and wonderful years.

I'm getting married in two weeks. I'm excited, I'm at peace. It brings me to tears to know that this wonderful, wonderful man I will be marrying loves me for everything I am and everything I've overcome, and will continue to overcome. I am so blessed. Thank to those who have supported me in the past, and who will continue to support me.

(PS- My sister designed this save-the-date! Find her on Etsy - danandwinnie !!)

Friday, May 13, 2011


So for those who don't know yet, I'm now a server at the Riverdale Chili's. "The" Chili's that I met Dave and Amy at! (Not the reason I'm working there, but still cool! I love waiting on the table we sat at.)
   I had a neat experience a few nights ago that I've been DYING to blog about, but blogger was down, so...

   I was waiting on a table with a lady in her late twenties (I'd guess), her mother ("Grammy!!" was the excited squeal from her grandbabies), and two toddlers. The kids were quite close in age, and I briefly thought, 'Hm, wonder if they're adopted?' then didn't think about it again. After they paid, "Grammy" (what the kids were calling her) came up to me and handed the signed credit card slip directly to me. (Yes, it was a nice tip. :) ) Then out of nowhere, she started telling me that it's sometimes hard for them to go out with two kids so close in age, but that her daughter had never been able to get pregnant so when she was chosen to have both children placed with her within months of each other, she simple couldn't say no. OF course, I started getting teary-eyed and said to her, "Tell your daughter I appreciate her - I'm a birthmom. I placed my little boy just over a year ago." Well, then Grammy starts getting teary-eyed and we started talking and crying and she told me about how wonderful her grandbabies' birthmothers are, and how one just got married in the temple and how wonderful it was... I told her that I was getting married in the temple soon, and it was a big pile of happy tears. So Grammy told me she wasn't sure why but she just felt like sharing that with me and now she knows why. She then walked out, and within minutes her daughter came rushing back in, took my hand, and said "Thank you!" and left.. leaving me with a $10 bill in my hand.  :) Warm fuzzies!!!

Adoption rocks. Just sayin'.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

sometimes goodbye comes before hello

I'm not sure where to start. The past few days have been like a rush of events, all churning around me, but none of them involving me directly. I want to focus on one event in particular.

I have some amazing, wonderful, and inspiring friends. They are hoping to adopt. No, it's not Dave and Amy. These friends helped support me through my unplanned pregnancy, and were some of my biggest cheerleaders through placement and post-placement.

My heart is aching for them right now. They were told a sweet baby girl would be placed with them today, and as soon as they arrived in the baby's birth state, they were told the new mother had changed her mind - she would not be placing.  When I got the news, I was devastated. It shocked me, because I know how painful it would have been for the girl to relinquish her parental rights... but I cannot fathom how much pain is involved when you have to say goodbye before you even say hello.
I am praying for my friends. I am praying for that sweet baby girl. I am also praying for the new young mother. It will not be easy for her, but I'm praying she can be strong as she takes on the world. Although there is anger that my dear friends were hurt, the anger is not at the would-be birthmother. My anger is directed at how unfair infertility is. I don't struggle with infertility that I know of, but it hurts. It hurts to see people aching to be parents, and unable to do so biologically... and even more to see them be so close to having a child, and having it taken from them. It makes me angry that anyone else has to go through any of the emotional torment associated with placing a child for adoption. More than anything, though... there is sorrow. This is part of being human, and like it or not... I can't do anything about it. I can support, I can love, I can educate.

My dear friends who have gone through what may be the worst day you have ever known... I love you. So deeply. I pray for you, I wish I lived closer to you. I want you to know how much support you have, from those you know and many you do not. I know that our Heavenly Father loves you, and I wish so much there was something, ANYTHING, I could to do take your pain away. But I can't. As much as I want to.

I am a birthmother. I ache. And, unlike many, I also ache daily for the other side of my sorrow.

Monday, April 4, 2011

fight like a bear

My sister told me about an amazing little boy who was recently diagnosed with T-Cell ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Baxter "Bear" Blaney is 9 years old and fighting like a champ! In the past three weeks, he has undergone some serious rounds of chemo and will continue for quite some time. Please share this information with everyone you can. Click HERE to view his special "Fight Like A Bear" Facebook page. You'll find support items such as adorable glass tiles, bottlecap keychains, and wristbands for purchase. 100% of the purchase price will go to the Blaney family to help support this sweet little boy in his fight against cancer. Even if you don't purchase anything, take a moment to share. We all have the ability to help!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a new birthmother??

I recently read/watched one of *Joniece*'s posts about what happens when a new birthmom is added to a family... that is, when the birthmother's "couple" adopts again and has a new birthmom join their little triad. Joniece and Nicole both placed their babies into the same family, and are now very close to each other. I've thought about it a lot recently, especially since Dave and Amy are in the process of adopting again.
   From the beginning, I've been excited for little David to have siblings. I grew up with five siblings, and I can't imagine not having a big family! But I've also been fearful of what will happen when a new birthmom is put into the balance of things. Will everything still be perfect? Will I start to feel resentment? I can honestly say that I don't know. I know it will be one of those jealousy things when Dave and Amy have my birthmom sister visit, and be there when they are sealed, etc... But will it honestly be a bad kind of jealousy? I get jealous when my siblings are able to visit each other and I'm not, but it doesn't result in  a bad relationship. It's just something I can't do at the time.
   Here's the skinny... I know David will have younger siblings. I know Dave and Amy are going to be just as amazing to another birthmom. I also know that our relationship with each other may change through the years, but I know it will always be strong, no matter how many birthmoms are involved! I also know that I will love and adore the new birthmom, simply because of the sacrifice she will make. I remember how it feels, and I remember how deep the pain goes. I will love her and I will do everything in my power to be close to her. I don't know who she is yet, but I love her already. She is giving my little boy siblings!!!
   Who knows... maybe I'll have the means, when that time comes, to be able to visit when Dave, Amy and David are sealed to the new little spirit. My hope is that regardless, I will someday be able to wrap my arms around the new birthmom and tell her how much I love her, how much her sacrifice means to ME, and how I know she will LOVE her relationship with Dave and Amy.

   I have a different perspective... I know that. I welcome comments, but understand that I do know other birthmothers do not feel the same way that I do - which is normal. But I'm moving forward, I'll be getting married to my best friend and love in July, and I will still continue my relationship with my little boy's parents. How blessed am I? Pretty darn. David is loved, beautiful, and has a mom and dad who are always there for him... and he will have a wonderful relationship with me and with Bradley. Yes, my sweet Bradley has already become friends with them. And it is perfect.

      Oh... by the way... I'm getting married! see *HERE* for details! (feel free to follow!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

it's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right

February 20, 2010. My phone buzzed under my pillow, and "Blessed" by Elton John began to play. It was 6:15 am, and I woke up feeling numb. I showered, twisting to see my beautiful toenails I'd had my sister paint two nights earlier and thought, "Well, at least my toes will be pretty."

My bag had been packed for over a week and hauled around in the back of my mother's car on the off-chance I went into labor while at the University of Utah hospital (that's another story...). I pulled my hair into a messy-bun, dressed warm, and got into the car at 6:40. I called Ben, told him to be on his way down (he had an hour drive) and I arrived at the hospital at 7:00.

To say I don't remember much would be a lie. I remember counting the black tiles in the emergency room check-in (because the main doors weren't open that early). I remember filling out way too much paperwork, not asking enough questions, and silently wishing I hadn't decided to be induced, after all. After almost an hour, I was in a delivery room and the sweet nurse hooked up the contraction monitor, baby heart-rate monitor, and started the pitocin. I settled in and began joking with my mom. By 9 am, Ben had arrived with a large bottle of chocolate milk (which I wasn't allowed to drink) and two bags of Lindt chocolates (which I also wasn't allowed to eat). It was so slow. So agonizingly slow.

We listened to music, played games, and talked. I would stare at the heart-rate monitor and try to imagine the tiny little heart beating in my womb, just hours from entering this world. I was so afraid to meet him. I was so afraid to love him. But I already knew that I did.

David and Amy were on the first leg of their flight to Utah, and I anticipated them arriving well after their little one was born. In those first few hours, I decided I wanted them to come to the hospital. Not part of the original plan, but so far NOTHING had gone according to MY plan.

My wonderful, amazing Bishop came to the hospital and, with the aid of my loving brother, Spencer, gave me a blessing. I was blessed that I would have a smooth delivery and that I would heal well, both physically and emotionally. I was blessed that I would feel my Savior's love for me. I was blessed that I would be strong and remember the changes I had made in my life to get to where I was. After that blessing, I began to feel. I began to accept that I was going to love this little boy, and he deserved nothing less than all the love and care I had to offer him. I couldn't offer him much, but I could offer that sweet little boy all of me.

A little after noon, even though I was breathing through my contractions, I was talked into the epidural. Within 30 minutes, I began to experience a panic attack as I felt my body go numb. By 1 pm, the epidural had been stopped. For me, the pain was preferable to being numb. Each contraction hit me like a wave of reality, each more intense than the last and reminding me that I was part of something greater than myself.

As my body began to get ready for delivery, my plan began to fail again. The baby's heartbeat was slow, my heartbeat was slow, I had to wear oxygen, the cord was around his neck, Ben's mom was in the room, Ben saw everything, they had to use the vacuum, I had to have an episiotomy, but...

At 5:31 pm, David Allen Harmon III entered this mortal existence. It was the most sacred experience of my life. 8 pounds, 2 ounces. 20 1/2 inches long. A bundle of swollen, puffy, sticky perfection. I did not get to hold him immediately as I'd hoped, but Ben's blessed mother took pictures for me. When I did hold him, every fear I had melted away. He was tiny in my arms. I felt like I was in a cloud amidst all the noise and distraction around me. It was just the two of us. I knew in that moment that I would do anything for this little boy. I knew that I was about to do everything I was capable of doing. I cried from exhaustion, sadness, joy, and every emotion in-between.

Amy and I had decided to breastfeed. I would start in the hospital, and Amy would do a hormone-induced pregnancy to induce lactation. I had such a strong desire to breastfeed, and Amy's desire to had solidified my decision. As I learned to nurse David, my love for him increased. How incredible it was that I was the only person who could do this for him? He was relying on me, solely. I was his protector and provider. I was his mom for a small time, and I would make those moments last. Nursing him was such a beautiful and incredible experience. I will never regret that decision.

I called David and Amy. Their son was here!  He was perfect!  Would they come that night? Of course I wanted them to! They would call when they got to Utah. I got off the phone and cried again.

My dad came to meet little David. Ben's family met him. Then, Ben and I were alone with our son. It was heaven. I held him, rocked him, nursed him, sang to him, and told him stories. I told him everything I wanted for him. I made him promises that I have kept so far. I memorized his face, his hands, his little feet. I memorized the sounds he made while he slept. I memorized his little whimper, and I memorized his huge, beautiful eyes.

Exhaustion caught up to me, and I asked David and Amy to wait until the next day to come. They gladly agreed. (As I've said, they are amazing). As midnight rolled around, I kissed my sweet little angel on the forehead and breathed in his scent. As my tears fell on his sweet face, I promised I would make him proud of me.

He is perfect. As with my whole story, that day was perfect in its imperfection. With the existence of this perfect little boy ended my old life, and began a new life. Here was my second chance at life, by giving him the best first chance I could give him.

Happy Birthday, sweet one!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

i was changed

52 weeks ago, I was taking a hot bubble bath in the middle of the night. My mom knocked on the door, and informed me that my OB had called. I was going to be induced (at my request, even after all the effort I had gone through to go into labor naturally) the next morning at 7 am. I yelled okay, acted fine... sank down to my ears in the water, wrapped my arms around my beautiful, rounded belly.... and I sobbed. I tried so hard to stop, but the tears just kept flowing. I knew it was right and necessary, but I was so scared. I wasn't ready. I wanted more time.

I dried off and examined myself in the mirror. I had always loved the beautiful curve of a pregnant woman's body, but somehow seeing myself in such a sacred role was overwhelming. I had gotten there in a very un-sacred way. Why was I entrusted with this perfect little life? Why was I chosen to make such a huge decision, at the risk of breaking my own soul apart?

I tried to memorize the shape of my swollen belly, even finding beauty in the stretch marks curving across my skin, and willed myself to remember how each movement felt from the tiny life inside me. I went upstairs, prayed and begged God for a release, and tried to fall asleep.

I thought of never-ending pain. I imagined a hollow ache. I imagined coming home with empty arms and feeling like a piece of me was missing. As I lay in agony, still begging my Heavenly Father for another way, I saw two faces in my mind. A beautiful couple, so ready to be parents. I could almost feel the joy they were about to experience. I began to anticipate their excitement and gratitude. I realized that although I would be aching, their emptiness would end.

I fell asleep clinging to the peace that came with knowing David and Amy would soon be meeting their son. My tears continued to soak my pillow, but a warm peace came over me. Lying alone, with my arms wrapped around my sweet unborn angel, I slept.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

God has a sense of humor...

I go on a dating hiatus, and this is what happens. :-)

I got asked to sing in church on Sunday, January 9. Right after me, a recently-returned missionary spoke. I could only see the back of his head and I made a mental note to ask him who did his hair, and try to get him to see me (Hey, he has GREAT hair, but I need clientele!). The next Sunday, he added me as a friend on Facebook. We started chatting, exchanged numbers, and in a whirlwind of events the next three days, I fell head-over-heels. I can't believe what an amazing man he is, and I'm so excited to see where all of this goes.

Feel free to Stalkbook him... ;-) (if you're my Facebook friend, I'm in a relationship with him)

Just a note... he cuts his OWN hair (impressive) and I'm still trying to convince him to come to me... :-) Seriously fantastic hair... (am I a cosmo or what??)

Monday, January 10, 2011

my promise to all of you

Recently, I realize my blog has become more about my silly little personal conflicts rather than full of meaningful discussions or insight that will help me move through challenges and difficulties. So here is my promise to all of you faithful readers - I will do at least one post per week on a meaningful, powerful, or controversial topic. I want to have the opportunity to really think about the world, and I have always enjoyed your input when I do those posts. There is my promise. I have always wanted to change the world, so I'm starting right here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

blog rant.

You know you're going to love this post. My thoughts are all running together quickly, and I may jump around a lot. But it has GOT to come out.

So the reason I'm even blogging at this time of the morning is because I went out to start my car this morning, and since it's been sitting in the cold for five days now (I had LASIK done and haven't been driving) it will not start. I have it on a battery charger, but heaven knows how long that will take. So, I jumped online and started browsing the blogosphere. Here is what I'm currently frustrated with...

Facebook is an open, public place. Even if your profile is set to private and only your "friends" can see your information, I can 100% guarantee that not EVERYONE wants ALL of their "friends" viewing some of their dirty laundry. I know people are biased and will always make themselves look like martyrs, but for heaven's sake! Realize that the people you are PUBLICLY bashing are probably mutual friends with at least ONE of your friends.

Blogs? Not so private. Especially if you have it set so ANYONE can follow your blog. I follow three blogs privately, and I honestly have no idea if the authors know or not. One of them is ALWAYS bashing on my best friend and me. My name has not been used, but my best friend's name has been. Multiple times. What's worse, this blog is CONSTANTLY being linked on Facebook where all of our mutual friends are reading it. The full story is NOT being told, and my best friend is made to look like an absolute fool, and I was called a "homewrecking ex". You have GOT to be kidding me! The author of this blog is not so innocent, and it drives me MAD that everyone else besides that person is portrayed as sinful, evil, and the cause of all the author's problems. But oh well. I guess that's the point of a personal blog, right? Gr.

with all of the drama that I see, I sincerely hope these people soon REALIZE they are hurting others. If someone is cruel to you, don't tear them down. Don't make everyone hate them. That will solve nothing. Christ said to love our neighbors. I know that I have a HUGE problem loving those who have offended me, but I hope I would have the strength to ultimately let go and pray for that person to have a change of heart. I need to have my own change of heart, first, and work from there.

Don't preach repentance, acceptance, and moving on... then blame the rest of the world for the problems YOU have helped to create in your life. When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't say it was all Ben's fault. I absolutely know I was there, too! I definitely remember it! The problems between us after learning I was pregnant wasn't the result of one person or the other, it was both of us. We were making poor choices prior to the pregnancy, and it was no wonder our relationship was falling apart. It wasn't based on eternal principles, with an eternal perspective. It was quite physical and had been for some time. Is it any wonder we fell apart when we suddenly had a new, perfect life involved? The powers of procreation are God-given, and when those powers are used in the wrong way it can't be expected that everything will turn out sunshine-and-daisies. The desires of my heart were conflicting with a power stronger than I was, and I was miserable. For everyone involved. I could not serve two masters. I didn't choose to place my little boy because I wanted to continue my life of hypocrisy and sin, I placed because I knew he deserved to be in a home that had respected the power of God and would have a temple sealing in place. I knew that I needed to change my heart and change my life, and it has been a long process. It is hard. Repentance doesn't happen overnight, or even in the course of week. Sin breeds nothing but despair, and I know that firsthand. I'm still dealing with that concept. Thank goodness David is where he is supposed to be, and that I was given enough mercy from God to be able to make that choice.

If the person I'm upset with right now reads this (you will know who you are), know that yes, I am upset. I'm angry. But also know that I have prayed for you every night for the past two months because, believe it or not, I know EXACTLY how you feel. But please, don't air out your dirty laundry for all the world to see. How can you expect someone to have a change of heart and not walk away when such cruel things are said about them? It's unfair. Use a journal, not a public place. Repentance should be a private process, and it's harder to go through when you're constantly being bashed and EVERYONE knows about it. Show some compassion for a confused and still-broken heart.
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