The above picture seems like it was taken such a long time ago, and on the other hand it seems like it was just yesterday. In reality, it's been over a year since this was taken. Our son, Parker, was less than a month old. It's still one of my favorite family pictures, despite the fact that Parker is obviously deeply unimpressed. This picture was a long time coming in our lives.
Michael and I met when we were 16 and 19 years old. I trained him on a register at Wendys. It was the first time I had ever trained someone, and I was so nervous that I was going to mess it up. He told me I was hovering, and I remember liking his freckles. Not the most romantic story ever, but that is how we met. I plan on making up something cuter to tell our children one day.
We didn't start dating for two years. We were friends, in fact, he was my best friend, but we didn't become a couple for quite awhile. Apparently, we were the last people to see it coming too. I suppose that's often how it goes. It was January of 2002 before we made it "official", whatever that means, but I was already pretty head over heels by that point.
We were engaged before we had been together 5 months. I guess once it hit, it hit hard.
(Wow, we look so young!!!)
We were married in May of 2005. It was a long engagement. We were hoping I'd be done with school, but due to some scheduling conflicts with classes, I was still a semester away. It was the most beautiful day I had ever seen. I had the most handsome man waiting for me at the other end of the isle. It was small and cheaply done. My mother made my bouquet, my grandmother made my cake, we used an iPod for a DJ, and we all decorated the basement of the church together the night before...but it was the most beautiful wedding you could imagine!
We had hoped to try for children when we'd been married about a year, but I'm broken. I have a tumor on my pituitary gland. It's non-cancerous, as far as they know, but it presses against my gland and causes it to release extra prolactin into my system. In very simple terms, it tricks my body into thinking I am already pregnant and/or breastfeeding, making it very difficult or impossible to get pregnant in some cases. There are medications to help decrease the levels and the size of the tumor, but even seeing an endocrinologist is expensive, not to mention the MRIs and medication...I was teaching, Michael was bartending, and we were far from rich. With what my levels were we were told that trying would be pointless, and that even if I got pregnant my body would probably kill my baby.
I also have a thyroid disorder, which can make pregnancy difficult anyways. Seemed like I had all the odds stacked against me.
It was rough on us. It was rough on our marriage. Having children was something that had to go on the back burner for awhile, and it killed me. I had an amazing husband though, who got me through the roughest of times and promised me that, when the time was right, God would give us our baby. I trusted him sometimes.
If you are interested in learning more about prolactinomas, feel free to check out Wikipedia, Med TV, the Endocrin and Metabolic Diseases website, Google Health, or any other medical web sites. Honestly, there is more to tell about them that I could write in several blogs, but it is a common issue that many women, and men, struggle with.
In 2007 Michael fulfilled a life long dream and joined the United States Air Force. He left for BMT on our 2nd wedding anniversary. I can not begin to express how proud I am of my husband! He serves our country to make it better and safer for everyone, and he provides for our family doing what he does. He was gone for 7 months of training, and it was hard. I got to go down to visit him in Texas a few times, but it was the longest we had ever been apart. It was worth it though! I support him in everything he does and am a very proud military wife.
We got stationed in Idaho...yes, there is a base out here. I didn't believe it either. The day after my 24th birthday we left Ohio and drove across the country to our new home. I can't say we're in love with it, but it is home for now.
In the Summer of 2008 we decided to Hell with the doctors and medical science. I was on medication for my tumor that made me sick as a dog twice a week, and we still couldn't get the OK to start trying. "It wasn't the right time" or "Just a little longer" or "Maybe next year.". It was again starting to bring me down and down far, and finally one night Michael just said to Hell with it, we would try and leave it in God's hands and let Him, not some doctor, decide when the time was right.
Apparently, God was just waiting for us to hand over the reins. After years of negative pregnancy tests, tears, worries that it would never happen, we got pregnant! Our little surprise Bunny Boo (because we decided not to find out the sex until the baby was born) was due in April 2009! I was scared that my damn body would reject my little miracle, but Michael had no worry, and in the end he was right. On April, 13, 2009, one day short of my due date, our first child was born.
We named our son Michael Parker-Maxwin. We had always known that our first boy would be Michael Parker. It had been something we talked about on our 3rd or 4th date I think. Michael after his Daddy and Parker because it was a name we both liked, but when our son was born, Michael said he looked like his grandfather, Max Edwin, who had passed away the Spring before. So, after three days in the hospital trying to decide, we added Maxwin to our baby boy's name. I love it, and love that it is unique without being weird.
And so our duo became a trio shortly before our 4th wedding anniversary. It made our family so much better. It was wonderful and whole before, but Parker made it more so.
And that is our family. Well, us, two cats and a dog...our other children...Shamrock, Tessa and Jake.
We just went through our first deployment. It was so hard. So very hard. But I think it too has made us stronger. I know nothing can get to us now, not if we can survive that.
Now that I have written a short novel, I'll be off. I think you know all you need to know, and probably more than you wanted about our little family.
As always, Thank You For Reading.