I am so excited to share this guest post from my dear friend, mother of the boy/girl twins I carried as a surrogate, and all around A-MA-ZING human, Stephanie O'Hara. She shares a glimpse into their story and the unexpected lessons they have learned along the way!
My husband and I sat our seven year-old son, Aidan down on the couch. My heart was beating so fast that I could hear it in my ears. This was it. This was the moment that we had been praying for – for six long years.
“Aidan, we’ve got exciting news.”
His big blue eyes lit up. He was at an age where he was obsessed with the television show, Full House.
“What have you been praying for – for a long time?”
He furrowed his full eyebrows and gave it some thought.
“A brother or a sister?”
“Well, we have some exciting news. God has answered your prayers! You are going to be a big brother.”
Aidan was so excited, he gasped. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
And just when I thought I couldn’t get any more emotional, our little boy got up and hugged me and my husband. I held him in my arms and kissed his cheeks.
I handed him a present and watched him open it up.
“And we have more news!”
“What is it?”
“We’re having twins! You’re getting a brother and a sister.”
Aidan gasped again, “I’m going to be a big brother.” He beamed, stood up and did a little dance.
It just about killed me when he ran over to me, bent forward and kissed my belly. I knew then that I couldn’t tell him in stages. I couldn’t lie to him. I had to explain it all to him now – the whole shebang.
We sat him back down and waited for a few minutes for the news to soak in.
Then we braced ourselves for the rest of the conversation.
“This might be confusing for you, but the babies are not in my belly. You see, Mommy’s tummy is broken. Mommy has been to lots of doctors and we felt like it was best for someone else to carry our babies.”
It felt so cathartic to finally say the words and tell Aidan the truth. All these years, we had done everything we could to protect him from feelings of sadness or loss. It broke my heart to see tears streaming down his face.
“What does that mean?”
“I can’t carry babies. My tummy is broken. So the doctor took cells from Mommy and from Daddy and created embryos. They were put into someone else’s tummy. We are borrowing a pouch, like a kangaroo.”
Aidan’s face was so sad.
I was in absolute anguish watching him. Dirk tried to encourage him.
“It’s awesome, son!” Dirk said.
“It is weird Aidan because it’s not what we’re used to. I know this is a lot to take in. Do you remember meeting our friend, Tiffany? Well, we are borrowing her pouch. She is pregnant for us.” I told him.
Aidan started to cry in a high pitch way. Dirk grabbed him and put his arms around him.
“It’s okay buddy. Come here!”
The cadence of Aidan’s voice broke down into a painful, halting pattern.
“I - don’t - understand. How did they transport your babies in her?”
I did my best to sound cheerful, “Through an operation. Tiffany is an angel to us. We’re very lucky to have her.”
I grabbed him and wrapped him up in my arms. “Once the babies are born, they’re ours forever. Aidan, your prayers worked! You asked for a brother and a sister and God answered your prayers! You are going to be a big brother!”
Aidan sniffled for a few minutes. We hugged and kissed him. He looked down at the picture of the ultrasounds and looked at it and smiled. Then like the typical seven year-old boy he was, he got over it and asked if could run outside to play.
I remembered all of the night time prayers that Aidan had said – asking for siblings. The first time he asked, my instinct was to tell him not to ask for something so big, bold and specific. He was asking for a brother and a sister – which seemed like a tall order. As much as I wanted to stop his prayer requests, I didn’t. I wanted to protect him from getting his little heart broken.
Aidan didn’t stop with the prayer requests. As each year went by that he didn’t have a sibling, he became even more emboldened. He would stand on top of his bed at night and yell.
“God! Can you hear me? I want a brother and a sister!”
And even though it made me nervous, I decided that we had submit to the Lord. He knew our hearts’ desires. I remember walking out of Aidan’s room one night in particular and said to God “Okay, I turn this over to you. I trust You, and surrender to You.”
It was there that I learned an unexpected lesson – from my sweet seven year-old son. God wants us to be bold with our prayers. He wants to give us our heart’s desires. It may not be in our time, but we have to trust God. Now, this requires patience; which is a vital part of trusting in Him. As it says in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” The fact that our sweet Aidan was persistent and hopeful in his prayers, and that God answered his prayers by giving him both a brother and a sister – just as he had asked for - is such a testament to His faithfulness.
It can be hard to practice patience when God has you waiting. As humans, we want to schedule and plan. In those times, ask the Holy Spirit to direct you as you wait on the Lord!
Hugs and Prayers,
Stephanie O’Hara is the founder of “Your Angel Wings." She is an American mom, wife, mother of three, infertility overcomer, former lead singer of a rock band, entrepreneur and advocate for women. After having her son, she experienced a six-year infertility journey and seven miscarriages before realizing she and her husband needed the assistance of a surrogate/gestational carrier. Her miracle girl/boy twins were born 3 ½ years ago, thanks to their surrogate angel, Tiffany. Stephanie has just finished her (untitled) infertility memoir. She collaborated with Brenda Aréchiga, a Los Angeles based editor whose client list includes Lady Gaga, Candy Spelling and Rachael Ashwell. Her memoir is completed and is slated to be released in late spring 2019. You can find out more on her Instagram, Facebook and Podcast on Anchor (Steph O'Hara).
I thought this was going to be it! Finally, a breakthrough.
Things were going so well. Everything seemed to be lining up. The years of prayer, persistence, patience, planning, progress... the door looked like it was opening for what I had been waiting for. I started to see how the pieces of the puzzle were being put together... how the ups and downs were about to make sense.
Then, it didn't. It all came to a screeching halt. The news I didn't expect to hear. I left holding my head up high only to let it all out in a heap of mess and tears in the car as I drove away.
Why was this happening? It didn't make sense. It didn't line up with anything I had been doing, believing or sensing.
Have you been there too? Maybe you've felt like you were taking a step forward only to receive the news that put you two steps back. Maybe it has been difficult for you to get out of bed in the morning too?
How do you deal with disappointments? When life interrupts your plans and progress, yet again?
Here are three things I've learned when I've been down so I didn't stay out:
1. Focus on the wins, not the losses (especially the small ones).
It would be so easy to be and stay discouraged when I only talk and think about the things that go wrong. I had to learn to celebrate the wins, especially the small ones (which takes getting used to!)
2. Plan for real life (have realistic expectations).
Real life brings ups and downs. Rarely does a path stay straight. Most of the time there are twists, turns, and unexpected detours, (but we really should expect the detours). If we expect the unexpected, it helps us keep a realistic perspective so we aren't thrown into a downward spiral when things don't go as planned.
3. Know your season (is this a distraction or a rerouting?).
Sometimes a disappointment or unexpected turn is exactly what is needed for us to get where we need to be. Figure out what this twist is being used for!
If you are in a season of disappointment and are tempted to quit, I understand. It's ok to not be ok all the time. But you can choose to not stay there. Give yourself a period of time to grieve, mourn, or re-adjust... whatever is needed, but then get up and keep going!
I have just the thing you need to help you keep going! A free Don't Quit Survival Kit, with 17 pages of soul-care, self-care and dream-care goodness! My subscribers get free access to this and more HERE!
Hugs and Prayers,
Tiffany Jo Baker is a 3x surrogate, speaker, coach, confidante and cheerleader to help you birth your dreams.
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