Let’s take a trip down memory lane. This will be a little back story about how our family came to be what it is today. So, sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the ride. 😉
Flashback to January 2009. I was working at a car dealership as a Business Development Coordinator when I was filling in for one of the receptionists and answered the phone. Some guy called and asked me to tell one of our technicians that he had gotten into a minor car accident and would be late that day. He told me his name but he said it so fast I was like, “eh…I’m sure the technician knows who he is, because I didn’t catch any of that.” I didn’t really know much about the technicians or what was going on in the service department, so I didn’t think much about it.
Well, a few days later I was in the Service Manager’s office and was introduced to this new technician trainee. His name was Shahbaz, and apparently the guy who got into the car accident…the one who I couldn’t even understand the spelling of his name. Oops! That began our workplace friendship. You can ask my friend Courtney about this one, but I mentioned to her early on that I thought he was cute.
I waited patiently for my future hubby. 🙂
Over the next eight months we became really good friends. We joked, laughed, played silly pranks on each other. You know…the usual office friendship type things. Then one day the stars aligned and I asked him to meet me for food. Olive Garden it was! Can’t get enough of those breadsticks and cheese ravioli! Sorry…got sidetracked there for a minute.
We fell in love fast. I feel like from that day at Olive Garden we didn’t go a single day without talking to each other. We were lucky to work together for a year and see each other every day then. You know it’s going to work out when you see each other every day, talk every day, and still miss each other when they’re not around.
Anyways, a year later we were engaged. And a year and three months after that we were married. November 11th, 2011. I can truly say that I married my best friend. I think that our love for one another started out slowly and because we were so close before even attempting a relationship, we already knew so much about each other. To me, that saves a lot of all that unnecessary drama of dating. Figure out who the person is before getting too emotionally invested, and there will be a lot less time wasting. If you’re looking to get hitched anyway. 🙂
Shahbaz is my biggest supporter, encourager, and when I need it, he gets straight to the point. He pushed me to go to school and complete my Associates degree. During the first couple years of our marriage we were both going to school and he was the only one working at the time. He has always had a drive to better himself and his career. Something I always admire about him.
FYI, the next few paragraphs could be triggering for some people…
We knew going into our marriage that kids were something we both wanted. However, the question of “when” was the issue. I was ready to be a mom from day one. Something I have always felt deep down, is that I am meant to be a mother. Shahbaz, on the other had, wanted to wait three or four years before thinking about kids. So, I waited. And I am glad we did! We took a few trips together, enjoyed our free time, and just genuinely spent quality time as husband and wife before jumping right into the craziness that is parenthood.
Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t pester him every now and then about setting a date on the calendar that we could say, “we’re TRYING!”. But, he put up with all of that because he knew I’m a little on the baby crazy side. Once more people started asking him when we were thinking of starting a family, he started thinking on his own too. I would say he was more open to the idea of having a baby by this point.
So, after much nagging, in summer of 2014 we decided we should start thinking about trying for a baby. However, before that even happened I had a serious feeling that I should take a pregnancy test. Sure enough, it was positive! We were shocked, but we were ready. I was over the moon, jump up and down, dance like a crazy person, excited. I started a journal to the baby. Writing just a few paragraphs whenever I had the urge to say what I was feeling. We couldn’t wait for our first ultrasound to be able to see that precious little bean! I had gotten a blood test from the doctor to confirm my pregnancy but had to wait until I was eight weeks along to have an ultrasound. That was the longest wait of my life!
We met after work one day at the doctors office for the first ultrasound. We were the last appointment that day so the office was empty. Just us, and the staff. After a few moments, I remember thinking how long the ultrasound was taking, and kept waiting for them to point out the baby to us. The doctor began asking me about my LMP dates and things like that to confirm how far along I was. I started to feel flush and like my head was in a fog. Then the doctor said she could not find our baby. She immediately started talking about ways to terminate the pregnancy and what my next steps were for that.
I could not wrap my head around that at all. A few weeks earlier we had a normal pregnancy, then there was no baby at all? How does that even happen. I cannot even describe the feelings that we were both experiencing during all of this.
We ended up seeing a different doctor to determine if, in fact, the baby had not developed. This second doctor had me come back weekly for ultrasounds before deciding that the pregnancy was not viable. Two weeks after our initial ultrasound with my second doctor, we discovered a heartbeat! It was faint, and small. I was supposed to be 10 weeks gestation at this point, but the baby was only measuring at 5 weeks. The doctor told us not to get our hopes up, that he had seen this before and it could go either way. So we came back the next week, and the baby’s heartbeat no longer there.
Heartbroken, again. We didn’t know what to do, think, feel, say. We had just decided that we were ready to bring a baby into this world together, and were so overjoyed that it had happened by surprise. Then, out of nowhere, it was taken away from us that quickly. Our world was upside down. We depended on each other so much to get through that tragedy of losing a pregnancy. I cried every night for months.
Looking back now, I wished I had reached out to more people during that time. I was really paralyzed by the thought of saying what happened to me aloud. I didn’t know how common it was, and I think if I had just been more open about our situation it would have helped me get through it a little easier. Even now, three and a half years later, it is difficult for me to write about it without having a minor breakdown.
On to a more pleasant chapter…
After my doctor cleared me to begin trying for another baby, we knew we wanted one right away. We didn’t know how long it would take so we just kind of didn’t stress about it too much. We decided when it was meant to be it would happen. Well, two months after that I was pregnant again! Tears were flowing. There may have been some jumping up and down like a giddy little girl. But, we didn’t want to get our hopes up too much. We didn’t even tell our families until we had confirmed that the pregnancy was viable at 7 weeks. After that, we really let ourselves be excited again!
Fast forward to September 8th, 2015. My due date. It came and went, and I was an uncomfortable, grumpy, sweaty, huge blob that was ready to get that baby out! I tried everything. Walked 3 miles a day, squats, spicy food, pineapple. Nothing would make my baby budge. Eventually my doctor schedule an induction date for September 16th, and Leilah was born on the 17th after 8 hours of labor with 40 minutes of pushing. We had our rainbow baby. She was the most perfect thing I had ever seen. Her first breath was like life was just breathed into me all over again. Her first cries were like the most beautiful songs I had ever heard. We were in love.
Let me tell you. You think you love your husband on your wedding day. You think you love them even more when you go through tragedies together and support each other. But, I have never loved my husband more than seeing him become a father. He fell into the roll of Daddy so easily, I was almost jealous. He had such a way with Leilah, that special daddy-daughter relationship. And I love it so much!
Where to live?
Now, when we had found out we were pregnant with Leilah, we had literally just sold our house and moved into a one bedroom apartment while we looked for something else closer to family. So, we had taken a break from house hunting once I had gotten super pregnant. So, in March of 2016 we decided to continue our search.
Let me be the first to say, house hunting is not a walk in the park. Like seriously, you spend entire days looking at house, after house, after house. Most likely getting all of your bids rejected, or having someone come in with a cash offer and swoop it up right out from under you. Who even has that much cash laying around? UGH! Talk about an emotional rollercoaster! So, we are certainly happy that we had the best realtor on the planet to make our house hunting experience enjoyable! Amy Bunch at Arterra Realty ended up helping us find our dream home, and made the process so much easier. She has become a friend and someone I enjoy keeping in contact with!
We closed on our house in September of 2016, a week after Leilah’s first birthday. We felt like we had been so blessed. We had been given the most amazing gift of our daughter. She was healthy, happy, and beautiful! We had finally found our new home, which was closer to both our families. We had each other, to love, and share all of our memories with. We were loving life.
Then comes baby fever 😉
Shahbaz and I knew we wanted more than one baby, and that we wanted them close in age so that they could grow up as friends. Shahbaz and his siblings are close in age. I’m close in age to my brother. We knew we liked that family dynamic.
February 2017. Guess who got pregnant again? That’d be me! Shahbaz was kind of shocked when I told him, because literally, we only tried for one month. I believe his reaction was, “are you kidding?”. HA! Nope. Prepare for baby number two daddio!
Fast forward again, past all the mumbo jumbo about my uncomfortable pregnant self. I was due on October 6th, Samara was born on October 7th at 1:17am! We were all of a sudden a family of four! It seriously felt that quick too. No joke, that pregnancy flew by like nothing. And my labor and delivery with Samara was the fastest thing. She was so ready to come into this world, she just couldn’t wait. I’ll probably end up writing a labor and delivery story for each of the girls another time.
I had been preparing Leilah for months that she was going to be a big sister. She was always holding my belly, saying “baby sis” and “baby Samawa”. But nothing can compare to the look on your first baby’s face when they meet their little sibling. Ugh, and here I go getting emotional again. You’re sad because you know that your first baby will never be your only one again. But, so overwhelmed with joy because it’s the very first time they are meeting, and you know they’ll be lifelong friends. Ahhh so precious!
Once again, seeing Shahbaz become a father all over again to this new baby girl…I was impressed. My love for him grew even more. He is 100% devoted to his family. His love for his baby girls is so fierce and makes me love him even more. He is patient, gentle, hilarious, playful, encouraging, and so kind. Pretty darn cute too. 😉
Did anyone even read this far?
So now, here we are with a two and a half year old and a four month old. Our days are so much crazier than when we were first married. I stay home with the babies all day. Cook, clean, wipe butts, clean up milk stains, you get the gist. He works all day to provide for his ladies, comes home, eats dinner, plays with the babies, then puts them to bed. We spend an hour or so alone, either cleaning or vegging out watching Netflix and go to bed. Then we can begin it all again the next day.
If you asked me in that manager’s office nine years ago where I would be today, I wouldn’t have even imagined this life, or how full my heart could be. And I wouldn’t change any of it.