Even When There Was Just Hope For You

September 14, 2015

I follow so many ttcers at so many different stages.  Some have happily completed their families, while others are still in the trenches begging God for "just one."  Many are in the middle-they got a baby and dare they hope or try for another?  I recently saw an Instagram post from someone who posted:

"We loved you before we knew you, even when there was just hope for you-we loved you."

Oh. My. Heart.  I loved Noah and Beckom before I even knew they existed.  They were just the random frozen embryos in the freezer at OHSU that I would say hi to when we drove by when I was pregnant with Jude and Brinly, but I loved them for the hope I had in them.  When I lost Jude and Brinly, my love for the remaining embryos increased as I desperately wanted to meet their siblings.

That March morning when we sat in OHSU with Becky (our carrier), Tom (her husband), Darren and I in the transfer room, there was just hope.

My mom had my sister and I pick out Halloween costumes for the kids as a gift and we did pre-Halloween photo shoot this weekend. 

I have a special Magnolia tree a family friend gave me in honor of Jude and Brinly.  For people who are not familiar with the story, I spread a little bit of Jude's ashes in the tree the day after we surprised our family with our surrogate's pregnancy.  The tree has a whole new meaning to me because of what it represents and because it's all I have left of Jude on this earth.

I got this idea for a photo of putting Noah and Beckom standing by the tree.  It would be our first family picture of all the brothers.  The closest thing to a sibling picture we will ever know.  How sweet would that picture look, in our new house of my three boys?  It's not heavy.  It's not sad.  Only close friends and family would realize how deep the picture is.

For the shoot, the boys were sleepy, not smiley, and honestly, probably super confused as to why they were in ridicoulsy puffy lion outfits.  But my brother took the picture, and it is so sweet.

Darren and I were looking at the pictures last night and all the sudden I had a wave of sadness mixed with terror.  I realized that little Noah or Beckom literally could have been Jude.  They could have been the ones that didn't make it and could have been the ones cremated inside that tree.  It was a matter of what random embryo the embryologist selected to implant out of the 9 embryos that had made it to the "blast" stage.  With one flinch of his hand, he could have implanted Noah or Beckom instead of little Jude and Brinly. Because Jude and Brinly went first, they saved their lives. 

Jude and Brinly, I love you so much.  Noah and Beckom do not replace you, but they have filled our hearts with hope and redemption and love and  happiness.  You will always be my first born daughter and son and their older sister and  brother.  I love your brothers with every ounce of my being.  Seeing their faces lets me imagine what your faces would have been like now.  I am sorry that you didn't get to stay and we miss you.  Because of your deaths, we were able to figure out the problem with my cervix and give Noah and Beckom a safer journey to life.  Thank you for that, my little loves.

To all the women still fighting, keep loving your babies, even if there is just hope for them in this moment. 



  1. That line- "We loved you before we knew you, even when there was just hope for you-we loved you."- is from a book published this year called Wish by Matthew Cordell (http://www.amazon.com/Wish-Matthew-Cordell/dp/148470875X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442324579&sr=1-1&keywords=wish). It's not a book that I read every night to my daughter, but every so often (it makes me cry every time I read it).

    Your boys are adorable.

  2. Oh my goodness they are just precious!!! And I really love this post. Jude and Brinly went first for their brothers. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I absolutely love this! One thing that always upsets me is when the women, like me, who are still fighting the infertility battle become mean towards the TTC Sisters that have been blessed. To me, a baby is a baby and a blessing and should be celebrated. I love reading your blog, and all my other TTC Sisters who have received their blessings, because it gives me hope. It reminds me that there is a reason we are fighting this battle. God Bless you for having the strength to write this and I am so happy for you and your beautiful family. I can't wait to watch those two little men grow up.



  4. Oh my gosh Holly...so beautifully written. I am so beyond happy that you and Darren get to experience this side of hope and parenthood. The boys are as adorable as ever! I am sure Brinly and Jude are smiling down watching over you all.

  5. God this post made me cry, maybe because I'm in the depths of my lost and so torn on my own TTC journey. The pics are beautiful and your sons are handsome. It's actually the same costume I'd envisioned if I had a little boy. *hugs*

  6. Tears! So much love in this post! Your story is so inspirational. Thank you for always sharing! xo


  7. It was really a nice post and the pics are awesome.


  8. This totally touched me. I think the same thing about my kids...one random sperm, one random egg. If anything had been slightly different, my kids would have been someone else. But in your case, the thought is so much more powerful. I'm so amazed by your journey and your strength and your faith. You were tested to the fullest extent and look how thankful and faithful you have remained. I love your little boys! They are such sweet lions ❤

  9. wow!! its amazing article, they are so cute

  10. Its been a long time since an update, so I wanted to check in and see if you all were still doing okay. I bet the boys are growing like weeds.

  11. thank you for sharing your wonderful story! I'm sure it inspires many women to fight for their happiness. I also couldn't carry baby by myself. surrogacy was the best option for us. I had surrogacy in 2014 in Ukrainian biotexcom. my baby girl was born in January 2015. she's 1,6 yo already. time flies by so fast! when I was 15 I have undergone heart surgery. I wouldn't survive without it. I've got pregnant when I was 22 yo. we wanted this baby and we planned it. I knew about risks. my doctors told me I'm crazy if I leave a baby. my heart could not stand pregnancy. it might cause problems not only to my health, but baby's health as well. also doctors told me there is high possibility I might die. all this scared me to death! but after long discussion with my dh we decided we should make it. I don't know if I regret about this decision. I don't know maybe I would regret my whole life if I made an abortion on early term. unfortunately doctors made me to terminate pregnancy on 6th month. I had dyspnea, edema, blood circulation disorders. I felt pain in chest. my heart was in pain not only because it was hard for him to work for two, but also because I knew I should make my choice. my life or death of both me and the baby. unbearable pain had never left me. surrogacy was our last chance to become parents. now I have no regrets! we are so happy we have our little princess. we're lucky there are women and doctors, who can help us with our problem. I can't imagine my life without my precious girl! I'm happy for you and your family! I'm glad your story has a happy ending. I wish you and your kids all the best!

  12. Holly! An update, pretty please???? :)

  13. Please more updates soon. Miss reading your blog. Would love to hear how your boys are doing!

    1. If you have Instagram she is hbenson10. She just announced she is 27 weeks pregnant that other day! :)


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