The three most important dates in my life are April 26, 2009, January 9, 2010 and March 17, 2017. April 26th was the day my husband Michael asked me to marry him. January 9th was the day we became husband and wife, and we became a family of three and welcomed our beautiful baby boy Elias Raymond Carlson on St. Patrick’s Day last year.
I received my Turner syndrome diagnosis at age 15, after questioning the pediatrician why there was no period yet. Up until that point, my symptoms included a bicuspid aortic valve stenosis, which was discovered the night I was born, ear infections as a toddler, and being the tiniest kid in my class every year!
My mother always says I’ve been drama since I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck and she had to have a C-section. I was a colicky and fussy infant.
I remember hating middle school because I was picked on. By high school, I learned to not focus on what other people think. I got involved with my church and made several good friends. I was a true band nerd clarinet player. I took growth hormones first before estrogen. I took Nutropin injections from the time I was 15 until I was 18, when x-rays showed by growth plates had closed.
I babysat and always knew I would do something with kids. I went to college to either study nursing or teaching. I found myself in a friend’s dorm and the projects she was working on seemed to fit me so well that I changed my major the next day.
I moved to Kingwood and joined the young adult group at church. Somewhere in there, my thyroid levels were high enough to require medication, and eventually I was diagnosed with papillary cancer and had a thyroidectomy later down the road in about 2012 - but no radiation or chemo, thank goodness!
I was teaching first grade in northeast Houston in 2006 - not far from where I grew up in northwest Houston, and I met this guy at a young adult meeting with church. He liked me. He loves to tell the story of our first New Year’s Eve when we each wound up kissing other people. We stayed good friends and watched LSU football and Grey’s Anatomy together. We went camping, and I asked him how he wanted me to introduce him to my friends we were going camping with. He asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend and my reply was, “Duh!” We smiled and giggled like we were 12 the rest of the car ride.
Two month later my heart was pounding, and I felt called to tell him about my diagnosis. We were growing closer together and I didn’t want to hide it. I cried and discussed how both invitro and adoption were options. His beautiful response was, “Well, that just means we get to give someone a second chance at life.” I told him that night I was going to marry him. I also started to understand how God had a bigger and better plan! I had never thought about adoption in the gorgeous way my then boyfriend did that night, and it blew me away!
He proposed the next April, and we were married in January 2010. We bought our first house and saved and saved for an adoption. We picked a giraffe theme for the nursery but did not decorate yet. Piece by piece I had purchased boy and girl crib bedding and accessories. We were matched in November 2016 for a baby girl. We had a baby shower, met the birth mom and all was going well. Long story short, it fell through. We were crushed. We wanted to grieve longer, but I knew getting back on the waiting list would be the best thing.
Three weeks later, I was teaching my now pre-K class calendar time and I saw my phone vibrating and it was the adoption agency. I made a mental note to call them back right after school dismissal. Five minutes later, the school nurse walked in and told me my husband was on the phone. That was the moment I knew I was going to be a Mommy.
I spoke to Mike, and he asked me if I wanted to be a mommy to a baby boy on March 15th. How often does the husband get to tell his wife they are expecting? Our wonderful birth mom wanted me in the delivery room. She wanted to hold him first, but she was excited for us. She was going back to school and moving on with life the following week. I held him shortly after and fed him first. Mike, of course, met him soon after he was born. She said good-bye alone for that longest 45 min