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A Mother's Journey- A Love So Strong

It’s funny they say you will find your “person” when you least expect it. I was just getting out of a 4 year relationship not looking for anything serious. Steve would come teach a weekly class at a daycare I worked at. For a year or so when we would pass each other it was just casual “Hello’s”. Never thinking our friendly conversations would turn into a first date.

Funny how the universe works.. the guy I took a chance on thinking he would be a “rebound” .. 12 years later now happily married for 6 years. I was lucky enough to find someone that loved me for all my craziness and I’m sure he will say the same.

Since we met while working with children it was inevitable that the late night gabs for hopes of having children of our own would happen. We both came from families of 3 children and wished to have a big family one day. Once we decided it was time. We tried for a little over a year before we fell pregnant and we were beyond ecstatic to finally embark on this new journey. This was the light after a very dark tunnel, since losing Steve’s little sister unexpectedly just 4 months prior.

Our first OB appointment at 10 weeks was bittersweet. I remember looking at the screen and being amazed at the little life that was growing inside me. The ultrasound tech looked to me and seemed concerned. Then said “the doctor will be in shortly to talk with you”. Our joy quickly faded, and the smiles turned into faces of worry. The Doctor came in to speak with us and noticed fluid on the baby’s neck. Which we later learned, is called Cystic Hygroma. A good indicator of chromosomal abnormality.

After about a week of waiting for blood test results. We found out not only were we having a little girl but our doctors suspicions were correct. She had a chromosomal abnormality called Turners Syndrome (monosomy X). The joy we felt about us having a girl took over, even while trying to wrap our heads around the results. We couldn’t help feeling like in a way ..his sister was looking down at us, following along our journey.

Through the next 14 weeks, we met with doctor, after doctor to see if there was anything we could do. The fluid continued to grow and started to takeover my daughter’s body (fetal hydrops). Every appointment I dreaded going... I knew the inevitable would happen. We were told her organs were unable to develop because of the fluid, and at 24 weeks gestation we said goodbye to our little Amelia Grace; our little fighter.

We named her after Amelia Earhart. Steve had come to me with the idea. A woman that beat the odds. No one thought she (Amelia) would have survived to even 24 weeks. She was strong & fighter. Turners Syndrome has a symbol, which is a butterfly. That then link the two...Both soaring through the sky. It was perfect..

It was one of the hardest times in our lives. With Steve by my side the entire way and our love... I knew we would be OK. After taking sometime and much thought we decided that we wanted to try again. In 2015 we became pregnant with twin boys! With everything we had went through and now having twins, we decided I was going to become a stay at home mom.

28 weeks went by and I went into preterm labor. Luckily doctors and staff were able to stop the contractions. I was able to hold onto my beautiful boys and deliver at 34 weeks. After I was release they stayed in the NICU for two weeks and we traveled from the north suburbs to downtown Chicago everyday. We held them and loved them. We had finally become parents and nothing in this world could keep us away. Those two weeks were the most emotionally and physically exhausting two weeks of our lives. Today I am happy to say ..our boys are thriving, active, loving ..crazy 2.5 year old's.

Through all the toddler mania we knew in our hearts our family wasn’t complete. With much thought and conversation. We decided to try again for a third child. With a full heart and belly.. I’m currently 6 months pregnant with our third boy. We are so excited to continue this journey into parenthood and welcome our little man into our crazy family.

Not a day goes by where we don’t look back at the journey we came from, the strength it took and the beautiful souls we lost along the way. This is only the beginning, there’s so much left to our story. But I’m looking forward to writing the next chapters.

-Danielle Kogen

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