I know it sounds cliché to say never give up, but I think I’m a pretty good example of why you shouldn’t!
My journey to Motherhood started a little later than most, at the age of thirty- eight. I was married at the age of thirty- six and everyone told me that I should start trying right away for a baby. I felt that when I was ready, it would happen! Why wouldn’t it? I was a Personal Trainer, in excellent health. I did all the right things, ate healthy, exercised, drank plenty of water, and always got a good night sleep.
I remember the excitement of my first pregnancy. I was about eight weeks and it was right before Mother’s Day. I was so excited to be pregnant at that time, but on Mother’s Day I had my first miscarriage. I was devastated, but then told myself that it’s ok, I know I can get pregnant and it will happen again. I did get pregnant again, this time making it to nine weeks. I remember training my client, trying to stay upbeat and professional as my heart was sinking because I knew I was suffering yet another miscarriage. The cramping was excruciating and I knew I was bleeding. I immediately went to my regular OB, who then referred me to a fertility specialist.
As many of you may know that going through all those fertility treatments is not easy and it can put a lot of stress on a marriage, as it did mine. They determined that I had unexplained infertility, there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. I remember praying that they would find something wrong and just fix it. All the tests were normal, and I was able to produce a lot of eggs that were even good quality. However, after years of fertility treatments and a total of six miscarriages I did throw in the towel. It was difficult sitting in the waiting room with so many pregnant women, as I was there getting blood drawn to see what my levels were, and if they dropped, meaning the end of yet another pregnancy. I left my last appointment in tears, and said I’m done! I wasn’t giving up on being a Mother, I just couldn’t do this anymore!
I turned to a dear friend who suggested adoption and had gone through the process herself. I was much older now, as I had just turned forty- four years old. I thought I’m too old now, we have a nice life, but then my sister in law placed her hands around my face, and told me never to give up, that I will be an incredible Mother. She herself was adopted and adored her Mother and Father.
Adoption, another road not easy to conquer but so worth it! I have found that when you want something bad enough, you almost become like a machine trying to attain what it is that you want! We filled out all the paper work in one weekend, turned it in and went on a waiting list with our adoption agency. I remember getting the call eleven months later that we were picked by a couple, and they were having a little girl. She originally was not due for three more weeks, but started spotting and our baby girl came early. We were at the hospital to see her a few hours after birth and it was instant love. I loved her the minute we were picked, and even more when she was placed in my arms. We named her Gabriella. She was kept in the hospital for three days for some observation, as she was born with some complications that most she has grown out of now.
The adoption journey didn’t end when we left the hospital. About a week after having Gabi home with us, the agency called to tell us that our daughter was part Native American Indian. We would have to do another legal process to adopt her, or the Tribe, as well as her birth parents could take her away from us until the age of two! Naturally we did whatever was necessary to protect our baby. It was a scary time for us, but I wouldn’t give up!
As I said, Gabriella had some complications and was very sick, on and off the first year of her little life. On top of all of this she suffered from severe food allergies as well as environmental allergies. I never thought about it being difficult, I just managed whatever came our way with the help of some incredible friends. As a mother, you don’t have a choice! She was,and is my little Angel! Everything I do revolves around her, as she is my world!
Once Gabriella could sit in her highchair she loved to toss everything on the floor, and I mean everything! With her allergies, once it hit the floor it had to be thrown away or completely sterilized. I needed help, so I started looking to see if there was anything out there on the market to help me.With nothing out there I made my own little invention. I turned to a dear friend and seamstress (Susan Samson), who helped me create my prototypes. I’m thrilled to announce that Tray Buddi is here and was inspired by Gabi. It’s a wonderful product that can be used on a Highchair, Car Seat, Stroller, Toddler Chair, and even a Wheelchair. It has been a life saver for me, as it keeps everything on the tray and off the floor!
Now, as I embark on a new chapter of my life at the age of forty-nine as both entrepreneur, and a newly single parent it can seem overwhelming at times, but I will never give up on giving my daughter the life she deserves. I hope that through me, she will learn that anything is possible, and you must never give up, even when people put obstacles in front of you. I believe it’s how we get around those obstacles that make us stronger as women and mothers. I hope through Tray Buddi I will also inspire Gabi to give back and help others who are in need!