My children are my world. Before I had them, I had no idea what life was about. All I focused on was cheerleading and having fun with my friends. When we found out that we were pregnant for the first time, I was nervous, but I was also excited for the new adventures that lied ahead for us.
Gannon was our first child and he changed my life forever. I’ll never forget the first time I held him. I remember holding him and thinking that I have never loved someone as much as I loved him. He is very special to me and Josh because we almost feel like we got to grow up with Gannon. He has been around for all of our big life changes and it has been special to have him by our side as we have evolved over the years. There’s something special about having your first child. I remember feeling scared for if we ever did have any future children because I was afraid that I could never love someone as much as I loved Gannon. Watching him grow into the young man he is today has been such an exciting ride. This little boy of mine loves anything to do with hunting, fishing, and rodeos! He is like a mini version of Josh and it is so fun to watch them together. There are times when I think back and realize how unbelievably immature I was raising a child at the young age of 16. However, he changed our worlds for the better. We became a family and we got the chance to grow up with Gannon.
When we got pregnant with Jaxie, I was nervous because I did not know if I was capable of loving another child as much as I loved Gannon. I was also nervous about having a girl. I had always imagined myself only having boys. I was nervous that maybe I wouldn’t be a good enough mom to a little girl. Josh fell in love with her from the start. Part of my fear was looking back and realizing how tough it was for my mom to raise me. I was nervous that having a girl would be my payback for how much of a pain I was to my mom. I was also nervous about having to dress her up and having her be a girly-girl. Much to my surprise, Miss Jaxie is quite the opposite. Let me tell you, she is such a tomboy! She loves to go hunt and fish with the guys. Sometimes she will run around without a shirt on just like the guys do! She will do everything with the guys and acts just like a guy sometimes, which is funny to watch. She rarely plays with dolls or girl toys. She would much rather play with Gannon and her daddy. This little girl has changed my world. She loves horses, loves running around and rarely dresses up.
Broncs was our third and final child. My two pregnancies prior were pretty easy. Gannon and Jaxie were big babies (both around nine pounds) but that comes with the territory of being a Type 1 Diabetic. Broncs' pregnancy, however, was a different case. He was by far my hardest pregnancy physically, mentally and emotionally. I remember being in so much pain and I would scream for help sometimes. People thought I was being dramatic or having anxiety attacks but I was just in so much pain throughout the whole pregnancy with Broncs. I knew something was wrong all the way through the pregnancy. We also were saddened because Josh and I both had a lot of opportunities before us when we found out we were pregnant again. I had my heart set and was training for NPC shows. I had modeling gigs lined up and I had competitions to prepare for. But once we found out we were pregnant again, all of these opportunities came to a crashing halt.
I went to the doctor for my 36-week checkup and they told me that my baby had a bad heart. My parents ended up taking me to the hospital and Josh met us there. I remember walking into the hospital and there were nine nurses with trays of needles and scissors. I remember being wheeled back into an operating room and within 30 minutes, Broncs was out of me. I remember lying in bed and my family was around me. I remember being extremely confused, wondering where Josh and Broncs were. At this point, everyone knew more than me. My mom had walked in and everyone thought that she would be telling us that the baby didn’t make it. I remember my mom saying that they were letting Josh see Broncs, but that Broncs was not okay. Josh ended up being kicked out of the room because of Broncs’ condition. Josh informed us that he had heart problems.
I remember nurses kept coming in to check on me over and over again. Every time I told them I was fine and that I just wanted to see my baby. For 8 hours, they didn’t tell me anything about my baby. Any questions that I asked about Broncs their answers were “I can’t tell you”. I was beyond frustrated, scared and angry at this time because I thought they would say that my baby was dead. Josh finally snapped and told the nurse that he would break down the doors in order to see if his son was okay. She finally agreed and said that she would go get some news on Broncs’ condition. I remember dozing off and around 3:00 am I woke up crying because Josh wasn’t there and I still hadn’t seen Broncs. I cried out to my nurse to have her take me to the room where they were. The nurse rolled me back and warned me of the equipment I would see around my baby. She also told me that neither me or Josh were allowed to touch Broncs.
When I walked into the room Broncs was in, my heart instantly broke. He was in an incubator with so many wires and equipment around him. It was a horrible sight to see and I had never experienced anything like that. Any mother will know that seeing your baby struggle and be sick is one of the worst feelings to ever have. I remember Josh would not leave his side. Josh prayed and cried over Broncs. That was a side of Josh that I had never seen before. Going through our struggles with Broncs together helped our marriage grow into what it is today. Broncs stayed in the NICU for about a month and then we finally got to bring our perfect baby home.
Broncs is a blessing that we did not know that our family needed. I’m actually having a hard time letting him grow up because I know that these will be the last baby experiences that I get. I got my tubes tied after him, so I know that I need to cherish every moment that I have with my last baby. I had a really hard time after I had Broncs and getting my tubes tied because I had the worst case of post-partum depression after having him. Thankfully, with the help of Josh and my family, I have gotten a lot better. 2017 has been the best and most successful year of my life. I have a happy husband, happy kids, and a happy life and I am so blessed with the family that I have!