Meet my good friend, Tegan!
Isn't she stunning???
We first met when I was in 7th grade, and she was in 8th grade and we played the flute. I was 2nd chair and sat between her friend Jessica and her. Well, every week Tegan would compete against me for 2nd chair just so she could sit next to Jess. I couldn't stand it and would practice my perfectionist little tush off, just to keep my 2nd chair.
Well, needless to say, we weren't exactly friends. Until we got into Advanced Art studies into High School. I made some of the best friends through the teacher, Marie Lester, and that class itself. For some reason, we just clicked and became extremely close.
We have been through a LOT together. If it wasn't having fun at a 90's music reunion tour, it was redecorating my house to my husbands shock. We have been through new jobs, new ventures, bad breakups and a bad marriage together. We have gotten each other through everything. My husband and I watched her two boys while she put herself through college as a single mother, and pulled off graduating with amazing grades. She then in turn watched my boys while I was starting out in Photography, and has been my biggest cheerleader while I grew my business and eventually got my studio, and found my home with Irish Eyes.
I even like to think I had a part in her marriage to Jeremy, who I hired to remodel my kitchen, and maybe pushed them to date.
She also is the person who I told everything to when it came to my miscarriages.
Those who know me, know I put up a humor front. The funnier I am, the more I am hurting. Tegan can see through it all. And is the one who got me to open up about my losses. When my last miscarriage happened in 2015, she was the first one I went to. I cried in her kitchen, and she just listened, which is what I needed.
Now, Tegan is a Registered Nurse, and I worked as an STNA in college while getting my Health Communications degree. So, we are both knowledgeable in medical and what can happen in a pregnancy. We both joke that we much preferred the days where we both were naive and clueless.
When Tegan married Jeremy, and begun to talk about children, she told me that between my struggles with both infertility and losses, she felt like it wasn't going to come easy for her. She had a terrible gut instinct something would, or wouldn't happen.
Here is her story, in her words.
Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Tegan Dollison. I am so incredibly blessed by my family and friends its hard to express at times! Felecia approached me when the company she is with decided to honor rainbow babies and asked me to consider sharing my story. I am not a talented writer by any means, and especially not when it comes to vulnerable and personal subjects. She wasn’t thrilled with my original response... “we tried, it didn’t work, and then it did, TA DA!” It’s a good thing that girl has a heart of gold and loves me! So here goes nothing let’s take it back to the beginning.
I met my husband Jeremy back in the fall of 2012. I was in my last quarter of nursing school for my RN. I had two boys that were 3 and 4 at the time. To say the least I was a hot mess express! I actually broke up with him a few months into the relationship, simply because I wasn’t ready. (I really don’t deserve this man! I told you, I am blessed beyond measure)! During our year apart he continued to watch the boys for me when I was trying to juggle multiple jobs. It was during this time I slowly fell in love with him and I watched a relationship grow with the boys and him. We got back together and got married in Oct of 2015.
We of course discussed children and our future. While I was a bit gun shy, the boys are 16 months apart and well BOYS. If you missed any of the memes on Facebook, boys are CRAZY! Jeremy expressed he always wanted 3, so just one more! I was reminded I’m no longer in this alone. And let me tell you this man has already proven over and over what amazing father he is! So we decided to wait for a year to grow our family.
I did not get pregnant immediately and that in itself was hard, but I knew I was older now and told myself it was to be expected. Although I now had all my nursing knowledge and as Felecia and I have discussed many times, ignorance is bliss! I was painfully aware now of all things that could wrong.
February 2017 a friend contacts me panicked she might be pregnant asks me to go with her to buy a test. I tell Jeremy what’s going on and that I’ll be back. We go the store buy a handful of tests, and she still is overwhelmed, so I tell her my app says I was supposed to start today and that I’ll test with her just so she didn’t feel like she was doing this alone. (My cycle always fluctuated by a few days so I didn’t think much of it). Well to both of our surprise my test had the 2 little lines and hers did not! I was in shock! I go home and break the news to Jeremy who did not know I even took a test while I was with her. We are both ecstatic!
We did not wait to tell our moms and close family. News got leaked on Facebook so it quickly became public knowledge. At the time I was doing a direct sale company that I did frequent live videos for and the news spread like wildfire among followers! About a week after it was public knowledge things started to wrong and within another week we lost the baby. He was gone as quick as he came. I could hardly process it. Now if you hadn’t figured it out by the opening of this blog, I tend to be more of a private person when it comes vulnerable matters and I had to tell the world what happened. Friends on the videos still elated by the news and well meaning were asking how I was feeling, if I had morning sickness, and still congratulating me, so I had to make the announcement we were no longer expecting. Everyone was so gracious about it and friends and family offered lots of support, but I simply didn’t want to talk about it. We grieved our loss, but as we all know life doesn’t stop for grief and day by day life kept moving.
Fast forward to June, my mom and I take vacation together. We went to a conference together for the direct selling company I was with and stayed extra days to explore Boston. It was an amazing trip and we had blast!! It wasn’t till the plane ride home and looking at my calendar that I realized I should of started before we even left for the trip. The timing in my app was still off because of the miscarriage so it didn’t alert me. I had been so distracted by the trip it never occurred to me. I had no symptoms this time. But I tested when I got home and sure enough there were those little pink lines, faint but there. I shared the news once again with Jeremy. But I had learned from last time and I was not feeling confident so we chose not to make the news public. I lost this baby at 6 weeks. And it hit me way harder then I expected. I did not bounce back, I found myself genuinely happy for others, but also feeling bitterness and jealousy at the same time. After more time passed we began to accept the possibility that a baby may not be in the cards for us. I wasn’t sure I could take another loss, it just hurt too much. And I know for many it may seem we were throwing in the towel early, but we had discussed our options, and emotionally I couldn’t handle much else at the time.
Thanksgiving passes and I am now several days late. I take a test apprehensively, and it’s positive. I dropped to my knees and prayed. I beg the Lord to let this be the one, to protect it in spite of me, I stayed kneeled on the bathroom floor crying and praying for a while. The next morning I test again mostly out of disbelief and the lines are still there though faint. But on this day, I felt more peace and confidence. I decided I wanted to surprise Jeremy. I called Felecia to tell her what was going on and to ask for her help. Only one other friend was in on the secret. I made appointments with the doctor for blood work, it felt like an eternity but the levels came back as a good sign! Things looked good! I made it passed 6 weeks and began to feel some relief. I ordered onesies to surprise everyone for Christmas, Jeremy and all the grandparents. We get to the week of Christmas and I start spotting, and of course I begin to panic. I don’t want to ruin Christmas by announcing this miracle and then retract it immediately. The doctors office is booked and of course out early in the week in preparation for the holiday. I called Felecia my heart breaking sure it was all falling apart. She found a last minute opening at Ultrasona to go in for a pregnancy verification ultrasound on the 23rd, the Saturday before Christmas. They are able to confirm baby’s heartbeat 165! Baby looks good! They see the cause of the spotting. A small spot of implantation bleed and warned I may have just a little more spotting. I was grateful for this knowledge because it happened the next day on Christmas Eve!
It’s Christmas morning and I save one box for last and let Jeremy open it. Inside was a snoopy onesie with an ultrasound picture taped to the front of it. Seeing the reality and amazement set in was the best Christmas present ever! The boys are overjoyed to hear they are going to be big brothers!! We video called Jeremy’s dad and step mom in Florida to watch them open their present. Jeremy had no idea I sent them a onesie that said “guess what?” To announce our news. Then at each Christmas gathering we watched as our Moms each opened the same gift. It was a perfect and joyous day! We are so excited to meet our Matthew Ryan, our rainbow baby, in a little over a month! God is good and I couldn’t be more grateful!
I can NOT wait to meet her Rainbow, Matthew, this Summer! I am soo blessed to not only be photographing the birth, but just being involved with this little peanut! We have shared SO much together, that we now get to share raising SIX boys together, as best friends. Lord, be with us!