“You think you know love, but you don’t until you hold that little guy in your arms.”
Moms everywhere will be celebrated Sunday, basking in the glow of all things motherhood.
Sleepless nights, endless diaper changes and cleaning spit up morphs into solving algebra problems and giving guidance through high school drama; it’s the endless, sacred bond mothers share with their children.
And for some, motherhood didn’t come easy.
“It makes you think that everything you went through doesn’t matter and I'd gladly do it all again”
From the moment Lindsey Pfansteil and her husband married in 2012, they knew they wanted to become parents.
After a year of trying to have a child naturally with no luck, the couple’s discouragement led them to a doctor.
“The (doctor) told us (my husband) was infertile and we wouldn’t be able to do it without help.”
With infertility treatments being so costly, the pair decided to keep trying on their own, despite the doctor’s suggestion.
“We decided to put it in God’s hands and see what happened,” she said.
In September 2013, Lindsey found out she was pregnant.
“I took five pregnancy tests to make sure I was right and I was completely shocked!”
Despite being extremely sick for the first five months of her pregnancy, the expectant mom couldn’t wait to welcome the child she had been hoping for.
On March 3, 2014, when Lindsey was 30 weeks pregnant and heading to a routine appointment, she was hit head-on by a snowplow after the last big snowfall in Cincinnati.
Both Lindsey and her unborn child survived, but it was a close call.
“We very easily could have been killed,” she said. “We were very, very lucky.”
Lindsey spent a week in the hospital after the accident and due to the trauma, she delivered her baby boy a couple weeks early, on his dad’s birthday.
“It’s an unexplainable love,” Lindsey said. “You think that you know love but you don’t until you hold that little guy in your arms. He’s all that matters. You’re so proud that you can create something so wonderful.”
“My due date was actually Mother’s Day but he ended up here a little early,” she said.
The pair was watching an old Western movie when the baby’s name was chosen.
Tucker James Pfanstiel was born on April 20, 2014 and weighed a healthy 8 pounds flat and was 20 1/2 inches long.
“This Mother’s Day will mean so much to me and his daddy because it was such a long road to get him here!”
“It’s a lifelong blessing and a dream because I didn’t think I would live to 30”
Alicia Wilmoth had known since she was a little girl there was a chance she could never carry her own children.
She was born with a heart defect that left her living off a single ventricle, instead of two.
Alicia’s husband was aware when he married her that having a child was going to be a difficult process.
“Now that I’m 34 years old and married, the question is, how am I going to (have a baby)?"
Doctors told Alicia she could try to get pregnant but it would be extremely high-risk and with an outcome they were uncertain of.
“The doctor said a fetus might die in utero because I don’t have enough oxygen for me and the baby and there would be a higher risk of death for me,” she said.
So Alicia and her husband had a difficult decision to make: Risk an enormously dangerous pregnancy or think of another path?
“Ultimately we made the decision to go the surrogate route because I want to be here the rest of their lives,” Alicia said. “I don’t want to just carry them for nine months and not be around for them.”
The couple started by asking Alicia’s two sisters if they would be willing to carry their child, but the timing just didn’t work out.
They eventually found a surrogate mother through an agency, a woman they now refer to as an aunt.
On December 12, 2013, Alicia became a mother to twins Liam and Nora.
“It’s a lifelong blessing and a dream because I didn’t think I would live to 30 and get married and now I’ve had the opportunity to have kids,” she said.
This Sunday, Alicia will celebrate with the family she used to only imagine.
“I get to share the blessing of life with them,” Alicia said. “Life has meant so much to me, I’m so glad to be able to pass it on to them. A little part of me can be carried on in this world.”
“I honestly did not think I would ever get pregnant”
Megan Enderle and her husband tried to get pregnant for a year with the help of fertility treatments.
After two heartbreaking miscarriages, Megan was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS), a condition that can halt plans to ever have a child.
She went through five Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI) without any results.
On her sixth procedure, she said it would be her last no matter what the results may be.
“I found out I was pregnant exactly one year after I started trying fertility treatments,” Megan said. “It was very exciting and yet very scary just because of the past and the issues that I had.”
But the couple wouldn’t be welcoming just one baby to their family, they were pregnant with two.
Harper and Elliot were born healthy and happy
on May 19, to the long-awaited joy of their parents.
“This Mother’s Day I am so grateful to have my babies alive and healthy and doing well,” she said. “I honestly did not think I would ever get pregnant.”
The family will celebrate the thrill of motherhood Sunday.
“I always wanted to me a mom. I can’t imagine my life without them”
“If it’s in your heart that you’re going to be a mother, you’ll be a mother”
Sometimes a family comes together in an unexpected way.
That was certainly the case for Natalie Nichols, who tried for seven years to have a baby, three of those with the aid of fertility treatments.
“I was devastated every time it didn’t work,” Natalie said. “You think you get married and then you have kids, but it doesn’t happen that way for everybody.”
In March of 2013, her last Invetro procedure didn’t take.
“Unless you’ve gone through it, it just tears you down emotionally and mentally,” Natalie said. “It was a very, very hard journey.”
In April, one month after her last attempt at Invetro, she and her husband were matched for adoption.
Austin Nichols was born June 8, 2013 and the couple couldn’t be happier about the addition to their family.
“He is the reason that I breathe, the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I’m alive,” Natalie said. “It’s a love and a bond like no other and I’ve waited years to feel that.”
Natalie will be celebrating Sunday with all the mothers in her family, and she is excited to finally be a part of the exclusive mommy club.
She has a message for other mothers struggling to have a family:
"To the women who are going through infertility, it’s such a long hard struggle and in the end your dreams will come true one way or the other. I just hope people don’t give up and they keep trying. You may think maybe I’m not meant to be a mother – if it’s in your heart that you’re going to be a mother you’ll be a mother.
“In the end, it ended up better than I could have pictured it.”
“It was awful just thinking I wouldn’t be able to have my own kids”
Rachel Nestor and her husband became pregnant with their first child six years ago.
When she was five months along, her husband was about to leave for military training and the pair went to the doctor to have another sonogram.
The doctor told the couple devastating news one week before Mother’s Day.
“The baby’s heart had stopped beating at 14 weeks,” Rachel said. “I went that whole time pregnant and not knowing the baby was dead.”
She had to undergo surgery to have the fetus removed and the very next day Rachel’s husband left for training.
“You wouldn’t believe how crushed we were when they told us after we had our stillborn that we might not be able to carry children,” Rachel said.
Once her husband returned, the couple tried for six months to become pregnant again.
Rachel suffered three tragic miscarriages before becoming pregnant with their first daughter.
“Finally, when we had our first daughter, it was so overwhelming,” she said. “It was amazing”
After enduring another round of emotionally draining failed pregnancies, the couple persevered until Rachel became pregnant with their second daughter. She welcomed her second child into the world without her husband, who was deployed to Afghanistan.
He met his second daughter seven months after she was born.
Rachel is currently pregnant with the couple’s first baby boy and can’t wait to celebrate the holiday that has meant so much to her during the process of expanding her family.
“(My husband) makes a big deal out of it because he knows it’s very important to me. We have been through struggles to create our family but it makes Mother's Day that much more special to me.”