In today’s post, Jordan shares her heroic journey through pain, frustration and loss, and shares how her will and effort have allowed light and hope back into her life.
Words by Jordan Lang
All images on this post are by Jesse Lang
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to have a large family. I was one of five and had almost 60 first cousins. I loved family reunions, gatherings and parties of any kind. I was 12 when I decided that I would have 10 children. Obviously I lacked a full understanding of what that meant physically and financially, but it wasn’t until high school when I was graced with the opportunity to watch the “Miracle of Life,” that I adjusted my number to five. My mom had five so surely I could handle that.
As I grew up and continued to make plans and dreams about my life I often had the thought, “What if I can’t have kids?” When asked what my biggest fear was, that was always my answer. Fast forward several years (or a few decades) and life did not turn out as I had planned and even less how I had hoped. I was 30 when I met my Prince Charming, a decade later than I was expecting so I knew if I wanted kids that we would need to be prompt. It was only 11 months after we got married that my first, a little boy, came along. Things were going well and I thought, “Better late than never!” We started trying for a second right away and just six months after he was born, I was pregnant again. This was great! So what if I was in my thirties and all my friends were done by 30?! Things were working out just fine.
Then the nightmare began. I miscarried. It was sad and painful, but everything I read said it was very common so I brushed it off and kept going. A month later I was pregnant again! Back on track. Then I miscarried for a second time and the advice came flooding in. Take this, do that, eat this, use these oils, drink this tonic, etc etc. It was overwhelming and to make things worse I spent hours, HOURS, reading every article, forum discussion and medical article on miscarriages. I was determined to keep going and be informed. So once again a month later I was pregnant. I decided to look at this as a blessing no matter the outcome because I had friends who couldn’t get pregnant and it seemed my husband only need sneeze and I was expecting. The guilt started to set in that I shouldn’t be sad but grateful I could even get pregnant. Again, for the third time I miscarried. At this point I was doing regular blood draws and testing including ultrasounds to find answers. There were none and I felt so lonely. Lonely turned into frustrated and frustrated turned into mad. Of course, this didn’t help anything but I felt helpless.
A few weeks later, I was nursing my almost one year old and collapsed, doubled over in pain. The worst pain of my life. I crawled to the bathroom and luckily had my phone in my pocket. I called my husband who was working two and a half hours away and with all the strength I could muster, whispered, “Pray.” Something was wrong, very wrong. I knew I needed friends so I sent a mass text, “Please Come NOW.” I could barely move and it took me almost 30 minutes to crawl to the door to unlock it hoping that someone would show up. Friends came one after the other. I was shaking, disoriented, and kept thinking, “I don’t want to die.” My husband is a flight medic so he knew very quickly based on my breathing and symptoms that this was bad. He called 911 and I was taken by ambulance to the ER. I was given the max amount of pain medications possible but still my body shook violently and I was terrified. The worst moment was looking up at my husband and thinking, “What do I want my last words to be?” I told him I loved him and to tell my family I loved them. My scans showed an ectopic rupture. I was still pregnant, but didn’t know it and at 12 weeks my left fallopian tube burst. I lost half my blood and looked green for days. I felt broken and like I was failing in my pursuit to be a mother and fulfill my divine purpose. My greatest fear was coming true. A few months passed and we kept trying. I miscarried again, and again, and again for a total of eight times. I was lost and exhausted and became so angry and resentful. My world had become dull and exhausting that at times I was merely surviving the monotony of each day and not living.
And then, despite all the odds and against every doctor’s advice, we tried again, took the medicine and prayed A LOT and today I have my sweet angel baby girl! She is a miracle and a beacon of hope. I felt renewed and hopeful that maybe I could do this again. So when she was only 4 months I got pregnant. It wasn’t long until the signs were there and I miscarried. This time around I figured it was just a numbers game with me and I had come this far so why not push a little further. Again I was pregnant, but very early on I could tell things were bad. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the ER again that I realized that this pursuit of another baby was taking such a toll on me in every capacity that I was falling short of my potential in a terrible way. I knew I was capable of more and I’m not one to wallow in self-pity, but I had allowed the intoxicating dream of babies to overshadow the immediate needs of my family, friends, and loved ones that were already here. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I wanted to be a more patient, loving, and awake mother. I wanted to be a more supportive, loving and devoted wife. I wanted to be a more present, loving and engaging youth leader. Ultimately, I wanted to give more love and realized that I didn’t need to have more children to love, I simply needed to love the ones I already had.
After three ER visits, countless ultrasounds and excruciating pain it was determined that I had an ectopic pregnancy in my only remaining tube and that I would need surgery right away. I was conscious this time for all the paper signing and protocols but could only focus on the fact that this most likely meant no more chances. Had I taken it too far, been too greedy? Having children is a righteous desire so why was this happening again? The doctor was able to save my tube and I was told that there was still the possibility for more, but with huge risks and “you’re very lucky to have survived two ectopic ruptures.” I still don’t know how to fully process that. In the weeks to follow I hit an all-time low. Panic attacks, PTSD, anxiety, depression, rage. I was all over the place. I kept praying for the answer to, “Why?” Why if miracles can happen can I not be the recipient of one? Then, as if the earth shook beneath me the thought came to my mind, “I have given you two already.” Oh, the tears and humility and overwhelming sense of gratitude that flooded my heart. I know that it’s not always a popular thing to say, “Be grateful for what you have,” especially when it comes to having or not having children, but for me this realization was so profound and comforting.
The loss and heartache is still there but little by little the darkness and pain is filled with light and hope. It takes time, a lot of time and patience for the pain to subside, but it also takes will and effort to work through it. There is light on the other side. I may not understand it all but trust, hope, and faith will get me there.
Jordan is a wife, mother, stepmother and small business owner. Her unique handcrafted jewelry business, KayandStar, was created to help keep Jordan’s mind off the pain and now it’s a thriving business with the motto, CREATE AND GIVE. As she continues to work through her pain and find peace, she is writing a book about this journey and hopes it can provide comfort and healing for other women who have or are currently struggling with the pain of infertility.