My name is Kathy Sliwa. I have 5 beautiful children; 4 born naturally and 1 adopted from Vietnam. For as long as I can remember it had always been my hearts desire to be a mom of many children. I grew up in a family of 4 and I just knew that when I started my own family I wanted at least 4 children if not more. My mom and my sister got pregnant instantly; they thought I would be just like them, a “fertile mertile”. They thought I would get pregnant right away without any issues, but that was not how my story unfolded. After six months of trying to start a family and realizing that my periods weren't consistent, I went to a Doctor who put me on clomid. About 3 months after I was put onto clomid I got pregnant with Bethany, my first. 9 months after she was born, I found myself pregnant again with my first son, Jimmy. Over the course of the next 10 years, I experienced 3 miscarriages and the birth and adoption of our last 3 children.
----Below are the authentic diary entries from the moments we lost our babies---
My first loss (September 6th):
“Since my last entry I became pregnant. Actually I was pregnant when I wrote that but didn’t know. I was due April 1st But in my 8th week I miscarried. It was pretty traumatic. I began to bleed at 6 weeks and had a Sonogram at that time. They were able to see a baby and a heartbeat so we were just tickled. But then a week later I began to bleed a lot more and this time it was red. I got concerned when I began to cramp a bit so I called the Doctor but nothing could be done except for the inevitable. And that happened the next day. Gary and I went to the Dimond Center, afterwards I went to the bathroom and a big clot came out. It didn’t look like just a blood clot so I picked it up-shaking and began to cry. I couldn’t believe I was holding my baby. When I came out Gary had a look of concern because he could hear me in the bathroom. I cried all the way out of the mall and pretty much all the way to the hospital. When they finally examined me they said the clot was just that. Not a baby but it had fibrous tissue. He just squished it down, then threw it into the garbage can. I went to the Doctor on Wednesday for a sonogram, what I thought would be a check for heart beat, when in fact they couldn’t find anything at all. I was afraid to hear the bad news, but I didn’t think it would be that bad. Now-I just feel a loss. Every day is less but my hormones are just wacko. I begin to cry even when I’m not thinking about the baby and I usually cry when I think about the baby. It’s all in the Lord’s hands, I don’t hold anything against him. He loves me and knows what is best.”
My second loss (March 27th):
“Well a lot has happened since I last wrote. I lost the baby-again. I can’t believe it. I’m actually numb and probably in a state of denial or just not believing it. I went in 4 days ago expecting to hear the baby’s heart beat (I was 13 ½ weeks). We were so excited, but then my worst nightmare. They couldn’t hear the heartbeat. But I still thought ….Oh, the baby is just so deep in me they can’t pick it up. Then they did a sonogram and I saw the baby-but no heartbeat and it looked like the baby wasn’t as big as it should be for that time. I was totally upset. I couldn’t stop crying. I cried there, down the hall, in the elevator, driving. Gary couldn’t believe it either. Actually it came as a shock to everyone. My friends were very supportive but I couldn’t speak to them. What was there to say. Today I had a DnC. It went ok. No pain, but to think of what they did, makes me sick, even though I know the baby is in Heaven. It reminded me of when I went to have Jimmy, getting up early, going to the unknown etc. I haven’t had much emotion today. Just no emotion at all. I imagine it will hit at different times and I’m sure at church when we worship that will effect me. I pray that God will get me through without bitter feelings or anger towards Him. I know He knows what He’s doing. He is wise and not out to get me, or make me go through things for the fun of it. My only thoughts now are why did I have to go so long before it happened, and I hope and pray it doesn’t happen again. I often wonder if alot of women feel as I do. And if it would help to have a support group for this kind of thing."
My third loss:
After Paul, I still felt like there was something missing. A child still to be. We tried for 6 years. I went on clomid again to regulate my periods but after 7 months and no success, we decided we needed to take the next step. I gave myself shots to cause my eggs to drop, which I about passed out trying to give myself. It was quite costly, we had no insurance for it. After one try, my husband Gary said that we couldn’t keep doing this. That we needed to be okay with the 3 that we had. I can’t explain it, but I just felt like 3 wasn’t enough. I still wanted more. One of my friends was even fasting for me even though she couldn’t understand my desire she fasted for me and prayed over my desire to have another child. After all of this fertility, after 4 ½ years of trying I became pregnant again. On my own. And I remember praying “See Lord you are good. I didn’t need to go the fertility route you gave me a baby all on your own.” 6 weeks later I was at the public library with my oldest daughter. We went in to use the restroom and that was when the bleeding came. She screamed, my heart just dropped and I couldn’t breath. I felt like the Lord had dangled a carrot in front of me. It took me weeks to process all of that. I spent a lot of time with the Lord, a lot of time crying and praying. But what I kept telling myself was “The Lord is good and he is just. He knows what He’s doing. He knows the plans for me and I just have to trust Him in that.” But because the desire did not stop I thought we should consider adoption. My brother was adopted from Vietnam so I was aware of what adoption was like. It was a total God thing. We narrowed it down to Vietnam and after a lot of time praying Gary and I came to an agreement that we would adopt through a small adoption agency in Sitka Alaska that only did adoptions through Vietnam. 9 months later we had a little baby girl. Kimberly Joy, 4 months old.
Our family did not stop there. 3 weeks later after we got home from Vietnam, we found out that I was pregnant. At 41 on my 41st birthday I was pregnant again. At that point I was mad at God. I had a time frame, I didn’t want to get pregnant past 40 years of age. I was so mad that God did not give it to me when I wanted it. I had a baby who was only 4 months old, 41 and now I’m pregnant with another?? It was a hard pregnancy; because of my age and high blood pressure I was put on bed rest for the last month. But in the end, I had Michael, a healthy baby boy on July 30th. I now had 5 kids, the youngest 2 being only a year apart. I felt like I had twins. It was rough and I had a lot of sleepless nights. But I had a lot of help from my older kids who were so excited to have two babies in the family. A year and half later as I was driving down the road the Lord spoke to my heart. He told me that He loved me so much that He gave me two. He gave me a double portion. At that moment I just pulled off of the road and I cried. It was Gods love for me and knowing my desire that he blessed me with two. And because of that we had Kimberly. When I look at the wisdom of it, the Lord wanted us to have Kimberly. I don’t know why God does what He does, but I do know that if we would have kept the last miscarriage we wouldn’t have adopted Kimberly and we cannot imagine life without her in our family.
To be able to truly say "I trust you Lord", comes with walking through those hard times in order to see His faithfuless in all of it.