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An Endless Cycle

by Karen Dunlop

23 June 1998

I gave birth to my first child, MICHAEL JAMES BAKER, when I was 15. I was still a child myself, but I loved Michael with all my heart, and I kept him. As much joy as he contributed to my life, there was also equivalent sorrow. Michael developed leukemia at age 2. He suffered continually. I dropped out of school to be with my child. I watched my son die and there was nothing I could do to help him. Michael passed away on February 18, 1978.

I married in 1982, to a man named Steven Dunlop. We wanted nothing more than to have a house full of children, and he helped me in keeping Michael's memory alive. From 1982-1986, I experienced two stillborns and a miscarriage at 3 months. I was devastated. The pain remained fresh; never-ending. I hadn't had a clue that anything was wrong. My children were named BRANDON SCOTT and OLIVIA MICHELLE. I went through years of therapy; even suffered a nervous breakdown. My husband was terrific though. He stood by me through everything.

I hated myself. I hated my life. I didn't understand why I wasn't able to have a healthy child to cherish and love forever. I regained my faith, and we decided to try again. AINSLEY GRACE DUNLOP was born four months premature, on May 10, 1990. She weighed 1 lb. 3 oz. and she was so tiny.... My daughter was beautiful...and she was a fighter. But she didn't win. My precious child was taken from me at 15 days old. I watched in terror as her heart monitor flatlined before my very eyes. I had been telling her how much I loved her...

More therapy I went through. I felt out of control. In total, I had experienced 3 miscarriages, 2 stillborns, and the death of 2 children. I hated everyone.

It wasn't until last year that I became pregnant again. I was a bundle of nerves, and my doctor, fearing the well-being of my unborn child, had me on bed rest for seven months, after which, labour was induced to reduce the chances of a stillborn. My son, LOGAN ALEXANDER DUNLOP, was born on January 12, 1998. He is so precious. My child means more to me than anything. However, in September, 1997, the niece of my best friend gave birth to a daughter, whom she intended on putting up for adoption. The girl was only fourteen years old. With the consent of her and her parents, my husband and I were able to legally adopt the baby. We named her BRIANNA FAITH DUNLOP.

Brianna and Logan are only four months apart. They are a lot of work, but I wouldn't trade a minute of my time with them. My children are my life. They were definitely worth the wait.

To all you women out there who are suffering the way I had, please don't ever give up. Never lose your faith...

Sincerely,
Karen Dunlop

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