Her Story: Joli DeLaughter

Motivating Stories from Local Women

Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever. 

These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for four truly motivating stories by the women who experienced them firsthand.

Our life doesn’t look the way we planned it, but in some ways, it’s better than we could have ever imagined."

My husband and I started dating while in college and married shortly after. We were 23 and wanted to wait to have children. After five years, we got pregnant according to our plan. However, at the end of my first trimester, I had a miscarriage. It was an intense experience that ended with having a procedure to stop the bleeding. I was wrecked, emotionally and physically. 

A little more than a year later, we got pregnant again. I was constantly afraid, but as time went on, I settled into the fact that this time I would deliver my baby. My water broke a few weeks early, and we made our way to the hospital. Immediately, the nurses noticed a problem. Umbilical cord prolapse. From there, things went fast. They rushed me into an emergency C-section. At one point, a nurse told my husband that our son wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a heartbeat. I can’t imagine the torture he went through over those next few minutes. However, by the time I was awake, our son was breathing normally. It was a pure miracle. Although he was stable, there were signs of seizure activity.

Long story short, I had an infection in my uterus that had gone septic. I went into surgery where they removed as much of the infection as they could, but I still needed a hysterectomy. I had three major surgeries in six days, and my son Wesley and I left the hospital after 14 days.

I spent the next year just being thankful that we were both alive. All I focused on was getting my body healthy again so I could enjoy life with my family. But as time went on, bitterness and a real sense of loss crept in. We had to grieve the fact that we would not have any more biological children. It was hard, but because of our faith in God and our deep love for each other, we have been able to push forward. Wesley is a happy and healthy 7-year-old! Our life doesn’t look the way we planned it, but in some ways, it’s better than we could have ever imagined.

Joli DeLaughter, Signal Mountain

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