The below story is of a very personal nature - so much so that I originally wasn't planning on sharing it with the general public. In the past few days, though, I've felt that I needed to share this story. Whether I'm doing this in the hopes that it will help others or for the selfish reason of giving myself closure, I'm still not sure. Don’t feel like you have to read it and don’t feel like you have to comment. Above all, I'm not looking for sympathy - I'm simply sharing something that is a part of who I am today.
As I sit listening to Christmas music, all referring to the small child that was born of Mary, I can't help but contemplate this month with a little extra weight in my heart. We celebrate the birth of this wonderful little baby on the 25th, five days before I was supposed to be celebrating the birth of my own wonderful little baby.
July 2010, Braedon and I were saying our nightly prayer together before bed. At this point in our life, we both had temporary jobs for the summer and were searching for more permanent work with no luck. As Braedon prayed to our Heavenly Father to help us find more permanent employment to help support us, he asked that we be given an opportunity to get better jobs to save up for a family one day. He stopped speaking and we sat in silence for several minutes before Braedon continued aloud and finished the prayer. When he had ended and we said our ‘amen’, we looked into the other’s eyes; I think it was then that we both knew. Braedon turned to me: "Do you know what went through my head when I went silent?"
"Yes. I clearly heard in my head ‘Have a family and I'll give you the jobs to support one.” Braedon nodded and confirmed that he too felt the same thing.
After more prayer and discussion, we decided to trust in this experience and our Father in Heaven's promise, even if we had planned on kids entering our relationship later in the future. Within a short amount of time after we made our decision, I was offered a full-time job at the company I am still at; Braedon also found a permanent position with his current company.
It took longer than either of us expected, but in April, the test showed two lines, no longer one. We were so happy and excited! We both felt mentally prepared (as much as anyone can, of course) and that this was the time to start growing our family. It felt right.
We started house hunting. We told family. We celebrated. We researched and made my first appointment. May 9, 2011, I went in - I was 8 weeks pregnant. During the first ultrasound my doctor told me I was measuring small for 8 weeks; I looked more like I was at 6 weeks. This worried him and he decided to get some blood drawn for tests. I brushed it off with my usual hopeful and positive thinking, figuring I was just going to have a small baby, or perhaps had conceived at a later date than previously thought. After more blood draws and waiting a few days, I got a phone call from the doctor on May 12th, the day before our 1st wedding anniversary – my levels had gone down.
The pregnancy was not viable.
I would miscarry.
I have never been more heartbroken in my life. Braedon and I both left work early. I will never forget that day; I will never forget the sorrow, the confusion, the anguish, Braedon's strong protecting arms. We cried. We prayed. We talked and we cried some more. We then went back to the hospital where they wanted to do a vaginal ultrasound to be 100% positive. It was silly, but a small part of me still held out hope that the doctor was wrong; he wasn't.
After the ultrasound, we spoke with the nurse who informed us there was nothing in the sack; it was empty. She went on to explain that for a lot of women's first pregnancy, the embryo will die earlier on but the body will still continue to think it's pregnant. For some reason this news brought me peace, knowing that at this point there was nothing there helped me deal with the news. I was still heartbroken, but I felt better that knowing the timing was not right for us or for our little baby.
After the hospital visit, we went up to my parents’ house. My parents will always be my comforters, and their house always a place of peace. Being with Braedon and my parents brought that measure of healing my heart needed. I love my parents so much and can never thank them enough for their friendship, love, and support. They have always been there for me in hard times and this was no exception.
The next few weeks were rough; I would get frustrated that I still felt pregnant (moody, hungry, sleepy, etc) but knew that I really wasn't. Finally, I fully miscarried at the beginning of June. It was a painful and scary experience, but I was comforted when Braedon and his Grandpa gave me a priesthood blessing.
It's been a roller-coaster of a journey as my body has since recuperated and gotten back on track with my normal cycles. After the miscarriage, Braedon and I were not in a place to start trying again; instead, we focused on the new house we bought and it's renovations. It took us some time, but we finally got to a place where we felt we could pick back up on trying again.
It's been a few months now and it's hard to not feel frustrated, upset, or sad as each month we are disappointed again. It's hard to understand why we were given such a clear instruction to start trying to build our family, yet nothing is coming of those efforts. Even though we've been through this cycle a few times, we still hope that the next month will be our month. I sometimes think maybe this is why we were prompted to start trying so early - maybe it will take us quite a while to have our first child. I will always hope and have faith.
While I feel that I've mostly healed (physically and emotionally) from this experience, there are still days when it all catches up to me. Some days I wonder what it would be like, days where I still get a flash of confusion, anger, or sorrow. Days like today, when I think that I could be holding that child that's so patiently waiting to come to us or when I think what greater Christmas gift there could be than to know for a surety that in 9 months or less I can hold that child and start my calling as a mother. Days where I want people to know the pain I'm in and what I've gone through. Days of jealously as I see others achieve what I've been trying to do for so long. Days where I want those, who have those blessings I've been trying so hard to obtain, to know what they have and how lucky they are.
But I know that it's not just about my or Braedon's timeline; it's not even just about my babies timeline - it's about God's. I choose to continue to trust and follow that prompting we felt over a year and a half ago.
In the mean time, I continue to focus on the blessings of what I have now, blessings I might not have had if we had been on the expected timeline. I am grateful for the relationship I've been able to build and keep building with my wonderful family, especially with my new nieces and nephew. I feel that I’ve come even closer to them over the past year. I'm grateful for others’ experiences that I've heard and learned from. I'm grateful for my physical strength, that I was able to help Braedon renovate our new home. I'm grateful for the perspective this trial has given me and hope that I will always remember so that when I do have kids, I will never for a second doubt what a blessing they are. I'm grateful for how close Braedon and I have become as we struggled through this together. My love grows for him more and more each day.
I'm also grateful for the relationship I’ve built up with my Heavenly Father as a result, as I've cried and prayed to Him. I know He knows me. I know He knows my struggles and I know there is a reason we are going through this. I know He knows what’s best for me and my family.
And I know that I will be a mother one day.
Until that day, I am enjoying what I have now - which includes a wonderful Christmas full of loving family and friends, I can't wait. :)