Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Answer to a Humble Question

I have been debating whether or not I wanted to do a post on this particular topic. I have gone back and forth too many times to count. But I think for my own sanity, and perhaps for the sanity of anyone in a similar situation, I need to share.

Today at work while I was helping a member we went through all the usual friendly conversational words- "hi, how are you?" "have any fun plans today?" "how's the weather looking out there?" Then this member looks at my wedding ring and asked me how long I had been married, to which I replied five wonderful years. Then he asked if I had any kids and I said "no, not yet." And then he asked me the following question, "well do you want to have kids?"

I am writing this blog post in answer to that question. I hope anyone reading this would already know that I long for and dream of the day when I hear children's laughter in my home, see little hand prints on my windows, and get to hug tight beautiful children of my own.

When Johnny and I moved to Cedar City in 2010 I thought I would get a full time job right away. However, I applied to job after job and hardly got any interest at all. We thought, well maybe since I am having a hard time finding a job it's time to start our family. After much thought and prayer, Johnny and I decided to go ahead with trying to start our family. Well, a little over two years later we have yet to bring children into our home. We got pregnant last summer but lost the pregnancy at about 9 weeks. The following winter, we got pregnant again but then lost that pregnancy around 7 weeks in January of this year. We haven't been able to get pregnant since then.

As I struggle to get pregnant and have healthy pregnancies of my own, I have watched family members get pregnant and delivery beautiful babies. I have watched several friends and coworkers get pregnant and have children. I have seen countless women come into to work with pregnant bellies or men that are so excited about the ultrasound they just saw.

I would love to say that it is easy to watch others have children as I struggle to have any of my own, but well let's be honest, it isn't. But however difficult it may be, I always remember how happy I am for these people, and truly I am. I truly am so very happy that children have been entrusted to my wonderful family and friends.

Johnny and I have worked with two doctors, one in Cedar and one in Provo, to try to have a successful pregnancy. We are currently in limbo- playing the waiting game. Doctors won't really do anything until you have had three miscarriages or until you have tried unsuccessfully for a year to get pregnant. I think this would be easier if I just knew if we can or cannot have kids so I can work towards moving forward, whatever direction forward may be. But as it stands now, we have to just wait.

These last two years or so have been filled with the most emotionally difficult experiences I've had so far in my life. I've had to explain to my niece what happened to the baby in my belly, while she's showing me pictures of the baby in her mom's belly. I've had to ask Johnny to leave ward parties early because I couldn't stand to see all the pregnant bellies or hear the gossip about who now was pregnant. I was unable to hold my newly born nephew because I knew if I did I would break down into uncontrollable sobs.

While searching for something else entirely, I came across an Ensign article from April 2011 entitled "Faith and Fertility" which helped put into words how I feel. One of the woman in the article says "I felt I had no purpose. That's the ultimate goal, isn't it, to get married and have a family? I felt broken, like I wasn't a real woman."

I have gone through so many emotions in the last two years, it's pretty ridiculous. I have been excited at seeing those two little lines on the pregnancy test (twice) and then completely depressed that I lost my baby, wondering irrationally what I did wrong, did I eat something wrong, did I sit wrong. Then angry that I lost my baby while I read in the newspaper about babies dying from shaken baby syndrome and high rates of babies in the NICU going through withdrawals because their moms were popping pills while pregnant.

It has taken time to grieve and to mentally work through my experiences. And lets be honest, most days I still have something trigger an emotion or two. I sure hope that at least something I have learned from this is to live in the now and take advantage of every minute I have with my family and with my children, whenever they come.

But in the meantime, thank goodness for great family members and friends so willing to listen and help. And thank goodness for such a great husband who loves me no matter what and always helps remind me that it will all work out in the end, one way or another. And thank goodness for a cute, silly pup who snuggles me when I really need it. I am so blessed to be so loved.

Whatever my future may hold, I look forward to welcoming children into my home, because to answer the question, yes, I do want children. And some day (hopefully sooner rather than later) we will have children in our home along with child laughter, tiny finger prints, hugs, and of course, I'm sure, lots and lots of diapers.

I hope that my post in no way has belittled the experiences of others as I know there are others who have been through more trials and experienced much more heartache than myself. I also hope my post has not offended anyone, as that was in no way, shape, or form my intention. I love all of my family and friends and nieces and nephews and am so glad for the privilege of being an aunt to such beautiful and silly kids.


JWilcox said...

You're so brave to share so openly. My heart has ached for you during this challenging time. I love you and I know Heavenly Father does too.

Traci M said...

I seem to have a lot of friends going through this right now. It breaks my heart. I will pray for you guys to have peace, and for your family to have little ones!

Jimmy and Chelo said...

Monica you are amazing. Just reading your strength through all of this just shows how strong you are, your faith has always been unshakeable. I feel bad now knowing when I first had teyha you went through a miscarriage, I can't imagine how hard that most have been to come into my house but I'm so glad you did! I needed those visits. I hope and pray for your little family!!

Jodi said...

thanks for this post monica. everyone goes through hard times and i think it actually helps to know that we're not alone. i've had a lot of friends go through miscarriages. i never knew it was so common. i can't imagine how hard it is, but you're an inspiration for the faith, hope, and strength you have gained from it. i'll pray for you.

SStoddard said...

Love and hugs to you. It's a hard road. I understand a lot of the feelings you've expressed. Between me and my two sister in laws we've had 14 pregnancies over the past 8 years. 9 have been miscarriages, 1 baby was stillborn at 39 weeks, 3 were in the NICU at birth with death as a real likely possibility in one of the cases. My most recent pregnancy everyone at the doctor's office seemed puzzled when I wasn't jumping for joy about being pregnant at my initial visit. It can make your view a lot less rosy when you see so many pregnancies end tragically. But it also makes me value my daughter, and all babies that come to this world healthy, more than I would otherwise. I hope you get the love and support you need from those around you and from heaven. And love that cute puppy too! It sure helped me to have a little creature to love when I was mourning not having a baby.

Karen said...

Hey Monica,
Thank you for sharing your story. It is all too familiar for me. It took us two years to get Gabriel, with one miscarriage in between. It is a very hard, long road, and I really am so sorry. What I wanted to tell you though was that your really should not have to wait ANY longer for a doctor to help you. I had to receive fertility help and I was afraid that they wouldn't help me till I actually didn't get pregnant for a whole year, but at least the path I went I got help sooner. What I did was I called this guy:
He is an invitro doctor and no I did not have invitro, but he was SO helpful. He actually called me after hours (I just left a message for him) and talked to me for about an hour about what I had gone through, tried, how long, my cycles, etc. He then set up an appt. for me with a guy in SLC named Dr. Kaelberer. Ran a bunch of tests, got on progesterone among other things and two months later I was pregnant with Gabriel. Obviously that's no guarantee, but I just wanted to let you know that if you don't want to wait, I think there are ways around it. I would be happy to talk about it if you would like. Oh and when we move back to Utah (this week!) you are welcome to borrow our little trouble maker to put hand prints on your windows :).

Renae said...

I am so sorry for your losses and for the struggle you have to go through. Chris and I had a miscarriage after over a year of trying and then over 2 more years before we were able to get pregnant again. It is a long, hard road but know that you are not alone. I was amazed at how many people go through different routes of fertility as I started talking about it more. My heart breaks for you and I hope that things will work out for you soon!

Dawn-Marie N said...

Hey Monica!
You know I’ve been through similar infertility trails. If you ever wanna talk feel free!
You saying you couldn’t hold your new nephew totally made me cry remembering those days! It’s SO hard! Even having 2 adopted kids it still is hard hearing someone is expecting knowing I can’t decide I want another baby and just get pregnant! Hang in there!