After a lot of thought, I've decided to share some insight I've gained though my child bearing challenges. Some of you readers may feel like this post has a little TMI. But the purpose of this post isn't to re-hash my struggles or disclose inappropriate information. Rather, I feel like the lessons I've learned are spiritually universal and worth sharing.
A little over four years ago, I was pregnant. It was our 4th pregnancy but would be our second child. We'd had two miscarriages and we'd had Lexi.
Early in our pregnancy, I had two clear thoughts: 1. we would lose the pregnancy 2. But I would be pregnant again. We would have 4 kids.
We did lose that pregnancy, but eventually we had Addison.
And then Emily. Boy, did that pregnancy test my body. It was hard. And the recovery was rough. And Emily was a really hard baby.
This past summer, I had the thought we should try to wrap up this kid bearing effort and go for our 4th. To be honest, I ignored it for a bit. Allen was just coming out of the Emily induced baby stupor. We'd been warned by doctors to wait a full two years before trying again. We'd finally hit our stride as a family. Life was getting to be a bit more bearable. Even enjoyable.
And I didn't want another baby. The idea of long, sleepless nights, food allergies, reflux, medications, and all the health challenges our babies have didn't fill me with warm fuzzes. I also didn't want to go through another miscarriage.
So, I came up with a zillion different reasons why we should just be happy with our 3. The list was long and so easy to create. I kept going back and forth about it. I kept trying to convince myself that three was right. And I kept feeling unsettled.
In my heart of hearts, I knew the answer was still four. The truth was I didn't need to pray about it again. I had my answer. I'd received it years ago. Heavenly Father would have let us know if the game had changed. I was pulling an "asked and answered" with God. I'd already asked and he'd already answered. I really just needed to be brave enough to be obedient.
As I prayed for bravery, I kept getting a very clear answer: Go forward with faith.
I took a deep breath and recommitted to the idea of four. I told Allen. He went to the Temple to pray about it. And we both knew it was time.
Immediately, I felt peace.
I took the pregnancy test the first week in February. I was super tired. And getting sick. I knew something was up. The test came back positive. I was 3 weeks pregnant.
I started the hormones and baby aspirin regimen right away. I got my acupuncture appointments. I quit my diet and went to maintenance. I did all I could do on my part to keep this pregnancy.
But, I knew we would lose it. I knew it with complete certainty.
At six weeks, we had an ultrasound to check for viability. There was no heartbeat. But, there was a sac and something inside. So, we scheduled another for 2 weeks later. I would be 8 weeks along and we would be able to see a definite heartbeat.
So, here we are the first week in March and we are supposed to go back to New Mexico to get the rest of our belongings. On Monday (Feb. 28), I had another thought: don't go to New Mexico. I mentioned it to Allen and he was disappointed. Why not? Well, what if I start to miscarry in the middle of the Arizona desert? I have a history of hemorrhage and if we couldn't find a hospital quick, we could be in a lot of trouble.
This past Wednesday I had a couple of cramps. Nothing big, nothing disturbing. I mentioned it to Allen, almost in passing.
Thursday, I had some more. Then, I started spotting. I got an appointment with my doctor, got the kids managed and went in.
Now at 7 weeks and change, we should have be able to see a heartbeat. There was none. The doctor ordered blood work and we talked about options. Because of my history, I wanted to go straight for surgery. She wanted to take the less invasive route; the route that has never worked for us.
We explained my history and she agreed to surgery. So, Monday morning, Allen and I will head to the hospital.
This is our 4th miscarriage. When I go to the doctor, they will ask me, "How many pregnancies?" I will say 7. And they will ask, "How many living children?" And I will say 3. They will look at me with pity. Their touch will be a little softer. Their voices a little more hushed.
Inevitably, one of them will ask us why we want to try for more kids if it's so hard on the family and we already have three beautiful girls.
I'll just smile and let them fill the silence when it becomes awkward.
The reason is this: we are being obedient. We know it's 4.
Why then, would we lose the baby if we are really supposed to have four?
We could easily get stuck on WHY.
Why, after receiving spiritual confirmation, wouldn't God make a miracle so we could have the baby? Why would he want me to be in pain? Why would he let this happen to us if we're doing something righteous?
Asking why isn't going to help us through this. There isn't a prize for figuring out why. No blessing is promised when we ask why.
The blessings are promised when we ask HOW. When we are given instruction, we shouldn't ask why. We should ask how. Then, we go and do. And then, the blessing is given.
I don't know why we lost this baby - or the other three we've lost. All I know is we were told to try and have another baby. We did. We were obedient. I know that we will be blessed by that obedience. If the blessing is nothing more than knowing we were true to the commandment we were given, then so be it. I can keep my head held high knowing I did my part. We went forward with faith and there is great satisfaction in knowing we did all we could do.