"A final gospel truth that will contribute to our understanding of and hence the quality of our marriages relates to the degree in which we involve the Savior in our relationships as husbands and wives. As designed by our Heavenly Father, marriage consists of our first entering into a covenant relationship with Christ and then with each other. He and his teachings must be the focal point of our togetherness. As we become more like him and grow closer to him, we will naturally become more loving and grow closer to each other"

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another week goes by..

Do you ever wonder if you are feeling what the spirit is trying to desperately to tell you? Wonder if what your feeling is only because its what you want to feel, or if it really is the truth from our comforter? I wonder all the time. Am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right decision? Am I in tune enough with our Savior to receive the blessings he is trying to offer me. I’d like to think I am, I like to think I am worthy of the blessings that are poured over me. But I know that I am not, I have so much room for improvement in my life and in becoming an instrument in the Lords hands. But I am happy that I KNOW I can do and become more. I have not reached a plateau and I know that I don’t ever want to reach a plateau in becoming the greatest I can become.

I have prayed my heart out over the last few weeks and I always find myself apologizing to my Heavenly Father and telling him that I know he has so many others that need him. So many who are facing tragedy far greater than mine. Those who are crying out to him for help and guidance. But I always have to remind myself that I am just as important to my Father in Heaven and that he has already felt the pain that I am feeling. He has suffered far greater than I just so I could have a chance to feel all that I am feeling now.

I laid bed last night overwhelmed. I never expected to share my story and to have such an outpour of love, such an army of prayers being offered in my baby’s behalf. I felt/feel the power in numbers. I knew I wasn’t alone. I begged the Lord for answers. Begged for a feeling of peace. Begged to KNOW the outcome of this pregnancy. But is that fair? Is it selfish to ask for such answers when I just watched the news and knew that others are praying to know why some evil person would plant bombs at the Boston Marathon and take lives of those they don’t even know? Either way, I continued to pray, I felt like I received what I was looking for. Not a yes or no answer but I received that I NEEDED to hear. 

I knew without a doubt this baby is a little girl. I’ve felt that way for weeks but never told anyone. I lay in bed thinking of this little baby girl, what would her name be? How do you name a perfect spirit who you will wait your whole life to meet? Are there any names strong enough and with enough meaning for my perfect angel? Then like a fire warming over my body, I knew. I knew her name and it brought such peace to my soul. I felt my prayers being answered in that very moment. I felt connected to our savior like I never have before. I felt a joy I have never felt and also a better understanding of my purpose.  

The next morning I got the call I’ve been dreading/longing for. I hear the genetic specialist on the other end telling me she had the results of the baby’s genetic test. The baby tested 99% positive for Trisomy 18, Edwards disease. She told me that it’s “not compatible with life.” That was, once again, a hard pill to swallow. I told her about the success stories I have read and asked her what made her so sure. I guess my baby’s case is just so severe giving the doctor no room to tell me there was a chance. Then she asked if I wanted to know the gender. I thought I didn’t at first. I thought it would be so painful to know what I was losing. But I had to know; I had to know if what I had been feeling was right. I needed the comfort of knowing that I was able to feel what my Savior has been trying to tell me and that I was listening when he warmed my heart. So I said yes, and the next words were “It’s a little baby girl.”

Tears streamed down my cheeks. I had heard the Lord telling me about my little girl. I wasn’t making it all up and I was so happy that I was SURE it was the spirit whispering to me. To know that we will have another daughter, that the twins will have a sister, waiting for us when we meet at Heavens gates. What joy that brings my soul. To miss someone you’ve yet to meet has got to be one of the strangest feelings I’ve ever felt. What would I say if I could just hold her and talk to her? Could I handle holding my baby girl for hours or days then have to say goodbye? I don’t know. But I do know that the Lord is with me and he will bring me through this and he has given me an opportunity to learn and to grow. For that I am so grateful. He gave me the greatest blessing a mother could hope for. He gave me a perfect baby girl that I WILL get the chance to know when we meet again. And I know we will meet again.

I waited in the lobby for what felt like a lifetime today. I watched mothers come in and out of the office. Some with big round bellies and some with a tiny new baby. Each was so happy, and so was I. I listened to a few mothers complain about the wait and I couldn’t help but think to myself that I had discovered a new term to the meaning “wait.” I wait in that office with my head down, to afraid that someone will start to talk to me, to ask me if I am expecting a baby. How would I respond? People don’t need to know that I am waiting to simply go back and hear if my baby still has a heart beat. They don’t need to know that I will be holding my breath while my Dr. slides the doppler across my stomach searching for the sound every pregnant mother longs to hear… So I would respond yes. Yes I am expecting, maybe not a baby in the next few months but I am expecting my sweet baby girl in the next life. And I do believe in the next life.

Finally I hear my name being called back. I take a deep breath and I walk toward the nurse with a smile on my face. She brings me to the room I will wait in while I wait for my Dr. Its there that I offer yet another prayer. I pray for comfort, for peace. I pray for strength to be able to take in whatever the Dr. is about to tell me. Again I take a deep breath and tell myself that everything is going to be ok. Last week I reacted out of fear when I hear the sound of my baby’s heart beat. I couldn’t handle it. I thought I would be so reassured but I just couldn’t handle it. So how grateful was I when the Dr. found no heartbeat with the Doppler. Yes, I realize it sounds crazy to be so grateful for that, but in that moment, I was so very grateful. He asked the nurse to get the tiny computer ultrasound machine and he found her and her little heart beating away. She wasn’t moving so the Dr. gave her a little push! And for a few minutes I watched my baby girl move her arms and legs, arch her back and wiggle around. What a blessing today was. She is alive and moving. I’ll never forget that moment.

I decided coming in every week is just a but much for right now so I asked for a little break and we scheduled a ultrasound appointment for three weeks away.

As I got back into my car in the parking lot I opened up a text from a great friend. Attached is a quote from Elder. Jeffry R. Holland. “The tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to our own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our challenges will be the ones we needed. And conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way.”

How I believe this statement with my whole heart. I have realized things about my Savior, about myself and about this life that I KNOW would be impossible, for me, to realize in any other way. I am not going through a troublesome time. I am not losing my faith in my savior in any way. I am experiencing the greatest blessing I have yet to face. I am being blessing with an opportunity to grow, to serve, to teach and to learn. I am becoming stronger. I am becoming who my savior needs me to be.

I am happy and I am at peace with each day I am being blessing with. For today I am still pregnant, and for today that is all I need. And I know whenever things change I will again be blessed with all that I need.

To those who have read my story, thank you. To those who have called or text to offer thoughts, thank you. To the many who have offered prayers, I can never repay you. What a blessing it has been for me, and my family to feel the power of prayer. To honestly FEEL the love that so many of you are offering my family. I ask you to continue your prayers, I believe in prayer. I believe in miracles. Prayer changes things, its changed me. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Praying for a miracle...

I will never forget the overwhelming mix of emotions I felt on the day I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t think it could be possible; the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I remember feeling scared. I remember crying and feeling so guilty that I wasn’t crying tears of joy to read the positive test. Never in my life did I think that I would one day have that emotion. It wasn’t that the thought of having another baby scared me, or the thought of being pregnant. I was happy. At least I wanted to be happy.

But how could I? How could I be happy for myself when I know of so many people who are struggling to get pregnant? So many who try for years, so many who pay thousands of dollars just for the chance to become pregnant. I thought about all the people around me miscarrying their babies and being left heart broken. How was it fair that I was able to get pregnant without planning or preparing for that next step. Why was I being blessed with another amazing spirit to add to my family when we had already been given the great blessing of our sweet twins.

I remember wondering what I would say when people found out and I remember telling myself I would never let anyone know it was a surprise because I remember how painful that feeling can be when you so badly want to have a child and are trying so hard and others around you are getting pregnant simply by looking at each other for to long. I knew I never wanted to make anyone feel how I felt during the two years of trying for our first pregnancy. But I also remember feeling different, feeling like something wasn’t right, the spirit overcame me multiple times like a comfort I’ve never felt before and that was something I didn’t understand. Until now….

I have had 4 ultrasounds up to this point and then I found myself sitting in that conference room waiting for the genetic specialist for the longest 10 minutes of my life. He had performed an ultrasound and told me to get dressed and comfortable so we could talk. The sound of his voice rings in my mind, I felt pain behind his voice and I felt heartache. I didn’t understand what was going on. He started by asking us what we knew about the baby thus far, we replied by telling me all we knew was that a few things didn’t look “normal.” He went on by talking about all the chromosomal abnormalities he could see, then referred to my pregnancy as a “lethal pregnancy” and he didn’t think I would make it to term before losing the baby.

I’ve always felt the Lord has been preparing me for a special needs child. That was a gift in my eyes; it was a blessing from the Lord to be trusted with such an amazing spirit. The thought of having a child with special needs never made me nervous or scared. Having a child with such needs was something I knew I could accept and without question, something I could love. However, this is not going to be the case with our sweet baby. Chromosomal abnormalities, heart defect, hole in the stomach and not being able to detect all extremities, was all the Dr kept trying to explain to us. But to be honest after the term Lethal Pregnancy I don’t think I heard much. He mentioned terminating the pregnancy, the word alone sent chills across my entire body and left tears swelling in my eyes. How dare he even say that out loud, how dare he tell me my baby is so lifeless that I may as well ends its life by my own choice. I wanted to be angry with him, I wanted to stand and scream my frustration and sadness. But of coarse I understand that he was only doing his job and that we did not share the same beliefs. I simply took a breath and told him that wasn’t an option.

We left that conference room broken hearted and confused. If my baby was just going to die then why hadn’t it already? Why did I just watch on the ultrasound screen as it moved and wiggled and raised its hands up to its face just as the Dr. was saying he was unable to see its extremities? I wondered if our baby was a fighter, I wondered if maybe we’d become one of those “miracle stories” we hear about. I wondered if simply by my own faith things would work themselves out and in a few months we would be blessed with another healthy little baby to join our family. I wondered if the Dr. was wrong. I want him to be wrong. I want him to call me and tell me he’d like to take a second look and for him to find nothing. I want to be a mother to this baby, more than anything I want to understand my purpose in the Lords eyes for this baby.

Of all the things I long for, and all the conditions I wish I could change, I know that I can’t. I know that there is nothing I can do to help my baby, nothing I can do to change the outcome. So I wait, I will carry this baby as long as the Lord needs me to. If he needs me to help this baby gain a body then that is what I will do. I know and believe with all my heart the purpose of this life but just because I have that knowledge doesn’t take the pain away or make it any easier. I am allowed to be heart broken and I am allowed to cry. I am allowed to wonder why this is happening and I am allowed to hope for a miracle even when the Dr.s are telling me there is no chance.

I never want to forget how I am feeling today. I have felt the hand of my loving Savior and I have felt the peace he is trying to offer me. I pray I always accept this feeling and never harbor any anger or doubt. But as for today, today I’m going to let my heart hurt, I’m going to let myself cry every time I become overcome with emotion. And I’m going to love my two children and my husband even more because this life is a gift, no matter how long or short it may be.

(Eight days later)
Today I went in for a weekly heartbeat check. (Basically they want me to come once a week to check heartbeat until there isn’t one.. I thought hearing the heartbeat would somehow reassure me. Somehow bring me peace and comfort.. It did not. I heard the heart racing and I couldn’t handle it. I started to cry, to sob, and told my dr to please stop and that I couldn’t handle hearing my baby alive yet knowing it wouldn’t last forever. He so sweetly tried to explain and to comfort me. I asked him if he was “SURE” and he said because of the faith he believes he could never say that because he believes in miracles. I want to believe. He told me he has never seen a case as severe as mine change BUT that some things are out of our hands. I left the office heartbroken again and so confused. Yet, with hope. I don’t know if I am setting myself up or not but all I can do is hope that things will change and that I will be able to raise this baby in my home and come to know this special spirit and love it with all that I have to offer.

I went home and did what I SWORE I wouldn’t do. I went to the Internet. I searched for stories like mine and I did find them, lots of them. Some stories ended like the Dr and specialist said they would, but some didn’t. Some stories were the EXACT same as mine and they had their babies. Some born with Down Syndrome, some born with Turners Disease, but they LIVED. They were healthy and happy. They did NOT die.

I’m more confused than ever. I’m not sure if reading these stories helped me. I just don’t know what to think from here. All I can do is wait. All I can do is take care of myself as I would if I were having a healthy pregnancy.

I’m not sure why I am sharing my story. It helps me to write, it helps me knowing I am not alone. It helps. And so that’s why I find myself at the computer typing out my feelings. I have faith that this is in the Lords hands. I have faith that miracles do happen. Maybe my baby will be a miracle. Either way this baby will forever hold my heart…

I will share more as I learn more. I’m not ready to talk face to face about this and that is why I wrote it down. My family doesn’t understand the whole story and I haven’t been able to talk about it all without crying so maybe this will help them understand..