Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Looking for Advice

Hi sisters. I am new to the blog and have been touched by your experiences shared and the invitation to belong to this support group.
Me and my husband have been married for five years and have been doing inferility treatments and testing for the past three years. This summer we were elated when an IUI treatment was successful and we were pregnant! It was a very exciting and special eleven weeks until our baby's heart stopped 15 days ago. We have been dealing with the loss of our sweet baby as well as the loss of our dream of starting a family finally coming true.
Part of the struggle with our miscarriage was telling all of the many people that had encouraged and supported us, and I was dreading all of the comments about "how this happens for a reason" or maybe if we would have done something differently... I have been surprised and glad that most people have just expressed sympathy, until last week after my D&C a family member asked my husband if I had "had my abortion yet". He told her that was not a good choice of words, but it really hurt me and I worry about her telling other people that we aborted our baby.
So my question is, how do you deal with hurtful comments? Is it better to try and educate people about what they are saying that is incorrect, or is it better to let things go and not risk also offending them?
I hope this is an OK post, especially because it is kind of grumpy and I am new to the group! Others just don't understand quite the same or haven't gone through these trials.
I look forward to getting to know you better~

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Miracle

It's been awhile since I have posted anything, but since reading Sherydon's exciting news - I thought I would share mine. As you might remember from my previous post - my issues of infertility deal with the ability to carry a child to full term. I have lost 3 babies to first trimester miscarriages and my tiny son Nathan was born 4.5 months premature and lived ten minutes. When I wrote my last post I was 7 months pregnant and on full bed rest because I once again began dilating and contracting at 4 months. Well on August 10th at 35 weeks pregnant I gave birth to a beautiful red headed little girl named Hannah. The delivery was very dramatic and scary. Multiple doctors and crash teams were brought in. My blood pressure went from 120/80 to 50/35. Hannah arrived and was pretty blue and very banged up due to the doctors having to manually pull her out. She was rushed to NICU where she spent a week due to a undetected heart condition. She is now doing well and the doctors will continue to monitor her heart as she grows. I feel truly blessed to have her as the doctors once again reminded us in the delivery room that they were amazed she had made it to 35 weeks and through the delivery. I am so grateful for this little miracle from heaven. I know that our Father in Heaven is mindful of all of us during our trials and he will bless us all -- sometimes we just have to wait and endure until that time -- whatever that trial maybe.

(Hannah at 3 weeks - we blessed her at home so she wouldn't be exposed to a lot of people due to her health issues.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A miracle in my life.....

After some sweet nudging from Kerith, she has encouraged me to share about the miracle that has changed my life.

Ladies, I am pregant. You were the first people i wanted to shout this wonderful news to. I have been so apprehensive about sharing because i really don't want anyone to think that im rubbing it in, or being insensitive. I don't want anyone to feel anything negative towards me or the situation. Please know that im mindful of each and every one of you. If you don't mind, i'll quickly share my story and be done.

.......When Nick and I went to the RCC on the 26th of Aug. I could feel that i was ovualting so after the evaluation with Dr. Blouer, i asked him when it is best to try when ovulating. I informed him that my current ob gyn had instructed me to wait until 2 days after the LH test was positive before "trying". Dr. Blouer wasn't too fond of that idea and told Nick,"You go home and get her, Nick!" We just giggled, it was too funny to hear him say that. He made a distinct remark that we will remember for the rest of our lives,"Maybe she'll get pregnant so you wont have to spend anymore money!" Ya right!! We hadn't planned on using clomid or doing an IUI because of this Dr. visit, and the fundraiser. I knew that i was going to be so stressed with the fundraiser and if by some crazy miracle i did get pregnant, i didnt' want to miscarry. So my cycle in August was all natural.

Last Wenesday i began with cramps early in the morning and a little spotting, so i took my nessecities with me to work along with a heating pad and tylenol. The whole day was unbearable, i kept watching for my period but nothing but spotting. I figured tomorrow i would probly start. Wednesday night i had cramping so bad that i couldn't sleep, at about 4am or so i gave in and took a percoset for the pain and called into work. At this point the cramps were so bad i had a beating pad on my back and was laying on one as well. I thought for sure i was having a cyst rutpure on my ovary. During that day the cramps lessoned, but still no period, i was getting so frusterated, i just wanted to get my depressing period over. Thursday night again, so much pain, no sleep and no period. I stayed home the next day with cramps and a headache and insatiable hunger that coudn't be filled. Still no period.

That afternoon, my mother had called me and during the conversation we were talking about this period that wasn't coming. She told me that she knew that soon enough i was going to be a mommy. I, as always, rolled my eyes and shrugged it off. My cousin called me and suggested that i take a pregnancy test. I shot her down and told her that i was over taking tests because as soon as i did, id start and be depressed.

When i got off of the phone, the thought kept nagging at me and i started couting the days since the 26th........17days. Um....i don't usually go over 12.? Wierd. I took the test and set it on the counter and figured eventually id go look. While i was watching Ellen a prenancy test commercial came on and reminded me to go look. I went in the bathroom with a bit of an attitude because i knew what it was going to say......Pregnant. I threw the stick, started crying and hyperventilating and called Nick...no answer, he was chasin cows on the forest and didn't have service.

I went to Evanston Regional to get a blood test and didn't get the results that night, Nick was so excited, we were both in shock. We kept saying,"Can you believe this? Can you believe were going to have a baby?". I went home and took 2 more tests just to make sure and lo and behold, all 3 tests were positive. I don't think i have ever felt so much relief, remorse and sheer happiness all at once.

I don't know why Heavenly Father chose to bless me and at times, i feel really guilty. I know that i haven't gone through as much as pretty much every woman on this blog and haven't endured it as long. All i know is that my testimony of faith has grown in leaps and bounds and i want each and everyone of you to know that WE will enjoy every minute for each and every one of you and WE will love this child with everything we have.

I want to thank everyone here for the great love and support you given me, even though we have never even met. Thank you Kim for starting this wonderful sounding board.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Are We Not All Mothers?

I don't know how many of you have heard or read this talk, but I think it bears repeating here.  It is one of my ALL-TIME favorite talks given by a woman who has never been married or had children.  I was in the midst of fertility treatments when I heard her give this talk in women's conference, and I bawled my eyes out.  I hope you all can feel the spirit of this message as keenly as I did seven years ago. -Beck

Motherhood is more than bearing children. … It is the essence of who we are as women.

Sheri L. Dew
Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency (September 2001)

This summer four teenage nieces and I shared a tense Sunday evening when we set out walking from a downtown hotel in a city we were visiting to a nearby chapel where I was to speak. I had made that walk many times, but that evening we suddenly found ourselves engulfed by an enormous mob of drunken parade-goers. It was no place for four teenage girls, or their aunt, I might add. But with the streets closed to traffic, we had no choice but to keep walking. Over the din, I shouted to the girls, “Stay right with me.” As we maneuvered through the crush of humanity, the only thing on my mind was my nieces’ safety.

Thankfully, we finally made it to the chapel. But for one unnerving hour, I better understood how mothers who forgo their own safety to protect a child must feel. My siblings had entrusted me with their daughters, whom I love, and I would have done anything to lead them to safety. Likewise, our Father has entrusted us as women with His children, and He has asked us to love them and help lead them safely past the dangers of mortality back home.

Loving and leading—these words summarize not only the all-consuming work of the Father and the Son, but the essence of our labor, for our work is to help the Lord with His work. How, then, may we as Latter-day women of God best help the Lord with His work?

Prophets have repeatedly answered this question, as did the First Presidency six decades ago when they called motherhood “the highest, holiest service … assumed by mankind.”

Have you ever wondered why prophets have taught the doctrine of motherhood—and it is doctrine—again and again? I have. I have thought long and hard about the work of women of God. And I have wrestled with what the doctrine of motherhood means for all of us. This issue has driven me to my knees, to the scriptures, and to the temple—all of which teach an ennobling doctrine regarding our most crucial role as women. It is a doctrine about which we must be clear if we hope to stand “steadfast and immovable” regarding the issues that swirl around our gender. For Satan has declared war on motherhood. He knows that those who rock the cradle can rock his earthly empire. And he knows that without righteous mothers loving and leading the next generation, the kingdom of God will fail.

When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman’s most sacred role. While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve “the mother of all living” —and they did so before she ever bore a child. Like Eve, our motherhood began before we were born. Just as worthy men were foreordained to hold the priesthood in mortality, righteous women were endowed premortally with the privilege of motherhood. Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.

President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that “God planted within women something divine.” That something is the gift and the gifts of motherhood. Elder Matthew Cowley taught that “men have to have something given to them [in mortality] to make them saviors of men, but not mothers, not women. [They] are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be the saviors of human souls … and the regenerating force in the lives of God’s children.”

Motherhood is not what was left over after our Father blessed His sons with priesthood ordination. It was the most ennobling endowment He could give His daughters, a sacred trust that gave women an unparalleled role in helping His children keep their second estate. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. declared, motherhood is “as divinely called, as eternally important in its place as the Priesthood itself.”

Nevertheless, the subject of motherhood is a very tender one, for it evokes some of our greatest joys and heartaches. This has been so from the beginning. Eve was “glad” after the Fall, realizing she otherwise “never should have had seed.” And yet, imagine her anguish over Cain and Abel. Some mothers experience pain because of the children they have borne; others feel pain because they do not bear children here. About this Elder John A. Widtsoe was explicit: “Women who through no fault of their own cannot exercise the gift of motherhood directly, may do so vicariously.”

For reasons known to the Lord, some women are required to wait to have children. This delay is not easy for any righteous woman. But the Lord’s timetable for each of us does not negate our nature. Some of us, then, must simply find other ways to mother. And all around us are those who need to be loved and led.

Eve set the pattern. In addition to bearing children, she mothered all of mankind when she made the most courageous decision any woman has ever made and with Adam opened the way for us to progress. She set an example of womanhood for men to respect and women to follow, modeling the characteristics with which we as women have been endowed: heroic faith, a keen sensitivity to the Spirit, an abhorrence of evil, and complete selflessness. Like the Savior, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,” Eve, for the joy of helping initiate the human family, endured the Fall. She loved us enough to help lead us.

As daughters of our Heavenly Father, and as daughters of Eve, we are all mothers and we have always been mothers. And we each have the responsibility to love and help lead the rising generation. How will our young women learn to live as women of God unless they see what women of God look like, meaning what we wear, watch, and read; how we fill our time and our minds; how we face temptation and uncertainty; where we find true joy; and why modesty and femininity are hallmarks of righteous women? How will our young men learn to value women of God if we don’t show them the virtue of our virtues?

Every one of us has an overarching obligation to model righteous womanhood because our youth may not see it anywhere else. Every sister in Relief Society, which is the most significant community of women on this side of the veil, is responsible to help our young women make a joyful transition into Relief Society. This means our friendship with them must begin long before they turn 18. Every one of us can mother someone—beginning, of course, with the children in our own families but extending far beyond. Every one of us can show by word and by deed that the work of women in the Lord’s kingdom is magnificent and holy. I repeat: We are all mothers in Israel, and our calling is to love and help lead the rising generation through the dangerous streets of mortality.

Few of us will reach our potential without the nurturing of both the mother who bore us and the mothers who bear with us. I was thrilled recently to see one of my youth leaders for the first time in years. As a teenager who had absolutely no self-confidence, I always sidled up to this woman because she would put her arm around me and say, “You are just the best girl!” She loved me, so I let her lead me. How many young men and women are desperate for your love and leadership? Do we fully realize that our influence as mothers in Israel is irreplaceable and eternal?

When I was growing up, it was not uncommon for Mother to wake me in the middle of the night and say, “Sheri, take your pillow and go downstairs.” I knew what that meant. It meant a tornado was coming, and I was instantly afraid. But then Mother would say, “Sheri, everything will be OK.” Her words always calmed me. Today, decades later, when life seems overwhelming or frightening, I call Mother and wait for her to say, “Everything will be OK.”

Recent horrifying events in the United States have underscored the fact that we live in a world of uncertainty. Never has there been a greater need for righteous mothers—mothers who bless their children with a sense of safety, security, and confidence about the future, mothers who teach their children where to find peace and truth and that the power of Jesus Christ is always stronger than the power of the adversary. Every time we build the faith or reinforce the nobility of a young woman or man, every time we love or lead anyone even one small step along the path, we are true to our endowment and calling as mothers and in the process we build the kingdom of God. No woman who understands the gospel would ever think that any other work is more important or would ever say, “I am just a mother,” for mothers heal the souls of men.

Look around. Who needs you and your influence? If we really want to make a difference, it will happen as we mother those we have borne and those we are willing to bear with. If we will stay right with our youth—meaning, if we will love them—in most cases they will stay right with us—meaning, they will let us lead them.

As mothers in Israel, we are the Lord’s secret weapon. Our influence comes from a divine endowment that has been in place from the beginning. In the premortal world, when our Father described our role, I wonder if we didn’t stand in wide-eyed wonder that He would bless us with a sacred trust so central to His plan and that He would endow us with gifts so vital to the loving and leading of His children. I wonder if we shouted for joy at least in part because of the ennobling stature He gave us in His kingdom. The world won’t tell you that, but the Spirit will.

We just can’t let the Lord down. And if the day comes when we are the only women on earth who find nobility and divinity in motherhood, so be it. For mother is the word that will define a righteous woman made perfect in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, a woman who has qualified for eternal increase in posterity, wisdom, joy, and influence.

I know, I absolutely know, that these doctrines about our divine role are true, and that when understood they bring peace and purpose to all women. My dear sisters, whom I love more than I know how to express, will you rise to the challenge of being mothers in these perilous times, though doing so may test the last ounce of your endurance and courage and faith? Will you stand steadfast and immovable as a mother in Israel and a woman of God? Our Father and His Only Begotten Son have given us a sacred stewardship and a holy crown in their kingdom. May we rejoice in it. And may we be worthy of Their trust. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Are You My Mother?

Yesterday, I had an unusual experience at church.

We had a combined YW lesson on Divine Nature, of which there is a discussion about the divine role and stewardship of mothers. We have a few leaders who brand new babies. Our teacher presenting the lesson asked one of these mothers (Brooke) to share her thoughts on "the stewardship or motherhood". Being a young mother with a new baby, she went to feed her child during the lesson. Before leaving, she leaned over and asked me if I would help out by sharing my thoughts.

When it came time for the this part of the lesson our teacher asked if Brooke was here. I then replied, she had to feed the baby and I was happy to step in when ready. Awkwardly, she asked me if I knew what the assigned topic was. I said Brooke asked me to share my thoughts on the role of mothers. Our teacher than introduced the topic of motherhood, and then asked (avoiding any eye contact with me and directly looking at the other leaders who have born biological children) "if there are any mothers willing to share their experiences of having a child." She started her discussion by sharing of her "sacred" experience of having a spirit child in her body and then looking into this little child's face at birth and what a wonderful opportunity that has been. She then asked again if anyone was willing to share - only one offered comments regarding the unique experience of being able to tell how different each spirit child was by each individual pregnancy. Then she moved on to the rest of the lesson.

I handled myself fairly well, only let out a few silent tears. Even enjoying the rest of what was shared. After class, I felt fine and was ready for the next thing. Which happened to be temple recommend interviews. I was waiting in line, when my YW Pres. came over and validated my role as a mother and recognized my offerings in this discussion are of the same value as those who have born children.

In 5 years, I haven't been this caught of guard by someone's narrow view of motherhood.

Am I not a mother? Is my stewardship any different? Isn't my divine purpose of motherhood the same as others?


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Hey Girls just wanted to share this sweet story and let all of you know I am thinking about you.

-Love Kim

I longed to be a Mother
By Tamara A. Ilich

My struggle with not having children left me in turmoil. Could I ever find peace?
As a child, I never had any reason to doubt that I would be a mother when I grew up. It was the strongest desire of my heart. I began training myself for the job when I was a little girl, pretending my dolls were real babies, closely watching parents with their children, even working as a nanny for five months when I was 18.
So when I found myself struggling with infertility at the beginning of my newly married life at age 23, I was more than a little stunned. I felt defensive and confused when people asked when my husband and I would be having a baby. I answered their questions in a lighthearted way, but my heart was growing heavy. I thought my body was betraying me, and though I didn’t show it at first, I was in turmoil.
Little things seemed to make the pain most acute, like traditions I brought into my marriage from my own family. For example, Christmas had always been a time for baking cookies and sharing them with children, so I baked. Only after the baking was finished did I realize that the children for whom I carried on these traditions were absent. I also thought Christmas gifts and decorations were primarily for children—the children I didn’t have.
Everywhere I looked, I saw painful reminders of what I lacked. In the spring, a pair of birds raised their babies in the eaves above our front door. It seemed that women all around me were pregnant. People who mistreated their children and therefore didn’t seem to deserve them still had them. It seemed that everyone and everything but me could “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28).
My husband and I received fertility treatments. We fasted. My family fasted. We prayed. Our names were added to temple prayer rolls. Still no baby.
I tried to bargain with Heavenly Father in an effort to find the key that would turn the lock and reverse infertility for me. I believed in miracles, and I was desperate for one. I was sure that the answer lay in some law I needed to live better; I just needed to figure out which law it was. But trying to change myself didn’t change my childless state.
My spiritual struggle lasted for more than seven years. During that time, my relationship with my Father in Heaven was affected. It seemed that every prayer I said was directed toward my goal of having children. After my disbelief wore thin, I found myself angry. I became less and less humble. Soon I lost the desire to pray altogether.
I alienated everyone around me. I cried during Mother’s Day sacrament meeting programs, never thinking to honor my own mother because I was too wrapped up in my own sorrow. Relatives hesitated to tell me of new babies to be born, and people at church didn’t know what to say. Hearing that perhaps I was not yet ready to be a mother made me cringe. How could that be when I was never told how to get ready? Nor was it a comfort to know that blessings withheld in this life would be granted in the eternities if I was worthy; I was in pain today.
Worst of all, I alienated my husband. In the beginning of our relationship, while we dated, he had been attracted to me because I seemed carefree and effervescent. Now, even that quality was lost in my struggle. Parenting had also been a lifelong dream for my husband, but he came to believe that it would be better for us to stop trying rather than to bring such misery into our home through our unsuccessful efforts. I felt betrayed by his suggestion. My pain left no room for his, and I believed that no one understood my feelings. I felt very alone.
Toward the end of the first seven years of my infertility experience, I was extended a calling as a Relief Society teacher. I accepted the calling even though I felt spiritually depleted and unworthy. I returned to my knees, but instead of praying for myself this time, I prayed for the sisters in Relief Society. I wanted to be able to teach so that hearts could be touched and gospel principles understood. I wanted to bring hope and help to renew the resolve to live whichever gospel principles I was teaching. I knew these things could be accomplished only through the Spirit of the Lord, so I sought the Spirit as I studied and prepared, and I fasted and prayed for His influence to accompany my teaching.
Little did I know, but the effort I was giving for the Relief Society sisters was preparing my heart to be healed. It was while I was teaching one of the lessons that I realized I believed my long unanswered prayers for a baby meant that I was not loved. This realization brought me once again to my knees. I prayed for myself, but now my prayer did not concern my childlessness. What I asked was simply, “Do you love me?”
As soon as I uttered that question, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of love, joy, and peace. Like Alma, I had been in the “gall of bitterness,” but “I could remember my pains no more.” Indeed, “my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!” (Alma 36:18–20).
From that moment, I began to better understand the Atonement. In Gethsemane our Savior took upon Himself the pains, sicknesses, and infirmities of His people so that He would know how to succor them according to their infirmities (see Heb. 4:15; Alma 7:11–12). He sweat great drops of blood as He suffered for all of the afflictions that result from living in a telestial world. Before this answer to prayer, I understood that He did what He did for the world. Now, I understood that His sufferings were also for me.
I knew that because of the Atonement, the Savior understood the nuances of my pain. Because He knew my experience, I did not have to feel alone. My understanding of the Atonement and of the Savior’s love for me were forever changed. Now I have hope. I have joy.
About a year after that answer to my prayer, Heavenly Father blessed my husband and me with a beautiful adopted daughter. I do not know if our home will be blessed with more children, but one thing I do know:
I am loved, and my Savior knows me by name. With joy, I strive to pass on this understanding to the heart of our child.
Most of us will have to experience heart-wrenching adversity at one time or another. Infertility was my greatest trial. Although I still do not understand why I have never been blessed with the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, I realize it is not essential for me to understand why—that understanding will come at a later time. What matters is that I know that the same Jesus Christ who walked on the earth, healing spiritual and physical sickness of every kind, has healed the sickness that infertility created in my heart. He lives, and my knowledge of His love and of His Atonement is a greater gift than any other—even the gift of being a mother.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not so much

Yeah, as I kind of suspected, our third IUI didn't work out. But at least I feel like I've given IUI's a genuine chance to work, so now we know we have to move on to other things. Other than the cramps and occasional bouts of sadness, I'm pretty okay with all of this. Though my sister-in-law just had a baby last night and is already complaining about her lack of sleep...I'm thinking of steering clear of that situation until I'm in a better place.

What's everyone else up to? Any news or progress or decisions made?