I've been thinking a lot about the word 'how' lately. 'How' has been used a lot in so many of our conversations. How are you doing? I don't know how you are doing this. How is the recovering going? How are you so strong? How did this happen? How can we help? A lot of the questions, comments, and conversations have included the word 'how' in some way or another. And so, as I have thought about MY 'hows', I feel very grateful for my struggle of infertility after having Jillian.
In the summer of 2012, I fell apart. I had been aching quite intensely since the fall of 2011 to be pregnant again and really struggled watching others around me have children. That summer the ache and want encompassed me. I felt I had been faithful and had waited long enough. I had already suffered through this trial...so where was MY blessing? Why wasn't it happening? Was I not faithful enough? With enough faith you can move mountains, right? It didn't happen. I REALLY struggled! I was mad and angry. My faith was being tested. I became very cynical and pessimistic about life, faith and God. I asked Jake for, yet another, priesthood blessing and hoped that I would finally get an answer to my unanswered questions about our infertility. That night changed me. The blessing didn't help in the way I thought it would. I didn't get an answer to my questions of 'why?', I didn't get the peace I was searching for, and I didn't get any NEW information on our situation and what we should do. But, looking back, I can see how that blessing changed my course from turning away from God and turning to Him with more dedication than ever before. Don't get me wrong, after the blessing I was mad. I didn't get up with a renewed sense of purpose or a peaceful feeling to turn my burden over to the Lord. Because of how far I had let my doubts and worries take me, all I did was ask a lot of angry questions. Was 'be patient' really the only guidance I'd get? Was God even real? Is this life all just a big hoax? That night after spending a long evening crying. . .I felt scared. Did I have a testimony of my Heavenly Father? How did I get to such a dark and lonely place? How do I get back out? I knew Heavenly Father had answered my prayers before. . .I HAD JILLSIE! How did I forget so quickly that Heavenly Father had touched and blessed our lives in such an AMAZING way? How had I been so quick to let Satan in and twist my life upside down? How?
Its like I finally realized that I had let Satan mess with me for FAR TOO LONG! And I was DONE! Either God was real or He wasn't. . .and I KNEW He was. I didn't know Him well at that point in my life. . .but, the desire to know Him better, helped me make a decision. I decided to fight back! I was not going to be dragged down to a miserable state any longer! I wanted and needed to FEEL of God's love again. It was hard. I had to fight back thoughts that I had focused on for a long time. I read my scriptures, and a lot of conference talks. I started exercising more and focusing and being healthy in every aspect of my life. We wanted to do everything we could to have a baby again. We looked into fertility treatments, talked about adoption. That is what
we did before getting pregnant with Jillsie and so we decided we should
do it again. Maybe we'd be blessed with another little one. .
naturally. But, if not, we were finally moving forward. By the fall of 2012 I started to feel a little bit more like the girl I knew I was. We moved forward with more fertility testing and tried to make a decision if we should do invitro or not. We prayed to know if we could try invitro and if that was right for us. We never felt a negative feeling about invitro. And so, we continued to move forward and knew that Heavenly Father would tell us 'NO' if we needed to stop. We started to think that maybe Jillian would be the only child we would have naturally and that all of our others would come through IVF. I once again thought that maybe this would be the end of my infertility worries. We at least had a plan to bring another baby home.
We then got pregnant with Anneliese.
During the pregnancy, we still struggled a lot with sadness and letting go of Anneliese and the fact that we still wouldn't have another baby in our home, and the unknown of being able to conceive again. We feel like Anneliese
helped us become more anchored in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We prayed
more fervently. We tried to learn and know of Heavenly Father's will
and DO IT. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior
deepened and grew. How could I not turn to the Lord? I have felt the true JOY of opposition in all things! I had gone the year before through the heartache and anger of going through a trial WITHOUT turning to the Lord. Without trying to understand HIS plan and wanting to force MY plan. Without peace. I KNEW I couldn't and didn't want to do that again!! I KNEW the darkness, emptiness and loneliness of doing it MY way. And I would NOT do it again! Looking back, we felt more love, more peace, and more goodness throughout this journey but it has also been the hardest time in our lives.
This week is hard. This month is going to be hard. We were scheduled to deliver Anneliese on March 6. And had Anneliese not been diagnosed with Anencephaly, her due date was March 29. I should still be pregnant. The last few days I have struggled. I've cried a lot. Felt a bit more on edge, emotional and irritated about our situation. And asked myself, ' HOW are we going to get through this week, month, year?'. But in asking that question today, Heavenly Father continues to amaze me! A text from a close friend who is just thinking about me. A phone call from another who let me cry and unload to her. And as I sat, still feeling like everyone else gets to move on with their lives, while we are reliving it all over again this month; there was a knock on my door from a sister in our ward. A girl I don't know very well yet, but she was thinking about me and left me with a card and loaf of bread. Heavenly Father is VERY aware of us! And there are truly angels among us.
I am so grateful for the love that we can feel if we turn to the Lord and let Him into our lives. I feel truly humbled by all the Lord has taught and continues to teach us through our sweet experiences with Anneliese! It is through him that we know "How" to move forward.