These people are so important to me and I am so grateful for them. It is a miracle they are in my life. I know it was part of God's plan for me to only be able to have these two beautiful girls for now, but it wasn't always an easy journey. I recently wrote an essay for my English class describing some of those infertility years. They were so hard, but I have faith now that God's plan is the best plan for me and you. Here is the essay:
I had to be vulnerable, again. I had to talk to a complete stranger about my life’s greatest disappointment. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. A moment where I had to trust in the Lord, and the answer I received with no facts to back it up. I sat in the sterile doctor’s office trying to explain the last seven years of struggle through halting sentences with my body and voice shaking from nervous energy. I left the office with no surgery date scheduled crying hideously. Even though I tried, it was impossible to keep the sobs of pain in. The chubby blonde behind the checkout desk offered tissues, and quickly checked me out. I wanted out of there-- away from the frustration and disappointment.
The events leading up to this point were full of ups and downs as far as fertility goes. In the beginning I didn’t understand why I struggled with fertility. My mother had seven children, both of my grandparents had seven children, and my husband came from seven as well. When we got married, I figured that seven was the lucky number. I thought I would have no problem getting pregnant.
Before getting married John and I prayed about birth control and received the answer that it was our choice. We wanted to get to know each other better and have some time alone before adding kids, so I took birth control. After a year of marriage, it no longer felt right to take birth control. We needed to turn control over to the Lord. If I had known what the next few years would hold, this would not have been a difficult decision. But I didn’t know, and it was difficult to give up the dreams of finishing school and having solid finances before trying to have children. After six months the Lord being in charge, I waivered again. Only this time I wanted to be pregnant. Why wasn’t I pregnant? Wasn’t that why God told me to get off birth control? So I began taking my basal temperature and charting when I ovulated with monk like devotion. Every morning I would wake up, take my temperature, chart it, and then get out of bed. Still nothing happened.
After a year of trying, we went to the doctor. I was still young enough at that point that they looked at me with annoyance for even trying to become pregnant. They set up a round of tests for me and my husband. When the results came back ”Picture Perfect,” the doctor gave us the option of using fertility medicine to speed up the process. As I looked around the room filled with pictures of babies, my response came easily. Once again, I pushed my will and tried to take control of my life. “Yes, please.”
Two months later I lay in the hospital ER in extreme agony wondering what had gone wrong; kidney stone. I spent that Fourth of July in a drug induced stupor. Through the tests for the stone we discovered that I had cysts on my ovaries, a side effect from the fertility medicine. I turned my fertility completely over to the Lord once more and threw the medicine away.
Nine months later I had my first ever positive pregnancy test and was afraid to hope. I spent the entire first trimester of that pregnancy afraid to tell anyone that I was pregnant. Afraid that at any minute I would have a miscarriage and my hopes would once again be dashed. Even though we both struggled during delivery, I ended up with a perfect Gerber baby girl named Celia.
It took a year to recover mentally and physically from the ordeal and handle a colicky baby. Still, I wanted seven kids to keep the tradition going. Surely it wouldn’t be that hard to get pregnant this time. As six months turned into a year and a year turned into a two, I began to worry again. This time I tried to wait for the Lord’s timing. I asked for a blessing during a particularly low point. The Lord gave some beautiful counsel that sustained me for a time. He said, “Your baby is not ready yet. Be patient.” How can my baby not be ready yet, I wondered? Shortly after that I came across Doctrine and Covenants 138:56 “Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of the spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.” After being prepared, my child(ren) would come in the Lord’s time.
I tried to be patient and wait, but it was difficult. With every passing year, I knew my dreams of having a big family were disappearing. At the peak of my fertility journey, I came across an endometriosis pamphlet and said to my mother, “Aren’t these symptoms things that every woman deals with?” “Uh, No, Jenny. They are not” was her definite response. A week later, as I was in the car driving, a calm peace came over me and a clear thought entered my head. “You have endometriosis and you need surgery.”
That is what led me to be vulnerable, not for the first time but for the third time. It was different going to the doctor this time because I knew what was wrong and merely had to convince them to treat something they had not diagnosed. I left the office a mess, but an hour later I received an apologetic phone call. Surgery was performed a few months later and finally some answers were received. That clear impression was an answer to my prayers.
I would love to say that after surgery everything was smooth sailing and that I am currently pregnant with my fifth child, but that is not true. I did get pregnant and had my second miracle daughter, Reese. That is all the children I have currently been blessed with. Instead of children, God has placed people in my path that I have been able to help and comfort because I continue to struggle with fertility. He put it in my heart to become a foster to adopt parent and someday we will bless more children. His plan is always the right plan, not easier, but definitely the one we need. I have learned so much and I know I needed these experiences to grow.