Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

the best way to get this out is to just start writing.

As many of you know my husband and I have been trying for more than a year and a half to conceive our second child. This has been a really hard and trying time for us for a lot of reasons. I've gone through a lot of cycles of feeling so frustrated and upset that I'm not yet pregnant, and it's not an easy thing to share. Much more, most of my friends are not even married, or don't want kids, they try to understand but they don't. My co-workers are even more clueless since most of them don't even understand wanting one kid let alone a dozen. I get it, not everyone feels the want for a family let alone a large family. Others around are pregnant, or accidentally pregnant, or accidentally getting some girl they hardly knew pregnant. I work in the parenting section of a bookstore... some days I just want to knock down those stupid pregnant people. And don't get me started about crafty bloggers (I'm pretty sure every one of you has a house full of beautiful kids and twins on the way) -- Ok so maybe not but it sure seems like the sub-culture of crafty bloggers do have more children than the average american family. Ramble ramble ramble.

You get my point right? It sucks. And for whatever reason we're still here month after month, not really being able to express this sadness. I'm working on that, letting myself be sad about it, and really addressing that saddness. It's hard to not feel able to express it (like I said people just don't get it). I had the best advice ever last month, coming from my friend Amy who is the most mormon person I know, who also is very very well versed in Catholicism - I'm going to share with you the little note she wrote to me last month (she's talking about a homily from a Catholic funeral she had recently attended - the funeral was for a grandmother and her 5 yr old grandson who died in a car accident).

Here's Amy:
"During the homily, Father related the story of Lazarus, focusing mostly on his sister. When Jesus came, Lazarus's sister was not very pleasant, saying that if He (Jesus) had come sooner, Lazarus wouldn't be dead and she wouldn't be hurting so much. Many people (both contemporaries and scripture scholars) have criticized her response, but Father's point was that she was okay. Paul wrote in his epistle to the Thessalonians that it is OK to mourn for who/what we have lost. Mourning in itself is not bad. We are entitled to our feelings. Paul does clarify, though, that we should not mourn as those who have no hope, because thanks to Christ we have hope. Now, in this particular case, Father was speaking about death and the hope for resurrection, but I think Father's point/Paul's point applies to your situation too. It is not wrong for you to be sad or frustrated. So people who tell you otherwise just need to shush! It is important to have hope in God's justice, which I know you do. But remember that it's okay to mourn."

Amy said it so well there. I so sincerely appreciate her understanding of things. But I'm still getting all blocked about this sadness. I'm trying to keep myself grounded. I'm trying not to let this frame my every minute. I do feel blessed though, so many people have suffered miscarrages and stillbirth, and loss of a child. So many even within the people I know. My own neice (4yrs old) has cancer, a cancer that has no cure and the side effects of the treatments are a high probability of cancer in the future. In the last year my sister has seen several families they know lose children to cancer. One in particular, Matthew Barr, passed away just weeks ago - he was Rosemarie's age, he'd been fighting so long. I can't imagine, I just can't. But I kinda can.

 Miscarriages. Is there anything worse? Stillbirth? My best friend's other best friend delivered a perfect precious stillborn baby last summer. My heart still aches for her. The baby was named for my friend - Anne Michelle, now up in heaven being held by Jesus. How can we wrap our minds around this?

I'm rambling

That's where this post is going. I've just read a wonderfully written post over at Life So much for not crying; I totally bawled right through the post. The author Jeanette has recently had a miscarriage. Her telling of it is so well written. It's really touching. I know I haven't been through nearly what she has, but I still feel some solace; I feel like someone saying, "it's ok, be sad." We'll make it through somehow. But there's no reason for us to do it alone. She's encouraging her readers to donate to an organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep which hires and trains photographers to provide professional photo remembrances of stillborn babies to their parents, free of charge. I'm fairly certain that this organization is the one which took the beautiful pictures of Anne Michelle. Please feel free to check them out, and donate there if you feel inclined.

I'm working on remembering that while our life isn't always what we expect it to be, it's certainly still pretty darn great. My heart hurts for those in much worse situations than I, but it still hurts for me too. We're making it through and someday in heaven it will all make sense. For now I've got to take joy in the fact that these littlest ones who have gone are so purely happy up in heaven waiting for us. I hope one day to meet Anne Michelle, and Matthew Barr... and you know what, I'll bet as much as we pray for them, I'm pretty sure they're probably returning the favor.


  1. As someone who struggled with primary infertility for seven years, I understand the grief! I'm glad for your fiend's advice - for God surely understands our hearts desires and is compassionate with us!

    Thank you for sharing - you and your family are in my prayers! Thank you for your comment on Gracie's post! We are honored.

  2. Hi Emily. Thanks for sharing your feelings in this post.

    I'm a Mormon (or member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as we prefer to call ourselves). One aspect of our faith that is different from many religions is that we believe in current prophesy and revelation, which includes personal revelation, something that everyone is entitled to.

    Often times, we don't understand the "why" behind the trials we face. I had the same feelings as you did last year while I was struggling to get pregnant. I kept thinking that maybe my husband and I weren't meant to have any more children.

    But one thing that has continuously come back to me when I've been faced with different trials in life is:

    If it wasn't this, it would be something else, and it would still be hard.

    I've tried to keep that in mind as I've struggled through different hard times. The thing to remember though is that Heavenly Father and our Savior know each of us individually. They know our hearts and they know what tribulations will be for our good and help us grow the most.

    Anyway, sorry for being so long-winded. Know that I'm praying for you and your family and hoping that all goes well.

  3. Hugs! There is so much unspoken that we as women go through... there are few who understand that we find crossing our paths in life... infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy loss go unmentioned mostly in day to day life because of the pain for those of us who were there. But we are OUT HERE and willing to help! I'm on the preg loss side and then what to me felt like eternity trying to conceive again....Willing to be a special quilty-friend/ear/virtual shoulder with all sincerity.

  4. I understand more than you know. I went into menopause at 27. We had tried for over a year using every trick, idea, technology available. Then all the testing started. They told me they thought I had an operable brain tumor that had shut off my ovaries, etc. Operable but highly dangerous. Long story short, I did not have the tumor and went on chlomed. Everyone around me became pregnant (most by accident including my sister and best friend who both already had children) and my heart was breaking. Truly no one understands if they've not been through it. We persevered and now 25 years later I have 2 lovely children. I think because we had to try so hard I never ever took my relationship or my responsibilities to them for granted. Doesn't mean I overindulged them either. Just cherished them and worked very hard to guide them into being responsible, loving people. There is no moral to this story, just know that others have gone before you and survived. I wish you the best and my heart is with you!

  5. Ditto - had one, then lost many. I had to re-evaluate. Do I need to be pregnant, or do I need to be a mom to more? So we went through the adoption process twice. The first time was because I needed my baby!! The second time was because I knew so many babies out there need mommies. (much less selfish on my part).
    And as the stories go... an adoption process was cancelled due to a pregnancy working.

    Never underestimate the power of adoption! Once you start looking at those little faces, it'll break your heart. You'll want to take them all home. In retrospect, I wish I hadn't been so hung up on getting pregnant. It was a depressing many years.

    All the best.
    And THANK YOU for sharing! That's a big deal.


  6. Lovely post.

    Prayers for you to Saint Anne, mother of Mary.

  7. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your story. I can't begin to know what you are feeling or going through, but I'm praying for you.