I started through the packet and was taken back a year ago to when we first started meeting with the doctor in Missouri. My first appointment was an ultrasound to check that all was well in my uterus and that there was no tissue left from my recent miscarriage. Suddenly, the feelings of that time last year raced back to me. I literally held my breath as I remembered the loss, the stress, the disappointment and feelings of depression. I even started feeling a little woozy.
I continued to scan the paperwork and was brought through somewhat of a clinical journey of our recovery from the miscarriage, and beginning the process of trying to conceive once again, onto progesterone supplements and ovulation tracking and Metformin.
Then, finally, I came upon the note of the call to the doctor about a positive pregnancy test...and I started sobbing. Why? When I looked at my journey on paper, printed lab notes with garble about hormone levels and scribbled over in doctor's handwriting, it all seemed to go by so quickly. Yet, I knew that the journey to conceive is not just a medical one. Mine definitely wasn't, and it did not go by quickly. The doctor didn't scribble about the days that I had to mentally push myself out of bed and take a shower. There were no lab tests to check my levels of heartache. No prescriptions to help with the pain of loss and longing.
As I sit here and type this I realize...My doctor appointment this week was on the 10th...I went through those papers on the night of September 9th, 2009...Exactly one year to the day from the loss of our third pregnancy. It may seem somewhat lame to you that all these dates coincide and that they are so important to me, but it is only because I am reminded of the importance of timing and remembering things like this...It seems like a way to help me remember the literal and spiritual blessings that came from our journey.
There was a time at the beginning of my pregnancy that I was feeling a LARGE amount of anxiety. This was due to stress at my job, stress with unsure changes with my husband's job, and of course trying to take it easy during a very busy time in our lives so that this pregnancy would not result in loss.
One night, Connel asked if I would like to have a blessing. There were some very significant things that were said and felt in that blessing, but one particular thing that I will always remember from that blessing is this...When the pioneers were crossing the plains, there were hard times when they were lifted and carried, through that which they thought they could not bear, by angels. Just as the pioneers were carried by angels, angels have been and are carrying me.
A man who crossed the plains in the Martin handcart company lived in Utah for many years. One day he was in a group of people who began sharply criticizing the Church leaders for ever allowing the Saints to cross the plains with no more supplies or protection than a handcart company provided. The old man listened until he could stand no more; then he arose and said with great emotion:
“I was in that company and my wife was in it. … We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? … [We] came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.
“I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it. … I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.
“Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.”
Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 6: Faith in Every Footstep, Preparing to Leave Nauvoo
Lately, I have had a few experiences with good friends who are struggling with infertility and miscarriage. As I learn of their struggles, I again find myself remembering the grief and longing that comes through these struggles. I find myself in tears for my friends as they go through loss, medical procedures, pain (physical and emotional), grief, longing, embarrassment and many more of the feelings that inevitably come with these trials. I hope with all my heart that their pain with not be the same. However, I know that it will. They will feel all the same emotions that I did. And it sucks. The good thing is that I know something else. I know that when they are struggling, there will be someone there to lift them, to push their cart, if you will.
They did mine.