Good Company

When Laura had her miscarriage I was a week away from taking a test to tell me if my frozen embryo transfer had “worked” and if I was pregnant.  It didn’t.  I wasn’t. 

And suddenly I’m infertile again.

I tried for a little more than three years to get pregnant with my first child, who is now four (and a half).  We went through the usual - clomid, IUI, and then, because I live in a state with mandated infertility coverage, I was able to do IVF.  And it worked the first time.  When it was time to try for #2 there were several reasons we went straight to IVF, and I recognize how lucky I was that once again it worked on the first try and that it left us with five frozen embryos “left over.”  So I’ve been living my life with my two sweet girls and my little frozen safety net and I, ever so gratefully, stopped feeling infertile.

But five weeks ago I went in for my frozen embryo transfer and found out that they had to thaw all five embryos to find one good one, which didn’t “stick.”  No more safety net. 

At my follow up appointment my RE said they see two types of people who come in for FET.  Those who feel an obligation to use the embryos, and those who want more kids.  I definitely want more kids.  As exhausting as they are, I love my two girls and I want them to be the older sisters of (maybe) two little siblings.  This is what I want, but there is really no reason to think it’ll happen on its own. 

And so I’m befuddled to find myself here again; but not the same “here” I was before by first daughter was born.  I do, after all, have two kids and I can tell you at the start of this “secondary infertility” journey I will be happy and grateful if these two, and their father, make up my whole family.  But nevertheless, here I am again.

This time though, I am not alone.  I know this would be a good time to talk about what I learned the first time around about relying on the Lord, but that will come later.  What I’m referring to is that I am here now at the same time as my sister and sweet friend.  And no, that is not fun or exciting, is it?  But at least it is good company.


The new girl.

After several years of trying, treatments and tears, my sister and her husband were finally blessed with pregnancy through IVF.  I remember the feelings of joy and relief when she told us that she was pregnant.  I really didn't understand, like I do now, what it possibly meant to them to be expecting, but I knew that it had been a rough journey to get where they were. 

They were blessed with a sweet baby girl (who came quite early). Then, two years later, another little girl, again, through IVF.  Though we have faced separate and different trials, we still both still suffer the journey of infertility.  We have been able to lean on, talk to and cry to each other.  I am so happy to let you know that she will be joining me here on Beyond the Rain as a contributor!  She is one of the greatest examples of faith that I have ever known and I am sure you will love her like I do! 


No testimony without the test.

I just wanted to say thank you to those of my family and friends who have been praying for us, sending us may well wishes, and checking in on us.  I feel like sometimes I have these "woe is me" and downer days and it seems like there is always someone who texts or calls or emails me or leaves a nice comment that lifts my day.  So, thank you...someday you'll know how much it means.

I feel like there is so much in my heart lately.  Lots of feelings that leave me torn, lost of feelings that leave my uplifted.  Mostly, I feel so loved.  By friends, family, by my Savior, and by my Father in Heaven.

I had a friend who recently went through a hard physical trial.  She has gone through many physical hardships in the past and went through lots of doubts and fears concerning them.  But something she said has really stayed with me.  She said that this time they "were not going to ask 'why?'."  They were just going to have faith that whatever happens was the plan Heavenly Father had for their family.  I was overcome by that statement.  It came several months ago, but has been in my thoughts through this recent miscarriage.

When I had my miscarriage in 2009, I felt the lowest that I had felt in a long time.  I was asking why, feeling depressed and going through a very spiritual wrestle with God and my testimony.  I found myself asking Him Why did I have to wait so long?  Why did I have to go through the pain of losing pregnancy after pregnancy? 

Now, I know that God put certain people in my path and gave me situations that would help me grow.  Mostly, He was there in so many small ways.  Obviously, we know that Hannah came at the time she was a supposed to.  Not to early, not to late.  At the right time and place for her and for Heavenly Father's plan for her life.

Today, I feel strengthened through knowing that, and although I have thought to ask "Why?"...I have also tried to ask, "What am I to learn from this?"  "Who am I to come closer to through this?"  "How do I get through it?"  Or to set the thought aside and pray for Him to help me know what to do next.

I have already felt my testimony of the power of prayer grow.  I have felt and received the blessings of peace through the prayers of others.  I have felt the warmth and security of my husband, as he has wrapped his arms around me each day and asked how I am doing, how can he help.  I have received a stronger testimony of the power of the priesthood in my home and life.  I have felt more grateful for a sweet little (almost 2 year old!) little girl who bring the sunshine into our life.  I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father more deeply than I have ever felt it.

I feel like we go through stages in life where certain parts of our testimony grow.  When I think of previous miscarriages, I think of how I received much strength from the Savior and knowing that His Atonement covers all things...including the heartaches we feel.  I feel like this miscarriage has already been strengthening my testimony of a loving Heavenly Father who knows us personally and listens to our prayers.  That he has a great plan for each one of us.  I feel like he has been guiding me so freely to answers and guidance that helps me through.  I feel like my previous miscarriages and the testimony that came from them has given me strength to get through this one.  I was telling a friend today that I feel like I have been able to overcome this miscarriage more quickly than the previous ones.  My friend put it this way..."You have found a coping mechanism".  And I have.

The Savior and His infinite Atonement, a loving and living Heavenly Father, the crucial and important role that a caring family plays in my life, friends and family who offer prayers and a shoulder to cry on, the power or prayer, the word of God through the scriptures, the healing power of serving others...

Yes, indeed, I have found my coping mechanism.  The true gospel of Jesus Christ.


Another Miscarriage...

*This post was written on October 13, 2011, I miscarried October 10th, 2011 ~ I truly wish I could paint the experience with sunshine and rainbows, but I can't.  It was not happy at all.  I guess I am just stating the facts, though they are probably all jumbled and disconnected.  This is just what happened.  There is some good though, the part where I know and feel that my Heavenly Father is here, through it all.  The part that gives me peace.  When I work through that a little more...I'll tell you about it.

On Tuesday, August 23rd we found out that we were expecting once again.  We had been trying for 6 months and I had even gone to the doctor the week before to get blood work done to see if I needed to start infertility treatments.  I had not received any results back yet, but a week after that I decided to take a pregnancy test because of some symptoms that I had been having.  It ended up being positive to our surprise.  We were thrilled and talked about the excitement of having another child, being scared of another miscarriage, waiting to tell people, etc.

Right away the next day I called my doctor and got hooked up with all sorts of medications and hormones.  Lovenox injections every day (blood thinner for my PAI-1 gene mutation a.k.a. blood clotting disorder).  Folic Acid supplements for the MTHFR issue, prenatal vitamins of course, baby aspirin and progesterone to help prevent miscarriage, etc.  The Lovenox is also to help prevent from other pregnancy complications... Blah, blah, blah.

I was so excited to have the baby and Hannah about 2 1/2 years apart.  I wanted her to have a little sibling to run around with!

We went into the doctor (high risk doc) for our first ultrasound on September 19th.  According to the ultrasound I was only about 7 weeks and 1 day, I thought I was about 9 weeks and 3 days, according to my LMP.  That was okay though because things looked well.  We got to hear the baby's heartbeat...beating so fast.  All I know is that I fell in love right away.

...the perinatal doctor (the high risk doctor...not my regular OB) also updated me on the MTHFR and PAI-1 stuff.  He said that they don't even do testing for that anymore because the treatment that they would give has been through more research and they pretty much said that the research shows there is no reliable evidence to show that the treatment was preventative (for blood clotting and pregnancy complications).  Basically, it pretty much doesn't do anything.  Great.  So I had been bruising myself up with Lovenox injections for about a month and a half.  He also said that I didn't need to be taking any of the medications.  I did not fully agree with that, I felt like some of the medications were for good (like the Folic Acid, the progesterone).  But at this point I also felt like it was all for nothing.  Connel said at the time that "he believed there was a reason for all of it, we may not know what it is, but there was a reason."

I was just disappointed and a little angry because I guess I felt, somehow, that I had some control (even if it was all just in my head) over the miscarriages with all the medications that I was taking... but now there was nothing to prevent it.  I don't like to hear that I have any greater chance for miscarriage... and it's also just the feeling that we have no control.  Anyway, that's where I decided to give the trust to God and say..."You can handle this, I can't.  You have the control and I don't have the nerves to take it all on myself!"  I wrote about it all in a journal entry and said... "I don't think I could take it if we lost this little one..."

Well, I talked to my regular OB and we all agreed that I needed to stay on all of the medications.  This was getting really confusing, but I personally trusted him and his nurse more than the other doctor who had only ever seen me...once.  So I kept taking the Lovenox, Folic Acid, baby aspirin, progesterone and of course the prenatals.  All the medications were exhausting.  The Lovenox was just plain painful.  But I knew it was for the baby, so I kept on taking it for the team.


Here is a post I wrote when I was 9 weeks 2 days pregnant.

Today I went into the doctor for my first official OB appointment.  Last night I was really (really, really) anxious about the whole thing.  I was specifically worried that we wouldn't hear the heartbeat and I was having a hard time getting to sleep.  After a little deliberation, I decided to text some family and close friends to see if they might just include me/us in their prayers.  Even just a few minutes after I was feeling a little more relieved and mostly loved by so many people, even though I had sent the text to only a handful of people! 
I started to get to sleep and Hannah started crying.  I went to check on her and put her back to sleep with a song.  After I was sure she was asleep, I went back to bed.  A little while later, she cried out again.  I went back up and felt that she was quite warm to the touch.  She had been sick with a mild case of croup this past weekend and had a fever then.  She was better Monday and Tuesday during the day, but I took her temperature anyway, and it was up again.  I brought her to bed with Connel and I and tried to get her to go to sleep, but she was fully awake and really wiggly.  I turned to Connel and asked if he might give her a blessing to help her get well and be able to get to sleep.

He gave her a nice blessing then we put her back to sleep.  I then asked Connel if he would now give ME a blessing!  It was good to keep with the late night tradition...(kidding...Connel just always teases me that I always ask for one in the middle of the night!)  But really, the blessing was just what I needed.  Most pertinent to the pregnancy was that...I will have many hard trails in life, but that this pregnancy will not be one of them.  When that was said, I let out an audible breath of relief.  I had felt the spirit so strong, there was not denying that the things that were said were true. 

Today (October 5th), I went to my OB appointment and we discussed many things like my MTHFR/PAI-1 4G/4G, medications for that, my preterm labor, whether or not to do genetic screening, etc.  We practically went over my complete medical history and that of my parents, Connel's parents, the entire family tree and the family dog's medical history...

However... what was interesting to me was that the nurse (the best one ever!) decided to do try to listen to the heartbeat.  She said "Now sometimes at this point in a pregnancy, we hear it, but sometimes, we don't.  So, please don't freak out if we don't hear it.  It doesn't mean that something is wrong."  She placed the heartbeat monitor on my abdomen and searched for a few minutes, but could not find it.  But...the entire time, I was filled with NO anxiety whatsoever...I remembered the words of the blessing and I felt at peace. 
I think she even believed me when I told her that I was not worried.  And I truly was not.  Now, those that know me well, will know that I WORRY!  So not being worried about not hearing my babies heartbeat... that's a big thing!  I felt fine about it, and I still do.  I know that it is because of many prayers and the blessing from my Father in Heaven that I felt at peace.  Otherwise I think I might be really freaking out!

We will have an ultrasound in a few weeks, but until then...I just want to thank my friends and family for their prayers, concern and love.  It helps to know that we have so many people who care!  And I am so grateful to my husband for worthily holding the priesthood and being able to call upon God for help and comfort when we need it!


My dear sweet little Baby,

I am so excited to have you come into our lives!  I know that you will be a special part of our family and that there is much to look forward to.  I am mostly excited to feel you move inside of me.  I love that feeling and am looking very forward to it!  I knew I loved you when I first found out that you were coming, then even more when I saw you on the ultrasound and I love you even more now.  Each day it becomes more real that you are on the way.  That fact that we will have another little person in our home overwhelms me a little bit, but mostly I know that you are meant to come and be here with our family.  I love you!

Your Mama, Laura Kathrine

On Saturday, October 8th, I started bleeding, I was near ten weeks pregnant.  That day, I was in a little pain, but mostly, I was just bleeding with little cramps and taking it easy.  I was sitting there and coughed a little bit (I have had a cold).  I think I must have said "Ow." or something.  But, Hannah looked at me, "Mama..."  then came up to me and placed her little palm on my cheek. "...ah okay?"

We went to the hospital that afternoon (about 5 PM), only to get a Rhogam shot.  On the way there, we stopped at Drug Mart so I could pick up some pads.  I paid with a $20, my change was $13.13...I'm not superstitious, but I looked at the lady like, Seriously?!  Why don't you just keep a penny?

I was at the ER for 7 hours.  Registration, Bloodwork, IV, Internal Exam, the finally the Rhogam shot at almost Midnight!  I was sitting on an exam table the entire time, it was so uncomfortable.  Most of the time, I was by myself, I think they forgot about me some of the time.  Seriously, I think they did.  It pretty much sucked.  Connel was there for a little bit, but Hannah needed to go home and go to bed, so he took her home.  I didn't call anyone else I knew from here, because I wanted the baby to be okay.  I was hoping the baby would be okay.  The blessing said that this pregnancy wouldn't be a trial.  Plus, I wanted to wear that cute "skeleton fetus on the belly" costume to the ward party to make the big "announcement".  Dumb?  But true.

Sunday we skipped church and to doctor's orders, I laid around the entire day.  Cramping and bleeding (not too heavily, but I was still in a little bit of pain).

Monday the 10th, I woke up, showered, and put on my waterproof mascara, just in case.  We drove to the doctor's office and waited, nervously, in an ultrasound waiting room, with several other noticeably pregnant women.  We were supposed to be ten weeks pregnant, but... when they checked, we were told our baby was about the size of an eight week embryo.

Then, we were told that our baby had no heartbeat.

Connel took us out to breakfast.  I was glad we did that.  I didn't want to go home yet.  We went to a store.  Then we came home.  I tried to avoid looking at the welcome sign for the new baby girl next door as we pulled into our driveway.

That night, I miscarried my baby.

It was concentrating on the physically painful, mostly.  It hurt so bad.  I can't tell you.  I didn't remember how bad it could hurt.  Miscarriage is hard.  It is really, really hard.

At that point, I'd kind of checked out emotionally.  I only cried when I talked to people about it.  So mostly, I tried not to talk.  I had told a few family and friends that we were expecting.  But not a lot.  We had to tell them that we were weren't expecting anymore.  That's why I didn't want to tell many people.

Tuesday I had my first D&C ever.  I just wanted it all to be over with.  I didn't want the pain or the bleeding (a reminder of what was happening) to be prolonged.  We scheduled it for Tuesday, and even though, the night before, I passed the baby...we still decided that we would have a D&C to finish it.  Truthfully, I was glad the baby came before the D&C.  I don't know why, I was just glad it happened that way.

Overall, the birthing center stay was way better then the ER.  However, they did have a baby warmer in my room when I got there.  That was kind of mean.  I could also hear a few newborns crying down the hall.  That was sweet. (Sarcasm). Why they do these kinds of things in the birthing center?  Don't ask me.  Luckily, I didn't see a single baby during my stay.  I think I might have had a breakdown.

I changed into that beautiful hospital gown.  Connel took Hannah to our angel friend (thank you for her...the best ever).  I waited.  Registration.  IV.  Blood workup.  Doctor.  Anesthesiologist.  RN.  Etc.  Husband came back.  I don't remember going into the OR.  I remember them putting the tube in my nose.  Then I was waking up and I guess I said "I had a good dream."  Someone said, "Oh, you had a good dream?"  Then I said "Oh, I did?"

Back in the recovery room, my husband touched my head and the tears started flowing.  Sobs.  Then I said, "I just want to see my baby, I just want to hold my Hannah."  "I don't want to see any baby things",  I said.  Luckily for them, they had taken the baby warmer out while I was in surgery.

All the nurses left.  It all came out in sobs, but it wasn't long and I felt a little better.  I started joking a bit, I couldn't stop talking thanks to the wonder drugs.  We talked about our dream house.  Connel was trying to take my mind off of it, I think. ;)  We talked about Hannah.  How she was so sweet and funny and active.  I initiated a conversation about the budget...Connel steered us away from that subject quickly.  They brought me some food.  I had been told not to eat anything since midnight the night before and had to tell myself to eat slow.  I was starving.  I drank some water.  I went to the bathroom.  Then got to go home.

We went to pick up Hannah, our angel friend had made us some dinner to take home.  Probably one of the biggest blessings in this house.  Connel loves food.  I noticed, as we pulled into our driveway, that the sign for the new baby next door had been taken down.  I silently thanked God for that tender mercy.

The Percocet was settling in and I felt like I was in a fishbowl.  I slept, sort of.  I was dreaming like I was getting rushed down hallways with lots of doors, like this one episode of Muppet Babies I'd seen 20 years ago.  I kept feeling like I was falling.  Lots of weird dreams where I was asleep, but not really all the way.

When I woke up, I went upstairs.  I had to see my Hannah.  I tried to squeeze onto her bed, but that didn't work to well, she nudged me off, so I sang to her instead.

I couldn't sleep.  Finally, about 2 AM, the tears, the pain came again.  I asked Connel to cuddle me.  I silently prayed and asked God to let me know he was there.  Seconds later, without knowing my thoughts, Connel started humming, "I Feel My Savior's Love."

And I did, I felt His love.


beautiful necklace idea.

I wanted to share a little something I came across today that I thought was beautiful and such a brilliant idea!  Maria-Isabel from Agape Love Designs Etsy Shop has designed a pretty custom made birds nest necklace that you choose how many eggs go in the nest.  The beautiful thing about it is that she includes pearls on the chain for those angel babies (miscarriage, infant loss) that you hold dear to your heart.  She includes them on the chain because even though they may not have reached your "nest" you still hold them in your heart.  Love it!

Here is the whole story on the necklace if you are interested.  (And today there is a giveaway and coupon code for her shop on The Dating Divas blog.)

Just thought I'd share!


when in doubt...give hugs.

While reading the series on pregnancy and infant loss at the R House, I remembered an experience that I had and I wanted to share it. 

A really good friend and her husband told us that they were expecting just after our 2nd miscarriage.  They had no clue about the miscarriage.  However, after they found out, they sent me a bouquet of flowers and told me they were sorry for my loss.  My friend later confided in me that she felt bad and that we didn't have to talk about her pregnancy at all again until I was ready.  That was some major emotional support to me at that time and now I realize what a Christlike person she was for sacrificing the sharing of her joy to comfort me in my grief. 

Most people are very well meaning and want to help.  If you know of anyone who is going through a loss... any kind of loss, and you are not sure how to act or what to do, the worst thing you can do is ignore the feeling to help.  Just acknowledge that they are hurting and do something nice for them.  Maybe a phone call, sending a card, or even an email.  Sending flowers, making them dinner or bringing them a yummy treat can be a huge hug to their soul.


series on the r house.

The R House is doing a series of posts on Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss.  Please read and follow the series if you have a chance.  There has already been and I am sure there will be wonderful insight to come.   I commented that "I feel like the pain really never goes away, you just learn how to deal with it and suppress it. Those feelings come back…sometimes full force when I hear stories like this or sometimes they surface at unexpected (and embarrassing) times. The fear that it will happen again also stays. Thank you and love to these Mothers who shared their experiences and true raw feelings."


he knows ALL.

I wanted to share with you a scripture that has helped me get through many hard days.  In 2 Nephi 2:24 of the Book of Mormon it says:
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
I ran across this scripture in the temple one day and it not only helped me to get through the specific trial of miscarriage and infertility, but many other trials since.  It is my favorite scripture and I felt like I should share it here.  I feel like it was telling me that God knows all and that he gives us certain trials so that we can learn and grow.  He has given us these things in wisdom, knowing the outcome and knowing that we will become strong and immovable in our testimonies of Him.  I brings me comfort to know that God will help us, and as we are depending and trusting in Him, we can get through.

blessings through raindrops.

I wanted to share this, in case you may have not heard this song yet.  Everytime I hear it, it touches me to the core.


loved this.

You can recognize women who are grateful to be a daughter of God by their reverence for motherhood, even when that blessing has been withheld from them for a time. In those circumstances, their righteous influence can be a blessing in the lives of children they love. Their exemplary teachings can echo the voice of a faithful home and resonate truth in the hearts of children who need another witness.

Margaret D. Nadauld (Oct 2000)


feeling broken?

You might want to read this.  It touched my heart today and it's something we can remember on those bad days.

This part was the tear-jerker for me:

He hand chose you out of the crowd, and precisely changed you to be the person you are. I believe he took you aside, put his arm around you, and with tears streaming down his very own face, knowing it will break your heart, asked if you if could carry this burden.
He promised you would never be alone. And he would bless you!
But, he would need to make you differently.
Not to break you.
But to create miracles for your eyes to see.
Every day.


other ways to mother.

Just a note: I am feeling better about the flower thing.  I think I just needed to get that off my chest.  So thanks for hearing me out while I vented! :)

I just wanted to share a little something on Mother's Day...

 “While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the word mother has layers of meaning. … 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. … 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.”
 Sheri L. Dew, “Are We Not All Mothers?” November 2001 Ensign

A couple of years ago before we had been blessed with our little Hannah, I was a leader/teacher over a a group of girls in the Faith in God program at our church.  One of the girls asked me if I had any kids.  I said no and a few of them gasped and told me that I needed to have one... and soon!!  :)  I politely explained that we wanted to have a baby but that Heavenly Father would bless us with one when it was the right time.  One of my sweet girls exclaimed "It's okay, It's kind of like we are your kids right now anyway!"  It's amazing the spirit these young girls had and I was deeply touched by this comment, it lingered with me throughout my trail of trying to conceive and carry a child full term.  Thanks to that young girl I was able to refocus some of my efforts into what the Lord would have be do BEFORE I had a baby.  Who was I to "Mother" before I came a "Mother"?  I am grateful the opportunities that I had to be an influence on those girls and to have the chance to serve those I did before our sweet baby girl graced our life.  

This video also helped me remember that I had the opportunity to serve even when I was in a trial myself.



I thought this post eloquently described ways that family and friends can give support to someone who is NOT expecting and wants to be...

What to Say When She's NOT Expecting

Post edit: sorry to those who read this title and got nervous... I am doing fine. :\


looking back. moving forward.

"I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” -Charlotte Bronte

Whenever I have a friend who goes through infertility, it breaks my heart. The emotions that I felt/feel come back to me in a very real way and I wish with all my heart that I could just see into the future and then tell them that everything will be okay. When I look back and remember the pain that I felt during the time I was yearning to be a Mother I wish I could tell myself that everything would work out. At times, I would get mad if people DID tell me that it would all work out..."how could they know?" I would think to myself. There is one person who does know. That is Heavenly Father.

He knows what we need when we need it. As I look forward and wonder what will be in the future as far as having children and expanding our family...I get a little terrified. But, I know that whatever happens will happen according to the plan of our Father in Heaven. I may not like it very much, or... I may absolutely love it. But one thing is for sure. Heavenly Father is watching over us and gives us strength in various forms.

Today, I had a little reminder of that. When I saw the title "Faith and Infertility" on the cover of the April Ensign, I ripped the plastic from the cover! 5 beautiful, wonderful pages of strength and reassurance. All I have to say is... I love the gospel!

I wish I had a link to the article, but it's not online quite yet. I'll link it up when it's there.

POST EDITED TO ADD: Here is the link to the article.