Saturday, May 2, 2009

Musings of a Barren Woman

March of last year I had my second miscarriage. Which is hard enough to go through on it's own, but about two weeks after my miscarriage my unmarried boss came to me and told me that she was pregnant. Since we work together our cycles are linked up and so we had gotten pregnant at the same time. Which meant that I went to work every day watching 'my pregnancy' grow before my very eyes. Mourning your loss and going through the hormonal upheavals is hard enough - but watching an unwanted pregnancy as well makes it a lot harder! The struggles with my first miscarriage were almost forgotten in light of the second and all that accompanied it. When I had virtually reached my breaking point and was literally crying on my way to work telling the Lord that I could not take this for another minute - that he needed to help me find a new job like yesterday or take care of this somehow - my boss informed me that they didn't find a heartbeat and so she too had a miscarriage. Adding the guilt of feeling somehow responsible for her loss (I mean I had basically prayed for it!! And though I knew, of course, it was not my fault reason is not a hormonal woman's best friend!) to the depression I was already experiencing was more than I thought I could bear. But we grew closer and mourned together and laughed together and cursed the women who were lucky enough to be pregnant together....

The healing process can be a slow one and life can be crazy, so it's only been the last few months that Mark and I have been officially 'trying' to get pregnant again. And yesterday (in the middle of my cycle - going through the sorrow of still not being pregnant yet) she told me that she was 11 weeks pregnant. So far this pregnancy is very healthy and they are really excited, etc... She was, of course, on birth control pills and is still unmarried. And when I asked she told me that they haven't even talked about getting married yet. So I find myself thrown into the sorrows and struggles of last year all over again!

It is hard not to feel forsaken, alone, and questioning the unfairness of it all. How can the Lord bless all these unwed women with children? Why are 12 and 14 year old girls getting pregnant and choosing to keep the babies when there are so many couples who want to adopt? In a lot of ways we are lucky - we've only been married a few years and we can conceive, I just need to carry the baby full-term. I know so many couples who have been married longer and trying longer. Couples who have had multiple miscarriages and still-born babies. Couples who have finally made the decision to adopt and then having to go through the long and incredibly invasive process only to have to wait for years more.

When I was younger I would have honestly told you that I only wanted to get married so I could have children. I have always loved children and felt that one of my main purposes in life was to be a mother. But I have been very blessed in meeting and marrying a man that I love more than I ever thought I could love a person. And through all of this we have grown closer as best friends and husband and wife. And I have learned that motherhood does not mean giving birth to a baby. I am a mother to my nieces and nephew, and to the girls I teach at church. And I have faith that I will be a mother to my own children one day. Mark and I have both received revelation that we will be parents. And so at this time I have to be 'Infertile in Faith' and remember the power of the Savior's atonement and sacrifice for us all. I have to remind myself that the Lord only gives us challenges that he knows we can handle - and though I sometimes wish he didn't think I could handle so much - I can be strong and faithful. And I can have joy in my life on the way to reaching our goals. True happiness won't suddenly be there when I am handed a newborn baby. I can have happiness now!

9 comments:

Heather said...

Amen Sister. I really liked your last line. You and Mark are going to be wonderful parents. I am excited that you are trying again and we'll add you to our prayers!!

Keep up the fertile faith!! Love you lots. Call me if you ever want to chat about it.

Lisa said...

(((Heather)))
That's me virtually hugging you and in awe over your braveness to blog about it! I LOVE you Heather! You and Mark will be awesome parents!!!!

Ashley said...

I've been stalking you for a while and this post finally brought me out of the virtual shadows...it took us three years to finally conceive our son. Along the way were several miscarriages, fertility treatments, and waiting. Let me just say that I had so many appointments with my fertility Dr. that I'm POSITIVE he can pick out my lower half from a line up. At least I stopped using the stupid "At least buy me dinner first!" line half-way through the time he spent as my Dr. Anyways, being barren sucks. Seeing other people get pregnant and have babies sucks. It also sucks wanting to be happy for people and not being able to, despite trying your darndest. I hope and pray that your journey in the land of the infertile is short and un-eventful. In the meantime, here is an excellent post from a blog that I frequent that I feel sums it up.

melissa said...

When I had a miscarriage someone who had been through it several times said to me, "Welcome to the club." (Not in a sarcastic way, but in a loving way.) I thought to myself, "Wow. Some hazing process you ladies have." Before that, I was under the impression that having a baby was as easy as having a uterus. So not so. Know that you're not alone and that you're in good company. As you said, you know everything works, you just have to carry full term. Keep hope alive. Welcome to the club. We meet Fridays in the Ben and Jerry's aisle of the grocery store.
love you!

Elisa Barnes said...

Umm. Did you steal this from my brain? I've had all these thoughts and more, but minus the heartbreak of miscarriage. Maybe that's a blessing for me. Gotta say, you're brave! I know everyone is tempted to share their own experience, but I'll spare you. I know a couple things to be true: No, it isn't fair. Yes, it definitely gets easier. And most of all, the Lord wouldn't give you this trial if he didn't think you could handle it. Youre one tough chick!!!! I love you girl.. I'm thinking about you!

Catherine said...

Oh Heather, you are so brave to share your story...alas I am too chicken to even start with my mishaps. Thank you for this post and your insight. I love you so much!

Heather McKeon said...

Well I didn't really expect all this response - but is it bad to say it's good to know I'm not alone?! Anyway I wasn't particularly trying to be brave, I was mostly extremely ticked off and trying to work it out for myself and so my blog was calling to me... Perhaps it is a little bit too much information, but I've held it all in for two years and I felt like I was going to bust.

Alice said...

Heather,
Your posting title caught my eye. We've spent 10 years and 4 miscarriages to get our 2 sweet children. Although reading your thoughts and feelings brought tears to my eyes (those feelings are still raw and fresh), I do have more peace and understanding than I've had in the past. I have realized that all of us have trials to face - and this is because the Lord loves us. I have felt guided and loved through all of our experiences. And, I still don't understand why I can't have all of the babies that I want, I do understand that I have to go through this trial for a reason. And, honestly, I think that because I want babies so much, that this trial has meaning. For other women who don't want babies very much, my trial would not be a trial for them (does that make sense?). Anyway, didn't mean to write for so long. You're in our thoughts!

Karissa said...

Heather-
Amen to all of the comments- I totally understand all the emotions that go along with the whole miscarriage thing. You know Angie Gandolph-- she has the same prob.of carrying babies full term. She has had 7 or so miscarriages..she also has 3 babies now so it can and will happen for ya. Me and Neal were seriously thinking about adoption - I dunno if you have thought of that-- this is how it goes- as soon as someone picks you to get their baby you get preggers and then keep both! :) Sorry you have to go through all these things. HF sure does think you are a toughie. I love you lots!