Thursday, August 27, 2009

Joseph Smith's Example

(Lincoln & I in front of a statue of Joseph & Hyrum Smith at Carthage Jail, July 2008)
While I was pregnant, I found myself going to the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center multiple times, to watch the movie Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. I love Joseph Smith. I can't believe all of the heartache he went through in his short life here on earth, and how he pushed on and moved forward with an inspiring attitude throughout those hardships.

At the end of my pregnancy with Jackson, I was having some pain under my chest on the left side. The pain wasn't very bad and I wasn't really worried about fact, I felt a little funny even calling the doctor about it. My doctor didn't seem too concerned either, but since I was a few weeks from my due date he wanted me to come in to his office, just to make sure nothing was wrong. I went to see him the morning after the pain started. I went by myself because Lincoln was at work. The nurse checked Jackson's took her awhile to find it but I wasn't worried. As all pregnant women know, the baby just isn't in a great position sometimes and it takes a little bit longer to find the heartbeat. The nurse found it and said it was a little bit slow, so she would mention that to the doctor. Come to find out, it was my heartbeat she heard...

The doctor came in with a student that was observing. He asked me a few questions about my pain and told me he thought it was just my skin stretching. He then proceeded to check the baby's heartbeat. He wasn't finding the heartbeat right away and said that the baby must just not be cooperating. I told him that the nurse had a hard time finding the heartbeat too. At this point I wasn't even thinking anything could be wrong...after all, the nurse had just heard the heartbeat (or so I thought) a couple minutes before. The doctor still wasn't finding it. I started getting a little nervous. He finally told me not to worry, but that he would be right back. He brought an ultrasound machine with him.

He started the ultrasound and after a few seconds asked, "When did you say was the last time you felt the baby move?" I said "Last night." RIGHT THEN I JUST KNEW. The doctor looked at me and said, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but your baby died." Then he handed me his cell phone & said, "Call whoever you need to. Take as much time as you need. I'll be right outside the door if you need me."

The second he left the room I called Lincoln. That was the worst call I've ever made. He was working air conditioning at the time & I could hear his coworkers in the background & knew that he was at a job. I had to tell him right then. I just started crying & said, "Lincoln, I'm at the doctor's and something really bad happened. The baby died." The only thing I remember is him telling me that he was coming to the doctor's office right away & asking if I was ok.

After I hung up the phone, I looked to my left and saw a poster on the wall showing the anatomy of a pregnant woman. On the wall to my right was a poster of the stages of a baby's growth. No thoughts entered my head as I looked at these. I felt numb. Literally the first words that came into my head were "Joseph Smith & Emma did this. You can do it too." "Joseph Smith & Emma did this. You can do it too." "Joseph Smith & Emma did this. You can do it too." That played over & over & over in my head. I knew that Joseph & Emma Smith had lost multiple children and that they had that was my goal now.

The things that I love about my experience at the doctor's office are: #1-Heavenly Father knew I needed to see the Joseph Smith video, #2-I'm convinced that I had that pain under my chest so that I could get in right after Jackson had died...when he was born, he looked so much better than he would have if it had been longer, #3-The waiting room was empty when we left the doctor's office. I was the only person there. This doctor is SO busy...I'd never seen his waiting room even close to empty, #4-The office I went to wasn't the office that I'd gone to for the rest of my pregnancy. This was the first time I had been to this office. Because of this I was able to kind of separate the good experiences I had with my pregnancy from the bad., #5-I realized that day how thankful I am for Lincoln & how much I love him. That was an experience that helped us to grow so much & to see each other in an extremely positive light.

Ultimately, this experience helped my testimony of Joseph Smith to grow. I'm amazed at that man and am thankful for the peace and courage that he & Emma have helped me to have. I hope I have the opportunity one day to thank them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Making Sense of Life

I wrote on our family blog about how this 4th of July was one of the hardest days I've had since Jackson died. I'm not sure why. All I know is it seemed to come out of nowhere and just left me feeling alone and sad.

These pictures bring a big smile to my face though. I don't know what it is about the cemetery and Jackson's headstone...but they are two of my favorite things.

Life feels confusing sometimes...especially when I'm still not doing "mom" things. I'm still really sad that Jackson is gone, but I'm also starting to feel a huge sense of loss with not being pregnant again. I came so close to being a mom and doing mom things...and then it was gone. I'm not bitter at all, I'm not angry, I'm not confused as to why it happened...I just don't know what to do with myself sometimes! I'm still not able to work because of my health, so it's hard to feel really worthwhile sometimes. I think I need to work harder to gain more direction in my life and to make sure that I always have the Spirit to guide me. The Lord has been so good to me. I wouldn't trade any of this. I've learned so much about the sanctity of women & motherhood and have learned more about Heavenly Father's plan for us to come to earth and gain a body. I could go on & on about the great things I've learned. I guess now I just need to figure out where to go from here...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Time Does Heal

Yesterday Lincoln & I were talking about how Jackson would be a year younger than the new Sunbeams in our Primary. We can't believe that if he was alive, he would be going into Primary next year! Crazy, I know! It still baffles me that things changed so much for me when Jackson's 2nd bday came. I don't know why...but I feel SO much more comfortable with him being gone now. I love this new place that I'm at in my grief. Time really does help to heal a wounded heart. I'm so thankful for my son. He is constantly teaching me, even though he isn't here. I feel now more than ever that he is a vital part of our family & that he is where he is supposed to be.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Trying To Be Patient

After you died, Dad & I decided to wait awhile to try to get pregnant again. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to grieve this loss, plus we wanted to give my body adequate time to heal from my pregnancy and your birth. I am so glad we waited. We thought we would wait six months or a year, but it ended up being15 months before we felt like we were ready to try again. We didn't want to have another baby just to "replace" you, because we know that's not possible. We don't want our other kids to suffer in any way from your death. Instead, we want to teach them what a miracle you are, and what a positive influence you have been & will continue to be on our family.
We've now been trying to have another baby for 13 months. It took us 14 months to become pregnant with you, so we knew this was a possibility. However, it is so hard for me to deal with the fact that I have absolutely no idea when it will happen again. Sometimes I really don't understand why our road to parenthood is so long. I would love to add to our family & to feel like more of a mother. I know that I am your mother & that I am the only one who holds that role in your life, but it is very hard to not be able to do "motherly" things here on earth right now.
I'm feeling very impatient. I am feeling like I don't have much of a purpose right now. Especially with the way my health has been, I don't feel like I'm succeeding in very many things at all. I want to feel you near. I wish I could hold your hand in mine or see you smile or take you places. I guess that time will come. I miss you baby. I love you.