(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 it...in 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 heartbeat...it 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 persevered...so 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.