Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why I Go Through Trials

Perhaps, later today, I will go back and add those captions I promised so long ago. For now I am feeling pensive and repentant, and feel like letting you share the journey.

I just watched a video made by my church, and was struck by how much I needed to see and hear it. At first I was kind of annoyed at seeing Stephanie Neilson AGAIN. Not that I have any feelings for her really, it's just the pseudo-celebrity status that our society creates for these sad stories that really bugs me. Not to mention that being in the spotlight inevitably means you have to be perfect or you're some sort of bad example for the church or children everywhere somehow. Silly, I know, but just my thoughts.

Anywhoo... watch for yourself, then delve into my insights if you must.

As I write this my heart is full. Those of you who have read my blog in the past will remember the struggle I have had with 2 miscarriages in the past year-ish. These have been especially hard b/c
1.) I have always been quite healthy overall and have given birth 6 times with no problems and b.) It just sucks

So you see, I have been spoiled with health and life in abundance, and I've been selfish to believe that I somehow deserve it more than the next woman. Logically I know that I am not entirely selfish, and I know that Heavenly Father does want to bless me with more than I can even imagine. I also know that wanting more children is not selfish even though I got to keep 5 (so far), and other women out there can't even carry and birth 1 of their own (we won't even get into the annoyance (trust me, the stronger words I'd like to use would not be fitting for a lady such as myself) of women who seem to have babies effortlessly and don't care for them or themselves).

But I digress.

My point was, this video touched me. It could be the extra hormones currently or it could be (okay really IS) the Spirit needed to send me a message. Did you catch it at the end? That was Elder Holland, btw, an Apostle of Jesus Christ speaking there. He mentioned the idea that trials bring us closer to God.

Now this may not seem to be an epiphany at first, mostly b/c in my head I know this already. But it's much easier to "know" something when you haven't gone through it yet. For instance, you probably know that getting addicted to drugs then quitting is hard. But you will never really know unless you do it (don't do it though, K? It's just an example people). It's even easy to forget some things after you've gone through them. I mean, Hello(!), I've been through plenty of trials and been drawn closer to the Lord with each one. But I didn't want to do this one again!

What is amazing is how each one brings me closer to Him in a different way.

I'm going to repeat that for posterity's sake:

Every trial brings me closer to God in a different way.

Imagine spending hours talking to your best friend; the reason you do it is you discover something different about them all the time. If you didn't find them interesting and worth finding more about would you keep talking to them?

Now if you don't know that your specific trials are hand-picked for you, and that you are watched over by a loving, kind, and ever-mindful Father in Heaven, why do you continue living this life? Seriously. For me, before I knew this, I guess my reasoning was, "Things have to get better." Note: I never said, "b/c they can't get worse", b/c as we all know that's like telling the world to "have at you." Knock on wood.

And I digress again.

And the current reason I was touched is because I have been struggling with that scary place between hope and less desirable possible outcomes. Do I allow myself to surrender to being joyful and plan for what I hope/pray/wish for, or do I ground myself in the reality that is probable?

I know myself. I know that when I plan/hope/wish for something fervently it becomes more important and almost sure to me; then if it falls through I am crushed. This is one of my most frustrating traits. It rears it's ugly head with things as mundane as going to a movie or sitting at the dinner table where I want. It's not a pretty sight. Then when it's something actually important to me, it can be devastating.

And here's where it gets TMI, so if you're male (or female who doesn't like discussion of female -uh- "stuff") you may want to avert your eyes for a couple of paragraphs. Here we go.

My last period was ridiculously long, like 10 days or so, and I marked it when I first saw spotting on the calendar, so I would be accurate (I try to keep track so I never have to have an early ultrasound again. If you've ever had one where you have to drink like 10 gallons of water and you're not allowed to pee until they can get you in and out of the ultrasound, you understand. If not, I hope you never do.) in case I get pregnant (I've been doing this for years). (Are you enjoying all the parenthesis?). Also, my cycle runs a good 30 days or so, but my allergies have practically killed me this year. I say "my allergies", but as far as I know I've never had them. (All the doctors keep saying that it's really bad this year for everyone. Blah, blah, blah.) I mean it was so bad, that the RS brought in meals and did some housework for me b/c I was so knocked out. This is all relevant, I promise (wait for it.) Well, Robert finally dragged me to an allergist, who prescribed a bunch of expensive stuff (including steroids), which we got most of and utilized right away. It helped a lot! (I liked those steroids more than you should.)

Problem is -good little instructions/insert reader I am- I waded through the rigamarole on the drugs I was taking and discovered some disturbing information about mice/rats having babies with birth defects after being given less than half the dose I was taking (and, yes, I know I weigh a LOT more than even a pregnant mouse, but they do those tests for a reason...). Now regardless of whether or not my next pregnancy ends in a miscarriage or healthy baby, I could not live with myself knowing that I had even remotely possibly done anything to encourage the former. So I took an early pregnancy test, 5 days after my period may have been due. That 2nd line was so faint I had to squint, but it was within the time frame of the test.

and it was there.

Now I know an OB/Nurse/Midwife(even) has no power to stop a miscarriage and even monitoring me and my hormones won't help if a miscarriage starts. However I also know that getting HCG levels (specifically watching them rise as they should), and (Heaven forbid) an early ultrasound to detect a heartbeat would greatly increase my peace. So, I canceled my follow up with the allergist ('cause I can search the 'net myself for natural remedies for allergies, instead of pay an allergist hundreds of dollars to say, well there's not a prescription that's safe for pregnancy, but...), and called an OB to get a quantitative HCG blood test done.

I apologize, too late obviously, for all the details, but I want to make sure I write it all down and it's my blog, so there.

I had to wait until Monday to get the number. It was a 34. To put that into perspective, anything over 20 is a definite pregnancy, but at 5 weeks it could be a high as over 1000. So we wait. Again. The nurse offered to test is again that day, but I opted to wait until Thursday (our insurance sucks, blood tests are expensive, and I figured the longer the better in case I see signs of this going south on my own). But I underestimated my mood swings and worries. I went in yesterday, got the blood drawn (by a much more competent tech who did NOT give me a bruise by jabbing the stupid needle in this time) and am currently waiting for the nurse to call and either very slowly inform me that the levels have not gone up as much as they should or happily let me know that the numbers have successfully quadrupled and we should schedule an ultrasound.

The point of all this is yesterday was a really bad day, with the waiting and crying and whathaveyou. I have vacillated many times between chanting "it's all worth it it's all worth it it's all worth it" and conceding that I don't want to do this again. I don't want to be this empathetic to some other poor woman who has done this, I don't want to have to tell my children again that this baby will not be joining our family and then deal with the younger ones not understanding and continually asking me when we're having another baby, and I don't want to get any stronger. Pooh on growing and becoming stronger emotionally and spiritually.

So you see what a baby I was being. The video above reminded me that I am not going through this (healthy baby or miscarriage it may be) to get a baby, to grow as a person, to be more empathetic and help others. I am doing this to be closer to my Father, my Creator. I want to know Him and become like Him. No other goal or plan is worth it besides this one. He knows I can do it, too. Therefore I know I can do it, even when I doubt it sometimes (OK, a lot of times).

As soon as I read my scriptures and the sifties do their chores I am declaring this a "video game day", b/c -really- what better way to fritter away time quickly than by video games. Well, maybe I'll organize the library a bit... but I'm certainly not going outside again to be accosted my minuscule demons attacking my poor eyes.

Pray for me or send me positive vibes or just come over and keep me company, would you?

UPDATE: The 2nd HCG test was up to about 85-ish. Not as high as the doubling every 2 days, but still within the range of doubling every 72 hours-ish. And, honestly, the numbers aren't so important as the change in the numbers... We've scheduled an ultrasound for this coming Thursday, at which point a heartbeat should be visible on an internal ultrasound exam. Pray for me. Please.