Monday, August 13, 2018

Dream

I had a dream last night that felt so real and has had me thinking all day. 

The dream started in a brand new house in Layton. It was huge. And beautiful. I was trying to get my 4 year old twin girls to help me clean their bedrooms. After fighting them for awhile the bedrooms were clean. They asked daddy if he would do their hair. To make them look pretty, and he did. Then it was time to go. The girls begged me to let them take their bikes, so I did. They didn't have to beg for long. We loaded up in a nice Subaru Forester and headed to the mountains where we had a little cabin all to ourselves for the weekend. There was a little creek running through the property and a lake a quarter mile away. I went inside to start unpacking and making dinner while my husband pushed Evelynn and Isabelle on their bikes around the driveway. I put corn dogs and tater tots in the oven and went outside to join our little family. By now they were playing jump rope. I took the two girls and helped them start a fire in the fire pit in the back yard so we could roast marshmallows after dinner. Then they sat at the picnic table and I brought out little sectioned out trays for them with corn dogs, tater tots, and "pink sauce" (because it wasnt just for fries). Dalton and I ate too. Then after dinner Dalton played camp fire songs on his guitar while I helped the girls make s'mores. Dalton continued to play the guitar while the girls fell asleep in my lap. Then Dalton and I watched the stars for a little while. After we saw a shooting star we took the girls up to the bathroom and washed their sticky fingers and faces and helped them get into clean pajamas and climb into bed. Dalton and I went to bed shortly after. I woke up scared for no reason and realized I was at the cabin still, not at home. I went to go check on the girls, and they were gone. I frantically searched the little bedroom but they were no where to be seen. In fact, there was not a single trace that my little angels were even there. They were gone.

I grew up playing with dolls and pretending they were my children. I played house and couldn't wait to be the mom I always pretended to be. You grow up, you imagine the family you'll have. You try to do everything right. You try for years and can't get pregnant. Your doctor tells you that naturally, it probably won't happen for you, and suggests procedures that cost more than financially possible for you at this point, just to maybe get pregnant. Maybe. You try anyway, and your dreams of having kids one day seams like just that, a dream. 
This is infertility. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Dear Future Child-Adventure Awaits!

I wrote this back in April. I'm not sure why it didn't get published until now.
April 12th, 2018
Dear Future Child,
I've been thinking about you a lot over the last couple days as your dad and I celebrate our anniversary in Disneyland and Universal Studios. Everywhere we looked we saw young families with children filled with excitement. I know you'll come to us in due time, yet I couldn't help but look forward to the day when we can take you with us. I'm looking forward to seeing your beautiful smile and the sparkle in your eyes as you enter the theme park filled with all the excitement your little body could contain. I imagine hearing your little laugh as we ride the rides and experience the thrills in the park.
In fact, I look forward to all the adventures we will have with our little family. I am a firm believer that road trips bring people so much closer together. I want to take you to Oregon to play in the ocean and search for sand dollars. We will take you to Washington so you can go up in the Space Needle and look down on the city and walk through Pikes Place. We will go to San Francisco and you can go see Alcatraz and the twisty road that your grandpa loved showing me when I was a kid. We will stay an night in Las Vegas where you can go to M&M World and watch The Tournament of the Kings.
Of course we will also do little trips a little closer to home. I plan to take you to Bear Lake, a place I remember as my second home during the summers of my childhood. We'll have to go to Mirror Lake too, we used to celebrate my birthday there every summer. It will be so exciting to watch you catch your first fish and cook it in the fire. I'll want to take you to Arches National Park, maybe Delicate Arch will still be standing and you can hike up to that Utah trademark. As you get older we'll get to take you backpacking, maybe we can even convince your grandpa to come with us to Kings Peak, the tallest point in Utah! We'll have to teach you to snowboard because how can you live in Utah and not go skiing or snowboarding at least once?
There's such a big world out there with so much to see. Don't ever lose your sense of adventure.
I still can't wait to meet you.
Love,
Mom

Friday, April 27, 2018

Thanks to my Husband

I have been a little overwhelmed lately with the amount of love and support I have received from my husband as I finished my Medical Assisting courses. It is safe to assume I couldn't have done it without my husband. To some, getting a certificate may not be such a big deal, but to me it was a big accomplishment. I finished something. I always struggled with college before I got married. Good grades were hard to get and I wasn't as motivated as I should have been.
My husband has been my biggest support through the whole thing. He encouraged me to go back to school in the first place. He always got excited for me when I was making exceptional progress. He was always there to reassure me that this wouldn't last forever when I was working 46 hour work week in addition to my schooling. He put some things on hold so that I could go to school. He was always willing to buy me fun, new scrub tops. During the last part of my clinical's and throughout my practicum he worked so hard to financially supported me so that I could significantly reduce my hours and work and push through the last few months of school so that I could finish quicker. He was thrilled when I passed my certification exam.
Today I accepted my first Medical Assisting job in an Insta Care facility, and I am thrilled to get started on this part of my career, raising our income, and bettering the life for my family. I owe my success to my husband. 
Words can not describe how thankful I am for my husband. I know it hasn't been easy on him, but we made it. Soon we can get back on track, rebuild our savings, and work on remodeling our house some more. I know he is excited for that. I won't be working as hard and we won't be as stressed about money. I love you Dalton. I am so excited to see where life is going to take us from here. 


Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Stream of Busy Days

I've been a little missing in action lately. I got a second job and was literally working myself to death for a few months. With my new job I was pretty much going non stop from about five in the morning to about 8 at night nearly every day. My mindset was, keep myself busy doing something productive and forget about your struggles. And that worked, for a little while. Still, little things would constantly remind me of what I couldn't have. One teacher had a baby and another had twins. Three other students in my class got pregnant, one with twins. And yet, as hard as we tried we were never successful.
From these never ending busy days I learned some things:
1. "Fatigue is the common enemy of us all- so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we do not take the time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill." (Jeffery R. Holland)
 I got sick. A lot. It seamed like I was constantly fighting a cold or headaches or an upset stomach. I didn't take the time to take care of myself because I had no spare time to take. I wasn't eating right, I wasn't sleeping enough, and I wasn't taking any time to myself to just relax because there just wasn't any.
2. "This journey isn't just about focusing on your own life. No, this path inevitable leads you to become a blessing in the lives of God's other children-you're brothers and sisters. And the interesting thing about the journey is that as you serve God, and as you care for and help your fellowmen, you will see great progress in your own life, in ways you could never imagine." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
With my schooling and my two jobs, I've met a lot of different people in the last couple years. I've made it a point to try to find someone who could use some help in their lives and do what I can to help them. I've noticed that by focusing on the needs of others, and using my resources to help them, I think of myself and my own struggles a little less and I am happy a little more.
3. "We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." (Thomas S. Monson)
I can't change the fact that we are struggling to get pregnant. But I can change my focus. I can adjust my attitude about it. I'm focusing on our family, but in a different way. Right now my family consists of me and my husband. So I've been trying to focus on that. Focus on our marriage and our already great relationship. And it just keeps getting better. We've gotten close than ever and our love for each other just continues to grow.

I've since stopped working so much. I've been taking time to myself and taking time to catch up on some much needed housework. I've started meal prepping and cooking more. I've had a lot more time to focus on school and move through my program faster! I've been a lot happier and a lot less stressed and it's been beautiful! I just can't stress enough how important it is to take some time for yourself, to remember to serve, and to focus on family. These are the things I've learned in the last few months.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I've Been Watching You

There's an older country song my dad used to play for my little brother when he was growing up. It's called "Watching You" by Rodney Atkins. It basically talks about his experience in noticing how much his little boy was influenced by his actions. His little boy repeatedly says:
"I've been watching you, dad ain't that cool?
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food, and grow as tall as you are
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah we're just alike, hey, ain't we dad?
I wanna do everything you do
So I've been watching you."
I hadn't heard that song in years when it came on the radio on my way to school yesterday. I thought it was cool and sang along as I remembered when my now 15 year old brother was little and trying to copy my dad with everything he did. Then I thought nothing more of it until it came on again on my way home from school. So I treated it the same as I had that morning, singing along and reminiscing till the song ended. Then it came on again during my short drive to work. And AGAIN on my way home.
When the song came on once again while I was driving to school again today I looked at it differently. Could God be using this repetition to talk to me? I thought about it long and hard while the song played, trying to understand what I was supposed to learn from this. When all of a sudden it hit me. "I'm watching you Mom." I realized I was receiving a message of comfort through this song.
"I'm watching you Momma. I see your efforts. I see how much you're already sacrificing for me. I see you struggle, I see you plead with God. I hear you asking "Why?" I know how much your hurting, but I see your strong face. I see how hard you're working, and I see you needing peace.
Please know how much I love you momma. I know that you love me. Nothing goes unnoticed, your sacrifices, your efforts, your prayers. My love for you grows every day. All this heartache and pain will all pay off someday. Someday you'll meet me, someday you'll hold me close. Until then I'm watching over you. I'm helping you. I'm comforting you. I'm watching you Momma."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tender Mercies

The last couple days have been rough for me as I try to figure out what the next steps of my infertility journey are going to be, and how we are going to get the funds to go about actually getting a child. But on the flip side, so many people have reached out to me and little things have been both said and that have made things so much easier and have shown me that God really does know what you're going through. He is aware of your journey and how you feel. I am just so grateful for those people who act on promptings and make an effort to show me how much I really am loved and cared for.
So many people have been there for me to talk to.  One friend, Erin, sent me this sweet message through Snap Chat after I apologized for being so down and complaining so much over something I can't really control. She has been so understanding and so willing to just let me vent as much as I need to and I don't think she'll ever understand how much that means to me.
People have made comments on my blog, and a lady I don't even know briefly shared her infertility story and sympathized with my situation. Then  invited me to reach out to her if I ever had questions or needed someone to talk to.
Another friend offered to come to my house and help me clean up, as I was frustrated with how far behind on all the house work I had gotten in the last couple days. When she showed up to clean my kitchen, she brought me strawberries and fruit dip to snack on, and food helps everything. Am I right?
My sister sent out her weekly email and had words in there that she probably didn't even realize would touch me like they did. The story she told had nothing to do with my situation at all, but the lesson she learned applied so well to me in that moment. And she helped me realize that Satan is working on me right now. He wants to try and break me. To pull me away from the church and blame God for my problems. He wants me to feel alone and abandoned.
"Satan will never stop tempting us, giving us trials, trying to make us fall away. God also gives us trials, so we can prove our faithfulness to Him. Let's use our trials in our lives to show God we are faithful, and that we love Him, and that we are strong and will not fall away, and that we have total trust in Him and His will for us." (Hermana Phipps)
My sister-in-law who lives in my basement has been great too. She is always there to keep me happy when I'm home alone and she does so much for me to help around the house and help take care of my dog. Tonight when I was getting ready for bed I noticed the spare bedroom light was on and so I got up to turn in off before I crawled into bed myself and there on the floor were little poop sticky notes to just remind me how much I mean to her and how much she loves me! (And when I thanked her she told me she pooped on my floor,  so that made me laugh 😂)
There are a few coworkers that have gone and done things with me after work, such as getting milkshakes or going to Denny's. They try and keep me busy so I don't have time to be down and upset. I am amazed at how much they all care about me and try to make me happy. Little things matter so much to me.
"As Christ followed the Father under any circumstance, we should follow His Son. If we do so, it matters not what kind of persecution, suffering, grief or "thorn in the flesh" we face. We are not alone. Christ will assist us. His tender mercies will make us mighty under any circumstance." (Walter F. Gonzalez Of the Presidency of the Seventy, April General Conference 2011)
 My personal testimony has been strengthened so much in the last couple of days. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know He has a plan and He knows what I need. I know that He has been working through other people to make sure I feel comforted and loved. I am still in awe at the amount of tender mercies I have experienced and I can never emphasize enough how grateful I am for friends who listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and act on them. I have felt my Heavenly Fathers love for me through all these people who have touched my life, and I know that He loves me more than I can comprehend. I can't wait to see what He has in store for me and the plan he has for the life that lies ahead.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Feeling of Defeat

Recently I was filled with hope for our fertility journey when my doctor prescribed me something new. Instead of increasing my Clomid dose she was adding Femara. I had never heard of them doing that before so I educated myself via google and found success stories and feelings of comfort. I was relieved to be trying something new and was eager for day 5 of my cycle to start the medications, and eager for day 12 so I could go in and get a follicle check ultrasound to see if anything had happened. Hope. That's what I help on to...

Sometimes I wake up and question whether my dream was a nightmare, or if it was foretelling an event to come. The night before my follicle check appointment for this cycle I had a dream that the doctor told me that my ovaries were basically inactive and if I really wanted a child I would have to look into IVF and/or adoption. I woke up with a sick feeling in my stomach and still prayed for the best as I got ready for the day. Deep down, I prepared myself for the worst. 
At the doctor appointment I was telling my mom about a recent discovery that my health insurance would help pay for an adoption and she asked if I had given up already. I didn't tell her about my dream, I just told her I wanted to keep my options open and, even if I did get pregnant, would consider adoption in the future. 
When the assistant called us back and the doctor did the ultrasound and discovered that there were no new follicles. That I wasn't ovulating, I wasn't surprised. As much as I had hoped and prayed for good news, I had mentally prepared myself for the worst. As in my dream she recommended that we start looking into IVF and recommended two different places for us to go. She said she would continue to increase my dosage of the two medications, but as it hasn't had any effect on me so far she wasn't sure it would do anything more for me. 
I kept myself from crying in the clinic, but when I got out to the car with my husband I cried. I felt as if PCOS had won. Why can't my body just do what it's supposed to do? Why can't I be normal? How are we ever going to be able to afford IVF or adoption? It would take years for us to save that kind of money! Money we could be putting towards our house or new cars. I have never felt so betrayed by my body. I have never felt so defeated. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our Infertility Back Story

Some might say having periods like mine would be a blessing. I grew up rarely having any periods, Maybe one every 6 months or so in a bad year. I loved it. During my yearly physical I would always ask my Doctor what he thought about it. Why wasn't I on a regular cycle like most of my friends and now my younger sister? Every year he had excuses: I was too active, I was slightly over weight, I wasn't eating right. So I brushed it off and figured it would resolve itself with time though, as I got older I started to worry about the future. How was I supposed to have kids if I didn't have a period? If I wasn't bleeding did that mean I wasn't ovulating? I was full of questions and the things my Doctor told me just weren't adding up. My mom assumed it was PCOS but we didn't worry about it too much at the time. I didn't know that it would have such a big effect on my adult life.
I went in to an OBGYN for a premarital exam in March of 2016 and put me on birth control to regulate my cycles for the time being. She didn't want to do an ultra sound, assuming it would be a little too traumatic since I was a virgin and likely still had a hymen in tact. She gave me prescriptions for Provera to jump start my period and instructed me to start it after my honeymoon so we didn't ruin my honeymoon with a period. After not having a period in over 8 months, it came back with a vengeance on the second day of my honeymoon, even without taking the Provera. I was bleeding heavier than I ever had! (Which was probably pay back for never really having periods in Jr. High and High School) I felt gross my whole honeymoon, and we even missed our scuba trip, which I still feel guilty for.
When we got home I started the birth control, but my period never went away. I bled for almost 3 months straight. Aside from the bleeding, I felt depressed and tired all the time. We didn't like how it was effecting me. we prayed about what to do and attended the temple hoping for some kind of guidance. That June We both had a feeling we should go off the birth control and try to start our family. The answer took me by surprise for a little bit. My original plan was to wait a few years before we tried to have kids, maybe finish collage and buy a house first. But as always, God had other plans. I threw away the rest of my birth control and stopped it that day. Before to long the bleeding went away and I was back to my happy old self. We were both filled with a new excitement that we were going to start a family earlier than originally planned. I used an app to track my period. Once I told it I stopped bleeding it gave me an estimate of my fertile days. We used those days to our advantage and waited. Finally the app told me my period was due and if it hadn't arrived to take a pregnancy test. Negative. We didn't lose hope and kept trying. We told each other that if nothing happened within a few months we'd go back to the Doctor. I didn't realize that we were starting an infertility journey that would last longer than I had ever imagined. In November my period hadn't returned and we figured we would need help to conceive so I called my Doctor and made an appointment for January. In the meantime we bought a house and moved to Ogden, continually making preparations for the family we still hope to someday have.
January I had my first infertility appointment. Where I was officially diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) Our Doctor did some ultra sounds and showed me all the cysts on my ovaries and how swollen they were. We counted 26 on my right ovary and about 20 on my left. No wonder nothing was happening. She gave me prescriptions for Provera, Clomid, and Metformin. Once again I had hope. We were excited to start trying again and eager to get a positive pregnancy test. Still nothing happened. My period didn't come back and I had a negative test. This process repeated 4 times with no success. Each cycle began with a higher dose of Clomid and new hope, and ended with disappointment. The last round of Clomid came with more side effects than the rest. I had hot flashes all the time and just felt sick. So we gave it a rest for a month or so.
Through everything we've tried to stay family focused, always trying to improve our lives for the benefit of our future children. Though we've tried to keep a positive attitude, we don't always succeed. I've had my share of breakdowns in the last year. We've bought baby clothes and other things that we've seen on clearance. We have a bedroom set aside for our first child. We try to keep hope alive even when it seams pointless. We've shared some excitement, as well as some tears. We've learned so much and we've grown together. We try to have hope for what our future has in store. Our infertility journey is only beginning. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

He'll Carry Me!

This week I've been trying to keep the spirit in my life a little more by listening to church music and ponderizing the lyrics while I clean my house. A song I haven't heard since my young woman day came on and I started to tear up. The lyrics touched me in a way they never have before.

"He knows your heart
He knows your pain
He knows the strength it took just to simply breathe today
He sees the tears that you cry
He knows your soul is aching to know why
He hears your prayers; each humble word
When you said you couldn't face another day he understood
He knows the path that you will find
Though you felt alone He's never left your side

He knew there'd be moments when no earthly words could take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you"

So much POWER in this verse. I think the line that touched me the most was "He knew there'd be moments when no earthly words could take away your sorrow" because I know that. I hate it when people tell me "It will happen when it happens" or "just enjoy your time without kids" or "Don't you know God has a plan?" Because even though their statements and advise may be valid, it doesn't help. It doesn't change the fact that I want a baby now, that I wanted one over a year ago when we went off birth control. It doesn't change the fact that it's hard to feel like I'm doing my part as a woman or a wife when I can't get pregnant. It doesn't change how difficult this trial is for me. Nothing anyone can say will make it better. 
I can't even express enough how much I've learned to rely on my Father in Heaven. Not because others have told me to trust in His timing, but because I have felt it. I have felt the love He has for me. I have felt Him hold me when I cry. He understands. Somehow He knows exactly what I'm going through and how I'm feeling. He knows how infertility had affected me. He has never left my side through all of this. Even when I felt so alone. Deep down, I know He has a plan for me and I know it will all work out. But until then, He'll carry me.

"He'll bring you peace and leave your hope
And in the darkest night He'll comfort you until you know the sun will rise
And each new day you will have the strength to live again

And in the moments when no earthly words can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes can see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you

He hears you when you're crying in the night
He hears you when your soul longs to find
Till the morning will come
And the light of the dawn reassures

That in the moment when no earthly words can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you."
(Hilary Weeks- He'll Carry You)

HE HEARS ME! Even when I feel like our Father in Heaven isn't listening to my pleadings. He hears me. Deep down I know that He is listening to my prayers, He knows the desires of my heart and His timing is perfect. I get frustrated sometimes when His plan for me isn't aligning with my own, but that doesn't mean He isn't listening. Looking back I just know that He has been listening to me my whole life. He has helped me through every trial. When my two best friends moved away during 5th grade, when I struggled to make friends in Jr High, when I lost friends over stupid high school drama, when Dalton left on His mission, when I moved out and started college, when I was uncomfortable on dates, when I didn't know if my relationship was ever going to work out-- He was there! I know He has been there through everything, so why not now? As I have been trying to live my life closer to the spirit, I have noticed His Hand a little more. I have been more receptive to personal revelation and I have felt his comfort in my hour of need. I know He's going to be there with me every step of the way on this path of life. And I know without a doubt that when I breakdown, HE'LL CARRY ME!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gladly, Gladly We'll Walk In The Light

This week, my Sunday included sitting in a room full of eight 1 1/2 to 2 year olds, trying to calm down half of them and get them to stop crying while trying to keep the other half entertained. While there were 4 adults in the room, it was still a challenging task. Especially where some of the children cry for the full two hours, and others cry for almost the whole first hour. As you may already know by reading some of my previous posts, nursery has been more of a challenging calling for me. Just recently I think I started to realize how much I can learn from the two hours I get with these little kiddos.

"Teach me to walk in the light of His love;
Teach me to pray to my Father above
Teach me to know of the things that are right;
Teach me, teach me to walk in the light."

 I hear this song and I think of two things. First of all, I am still learning. I am still learning and practicing all the basics of the gospel every day. Every week when I go to church. Second, I have a responsibility to teach my nursery kids and to help them understand why we're here, where we came from, and where we're going. I helped a little girl in my nursery class pray today and I was reminded of how much prayer means to them, even if they are so young. I notice how excited they get when we ask "Who wants to say the closing prayer?" I am beginning to notice the good examples these little kids are to me.

"Come, little child, and together we'll learn
Of his commandments, that we may return
Home to His presence, to live in his sight
Always, always to walk in the light."

I always thought maybe Heavenly Father gave me this calling to teach me how to be a mother and how to interact with children. Like maybe that's why I needed this calling before I could have a child of my own, but I am realizing that there is so much more to it than that. I am learning how much I can learn from watching these children and it makes sense to me why Christ would want us to "becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love..." (Mosiah 3:19) Not only are they learning from me, but I am learning so much from them. I looked at my own husband who held a little girl for almost an hour straight because she wanted her dad and thought about how great of a father he is going to be someday. How gentle and loving he already is and, how in someways, my husband is like a child. He is so patient and full of love. He is already showing me how great of a father he is going to be.

Father in Heaven, we thank thee this day
For loving guidance to show us the way.
Grateful, we praise thee with songs of delight!
Gladly, gladly we'll walk in the light."

As  I listened to these little ones sing "I Am A Child Of God" and "Jesus Wants Me For A Sun Beam" and "Book Of Mormon Stories" I realized that these children are so close to their Father in Heaven and that they love Him more than I can even comprehend. Instead of resenting this calling and dreading going to church every week because I have to act as a babysitter while all the parents get to enjoy Sunday School and Relief Society, I love it. I couldn't be more grateful for my calling and these small children I get to work with the light and love they bring to me. It makes me so excited for when I get to finally have children of my own. I know someday it will happen, but for now I need to work on being like a child, "patient," Even though it's hard some times. I am so grateful now for the opportunity I have to work with my nursery kids. I am so glad I get to work with them every week as I prepare myself for motherhood. While I go through this trial,  I'll learn more to let these little kids be a light in my life.

"Gladly,  gladly we'll walk in the light."
(Hymn 304- Teach Me To Walk In The Light)

Dream

I had a dream last night that felt so real and has had me thinking all day.  The dream started in a brand new house in Layton. It was hu...