Sunday, July 27, 2014

Things that were and are sometimes still depressing...

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I have wanted to share some of my feelings on the blog for a while. I really wanted to post them when I was feeling these feelings, but felt like I should wait, mainly because I was bitter. I didn't want those bitter and resentful feelings present here. I don't necessarily have those feelings right at the moment, so that's when I felt I could write them better and explain more.

Living in a latter-day saint culture has it's pros and cons. The pros are that there are people willing to serve you in a time of need, they are helpful and kind and know how to share the gospel with friends and family. The con is that there's a stigma of once you're married that's the time to get pregnant and have a baby. Because God has commanded us to multiply and replenish the earth. Well it seems like more and more couples are encountering infertility, either for the wife or the husband. We mostly hear about the wife having the issue. In mine and Chase's case it's the husband.

Chase and I want a baby, child, our own offspring. There's no doubt about it. Our only problem is we haven't been able to make one ourselves. It has been a rough 5 years of trying. Marriage is hard already - but then you go and add not being able to have a baby and it makes the marriage even harder and the emotions seem to be higher and stronger. Which makes trying to have a baby even harder with all of this stress.

In the past (and even now it sometimes happens) when we hear of friends, acquaintances, co-workers talk about getting pregnant or are pregnant, we go through this vicious cycle. We get depressed, and down on ourselves for not being able to have kids, we ask ourselves why does this happen to us? Why can't we have children of our own. Are we not doing everything right (spiritual/emotional/physically)? Then the question is should we start another round of IUI to have it fail once again for the 4th time? Which makes our hearts ache. For me the achy feeling is like someone physically squishing my heart. Then the cycle ends with us loosing the friends, because who wants to be friends with someone who can't get pregnant, and who happens to be negative all the time. I know that seems over dramatic but it's happened, and it does happen. Then the cycle starts over again by hearing about someone else.

I had never truly felt the heart aching until one of my best friends called Chase and I on the phone to share their happy news. I cried and cried for days after hearing their news. I had a feeling that I would be loosing another one of my friends to pregnancy. Because for whatever the reason may be that is how it is in our LDS culture: A friend gets pregnant and has a baby - well they can talk to all those moms that they couldn't before talk to because they weren't a mom. But now that they are a mom they can talk to more moms, and then all of a sudden we aren't friends anymore, because I don't have kids. 

This did happen quite a while ago, but I am still reminded of it (with the heart aching) when I see someone's grand announcement on any social media site. So that's the depressing part of this post. Now to the better part of the post! 

A few weeks I was asked to give a talk in church on conversion. Conversion isn't just an event, it's an ongoing process. I pulled parts of my talk from another great talk, but all the examples are my own. Part of my talk said this:

"Conversion comes as we understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ, acknowledge Him as our Savior and Redeemer, and allow the Atonement to take effect in our lives. All growing up until just recently I thought the atonement was just for those who had committed sin. Bad enough of sin that you would need to talk to your bishop about. Basically I was ignorant when it came to the atonement. Back in March there was a lesson given in young women's and it was “what is the atonement of Jesus Christ”. The lesson was awesome! I learned so much from it. One of the scriptures from the lesson was Alma 7:11-12. This is Alma talking about the coming of Christ. He says 11: And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 12: And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

The Savior took on all our sins, our afflictions, our pains, and our temptations. He felt our sickness, and our infirmities. He felt it ALL to know how to help us. My husband and I have been battling infertility for the past 5 years. It is a subject that I am very open about and try to tell everyone I know about it. So that way people are more aware of what it is and how it is affecting a lot of couples. Last year my friend suggested I look up faith, because that’s what she looked up when she was going through a really hard time, and thought it would help me. I looked up faith, but I never felt that feeling from the Savior that he was with me through this pain that I was feeling. When we read those scriptures in Alma in young womens. I knew without a doubt that Christ knew how I was feeling and that I wasn’t alone. That through him, all of my pains would be taken away. That I could rely on him for help, and comfort. Since then my whole outlook on this whole infertility thing has changed. I know it’s all up to Heavenly Father for something to take place, but it’s given me faith, and through faith I have hope once again that I haven’t had for a long long time."

A year or so ago Chase and I were attending the temple. His mission president is the temple president for the Mount Timpanogos Temple - the one we got married in. We wondered if his mission president was there that night, we asked, and sure enough they were. We talked to them, told them our sorrows and the struggles we were going through and the President gave us the best advice we could have heard (though it took us a while for us to really understand it) he said that we need to be there for our friends. Help them with their children, love them like they love them. We have, and they love us and call us Aunt and Uncle (which is the best feeling in the world - as of right now).

I know infertility is a touchy subject for people to hear. But I honestly can't sit all by myself and deal with the pain that I go through every day, so I must share it! Chase and I have to live our lives to the fullest, and not put life on hold for the "what if's". I know we will have a child one way or another.  Either through Doctors and procedures or through adoption. We are ever so grateful for the friends that we have made who love us even though we don't have kids yet, and tell their kids to call us Aunt Tedi and Uncle Chase. Because that makes life a whole lot better.