"Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Sunday, March 18, 2012

15 Weeks-15th pregnancy

This has been a notable week for me-I just finished my 15th week of my 15th pregnancy. It sounds incredible to me to be talking about that number in regards to pregnancies. I never dreamed I would have that many. We are very excited at the prospects of having another baby join our family.

It's been a journey for me to totally love and appreciate having lots of children. After the 7th one, I felt that I could be done and be happy with that. When I learned I was pregnant again, I had 7 children 10 years old and under. I was overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. I did not appreciate the fact that I was pregnant and cried a lot. One day, while at the temple, I kept thinking about how I just couldn't do it and after 2 hours of silent crying, a kind man came up to me and said how a woman is most beautiful when she is pregnant. I told him how many kids I already had and how I didn't think I could handle another one. He was kind and seemed to have confidence that I could. After he left, I prayed and told the Lord I just didn't think I could do it, and was there another way?

The next morning when I got out of bed, the baby did a weird flip-flop. I didn't know at the time what that meant, I just thought it strange. I went for another week before realizing, after talking to my pregnant friends and hearing how much their babies were moving, that I hadn't felt mine move in a long time. I panicked and called my midwife. She came over and couldn't find a heartbeat. We went to St. Mary's and they did an ultrasound and found the baby was dead. They put me on pitocin to induce labor (I was 20 weeks). It took all night and it was a very hard time for me.

After we got home, I started cleaning things up and putting my maternity clothes away. I was filled with reverence and awe and a realization of what a privilege it is to be pregnant, and if the Lord were to allow me to be pregnant again, I would truly appreciate it and realize it for the great blessing it is.

That doesn't mean it is all easy and fun. Life still has its struggles and challenges, and each child is different, and just because we might think we've got one child figured out, it doesn't mean we will know what to do with the others. It is a learning process every day, and I am so grateful for the guidance of the Lord in helping to raise HIS children. It would be hopeless without Him.

So, when I say we are truly excited to have another child, that is where we are coming from. I have since had 3 more miscarriages, making a total of 4. At first I thought that if I had a miscarriage, it was because of some fault of mine-something I did wrong or something I didn't do right. The doctor explained to us that the odds are 1 in every 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage. And with 14 pregnancies and 4 miscarriages, that has proven true in our family. I now just do the best I can and put my faith in the Lord, because he is in control of everything and it doesn't mean he doesn't love us if we have miscarriages. It is a natural process of mortality and provides deep learning experiences. The doctor explained that sometimes it is an act of mercy to have a miscarriage because the baby may be severely deformed.

I am so grateful to the Lord for his blessings to us and for the children we have. They have done so much for me in helping me learn and grow and develop more patience and self control. There is nothing like having children to help me see my own faults and know what I need to work on. Now that the older ones are getting grown up and acting like adults, it is a real treat and pleasure to see their growth. The Lord's plan IS a plan of happiness, and I am so grateful for it.


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Of course I would have to read this and cry right before going to bed. At least none of the kids are around to ask what I'm crying about!

It's so true that children are a blessing and bring so much joy {which means they also bring much sorrow - that whole opposition in all things}. But in the end it IS called the Plan of Happiness.

terra said...

You are an amazing woman with amazing faith! And you not only bless the lives of your children, but mine as well. thank you

Mama Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing your precious, sacred experience with us!

I can completely understand-- I am on my 18th pregnancy. Eleven children, six miscarriages, and I am expecting another. (12 weeks) It sounds like we could have a great time swapping stories. :-)

It *IS* a Plan of Happiness! That doesn't mean it is a plan of ease and convenience.

I needed to read your words today. I've been having one of those "I-feel-crummy-pregnant-tired-cranky" days. You've given me the uplift and attitude change I needed. THANK YOU.

Shawn and Mish said...

My husband would enjoy this post. I'm 28, and have 5 kids, and have some days where I just want a few more, and other days where I'm scared to get out of bed! He, on the other hand, thinks that there will always be room for one more. It makes me glad to see large families that refuse to listen to the world. Thanks for your example! It gives me courage!

Emily's World said...

Oh my goodness thank you so much for sharing. It's refreshing to hear that perspective on being pregnant and having children. It took us 5 years to have our son and while I was enduring labor pains I thought it wasn't worth it and quickly realized it was all worth it to bring a child forth and that our Savior had endured so much more. Thank you so much for sharing!

agratefulheart said...

Thanks, Terra! You have blessed my life with your wonderful example as well.
Rachel-I bet you have a ton of stories that would be interesting and funny with all those kids. Keep up the good work! 18 pregnancies is Amazing! Good luck!

agratefulheart said...

To Shawn and Mish-sounds like our husbands might be twins. Nathan will be so sad when we can't have babies anymore. He loves children. Also, I know what you mean about being scared to get out of bed. But, for us the children came one at a time, so that makes it a little less overwhelming and I have come to the conclusion that I just have to think about where I'm at now, do my best, and take it one day and baby at a time.

agratefulheart said...

Hi Emily! I am so glad you were able to have a baby! I agree that going through childbirth is a great way to help us have a better understanding of what the Savior did for us. It really does help put things in perspective for us. I also like the scripture found in Doctrine & Covenants 121:78, given during Joseph Smith's trials:

"peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high..."
The Lord is always there for us when we are trying to do His will.