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.