Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This post has been a long time coming. I've been thinking about it for months, and I've tried to decide how it should be written, and if it even SHOULD be written. But in the end, this is my blog, and it's about my life, and this is a huge part of my life, and I really think I need to document it. Part of the reason I haven't written it is because I'm scared. It's scary to open up your heart and life to other people, but it's time for me to.

Anyone who knows me knows I want babies. Lots of babies. My whole life what I've wanted more than anything is to be a mom. What most people don't know about me is that I've been trying to have a baby for 16 months. Clearly, that hasn't happened yet. The last 16 months have been some of the most trying of my life.

DJ and I got married in August of 2009, and we planned on trying to get pregnant in about a year. In September of 2009, I went to a friend's wedding in the Manti temple (where I had been married less than a month previously) and I had a strong impression that I should have a baby. Needless to say, that scared me big time. I had been married less than a month! So I tried to ignore that feeling. Over the next month, I consistently felt like I needed to have a baby. But I was nervous to talk to DJ about it too much, because I thought maybe it was just my own desire to have a baby that was making me think about it so much. I prayed that if we were really supposed to have a baby, DJ would know. Within a week DJ came to me and told me he felt like we needed to have a baby. I was so nervous and excited! I went off birth control that night. Within a week of that, I had the impression come to me that it was going to take me a while to get pregnant. Of course, stubborn as I am, I suppressed that feeling, and got my hopes up that I'd be pregnant within the month. I at least expected to be able to tell my family at Christmas that I was having a baby.

The first few months when I realized I wasn't pregnant, I handled it pretty well. About three months into it, I started getting really upset every month that I wasn't pregnant. I cried harder than I've ever cried. At 6 months into trying, I went to the doctor, and she let me know that everything seemed to be fine with me, and she expected I'd be pregnant soon. Not long after that I started to get bitter. It got to the point that I didn't want to go to church, because it was too hard for me to see all the pregnant girls and new little babies. I was angry that they were able to have babies and I wasn't. I hated feeling that way. I felt like a completely different person, like the fun, happy, real me had been buried and what was left was a shell of a person who was bitter, angry, and miserable. I asked DJ to give me a blessing, and it helped a lot. Within a month or so my attitude had changed. I was still sad and unhappy that I wasn't pregnant, but I wasn't angry or bitter anymore.

After several more months of trying hard to be positive, I feel like I've gotten to a good place. It's been quite the process, but I can honestly say now that I'm okay. Do I still have days and nights that I cry a ridiculous amount because of the hurt? Of course. But I no longer allow my life to be defined by the fact that I have no children.

I've learned and re-learned some very important lessons over the past 16 months:

First of all, I am not in control. As much as I think I am and as much as I want to be, I'm not. My Heavenly Father knows what is best for me, and how much I can handle. He knows what I need and I just need to trust Him. As hard as that is sometimes, it's the truth.

Life isn't fair. It's not fair that some people get pregnant the day they go off of birth control and some have to wait years. It's not fair that I read stories in the news about abortion and teen pregnancy and I'm here with a great husband and the truth of the restored Gospel and I could take care of a child financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually, yet I'm the one with no children while hundreds of people who can't and don't care for their children get pregnant. It's not fair that I hear people complaining about how uncomfortable and hard it is to be pregnant when I would give anything to have that hardship and discomfort. But you know what else isn't fair? It's not fair that I have found such an amazing man to be my husband and take this journey with me. It's not fair that I live so close to my family, and that I married into an amazing family. It's not fair that I have a fantastic job in this terrible economy. DJ doesn't even have to work and can go to school and take lots of credits to get done faster. Because it's just the two of us, we're able to take trips and buy fun things like our bed and TV and still have money to put away in savings because of my great job, and that's just not fair! It's not fair that we have 6 temples within 45 minutes of our house. It's not fair that we have a sweet apartment that we pay less in rent for than our previous tiny apartment. See, there are so many positive things about my life that aren't fair, how can I really focus on the negative ones?

Just because I can't create children right now doesn't mean I can't create. One of the big reasons I have loved to craft, sew, and refinish furniture so much is because it allows me to create. It's an outlet for my creativity, and I've needed it so badly. It's really therapeutic, and makes me feel really great about myself.

There is nothing wrong with me. Not having a baby yet doesn't define me. It does not make me a bad person. It does not mean I'm messed up. It does not mean that I'm not worthy to have kids. It does not mean that people who do have kids are better than me. It does not mean that I'm never going to have kids. It just means that it's not time for me to have kids yet, and that I get to learn a lot of things that I might not have been able to otherwise.

Just 2 nights ago DJ and I were talking about marriage, and how it was hard for him sometimes because he wanted to get married, but he didn't until he was almost 25. He told me something that I know he's said before, but I finally took it to heart. He said, "Heavenly Father could have given me a wife sooner, which is what I was praying for every night. But now looking back on it, I wouldn't trade what I have for anything." I know that's how I need to look at this situation. Heavenly Father can give me the baby that I've been praying for every night, but clearly he's allowing me to wait so that I can have what I really want and deserve. Who knows what will happen when the time comes for me to have babies? Maybe I'll have a baby with special needs. Maybe I'll end up with triplets and be so overwhelmed I won't know what to do with myself. Maybe this is just happening so DJ can finish school first so I can spend all the time on my babies that they deserve. Who knows? I certainly don't. But I know that I will one day. I'll be able to look back and everything will fit together and I'll know why this happened and I know that I'll be grateful.

I have learned SO much more in the last 16 months than I knew was even possible. I know that because it's taking me so long to have a baby, when I do get to have one, I'll appreciate it so much more. I am not saying in ANY way that people who get pregnant quickly don't appreciate their babies. I know that the exact opposite is true. I have a sister-in-law and a cousin who are pregnant right now and I'm thrilled for them! And I know they're thrilled and will treat those baby girls like the precious little princesses they are! Another sister-in-law had a little girl just today, and I have never met a more patient, sweet mother! She was made to be a mother, and her 4 kids are blessed to have her! I have a sister and another sister-in-law who have 2 boys each, and when they want to get pregnant again I sincerely hope that they get pregnant the day they go off birth control. I've never felt bitter or resentful towards any of them. I've never wished they knew what it was like to feel how I feel. I love them all dearly, and one of the greatest things for me has been to have nieces and nephews that I can spoil and take care of to give their moms a break, because heaven knows they deserve it :) This trial is something that I need to experience, not them. We each have things we have to deal with in our lives, and this is just one of mine.

The greatest blessing and help through this whole process has been, without a doubt, my husband. I can't imagine anyone else handling it the way he does, and helping me the way he does. I know that I made the right decision in being sealed to him for eternity, and I couldn't be happier with our relationship. I'm grateful for the chance we've had to grow closer together through all of this. I'm grateful for the quality time we have to spend together. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

This is just a little bump in the road for me. I know it won't last forever, but that I should learn what I can while it does last. I know my Heavenly Father knows what I can handle, and that gives me confidence because that means I can handle this.


  1. Oh Ash, good for you for showing such faith during this trial. This is such a hard thing. Good luck! We'll be crossing our fingers for you.

  2. This made me get teary. Of course I have known that you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, and even though we haven't talked about it much, I could sense it was something that you were struggling with. I can't say as I really understand completely how you feel, since I was able to get pregnant both times just when I wanted. I do know that you are right--when your first little angel finally makes his/her way into your arms, you are going to appreciate it probably more than most. And you are going to love that little stinker till you feel like your heart will burst!
    When the time is right, you will make a wonderful mother. In the meantime, think of all the children you get to help nurture. You have your nieces and nephews of course, but you also have a primary class, young women in your ward that I am sure look up to you, and a host of other people who think you are great!
    Also, as hard as this probably is to hear, you are lucky in some ways that you get to have this time with DJ. A baby changes the dynamic of a marriage a lot. Someday you will probably look back and appreciate the fact that you got to grow together in this way before you had children. And once you are a mother, wonderful as it is, you will be a mother FOREVER. It's a 24/7 job, and I am not trying to downplay it at all, but it's tough, too! There are days that I wish I could escape for just a little while. Appreciate your pre-baby body, the fact that you can be spontaneous, that you can get to the grocery store and back in less than an hour, the fact that you get to sleep through the night uninterrupted, that you don't have diapers to change, or poop to clean out of a potty-training toddler's underwear. I know you want those things, Ash, and you are right, it's NOT fair, but enjoy this time, too. It's pretty great! Some of my best memories of Adam and I are during our pre-kid years!
    When it comes down to it, though, I am sorry you are hurting. I wish there was something I could say or do that would change that, but there's not. Just know that I am thinking of and praying for you and DJ.

  3. Longest comment ever! Whoops! Sorry!

  4. Thanks guys! I really do have a great life, it just took a few months for me to really put it all in perspective :) I haven't wanted to open up about it cause it makes me feel really vulnerable, but I figure this way I can have support (and clearly I got it... within a couple hours!!!) and maybe someone I know is struggling too and I just don't know if but if I open up about it maybe I can help someone else too. I really do love my life right now, and I'm super happy to have that I get to do the things I do!!!

  5. Ashlee! I really appreciated reading your post and opening up about something that has been so hard for you. You are very brave to do so. It's something that's so personal, but I'm finding out is not uncommon. I have several friends who have also opened up about struggling with getting pregnant. Some of them can't due to medical reasons, and others, like you, are not sure why it's not happening but are continuing with faith that it will. Josh and I haven't started trying to have kids yet, but by reading yours and others moving entries about what they're going through, I have become more compassionate and empathetic. I don't know if I'm being prepared to go through the same things, or if it'll just make me more appreciative when we do start trying. But whatever the reason, I am grateful for you sharing your experiences and helping everyone who reads your blog to know to be more sensitive to those who do not have children yet.
    Lots of love! I'll definitely keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to manuever your way through this trial!

  6. Oh honey. Been there. I wish I could just inject some type of syrum into you that gives you "hindsight"!!! All I can tell you is that 20 years of marriage later, I have a beautiful 10 year old and a sweeter than sweet 8 month old. I now know why Heavenly Father gave Tom & I 10 years alone, then made us wait 9 more years before giving us Max. Babies are wonderful.... But so are phenomenal husbands. You already know that. You are doing great.... Enjoy and keep the AWESOME attitude!

  7. This post made me teary eyed. A lot of those feelings are VERY similar to how I felt when I lost Elizabeth. I hated going to church and seeing all those pregnant girls. And hearing stories of abortion and abuse to all these little children that you would give anything and everything if that child could be yours and you could give them a better life than they had. It literally would make me sick at times. But at least you've learned (unfortunately the hard way) how much difference a good man as your husband can make. I'm certainly glad that the Lord waited to answer DJ's prayers for a wife until He could give him what he really wanted...and needed. My heart and prayers go out for you both. Love you guys.

  8. I just love you and i am so glad you married my son! You are a great example to me and you have made me realize that the trials I have right now are really nothing :).