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.