Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oh, Baby!

I've been keeping a series of entries for a while until I was ready to post the entire thing.  They go in order, and are all part of this one big blog entry. Now I'm publishing it so that it can be in my printed book for 2013.
Oh, Baby!

Sweet P
Sept. 27, 2013
My last three pregnancies were pretty brutal, though none of them were very fun.
Little K
Just before I became pregnant with Caboose (who will now be known as "Little A", I knew that she would be the "Grand Finale." 

Varicose veins, preterm labor, a slightly prolapsed uterus, and the previous pregnancies had pushed me to the edge of what I could do.
 The Caboose was actually a leap of faith for us on quite a few levels, but I felt that the Lord wanted us to have her.  
Little A

I was on bed-rest for about half the pregnancy, taking drugs to stop my labor and drugs to survive all the pain I was experiencing.  There were times that I wondered if I would live.  What a relief that all was well!

After Caboose was born, I had a tubal ligation.  I felt very good about this decision, I'd prayed a lot about it, and decided before I even got pregnant that this would be the way I would end the story.

I didn't feel that I could do it again, and that I wouldn't be able to provide another baby with a healthy chance with my broken, gettin'-old body.  It was also getting really hard on all of us for me to be dysfunctional for so long.  Also, we were "all here."
The Whole Gang 2010
Anyone who knows me knows that not a day has gone by that I haven't thought about this with relief and joy.  The childbirth/nursing years of my life were VERY challenging, and I've been so very thankful to have survived that era and moved on.
Aunt Jeri in her new role as "One who travels with Grandma to help when new babies are born in the family."
(With baby Aliza.)
This past summer, in an attempt to further my health goals, Lil' Mama and I were walking (she was running) the track one beautiful day.  As I watched her lap me, I fell into a rhythm of prayer and thought and gratitude.  

Suddenly, my peace was fractured by a little thought planted by my loving Heavenly Father.  He asked me what I would think about having another child.  I responded that I couldn't pray a lie.
He asked me to consider the idea.  I said I would.

I talked to Handsome, who for a split second got a "Deer-in-the-headlights" look, and then just flipped back into his, "She's crazy as a loon" posture, when I assured him that I didn't want to reverse the tube tying.  

Yeah, sure.  He was fine with it.  If it happened.  Which it wouldn't.

I reported back to God that we were OK with it.  I then prayed that He would help me to truly be OK with it if it was really His will.  Because honestly I just wanted to do His will in everything.  And I trust Him.  And I love Him.  And I would NEVER want to leave anyone behind.  And how could I NOT want another baby, you know?

But.  There are a lot of buts.  None of which I'm sharing here, because ultimately they don't matter.

So.  A month went by, and my heart changed.  Gradually.

And then one day at church I had another little insight.  If I actually am able to conceive, with this raggedy old body, in spite of the "double knots" I requested on my tubes and we are able to welcome another little person into our home, THIS WILL BE A MIRACLE!

I was treating a potential miracle as though it were a great sacrifice on my part (which it is), to be dreaded and lived through and tolerated.  I wanted to make my Heavenly Father happy, but I was completely overlooking the fact that He would be blessing ME, not the other way around.  He was offering me an unbelievable blessing!
So, I was given to know that if it were going to happen, I would need to desire it and actively seek it.

First, I prayed for the desire.  Then, I fervently prayed for the miracle.

To his everlasting credit, Handsome Prince joined me in the prayers.  

I started taking prenatal vitamins.  I slowly weaned myself off of the beta-blocker and the anti-seizure meds that I take for migraines.  This I did without medical consent or supervision--what could I say?  "I'm praying to have another baby, and I don't want to be taking anything harmful when I get pregnant."  Right.

And on about day 16 of my cycle, I started feeling nauseated.  (It happened that early when  I was pregnant with Mr. Lamadingdong.)

By day 18, I had my first migraine, which I only dared take Tylenol for.  I was also exhausted.  

Handsome, of course, quietly started taking on more dishes and childcare duties.  You gotta love that guy.

I can't help thinking that more than 20 years ago, I spent an entire year trying desperately to get pregnant with our first.  I wondered if I could even conceive, and if my life would have any meaning at all if I couldn't.  (Now, we barely make eye contact...)

What a miracle, that since then we've welcomed eight healthy children into our home!  

How amazing will it be, if there is one more, in spite of everything?

I want the record to show that this baby is very much wanted.
October 1, 2013
I'm now 25 days into the cycle, so I won't test positive for another week or two.  (I haven't even tried to take a test, yet.  I always have early symptoms and late positive results on those stupid tests.)  When I had the migraine last week, I was afraid.  I was completely off all migraine medicines, and knew that I could potentially have a migraine every day for the undetermined amount of time.  (Could go on a long time if I'm not currently pregnant and don't dare take anything for as long as it takes.) 

It was one thing to commit to the new life, even fully knowing how bad it could get, but still another to feel the pain and illness.  I was miserable.

It dawned on me that my Savior had asked to have "This Cup" removed, but had gone on to do our Heavenly Father's will so that I could have life.  In a small way, I understood this in a way I had never considered before.
And I feel so very grateful.  Not only did He make it so that my sins could be white as snow, and  break the bonds of death, He also took upon Himself my pain and sufferings.  Oh, how I love my Savior!
I felt that I was being given another chance to say no, and I struggled to be like Jesus.  Again, I committed that I would trust the Lord, and gave thanks for the opportunity to participate in a miracle.  I begged Him not to change His mind.
Since then, my nausea has been more manageable, but I have only had ONE mild migraine since then.  That in itself is a miracle!

I am so thankful that God would include me in such a sacred trust.  I feel enveloped in His Love. 
Oct. 5, 2013
Woke up so tired this morning, and slept off and on through conference until about 11:30.
About noon I spotted once, and then again at 5:00.
Trying to trust that whatever happens is what should happen.  I was pretty disappointed when I spotted the first time.  Now I just don't know what will happen.
I know Heavenly Father loves me, and that miracles happen.
Dec. 2, 2013
I believe that I lost a baby in October.  Since then, I've been having regular cycles.  I'm still fasting and praying, but now it is with gratitude and a desire to always have my will aligned with His.  The miracle came, by the way, only a different one than I thought:

  It's been almost two months since I had a migraine!  With NO migraine medicine!  It's been over 3 1/2 years since that has happened!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude.


Johnson Family said...

Oh Jeri, I'm so sorry. I lost two babies this year, I don't think anyone should ever have to lose a baby. :(

Karen Rasmussen said...

Good Morning Johnson family I to am L.D.S. and you can tell by your lovely story that you are raising and spirtally raising your child the the awesome way. Nice to read something good. I to am watching and reading Drews battle what a lovely little man. Both of you being mothers have your hands full,but the one thing you have going for you is you both know God. My prayers are with you and enjoy those lovely children.Have a great day.