|Minus the pride part. Because I'm trying to be humble ;)|
I need a little soul-dumping session. Bear with me.
In the past three years, I've experienced a lot of heartache. Looking back, it's all been a crazy whirlwind. The dating/engagement stuff was a whole other story with heartache. That's not where I'm beginning today.
Just after we got married, there was the car accident, which was traumatic for me (I'm still struggling with the upper back and neck injuries). The real, deep heartache started with my first D-Day, about two and a half years ago. Just a couple months after that, though, as I was still sorting through everything regarding the addiction, I had the prompting that we should start our family.
We had already decided we weren't going to start trying until at least our last semester of college. So, first, I was a little shocked that I felt the prompting to start trying to get pregnant because I (we) still had over a year left of school. That wasn't really that big of a deal though. I wasn't about to let school stop me from following that prompting. Besides, it's not like it's that abnormal at BYU to find young mothers finishing up school. The real reason I was shocked was because I was dealing with the damage of finding out my husband is a sex-addict. And, I mean, you know...when you're trying to get pregnant, you have sex a lot. And it's kind of scheduled. And as the wife of a sex-addict, you don't really like feeling like you have to have sex, which was how I felt while we were trying to get pregnant.
A few weeks after the initial prompting, I talked to Jack about it. He had been feeling it too (we actually figured it out that we received the initial prompting on the exact same day. cool, huh?), so we decided to go for it. While trying, there were days that it was hard, and there were days when I didn't want to have sex, and there were days that I just refused because I emotionally couldn't handle it. But overall, we tried really hard to get pregnant. I had God on my side, and He helped me find peace and healing. I had faith in Him and His plan and following the promptings He had given me.
Ten months later...I was still not pregnant. I know ten months is really not that long in the grand scheme of things, but I felt very infertile and let-down. I had followed the prompting. I tracked my ovulation. I scheduled sex. I was dealing with the emotions that come with the pornography and masturbation. I was having faith. And I was still not getting pregnant!
It was so frustrating!! Then came the time when we had to choose to keep trying or not because if I got pregnant, the baby would be due during my student-teaching. We didn't know what to do, but after fasting and prayer, we decided to stop trying to get pregnant for a few months (just in case. You can't really give birth while you're student-teaching. And we felt like me graduating later was wrong for us...which, as it turns out was absolutely the right decision because we followed the Spirit to where we live now, and this move was right after graduation).
We stopped trying for a few months. I still always wished I could be pregnant, but the emotions weren't as high-strung because there wasn't that disappointment every month when I started my period. Then, we felt the prompting to start again. So we did, until my lower-back went out. After that, it became physically impossible to have sex, much less carry a baby. That has been the hardest part of the trial with my lower-back. I just want to be a mom. I love teaching, and my students are like my children. I love them. But still, I want to be a mom!
So, here is the reason I'm writing all this. That was just the backup story for what I'm really getting at. I wrote on here a few months ago that we were going to start trying again. Then, addiction stuff got in the way, and I felt like we couldn't try anymore because of my emotional instability. Something beautiful happened, though, and God gave me the ability to see things clearly (not that what I am about to say applies to everyone. Because it doesn't. Somehow, I have had the strength to do all this in the midst of addiction hurt. Just a blessing because this is how it's supposed to be for us, but my way isn't for everyone. Just so that is all clear). I have been able to separate my husband and our relationship from the addiction. I've been able to be loving and supportive (and I've been doing the Love Dare), and I've been putting a lot of effort into our relationship. We've been trying to get pregnant. And I've been enjoying it. It's been much less emotionally painful than when we were trying two years ago. We are drawing closer together, and the pregnancy-trying process is much more beautiful than it was before. It's been really good for us.
Earlier this week, my body was telling me all the signs of pregnancy. That's happened a few times before, though (fake-outs), so I was trying not to think about it. I didn't want to even think for a second that I might be pregnant because when I think that, it's so much harder when I start my period. But, on Sunday, I finally told Jack my little secret--that I actually think I am pregnant this time. I told him why. And then I started crying and told him I couldn't handle it if I wasn't. I promptly pushed all thoughts away. Except they didn't go away.
My period was a day late. I started spotting. When it got heavier than spotting, though, I was crushed. I turned it over to God, and I felt so much better. I felt peace along with the pain. The pain was still real, but the peace was so overwhelming that I couldn't even feel any anger at all. No anger for the feelings I had that maybe God was playing with my body and tricking me. None at all. Just peace and the knowledge that He had it under control.
Usually day two of my period is SUPER heavy--and it wasn't this time. It was still just a little more than spotting. Thought: implantation bleeding. I started crying. I told Jack what was going on in my head, and my thoughts started going warp-speed. Long story short(ish): all week long, my body has still been showing me signs of pregnancy. My period was only half as long as normal, and it NEVER got heavy like it usually does. Yesterday, while I was depressed and studying my scriptures, trying to find peace, I had this overwhelming feeling come over me that said, "You're pregnant. You'll see. Don't stress." Which of course, stressed me out. I kept trying not to think about it because I wasn't sure I could believe it.
Talking to Jack last night, as I told him all these things and the feelings I had (it was more than just that simple thought. It was a very spiritual experience for me, and a lot more was going on than just that one thought), I expressed my fear that I would take my pregnancy test in the morning (I had an x-ray for my lower back scheduled this morning, so I had to take the test) and it would be negative. And then I would have experienced those feelings of peace and "it's okay you're pregnant" stuff in vain. As I was talking to him, the scripture, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief" came to mind, and I felt peace. So, I prayed and asked God to help me trust Him: I so wanted to trust Him, but I was scared. I fell asleep. I slept fitfully.
This morning I took my pregnancy test, and it was negative.. And then, I felt peace wash over me as I thought, "I knew that would happen." I felt peace, but I was a little angry (anger is my mask for really sad) and could have used a hug. I basically pushed myself away from my husband, who probably wanted to help me, but I didn't invite him (and I wish he wouldn't always wait to be invited because sometimes us women don't want to tell our husbands hey hug me right now. We want them to just know!).
So, what is going on? I don't know. But I have some thoughts.
As I drove home from my chiropractor (after my x-ray. getting that x-ray is one blessing of not being pregnant. I can physically see how my back is doing on Monday, and maybe I will be released to return to normal activity! There is always hope for something!), I reflected on all of this. All of the heartache I have experienced:
Jack's addiction: emotional damage
Infertility: it's been over two years since we first started trying. That's two years of really wanting kids and all of that stuff that you really only know about if you have experienced it. Emotional pain.
Grand total:15-16 months infertile; 10 months incapable
Addiction + Infertility = PAIN
First of all, I feel like my trust and faith have been challenged, and I've lived up to the test. Check-mark for me! Yesterday, as I studied my scriptures, I asked myself the question (that I often ask when I am depressed), why do we have to submit to God? Why do I have to be humble? (Sometimes I get a little too close to the bitter line.) In reality, we don't have to, we aren't forced, and I know that when I do submit to God and am humble, I experience joy beyond imagination. It's only through God that I experience true happiness. I felt peace in my submission to God.
I don't know why I would have those experiences telling me I am pregnant and then not be. But I'm not mad. Maybe it was to show me my true colors. Maybe it was to show me my strength. Maybe it was to challenge me to turn to God in faith. Maybe it was to help me find the only way to peace and healing.
I kind of want to be mad. But I'm not. I feel a little numb, and I definitely feel sad and heartbroken, but I have peace. I have faith.
I had this thought earlier this week about infertility: maybe I need to prepare myself spiritually, and maybe there are things I need to experience before I have children. And no matter what, I'm receiving fantastic growth because of this trial, especially since it overlaps the addiction trial.
I had this thought yesterday about infertility: maybe part of the reason women experience this is because they are ready, but their children aren't. When I have fake-out months, maybe I have a spirit-child who is going to come to earth, but then "chickens out" (for lack a better term). Maybe my children are sensitive spirits, and they see this scary, immoral world they are coming into, and they get scared. My infertility is preparing me (if I choose to learn and grow from it) to be a better mother, which would be even better for sensitive spirits.
I had this thought this morning about my infertility: Maybe the timing on all this (how the promptings to try to get pregnant coincide with hard times in the addiction) is to give us both hope for our eternal family. For me, it helps me see the bigger picture, thus treating Jack better and trying harder to be happy in our marriage. And maybe it gives him motivation for addiction-recovery so he can be a worthy patriarch and priesthood holder in our family. Maybe when we are actively trying to get pregnant, it helps him see beyond the addiction and what joys lie in store in the eternities.
I don't know. Those are just thoughts. All I know is this: I'm not pregnant, and that is okay. Along those lines, my husband has an addiction, and that is also okay. My life is hard, and that is normal. It's okay! It's all okay! I have a Savior who has felt every single pain I feel. He has felt all of this already. He knows how I feel. He knows how to comfort me. I have a Father who loves me. He doesn't want me to be unhappy. He doesn't want me to turn away from Him. I also know this: if I choose anger in my trials, I will ruin my happiness. If I choose to turn away from God because of my trials, I will lose out on so much beauty in this life and in my life to come.
I really don't know what just happened to me this week with the whole pregnancy fake-out. Part of me thinks I imagined it, that it was all in my head and I'm crazy. But, I can't deny what I have felt. I'm not crazy, and I didn't imagine anything. I don't understand it, but maybe some day I will. Right now, I feel okay just trusting and having peace.