Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Coming out of the closet

Not that closet, but the pregnancy closet in which I have been hiding for the past few months. Yes internet world, I am pregnant again. After what happened the last time, I sat on this announcement until I felt safer. I didn't want to share and then go through another loss, so I have been waiting. But I've had two appointments now that show a beautiful growing baby with a strong heartbeat, and I made it to the 12 week mark. After yesterday's 12 week appointment, I feel comfortable sharing my secret now. I know things can still go wrong. The experiences of my friend K and M and so many others show me that. But I am trusting in the Lord that we will have a baby this time around. So far we are headed in the right direction. Baby #2 will be joining our family around December 11th!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reflections on Mother's Day

Mother's Day was a hard day for me for many years. I belong to a religion in which family plays a central role. Because of that, services on Mother's Day really emphasize mothers and motherhood. During the years of infertility, this day was the most painful of any in the year. It was one more reminder that I was not a mother and may never be a mother. At the end of sacrament meeting each Mother's Day, all women over the age of 18 were invited to stand a receive a gift. Although meant for all women, it was another stab in the heart and I resented it. The day became so painful for me that it was easier not to attend church on that day. I would stay home and wallow in my sadness over missing the joys of motherhood. Even the promises of motherhood in the next life did nothing to soothe my pain.

Although I am a mother now and I enjoy the home aspects of Mother's day (a special breakfast, extra cuddles with Cam, etc), the church issue is still hard for me to deal with. I know there are women in that audience hurting over not being a mother or their feelings of failure as a mother. Each year, in spite of motherhood, I still have dread over attending church on this day. I go to church on this day now, but I am very aware of how things are worded and the pain they may be causing others. I want to hug each one of those hurting women and tell them I am so sorry for their pain and heartache. Even with the title of mother now, I cringe at some of the comments made yearly in a church setting.

This year at church, the comments at church annoyed me as usual. I knew the pain they would cause to women out there struggling with infertility and the heartbreak. But for me, there was a small moment of healing meant for my heart alone.

After Sunday School, I went to the bathroom while Mark went and picked up Camden from nursery. As I came into the chapel to meet my family, I heard Camden calling for "Mama." As soon as he saw me, he ran up to me, calling my name, and handed me a blue piece of card stock. On it was a little poem about hand prints and there was his little hand print. The nursery workers had the kids make these for their mother's. Brave women that they are, they dipped each child's hand in black paint and placed it on the paper. And even more amazingly, there was no trace of black paint on Camden's skin or church clothing. It thoroughly touched me the effort put in by these women to make these small tokens for the mother's of the children 3 and under. And even more touching was Cam's excitement in presenting me this paper. He was so proud of himself! I cried as its simple beauty touched my soul. In that moment, a bit of healing came over me and the pain of Mother's Day at church lessened to a degree for me alone.

I know that day was hard for many women. I understand and I empathize. I am so, so sorry for anybody struggling through infertility and its pain. I am grateful, however, that for a brief moment I could see the beauty of such a day in a day that has been painful for so many years. I am grateful for that small moment of healing. I hope I never forget how Mother's Day can be a painful reminder for many women. But I also hope I never forget the moment my heart received a small moment of healing on this day. My hope for you, if you are struggling through this, is that you can find healing on that particular day as well.