Friday, April 29, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
I'm not quite sure what I even want to say. I've been on the fence for months about blogging on this particular subject, for multiple reasons. I don't want it to come out the wrong way. I don't want a pity party. I don't want to seem ungrateful. I do, however, want to let it out. I do want to help and support others. I do want to use my voice for good, and I cannot do that without opening myself up and sharing, which we are repeatedly encouraged to do.
This week is "National Infertility Awareness Week." Did you know it had it's own designated week? Neither did I. It's a little funny to me. I know it's good to educate others and to become educated ourselves and this is what it does. And it did prompt me to post...seemed fitting. But I also don't want to put a stamp on my forehead that says, "Hey...look at me. I'm sad because my ovaries are a little confused, which makes it difficult to have babies." I don't want that label. I don't want it to define me, but it is a part of my life. It is a little (sometimes feeling like a large) part of me. It is there...always in the back of my mind. No matter how hard I try to push it away and pretend that it's not, it is still there.
I know I'm not alone. FAR from it. It affects 1 in 6 American couples. That's a lot. And I know many of you who have also experienced this is some way or another. For me, it's something that I became aware of quite awhile ago. It's not something new. I knew as a junior in high school that this was something that would be in my future. The issue reappeared during my first year of college and then again when I was newly married. Even though it's not a recently discovered struggle for me, 7 years later it still feels fresh. And that is what is so hard about it.
Just a little more history. After 4 years of working with doctors, I got pregnant with my twins through the means of InVitro Fertilization (IVF). IVF was a last resort and came only after multiple failed attempts through various other means.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom during those years. SO many great things also happened. Shane and I both finished our education, part of which was the opportunity that came to me to study with an amazing piano teacher at BSU, Del Parkinson. That, in and of itself made those years wonderful for me. We then both started great jobs, got ourselves well-established in a wonderful ward, and spent our time enjoying our simple and gratifying marriage. That time for Shane and me is sacred. Time that we would never give back, and the blessings we received were numerous.
During my pregnancy and for a small period of time after the boys were born, I felt like the issue, naturally, went away. Of course it did. We were busy celebrating our two babies and busy trying to feed two babies! Those babies are now working their way to becoming the cutest preschool-going 4-year-olds ever!!! We are still celebrating our two babies and will for forever.
We thought that after having our boys that the issue might resolve itself, but we are still waiting. At the beginning of the year, after months of preparation and due to the miraculous prayers and help from loved ones, we were able to attempt IVF once again. We couldn't have felt better about it. In our eyes, the stars aligned. Valentine's Day was our celebration day...the day that the blood work would be confirmed. I got the much anticipated phone call to be informed that it had been unsuccessful. That day is still so fresh. My heart is still aching. Will that ever go away? I'm not so sure that it will. I know that the Lord loves me and that He is aware of my struggles. I know that I am not alone or left without comfort. My testimony and faith are not shaken. But we are still allowed to feel pain and disappointment. That knowledge doesn't stop those feelings from coming...in any trial that we experience in this mortal life. And I don't believe that we should push those feelings aside, feeling guilty that we feel hurt, anger and disappointment. I believe that the Lord wants us to own those feelings and then turn them over to Him and allow ourselves to be comforted and healed. That is the beauty of the Atonement.
I wish I could just see the big picture NOW! Life is hard that way. Shane and I are faced with some difficult decisions right now and I feel like I struggle in receiving answers. I've been thinking a lot about Elder Bednar's talk given in General Conference about receiving personal revelation and am trying to do better in that regard. How grateful I am for inspired leaders. I am still blown away by the words spoken in General Conference that seemed to be prepared only for me. I cannot imagine facing this mortal experience without the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father. I am grateful for my faith and my testimony.
I have so much to be grateful for. I know that things could be so much worse. So much harder. That so many have suffered in such greater ways. That is why I can also work to comfort those around me and mourn with those who are mourning. To look beyond myself and strive to serve others. I know the power of this because of the love and service that have been given in my behalf. The Lord has surrounded me with His love through the love of amazing individuals.
Despite the hurt that still lingers, the love of the Lord is felt.
Posted by Shane and Amy Jo at 2:05 PM
Friday, April 22, 2011
Jake is nearly 2 weeks old and I finally got to meet him! About dang time! I've been dying to hold this little one but it was put on hold because of sickness. Now that we are finally on the mend, we got to spend the evening with Jason & Christy and their 3 boys! Meet Jake...
Posted by Shane and Amy Jo at 10:04 PM
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Posted by Shane and Amy Jo at 9:22 PM
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Posted by Shane and Amy Jo at 11:41 AM
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Posted by Shane and Amy Jo at 12:59 PM