Thursday, June 6, 2013

Broken promises and candybars

I commit to the same thing every month. And if my math is correct, I’ve made that same promise 12 times in a row.

And yet I fail every time.

You see, on about day 27 or 28 of every month, I wake up early in the morning and drive to the Dollar General. Usually I’m still in my pajamas, but today I wore jean shorts and actually put on a bra. The odds of us taking pictures and a video were high because I was convinced this month would be different.

I left the door open to the bathroom as I completed my routine pee, excitedly chatting with Jake who was on the couch. But within a few seconds, I knew this would not be the month. Sounds of crinkling plastic caught Jake’s attention and he asked what else I bought at the store.

“Well, they’re mini Snickers bars. They’re celebratory or condolences. And I guess today they’re condolences.”

And then came memorized-promise No. 13: “I refuse to do this to myself in July. I will not subject myself to this disappointment. I will not take a pregnancy test unless I have missed my period by more than a week.”

I’m amazed at the human heart — the ability to be so incredibly discouraged one day and 100 percent hopeful a few weeks later. It’s quite the vicious cycle, actually. The promise to avoid the test is usually made during full-fledged vulnerability — pants down on the toilet, negative test in hand with tears on my cheeks. But somehow, against all odds, I find myself in that same (hopeful) position every month.

My promise today feels firm — I can’t handle this emotional setback next month. (But if we’re going to be realistic, I know over the course of the next 30 days, my spirit will revive itself and my mind will do a little convincing. “This is it! This is your month.”)

“Just don’t think about it. If you don’t think about it, it will work,” they say. Why don’t you give it a try: Don’t picture a pink elephant. Avoid it at all costs. Ignore the fact that the women in your family have pink elephants, that your friends have them, that social media news feeds flood your thoughts with ultrasounds and videos of pink elephants, and that you're Primary president over 120 of them. Oh, and avoid talking about it, too, even though your husband is a doctor for pink elephants.

Now stop focusing on it ... and you’ll get one of your own!

Right.

Unless you’ve struggled with infertility, it's hard to relate. How can you not think about it? And why does "not thinking about" mean you'll get one? (Hate to break it to you — thinking about it doesn't affect the rate sperm swim or eggs drop, nor the timing they connect.) 

Sure, I apply the Atonement. I have a solid understanding of trials and faith. I’m not ignoring the fact that Doc. P and I have had sacred spiritual experiences and answers from Heavenly Father. I hold those moments very dear and we both know children will eventually come.


We just don’t know when. Until then, I suspect many more broken promises, trips to Dollar General and binge eating.

Four down and two to go. Err — make that five. 



Friday, May 3, 2013

Our would-be baby


We lost our babe a year ago —
Our 9.5-week miracle.
Just when I think my heart has healed,
Strings in my gut — they pull.

A blood clot here, some cramping there.
“It’s normal,” they did say.
But in my heart, I knew it well —
That second day of May.

I climbed in bed, where doom did lie.
I tried to sleep it off.
But I knew deep down, this was the end,
Our baby’s growth had stopped.

In that lonesome, restless night,
Bold words filled my mind.
A blessing I got, two weeks before.
It made sense — I did find.

Atonement: you will come to know
Deeper than you do now.”
“Of course,” I thought, “The Lord — he knew!”
On my knees, then, did I bow.

I knew the moment I’d stand up,
Gravity would take its toll.
Signs of miscarriage would stain my pants.
That blood … how it would roll.

And sure enough, at 6 a.m.,
I got the courage to stand.
And right on cue, our lives did change.
The pain, by no means, bland.

My dear Jake leapt from the bed.
To my rescue, he did come.
Cleaned me up and got me dressed.
(Where did this boy hail from?)

Tears in our eyes, fear in our hearts.
The hospital we did go.
Doc said, “Maybe not — lets double check.”
In reality, truth bestowed.

Twelve months have passed and still no babe.
When will this trial end?
Just when I think I’ve overcome —
I’m barely on the mend.

The Lord was right. I have learned —
Plenty about His Son.
I’ll be frank — it’s not been fun.

Highs and lows, trust fluctuates …
Not perfect, still in pain.
Is he disappointed — did I fail my test?
Was this trial all in vain?

I hope, in time, I can see more light —
The plan He has in store.
But I can’t deny, I know his plan
These trials, these tests — there’ll be more.

For I agreed in the pre-earth life,
To receive a body, and such.
Hardships and loss I knew would come,
In quantity, though, how much?

Our dreams were dammed, our plans, they changed —
My mind … oh how it churned.
That day so real, that pain so strong.
In my memory it is burned.

In my sweats with eyes swollen red,
I relive the memory today.
With high hopes that years from now,
I’ll understand that third day of May.


*On a lighter note, "Parks and Recreation" nailed it. 

video