HERE WE GOOOOOOO!!!!!
Just about a couple of weeks BEFORE (correction here, I put "a couple of weeks after" originally, but then I remembered I found out I was pregnant in August, and started the BOM challenge in September; now please continue reading... : D) starting my Book of Mormon challenge to myself (and to a lesser extent, all of you!), I peed on a stick and it said "Pregnant."
I remember standing there and Mike said "Has it done anything yet?" And I said "No! Wait! You can't see it before I do! I'm supposed to tell you I'm pregnant!" And we looked down and there it was, and I gasped. I didn't have long to be too excited, because we had just gotten Paige and I'm pretty sure she peed on the floor, or something, at that same moment. (Maybe she was excited as well? There was a lot of peeing on weird objects going on that weekend)
Anyways, I thought to myself "This is great timing! I'm trying to better myself by reading the scriptures more earnestly, this will be great preparation for whatever lies ahead!"
Truer words have never been thought in my mind.
My first month of knowing I was pregnant passed along, and we were getting excited for our first appointment, to see our little whatever and the heartbeat and all of that exciting stuff.
And, by the way, the exhaustion! OH! I was EXHAUSTED! Can I just say kudos to the mothers out there? Building a placenta is hard work.
Moving on, we go to our first appointment, we're talking to the doctor, and we're all nervous and she's happy that this was a very planned pregnancy, and she pulls up the ultrasound on the screen and I knew immediately that it wasn't right. She knew it too. She fiddled around with it for awhile and made comments about how she couldn't find a heartbeat or even where the yolk sac was. I'm laying over there, trying not to panic, asking her what it means, when I remember that Mike is in the room too. I look over at him, and he's staring intently at the screen with a look on confusion, and intense concentration, on his face. Then he looks at me, and I remembered somehow that I wasn't breathing for some reason and it probably would've been a good idea to do that, so I started breathing again.
The doctor explained that she wanted to run some blood work on me and follow up at the end of the week, just to be sure that there was in fact no baby, before we moved on to surgery. I felt like I wanted to cry, that I SHOULD have been crying, but I wasn't. Then her nurse came in to draw my blood, and she put the tourniquet around my arm and said "You look a little pale, are you sure you're okay sitting? Do you want to lay down?" At that point, my heart started to crack, and I stammered out "I just...I don't....I'm kind of a mess right now" and then I buried my face in Mike's chest and sobbed. (Side note: that nurse had the best bedside manner I've ever seen. She very quietly took the tourniquet off my arm, handed Mike some kleenex, and let him help me over to the exam table to lay down.) I just laid there crying and holding Mike's hand, while she drew my blood, and then we were free to go.
I just didn't know what to think anymore. The next few days were awful. It turned out to be a complete molar pregnancy, which basically means that there was a placenta growing, but no baby. My hormone levels were going through the roof. I spent about a week trying not to puke my guts up. I went in for surgery a week after my first appointment, and had a DNC (abortive procedure, they essentially vacuumed out my uterus). That was very bittersweet. Sweet because oh my gosh as soon as I was home, recovering (despite the anesthesia hangover), I felt nearly 100% myself again. Bitter because, well, there wasn't a baby.... I was so turned off from being a mother at this point. I told myself I didn't want to try and get pregnant again for years. I just didn't want to experience another heart breaking miscarriage.
Are you wondering what the heck this has to do with reading my scriptures? For about the rest of September, my scripture study suffered greatly. I was still exhausted, physically and emotionally, and it was hard to find the motivation to do it.
Then general conference happened the first weekend of October. And Elder Anderson gave this talk
After he finished, I looked at Mike and said "Well that was the talk that was written for me." Elder Anderson said "amen" at the end of his talk and it was, literally, like a switch was turned back on in me, and I had the motivation to be alive again and the desire for children came rushing back. (that's still a long road yet, but everything in its time, right?)
I threw myself back into the Book of Mormon. It was what I needed at the end of a terrible year. I kept finding new things that I'd never read before, and discovered new meanings in stories I've known since I was very little. I think that the overwhelming theme which I pulled out of this go around with that great Book, was that the Lord can help you through anything. Throughout the war chapters in Alma, there are so many times that the righteous would appear to be the underdogs against the great armies of the wicked, and yet they not only survive, they SUCCEED. If you have the faith, the Lord is going to provide a way for you, even if it seems impossible. One of my favorite stories is in Alma chapter 8. Alma is out preaching and is completely rejected in the city of Ammonihah. He's feeling worn down and tired, and probably thinking he's a failure (he's only human), when an angel appears to him and tells him to go back. Here's the best part, he goes immediately! He doesn't sit around thinking "Oh but I tried and I failed, and whiney whiney whiney, me me me, blah blah blah." He gets up and does what he's told to do, and then he meets Amulek, who essentially becomes his mission companion, and they have some really amazing missionary experiences.
My favorite stories from the Book of Mormon, though, will always be about Nephi. He reminds me a lot of Joseph, in the Bible ("in my dazzling coat of many colors, how I love my coat of many colors"), who happens to be my favorite person in that particular book. Nephi is one of the best examples of unwavering faith to me. He faced a lot of adversity, but he kept moving forward. One of my favorite scriptures of all time anywhere, and which I say frequently to myself, is
"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless I went forth,"
How many times have you felt like that in your life? You feel prompted to do something or go somewhere, and you don't know how in heaven it's going to work out, but you do it, because you know it's what the Lord would have you do. And if He thinks you can do it, then you sure can do it.
Well, I suppose I must apologize to those of you who haven't read the Book of Mormon, because these last few paragraphs probably sounded something like a foreign language. But I encourage you to read it. It's a good book, and good things have come into my life because of it.
If anyone did take on my little challenge, and learned anything that they would like to share, please DO share. Leave a comment, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to learn about what you learned :)
And as for the baby stuff, I have this guy to keep me company until I get one of those
(he better stick around a lot longer after babies come as well, if he knows what's good for him, I've forbidden him to die before me; and for the record, I was originally referring to Pete, but the not dying before me rule goes for both him AND Mike, since some people were wondering :))