I’ve been meaning to write this story for nearly nine months but have struggled to find the right time and the right words to do so. This morning, my midwife told me she would not be surprised if I were to go into labor this weekend. I suddenly realized that I should write it now, because my life is about to change forever.
Even considering how much I left out, it is a long story. So long that I’m going to break it into three separate posts. There are no pictures. I won’t be offended if you get bored and click over to something more entertaining. But this story needed to be written, and now that it is, I want to share it with you.
We started trying for a baby in June of 2008. I stopped taking birth control pills and subsequently stopped having regular periods. We spent a lot of money on pregnancy tests that first year, since there was rarely a physical indication that I wasn’t pregnant. It got old.
By May of 2009 I was unemployed, David was still in school, we had no medical insurance and little money, and we couldn’t make a baby. Things just didn’t seem to be going the way we wanted, and it was discouraging. But we both knew that we were supposed to have a baby and that now was the right time. I went to the doctor to seek some help. Our patriarchal blessings both mentioned children, and we felt nothing but encouraging “This is right, keep going” promptings from the spirit when we prayed. So we trusted the Lord and the doctor and moved forward.
The following April the doctor told me that he’d done all he could for us. We’d spent nearly a full year ruling out PCOS, determining that I had low levels of certain hormones, and using two different drugs to boost my chances of conceiving. If I wasn’t pregnant by June, he told me I would need to see a specialist to get some further testing done.
Throughout this discussion I felt strangely calm. I knew I wasn’t pregnant (he’d had me take a test to be sure) but somehow it didn’t bother me as much as it usually did. I assumed God was telling me that all would be well and I shouldn’t worry about it. So I didn’t. I spent the next couple months faithfully taking my pills, charting my temperature, checking my fertility monitor, and doing everything else I was supposed to.
I didn’t get pregnant in April. Or May. Then, in June, my period–which had become quite regular on these medications–didn’t come when it was supposed to.
I waited a few days. A week. I finally took a pregnancy test. Negative. But still nothing. I didn’t believe that I could be pregnant, but for another week that possibility kept nagging at the back of my mind. Until we went out of town for David’s uncle’s funeral at the beginning of July. After the service I excused myself to the bathroom, only to discover that I was most definitely not pregnant.
So I quit.
I stopped refilling my prescriptions. I shoved my thermometer and fertility monitor under the bed and out of sight. I was sick of the stress and disappointment and all of it. I was tired of wearing myself out trying to get something that seemed to come so naturally to everyone else. I was done.
I am still not entirely sure what I believed at that point. I’d like to pretend that by abandoning medical interventions for the time being I was putting the matter completely in the Lord’s hands and leaving things to His timing. If I’m honest with myself, though, I think that moment–alone in the bathroom just after Uncle Todd’s funeral–was when I stopped trusting that He would ever send us a child. I think I gave up.
I just couldn’t do it.