About two years ago while listening to BYU Radio I heard a program titled "History of Hymns." This episode was focusing on a hymn I have loved for a long time "Lord, I Would Follow Thee." They were interviewing the author of the hymn. She told a story of spending the day with her sister a couple of days after her sister's baby died. They were shopping for clothes for the funeral. She said she just wished she could have ran ahead of her sister into every store to tell the salespeople "please be kind to my sister, her baby just died. She may seem distant or mean to you today, but this is what she is going through, please be kind."
I remember fighting back tears that morning as I drove to church. Not too long before that I had delivered our stillborn son Samuel. I wish I could have worn a sign telling the world what I was going through because I am sure I came across as mean or uninterested to many people at that time. I also wish others had known so they maybe would have been nicer to me.
Two years this week we said good-bye for now to your little boy. We came home to a nursery that he would never sleep in. To clothes he would never wear, to dreams that would never be realized. And it was hard. Really really hard. We sold the nursery set, and the clothes because even though I wanted another child I didn't want one in that crib or outfit.
That June while brushing my teeth in the Norwich dorm bathroom I knew we needed to start trying again for a baby. I didn't feel ready, but after a lot of prayer, pondering and attending the Temple I knew that was right. So we tried and for the first time we didn't get pregnant with fertility medicine. I wish I could have worn a t-shirt that said "I'm not cranky I'm on clomid" because boy I knew I was cranky. I can think of a couple of relationships that took some bad blows those couple of months that I don't know will ever be repaired. I can also think of a lot of relationships that have grown because another woman understood my crankiness and heartache during the fertility treatment months.
After more prayers, pondering and attending the Temple we decided to try adoption. Man, those were hard months. I still have not processed them completely and I have a feeling it will be years before I can totally make sense of those. But as adoption opportunities arose and then failed life was pretty hard and dark.
And then I got pregnant. Totally natural, unplanned pregnant. It was a miracle but oh the emotions of being pregnant after a miscarriage. Oh and add moving to Hawaii during your first trimester and being on large doses of progesterone. On Monday I commented to John that I was finally in the second trimester and could stop the progesterone which I was so grateful for, he commented that he was too. I of course snapped back "oh yea I am sure the mood swings, hot flashes and dizziness has been really hard for you." Yea it's not out of my system :)
I share these not for a pity party or to try to explain the roller coaster of the last two years. I know that is our trial, and while I hope I can help others with theirs because of what I have been through, I don't need others to understand what we have gone through.
I share this because all morning I have been thinking of the line from "Lord, I would follow Thee,"
Who I am I too judge another
When I walk imperfectly
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can't see
I vividly remember two particular conversations that occurred around the time we lost our son. Both were women talking about wanting another child. Both had what they viewed as legitimate concerns about having another child. But boy I didn't view them as legitimate. At the time I was so mad that they would talk about those things to me after the "real" struggle we had been going through to have another child. I had to restrain myself from lashing out at them and letting them know how hard life could be really be.
I won't say how long it took for me to realize that though they probably could have used a little sensitivity in who they discussed this problem with, these were real humans with real problems that to them seemed HUGE! They were experience sorrow that I couldn't understand and that I had the audacity to judge because of what I have been through.
My trials are so public. Very few people don't know the struggle it has been to have another child.
Over the last two years I have learned most people struggle more quietly. Few people share their financial concerns, or marriage problems or addictions or concerns about parenting on their blogs or even with their friends. They just struggle. Day in and day out, silently and unsupported. No one is running ahead of them to warn others of their trials. No one is checking in on them like my amazing friends have done for so long.
So I am learning to just give the benefit of the doubt. I heard once that if you treat everyone like they are going through a major trial that is about to break them you will be right 98% of the time. I need to cut people some slack and just let things go.
I am learning to just serve those around me to whatever capacity I can.
I am learning to just love. Everyone has their story. They have their reason for acting how they do (though that doesn't always make the way they are acting right). Regardless just love them. Love goes a lot further than lecture.
I am learning to just compliment as a way of comforting. I really do believe that is the best way to help someone, share what you like about them, or your confidence in them. I am trying to just listen more, talk less, love more and compliment more.
I am learning to just see the good in all things. Yes everything has good, even the really really hard things.
And last I have learned I would take my trials any day of the week over just about anyone else's :)