Friday, October 9, 2015

Missed

Since I had my surgery in March for endometriosis, I have tried to have a policy of being more open with medical issues. A lot of times women don't mention or discuss gynecological problems in particular, and though I do appreciate discretion and modesty and am not advocating shouting out all of our problems on social media, I do feel like we sometimes keep our worries, issues, and heartaches too close.

Some of these conditions, when shared appropriately, could help others-- whether that means comforting others who also have gone or are going through the problem or helping them diagnosis similar issues. I feel like I could have found out about endometriosis sooner if others had been more open with their own experiences with it and recommended to me that I check out that possibility.

That being said, I took a pregnancy test near the end of September and saw that second faint line. We originally hadn't planned to get pregnant right now but ended up changing our mind and tried (not very hard) to do so. And it looked like it worked! However, I had some uneasiness and anxiety, as well as some feeling some "heaviness" off and on.

Well, on the afternoon of October 3, I started spotting. The spotting continued on Sunday and the bleeding started in earnest that night. Saturday night/Sunday/ and the next few days were extremely hard emotionally and physically. I had not been through a miscarriage before, and I never fully understood the emotional strain and pain that you feel when you have one. For me, in addition to the sorrow, confusion, and sadness, it felt like a lack. Though I was only about 6 weeks pregnant, I still felt some sort of relationship with that tiny "child"/fetus/embryo. I had plans in my head. I was thinking of the nursery in our new house and how we would all fit in our current house. It was like the possibility and potential of all of that—of a whole person—died, disappeared, and was taken without my having any say in it. That loss and emptiness struck me in waves, bringing me to prayer and tears over and over again.

I was grateful for General Conference occurring as I was dealing with this experience. I especially valued the reminder from Elder Bednar of dear Elder Wirthlin's talk, "Come What May, and Love It." How could I accept this miscarriage and love it? Maybe "loving it" isn't exactly what Elder Wirthlin had in mind for tragic situations. Maybe he meant that we need to see the positive, or at least accept the trials in our lives and try to make the best of them. I can use my experience to relate to others, to allow others to help me, and to rely more closely on the Lord.

I think it was on Monday that I did my "regular" scripture study and happened to be reading 3 Nephi 22. Reading the first verse, I thought it was a cruel joke the universe was playing on me, as it says "break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child." But I kept reading and found the comfort I needed:

verse 6-7: "For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee."

I kept reading and also especially loved verse 16: "Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work...", which I took to mean that the Lord molds us through trials and adversity in order to make us tools in His hands. Without the hard things that we go through, we wouldn't be able to properly do His work. We need those trials to strengthen and shape us.

I drove yesterday to Tacoma to go to the OBGYN, and the beauty I saw driving there and back home felt like another blessing. I felt almost sad for those who don't get to live where we do and experience the peace and beauty of the water, the trees, the fog, and finally the sunlight that eventually broke through. Because it does. The light may not come immediately, but it does.