John: What are you going to say about this?
Me: I'm going to tell them. I share my personal life with them and this is part of it.
On July 5th, the day after I arrived at my mother's house to start our summer vacation, I went to the Dollar Store and bought ten pregnancy tests for ten dollars. You can't beat that deal, and although I normally don't use that many tests at a time, I like to have them on hand for friends who think they might be expecting. It's just something nice that I do, a service I offer, so to speak, because that's the kind of person I am. (That was supposed to be funny.)
And because I was 3 days late, I decided to put one to use, and Lo and Behold.... I was pregnant. The second pink line was so faint, however, that it was almost imperceptible, so four days later I took another test, and Lo and Behold.... I was more pregnant, as the second pink line was definitely there, and darker.
I was so happy. Over the past months my feelings had been changing from unwillingness to comply with The Lord's desires that John and I continue to have children, to slightly more willing compliance, then, after an experience I had with a young missionary who shared a meaningful scripture with me, the last two verses in THIS chapter, in fact, to a cheerful willingness to do whatever The Lord wanted John and I to do. In fact, in recent months, I had even been disappointed as each month passed that I wasn't pregnant. And how do John and I know that this is The Lord's desire for us? We just do. It's that simple. We both feel it in our hearts and know it's right that we allow Him to plan our family.
John was out of town when I became certain that I was expecting, and I wanted to wait and tell him when we were alone in a quiet restaurant. An opportunity like that doesn't come up easily while vacationing with 8 children, so it wasn't until five days later that I was able to tell him in a small sushi restaurant by the high school. He was surprised, then surprised that he would be surprised, then suggested that if his late mother had anything to do with it, this one would finally be a girl. I broadly smiled and said that if that was the case, we should name her after his mother, thus.... Adelaide Louise. He happily agreed.
A week later all of my sisters were to meet in Santa Cruz, CA for a mini-family reunion, so it became my plan to tell them all at the same time. I had never, and knew that I would never, have an opportunity to tell all of my family members in person, at once, that we were expecting, and I thought it would be wonderful and entertaining to see their reactions. I couldn't wait.
So we left my mother's home on Friday and began our drive to Pasadena, CA. We arrived the next evening and spent a wonderful weekend visiting with one of my sisters and her four children, but on Tuesday I began spotting. I told John that I thought it was nothing to worry about and that I thought this was common during early pregnancy, but that I would do some research on it. I did, and my findings matched what I had told John. However, by Wednesday, the bleeding was becoming quite heavy and I began feeling very weak, and felt like this was the beginning of a miscarriage. My mother and sister could see that I felt bad, but didn't know why, as I had been planning on telling everyone the news of my pregnancy the next day. However, by that night things were progressing towards the inevitable end, and I asked John if I should just tell my family what was happening. He said yes, that I would need their support, and that even though we weren't sure what the end result would be, that they needed to know.
So after the kids had left the dinner area, I told my mother and sister that two weeks ago I found out that I was pregnant. Before I could go on, my mother clapped her hands in the air and cried "I knew it!" and smiled and laughed. I then continued to say that I thought I was losing the baby, but because my mother doesn't hear like she used to, she continued happily making comments and my sister had to place her hand on her knee and say, "Mom, she says she thinks she's miscarrying." My mother's countenance immediately fell, and I thought she was going to cry, and she quietly said, "Poor Jennifer."
She hugged me as we went inside, then John and I went back to our hotel to put the kids to bed.
The next day the bleeding subsided a little, and I was still feeling somewhat nauseated, so I thought that perhaps this had all been a fluke, and that there was still life in me. My emotions were riding high not only for this reason, but because this was a special day my family had planned many months ago. We were to go through a ceremony in our temple in which our family would be sealed together for all eternity, not just for this life. We would become a family that would remain in the heavens in the next life and it was a day we had awaited for many years.
As we walked into the temple, my body was weak and I had begun to feel heavy and achy, but my spirit was strong and happy that this day had finally arrived. I was worried about wearing white, but was blessed that things turned out fine and we ended up having a touching, beautiful experience together. After the ceremony, we took pictures outside the temple, went out for Indian food, then drove the six hours to Santa Cruz. It was a long day, a day filled with physical uncertainly about our baby, but a spiritually uplifting and memorable day where love and joy were shared by the entire family.
The following two days the bleeding remained the same, and when I went into the drug store I saw that pregnancy tests were on sale for 3 for $10, not as great of a deal as in my mom's town, but still, so I purchased a box of 3. I retook the test to see that the hcg hormone was still being registered and the test was positive. I thought this was a good sign and hopefully told John that perhaps we were still pregnant.
On Saturday, however, while we were in Costco, I began to feel very heavy and achy and told John we needed to finish up our shopping and leave. We checked out, went to my sister's and there I lost the baby.
John and my sisters and my mother via phone (she had stayed with my sister in Pasadena) continually asked how I was feeling, and my mother said, "And I don't mean physically" and were so supportive and helpful during my time of need. I still feel weak and tired, and John continues to fulfill his responsibilities as the dad and mine, as the mom. He is entirely amazing and my love for him has grown on this trip to surpass even what I felt before. I couldn't ask for a better husband and father to my children and I love him with all of my heart.
Yes, John and I are disappointed, but we know that this was God's will and that if He wants us to raise more children, he will give us that opportunity and we will be happy to take it. In the mean time, I will continue to enjoy the time I have with my sisters, my mother, my children, and my nieces and nephews. Incidentally, a silver lining to this entire vacation was that my 22-year-old daughter surprised me by flying into San Jose and spending the weekend with us! Over the past few months she had said that she wouldn't be able to get away because of school, but all that time she had been conniving with John to meet us here. It was a wonderful surprise and it's been so fun to see all of the little kids get to know her again.
Although I won't get to surf like I'd been planning, and I can't squat and run and walk to the perfect locations to take the perfect photos, I'm having a beautiful vacation with the people I love most in the world, people who have showed compassion and caring and consideration. My love for all of them has grown in unexpected ways, because of what I have been through, and I thank God for every opportunity I have to grow, even if it sometimes hurts. Life is good.
(Twin B and I enjoying Santa Monica beach last week, with an unsightly wadded up beach towel in the background. And I think my eyes are closed.)
Thanks for listening. :)