Friday, October 8, 2010

waiting on the Lord...

I was really nervous for my ultrasound today. I've been really nervous this entire pregnancy. The whole thing has felt almost too good to be true. You know the feeling, I'm sure. You've waited for something for so long, you've begged for it, you've pleaded. You've dreampt about it, and daydreamed about it, and then done everything within your own power and ability to make it happen...and then, when you it finally does, you almost don't believe it. It feels like a dream. You wonder what you did to finally deserve it, and you're worried you might do something to ruin're worried about waking up from this dream that feels, well...too good to be true.
We took the kids with us for the appointment. Normally that wouldn't be a good idea, but because John was coming along, and because it was just an ultrasound, and should have been quick, I figured it wouldn't hurt to bring them along.
The appointment was almost a half hour away, so on the drive, I pulled out my Bible and began reading aloud. John and I are taking part in an Old Testament challenge this year (issued by my brother, Matt); and sadly, we've fallen a bit behind. In order to get back on track, we decided we better just take the thing with us wherever we go. So as I was reading aloud from the Book of Psalms, I came across a particular verse, and something strange happened. It was as if the Spirit told me to remember the scripture - that I'd need to refer back to it at a later date. Without even questioning the counsel I was given, I took a mental picture of where that particular verse was located on the page, and then continued reading.
Shortly afterward, we arrived to the medical center. The kids fought over the elevator buttons, but somehow we still managed to make it to the 5th floor. My heart was racing. It didn't help that we had to wait awhile before they called us back. I was nervous and just wanted to get it over with. Really all I wanted, was to see that little heartbeat. They finally called us back, and almost immediately after the technician began the ultrasound, I knew something was wrong. We all stared intently at the monitor, but instead of seeing a tiny bean shaped being with a little beating heart, we saw nothing. Blackness. An empty gestational sac. No matter how many times the technician went over the area, it didn't change the fact that there was nothing. And what made matters worse, was hearing my little Ruby repeat, (what seemed 1,000 times) Mom, where's the baby? I don't see the baby. Mom, where's our baby? I can't see anything at all. My eyes began to sting. My heart began to burn. And there was nothing I could do to stop the flood gates. I cried and hard that my face was contorted, and I couldn't speak when I opened my mouth to say something. Just sobs. And gasps.
They sent us out to the waiting room until the doctor came to get us. John got me a handful of tissue. I did my best to compose myself.
The doctor explained to us that it was really too early to know what was happening, but that right now, we were looking at three different possibilities.

1) I was in the process of miscarrying.
2) I have what is called a blighted ovum. It's when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, but never continues developing after the 6th week, and is then absorbed into the uterus. What's sad is that you continue showing signs and experiencing all the symptoms of a normal, healthy pregnancy.
3) I'm still pregnant. Just not as far along as we figured. I was supposed to be at 8 weeks and 1 day, but the gestational sac was measuring at 6 weeks and 6 days. I know the first day of my last menstrual cycle was August 12th, but is it possible I could have ovulated a week and 2 days late?

Of course, we were hoping for the 3rd scenario, but It was hard to remain optimistic when the other two seemed to be staring me in the face...and so much more likely.

I cried some more. I cried a lot. I cried the whole way home from the Dr. office. I cried so hard when I called my dad, that it's a wonder he even made sense of what I was saying. I cried on the way to the lab where I was sent to get a beta hcg quantitative (and where I will also go on Monday and Wednesday for the same test - a test which will determine if my hcg hormone levels are doubling every 48 hours like they're supposed to). In fact, I had been crying so hard on the way to the lab, that once we got there, I opted to not remove my sunglasses. Even when we saw our good friends, Ruby and George, at the same lab, I still couldn't remove my glasses. I knew that if they asked me what was wrong, I would cry even harder. My friends, Amber and Diana, both sent texts while I was at the lab, wondering how the appointment went. Not knowing what to say to either of them, or how to respond...made me cry.
Poor John, I know he needed to get back to work, but seeing me in that condition, well, I don't think he felt it would be right to leave my side. He asked me if it would be okay if he sent out an email to our family members, requesting that they all rally their faith, and participate in a special fast on our behalf. I believe that there is power in numbers, and especially when a group of people fast and pray for a common purpose. So naturally, I consented.
I lay on the bed and cried while John composed the email. When he was through, he asked me if I'd like a blessing. I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of asking him on my own. I'll admit, I had been lacking a certain amount of faith.
As John laid his hands on my head, the power of the Lord's Spirit was immediate. I was reminded of how much I love the Priesthood, and how grateful I was that my John was worthy enough to exercise the Power he had been endowed with - the power to bless, the power to comfort, the power to heal - the Lord's power. As he began to speak, it felt as if his words came directly from the Heavens - I know that they did.
Among other things, he blessed me with peace and comfort. I was actually promised certain blessings, contingent upon my faith. I was told to then have faith, and to exercise that faith. I was counseled to develop a deeper relationship with my Savior, to really come to know Him. I was told to have hope, and to trust in His power. I was even blessed to be able to sleep at night, which was huge because ever since I found out I was pregnant, I have struggled to have a full and peaceful night's rest.
I wish I could recall every word of the blessing, it was so beautiful and powerful. Maybe it's not really necessary that I remember it all. The parts that do stick out in my mind, I believe, are the things that Heavenly Father really wanted me to hear, to know, and to remember.
When John finished, I was crying so hard. I was hugging him so tight and crying so hard that I couldn't breathe. This time it wasn't a cry of despair though, it was a cry of joy...tears of gratitude. Gratitude to my Savior for comforting me and blessing me with the peace that comes only through Him and because of His atoning sacrifice - He suffered so that I wouldn't have to.
After the blessing I felt refreshed and renewed. I was excited to start working on my personal relationship with my Savior, and to begin exercising my faith as my blessing admonished. I opened my scriptures, and upon doing so, I immediately thought of the verse in Psalms which we had read that morning on the way to our appointment. I couldn't recall what the scripture had said, but I knew exactly where to find it. I flipped through the pages until I got to the 27th Psalm.

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." -Psalms 27:14

Wow...if I didn't ever need that exact scripture in that exact moment. I felt like it was written specifically for me. As I studied the scripture in depth and began to cross reference it, I was even more blown away at how it pertained to me and to my situation. To me, the term "wait on the Lord" implies having patience in Him, to trust in His timing. Although this is true, I learned, as I studied, that it actually means so much more. To wait means to have Faith. I was told in my blessing to have Faith, and to exercise that faith. Definitely not a coincidence. I then cross-referenced a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants which gave me an even deeper understanding of the term "wait on the Lord".

"Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;
2 Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.
3 Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord." -D&C 98:1-3

This scripture made me realize, and actually know without a doubt, that the Lord has heard my cries and that He will grant my desires unto me. That all my afflictions shall work together for my good, and to the glory of the Lord.

Almost never before in my life have I felt like particular verses of scripture were written just for me. I was in tears (I cry a lot), but once again, these were happy tears. Hopeful tears.

We'll go in for another ultrasound next Friday. I've determined, in the meantime, to remain optimistic. I know that my God is a God of miracles. The Lord caused the blind to see, the deaf to hear...and even raised the dead. Surely He has the power to further this pregnancy if it's His will to do so. I have faith and hope that this is part of His design for us.

Please keep us in your prayers.


The Sorensens. said...

you are in our prayers. love to everyone in your family.

Brooke said...

We love you and are praying for you also!

Ella said before our family prayers tonight,"Mom let's not forget to pray for Aunt Nicole!" I thought that was sweet of her to remember that I talked about it a little yesterday.

Jess and Matt said...

I am so sorry that you have to go through this. Thank you for sharing such a personal story because I felt your faith and hope and it strengthened me, too. I think of that scripture in D&C all of the time; it's my favorite and has brought comfort to me and bouyed me up countless times. You and your sweet family are in our prayers.

Layla said...

You are in our prayers! Take care of your self.

Sonja said...

Love, so much love to you.
You uplift, edify, and radiate the hope of Christ.
I'm so thankful to know you.
God bless your sweet, beautiful, wonderful family.

Carol said...

Nicole and John. Your always in my prayers and thoughts. Your the strongest people I know! I love you both, well I love you all :)

Our Family News said...

We will for sure keep you in our prayers. If I saw ya I would give you a big hug.

Donna said...

Oh Nicole,
I will be praying for you...stay optimistic for the Lord does know you. I wish I lived closer, sending you a big hug from Virginia.

Maryann said...

You are all in my prayers!

natalie eve said...

will do. sad to hear this news... but you've got the correct outlook on it all.

love you nicole. stay strong.

Site Host said...

Dorth and I just broke our fast for you dudes. We love you guys and will not forget you in our prayers.

Jon & Jenelle said...

After all the help and comfort you've given me~a total stranger i wish i could make everything all better for you! You are an amazing, strong person, and you'll for sure be in my prayers.

Celeste said...

i am a still a terrible blogger, but i need to catch up on your blog!

you know how much we love you guys and that we are praying for you everyday. you amaze me with your outlook and attitude about it all. thank you for your example. we love you all.

diana said...

love you.

you and john have been in my thoughts and prayers since friday, and will continue to be.

you are strong. you are loved.

Jill said...

Oh Nicole! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Angie P said...

That was such a beautiful post. I'm sitting here at work on the verge of tears. I'm so happy that I have an older sister who is such an example to me. Your faith is really inspiring. I love you Nic. I have no doubt everything will work out. You are constantly in my prayers.

Travis and Teresa Wilson said...

Waiting is hard, but when your waiting on the Lord it seems much more do-able. I love you and will be praying for you.

Rachel said...

Nicole, my heart is breaking for you. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. You and your family will be in my prayers.

disillusioned said...

Praying always!!!

Love Mary P.