So this is my mother's day post this year. It's a little out of the ordinary.
So, you might as well know. About 10 weeks ago I woke up early one Sunday morning in a panic. I left almost immediately to go to 24 hour Walmart to buy a pregnancy test (actually 3 of them). Brad was apparently in a panic as well because he called me 3 times in the 1/2 hour I was gone (make sure you get more than one, make sure you get different brands, don't get the cheapest one). As you can guess, or I probably wouldn't even remember the incident today, two out of two tests came back positive. Let me put this into a little perspective, I'm 44, Brad's 48, Kelsi just turned 18 (3 days before this particular day), Brady would be 14 by the time the baby was due. We just stood and stared at each other for 2 hours in open-mouthed shock, with Brad muttering things like, "This can't be real." or "Is there any chance it could be wrong?"
This was NOT where our life was heading.
Has something ever jerked you out of your way of thinking, your way of life your direction? It is a very odd feeling. Of course I am ever grateful that it wasn't something dreadful like terminal illness (although, I am of the mindset that child-bearing/rearing COULD lead to an early death). But holy smokes, news like this forces you into submission. Did you know we are not in control (even though we'd like to think we are)? This was something that there was NO WAY around. Without doing something immoral or illegal there was no changing our new direction. It was a very odd to feel in a small way, like those who had made mistakes in life that leave them "in a family way" without a husband. You wish you could go back, you wish there was something you could do, you wonder how you could have been so careless. But after a day of complete and utter shock we started to rally. While we still had a long way to go to wrap our minds around something like this, we started thinking of the positive, fun ideas about our situation. We told our kids... they were TOTALLY excited! That was fun. We told a couple of friends that NEEDED to know because of previous engagements that would have to be put on hold (ok, cancelled) because of the news. THEY were TOTALLY excited.
What else do you do? You think of the positive. We tried... we succeeded (a little bit).
I didn't want to tell anyone (with the exception of a few). I guess I was a bit embarrassed, "Stefani, hasn't anyone ever explained to you how these things happen?" "Stefani, don't you know you're OLD?" and when I did tell people I wanted it to be with a positive - "We couldn't be happier!" - attitude (that was going to take some time).
The title of this post suggests I possibly felt like these great women of the scriptures that were destined to bare prophets. Mostly I just felt old, really old. Brad's mortality came into focus as well, when calculated how old he would be when this kid graduated from high school (67, if you're wondering). Maybe he felt a little like Abraham, who was 100 when Isaac was born - can you imagine? Whoa!
You know, when you're young and having a baby, you're a little oblivious. You're just taking it day by day, it's sorta fun in an "ignorance is bliss"type of a way. But now I knew what it took to raise a child, all 18 years worth. YIKES! Could I do that again? I wasn't so sure.
We learned some good communication with each other and with the Lord.
We learned, first that our trust in the Lord, wasn't what we thought. Then we learned that in order to do hard things we HAD to trust in the Lord.
We learned about a lot of other families that had cabooses and were blessed because of it.
We learned better scripture study habits.
We learned that we are resilient.
We learned a better and more mature appreciation of parenthood (especially poignant that it was Mother's Day)
We learned to expectations of life aren't always what you think they're going to be.
We learned to take it down a notch (I was having trouble realizing I needed to take a nap or that I couldn't work myself into the ground).
I started a baby name list
I started making nursery plans
I started thinking about baby clothes again
I started noticing "older" pregnant moms
I started wanting to hold babies more
I started envisioning all the things I would do differently (and better) this time
I started eating/drinking healthier
I started anticipating having the oldest and the youngest (possibly) grandchild on my side of the family
I stopped running :(
I stopped thinking I was going to be at Girls Camp for Afton's last two years
I stopped thinking about serving a mission with Brad anytime soon
I stopped lifting heavy things
I stopped staying up late
(Why do I like this picture so much?)
I was really getting into the groove of things, and then tragedy struck. It started out small really. But once my body figured out what was going on, it was all over really pretty quickly. About 8 weeks into it, my body realized that there was something wrong and I miscarried. I won't gross you out with all the details, but needless to say, we have been on quite the roller coaster ride in the last couple of months. We have now been shoved back into our first mindset (hopefully with a few valuable lessons under our belts). That, in and of itself, is hard and a little bit weird. But as Brad and I have both agreed on, we are sad for the loss, we appreciate the things we learned, we are grateful for our family (no matter how big or how small it is) but we are pretty sure the scales are tipped on the side of relief that this was a test, it was only a test.
(I put Afton in charge of photo directing on Mother's Day - we got some pretty hilarious shots - here's one of my favorite)
(How typical, "Tiki Head and the 4 Monkeys" - Aaaaa! I love my family!)