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Monday, February 25, 2013

Off to Separate Corners of the Country

Kelson recently had to go to Rhode Island for three weeks for some schooling, so my mom convinced me to fly up to Oregon while he was gone. I just started doing all of the online marketing for my parents' business, so it was a great chance to get a lot of work done. We were all very busy working during the vacation, but it was great fun.

 My mom is opening a custom furniture & home decor shop as part of their business, and I helped her work on some pieces to sell. Our favorite was this reimagined end table turned children's play table that we built little benches for.  Isn't it cute?!
 My parents already had a vacation planned to San Diego, so rather than flying back home, I drove with them. We had a great road trip through California. We spent the first day driving through southern Oregon, which was freezing, and spent he night in Redding. On day two, we drove through the bay area and stopped off at the Jelly Belly factory.  Awesome!

 We spent that night in Monterey. There is a possibility that we may live here while Kelson goes to grad school in a couple of years, and visiting definitely made me excited about the prospect. It was a beautiful little town.
 On day three, we headed for San Diego. Along the way, we stopped off at Solveng, a Danish town north of LA. I have lots of Danish ancestors, so visiting this place was really fun. We had some authentic Danish food for lunch, and it was delicious.
 We made the fatal mistake of driving through LA rather than around it, resulting in hours stuck in traffic. Never again! That was awful. Luckily Kelson was a good sport about having to wait at the airport for two hours until we could make it to San Diego.
 We spent the long weekend playing around San Diego with my parents. On Saturday, we went to the Birch aquarium in La Jolla. The most exciting moment was when a guy proposed to his girlfriend during the fish-feeding show.  That was fun.

 Beautiful view overlooking La Jolla cove from the aquarium.  I love my dad!
 On Monday, we went to our favorite beach on Coronado and then got some delicious homemade ice cream in Imperial Beach.  My parents also got a personal tour of Kelson's ship.

We are so grateful to my parents for everything they do for us. We love you Mom & Dad!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Miscarriages & Miracles

I have been pondering about writing this post for a long time. I wasn't sure if it was something that I wanted to open up about to everyone. My mind was changed as I read Christmas letters from all of our loved ones this Christmas season. It struck me as I read these annual updates from our friends and family that we are all quick to share the exciting and wonderful things that are happening in our lives, but we kind of tuck away the difficult parts and try to deal with those ourselves. In reality, those are the things that we should be sharing with the people who care about us so that we can help bear each other's burdens. How is anyone supposed to know that we need extra love or prayers if we hide all of our troubles? Therefore, I have decided to share a little deeper look into our lives.  The truth is that 2012 was one of the most difficult years of our lives, and we could use some extra prayers.

About a year ago, Kelson and I decided that the time was right for us to start a family. In no time, we learned that I was expecting a baby, and we were thrilled and just a little bit terrified. I was 3 weeks pregnant when I started my first real nursing job, and that was a huge challenge. Over the next two months, I was blessed to have fairly mild morning sickness.  Even though our baby wasn't due until November, I was already having a grand time looking for baby things and planning for the future. My sister sent me a gift for the baby just so that she could say that she had been the first. Our future looked so bright. The baby was coming long before Kelson was due to deploy, which made it perfect. Everything was working out.

The only trouble at that point was that my job was extremely stressful, and I felt like that was bad for the baby. I finally decided to resign from that position and look for something part-time until the baby was born. Two days after I submitted my resignation, the day before Easter, I started showing signs of threatening miscarriage. We prayed for an Easter miracle. What better day for a little life to be saved, right? I received a priesthood blessing that day, and we continued to pray for a miracle. The next day, I spent several miserable hours at the emergency room. I finally had an ultrasound, and the baby's heartbeat was beating loud & clear. It was my first time seeing the baby, and it was a miracle. The doctor told us that we had a 50/50 chance of keeping the baby.  We went home and continued to pray.

I miscarried the next afternoon after the most painful night of my life. We were heartbroken. That little baby had been so real to me, and it was just gone. My whole vision for our near future was gone with it. I was left with no baby and no job. It was a bad time.  I told very few people about our miscarriage, mostly because few people knew that I was pregnant. I had one friend who knew, and she was at my apartment with dinner within an hour of when I got home from the hospital. She will never know how much that meant to me. She had experienced a recent miscarriage herself, and it was very therapeutic to be able to share our similar trials.

Life moved on, and though the pain didn't go away it did lessen. We were anxious to get pregnant again.  Five months later, in September, I learned that I was expecting again.  Once again, we were thrilled and a little terrified, although the fear had a new quality this time. Something that was once purely hopeful was now tainted with fear that it wouldn't last.  Unlike my first pregnancy, I had 24/7 morning sickness and spent most of my time laying on the couch. Sadly, I didn't feel as connected to this baby as I had the first one. I didn't want to feel such intense love for something that could be taken away so easily. That didn't make it any easier when I started showing signs of complications in mid-October. I went to the doctor, and once again I heard a tiny heartbeat. After that, the problems seemingly disappeared, and we moved forward with home. Two weeks later, I went in for my ten week appointment by myself because Kelson was stuck at work. The moment they told me that my baby didn't have a heartbeat was one of the worst of my life. It was completely unexpected. How can life go from so wonderful to so horrible in an instant? I walked out of the clinic into a crowded hospital with tears streaming down my face, and no one even seemed to look twice at me. I felt so alone. I had to wait several days to have a D&C, all the time feeling pregnant but knowing that my baby was no longer alive. That was a terrible week.

You might ask why I titled this post "miscarriages and miracles"when I didn't get the miracles that I asked for.  The truth is that my prayers weren't answered the way I wanted, but they were answered. I have never felt more strongly that the Lord is with me and aware of my pain and my struggles. I did see miracles in my life. It was a miracle to me that I got to see both of my babies and hear their little hearts beating before they were taken away. It was a huge miracle to me that Kelson was home during both miscarriages. I don't know how I would have done it by myself. The Lord has put angels in my path every step of the way. During my second D&C, we were blessed with an amazingly kind doctor. That was a miracle to me. I have seen the Lord's tender mercies at work in my life.  I prayed one awful morning that my grandma could be my guardian angel for the day, and shortly after that my aunt sent me a blanket that belonged to grandma in the mail. She had no knowledge of my prayer. It was a miracle.

I have also come to realize that I can't make things happen on my time table; I have to put things in the Lord's hands, and everything will work out for the best. When the Lord decides the time is right for us, a baby will come to our family. In the mean time, I will move forward with faith and make the most of this time of my life.

Before I end this incredibly long post, I want to say something to all of those that have struggled with miscarriage or infertility.  There is hope. God loves you. He is there for you. Your Savior has felt your pain and can bring you the peace that you seek. Find someone to talk to about it. You don't have to go through this alone.

Last of all, I would like to ask for prayers to help us have a baby. I have faith in the power of prayer, and I know that Heavenly Father listens to us. Thank you to all of those who have known about our struggles and who have supported us in the last year. I love you all.