01 May 2007


I do my best thinking when I'm busy, busy doing something I don't have to think about. I'd been sitting at the computer for a bit a while ago thinking of how I was going to say what I wanted to say. Nothing was coming. So I got up and decided to do something around the house for a change. I got my rubber gloves, Softscrub, some paper towels and Windex and headed to the bathrooms. As soon as I got on my hands and knees and started scrubbing our shower the thoughts start pouring in. I cleaned two bathrooms while essentially writing this post in my head. Now the hard part is getting all those thoughts on the screen.

Some of you may know that Spencer and I are trying to add to our family of three. It has proven a difficult path...not as difficult as some, but nonetheless trying for us. After a few months of paying close attention to how my body works, I have finally found a problem. Today I went to the health food store and bought a couple things that are supposed to work for this problem. Hopefully they do.

Having this experience has taught me a lot about myself and people. We live in a very baby and pregnant populous ward. It has been hard for me to see woman after woman either announce their pregnancy or have their baby. I am genuinely happy about some of them because they are my friends, but sometimes it just gets to me. A couple weeks ago we had a book club where we were discussing a thesis written by a friend of member of our club. She had struggled for years to try to have a child and wrote stories about her experiences. A comment was made that those women who have trouble with this should not be bitter, they should realize that every baby is a blessing and we should be happy for those who can bring them into this world. Unbeknownst to her (I'm hoping) there were at least three of us who were going through things similar to this woman. Feelings were hurt and tempers were ignited. It was a very uncomfortable situation. I should mention that this girl is pregnant with her third child.

I've thought a lot about this since we last met. I realize that it's not feasible to tip-toe around everyone in hopes of not hurting anyone's feelings but somewhere a line must be drawn. I've realized that fertility problems are just one thing that people go through. There are so many other--usually--less noticeable problems that people struggle with. When someone opens up and tells you something they are struggling with, the last thing they want is advice on how they should feel.

I realize feeling happy for other people who have what you want is the ultimate in being Christlike, but I don't think that we will be punished necessarily for having these thoughts unless they consume us and we become bitter and hateful. I think that if Christ was here with me and I expressed feelings about a struggle that I was going through, he wouldn't tell me how to feel. Instead, I imagine him putting his arms around me and telling me that he understands how I feel. He would let me cry it out and maybe even be mad for a while. Then he would tell me that he will always be there to help me through the trial. He would say "I will make your burdens light. Lean on me for strength and we can make it through together."

We all have struggles that we go through. The beauty of it is, that Christ can be here with us. He may not be able to reach out and hug us physically but we can feel the embracing power of his love through the gift of the Holy Ghost. We can be encircled about with the arms of his love. (2Ne 1:15)

I still want another child to add to our family, but knowing that Christ can be there with me every step of the way to lift me up and comfort me when I fall is a great blessing.


Terina said...

i have to say that i have never had problems getting pregnant. i have had very very good friends that have. i am sensitive to the issue, and agree that people shouldn't get bitter about it. but everyone is allowed to get upset, mad or whatever it is that helps to get them to the next level. that next level being acceptance, and doing the best you can with what you have. i have to deal with the fact that i do get pregnant easily. it may not be a blessing to others.

i cannot imagine what it would be like to live in the world of being LDS, and not be able to have children. i just can't. and i'm not going to try. i would just rather put my arms around them and cry with them.

so jamie, i will cry with you, and everyone else who struggles with this.

Terina said...

at the end of my first paragraph, when i say "it may not be a blessing" i mean that being very fertile is not something that is wanted sometimes and can also be a difficulty.
i just reread it and that line didn't make sense. but of course it made sense in my head!

and go to sea world! my son asked to go back, and i wish we could.

Jamie J said...

Hi Terina, thanks for your comment. It's interesting that you bring up the opposite problem. I did not wish to say that those that struggle with infertility were the only ones with struggles. I completely understand the other spectrum. I'm sure it has been a struggle for you and your husband to try to manage what is best for you. It brings to mind a converstaion that I had with a walking buddy last year.

I am very small in stature and for a while had struggled keeping weight on. We were talking about this because she wanted to lose weight. She said she would gladly have my problem and I told her that essentially our problems are the exact same thing. I can't keep weight on (I have since leveled out, thank goodness) and that's a struggle for me. She can't lose weight and that's a stuggle for her. We both struggle. She was shocked at the change in perspective and for once could see a change in her. That's what I wanted to say in this post...everyone has their own struggles. We just need to be able to come to grips with them ourselves and then learn how to reach out and be empathetic to others. I was going to tell this story in the post, but it was getting so dang long. I didn't know if anyone would make it all the way through! :)

Okay, okay! I'll go to Sea World! You've convinced me! LOL

citymama1 said...

I hope you don't mind me chiming in again.
With my first daughter we were blessed with being able to get pregnant right away. However, when we decided to add to our family we found that it wasn't as easy as it was the first time. I guess I had just expected things would work the same way, but they didn't. We tried for nearly a year with no luck. It was extremely discouraging and emotional. I'd see friends who concieved and was upset. Not mad at them for being able to, but sad that I couldn't. I prayed alot for peace and acceptance at whatever happened. I even started looking into alternative ways to add to our family, like adoption, and started to feel peace and excitement about the possibility. I knew that there was more then one way to add to our family, and I was ok with that. Soon after, I became preganant with number 2 and am due next week. I feel blessed to have been able to get pregnant again, but I also feel blessed (in retrospect) at our struggle. It helped me gain more empathy for others who struggle with infertility, as well as a greater appreciation for the daughter we were able to have so "easily". I also feel I became closer to my Heavenly Father by relying on him, and accepting his will. Another unforseen blessing is my desire to adopt has not changed. I think adoption might be a course for our family in the future, and this might not have been realized had I not struggled with being able to get pregnant in the first place.

Good luck to you. God bless.

Lisa M. said...

I think you're right- I enjoyed this post.

I think we ALL have struggles, some of them intimatly private, some of them obvious, some of them scream from the walls of your home, whether you want them to or not.

It's so very difficult.

I really appreciate your verve.

Jamie J said...

citymama1, thanks for sharing your story. That's pretty much how things are going with us. It hasn't been quite a year, but it was so easy with the first one! It's great that you can find the blessings in the trial that you had. I'm starting to do that. My husband will finish school next June and I keep thinking how terribly hard it will be to have a young baby with a husband who is so busy with school. I'm sure there is a plan for us, it's just hard to see that plan sometimes.

Krissy said...

WOW Jamie, I absolutely loved this post. Shawn and I are struggling with getting pregnant. It's hard. I loved reading your positive and insightful perspective. I look at your post when I have some down time. I know that we don't know each other really well, but you know you made my burdens lighter just reading your thoughts.

May the Lord bless you with all you stand in need of.

You're a great example .

Krissy Dowler