Friday, September 13, 2013

Thoughts

Nathan and I both without even talking about it with each other wrote down our thoughts today about what has happened in the last few days.  We felt it would be a good idea to share those thoughts with those who know and love us.
Nathan’s journal entry:
I haven’t written in a Journal in some time. I feel that I really need to put into words the events and feelings of the past few days before I forget. I would like to start with Tuesday, September 10th 2013. Katheryn and I had plans to meet for lunch after her Doctor appointment in the morning. I received a call from her about 9:30am. She was upset and told me “I told you we shouldn’t have told anyone because the baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.” I got up from my desk at work and went to a privacy room so that I could talk. I was stunned and didn’t know what to say. We spoke for a few minutes and I told her that I was going to take the rest of the day off and she said I didn’t need to do that. I told her that I wanted to do it. I spoke with my manager and left shortly after that. I met her at the doctor’s office and spoke briefly with Dr Shah as he explained what our options were. We could either let the process happen naturally or do a procedure to remove the baby surgically. Katheryn was visibly upset and said she would want to do the latter. I wanted to do whatever she wanted to do and it seemed like a more controlled process to do it this way. Dr Shah was so tender throughout the entire meeting and I really appreciated his manner. We left the office to come home. We sat on our living room couch for a while and just cried and held each other for some period of time. In my mind, I knew what was happening but I felt a little numb and still didn’t know what to say or do. I was just hurting and going through the motions. We talked some about what had happened and Katheryn expressed that she didn’t understand why because I had given her a blessing before and had spoken that the baby would be healthy and well. I started to doubt myself and did not know how to respond. I felt those words were true at the time I had spoken them. Even though I was hurting and felt this doubt, I knew that Heavenly Father’s Will must be different for some purpose that I didn’t know at this time. I still do not know fully why this happened in this way but I trust Him. We went to get some lunch together at Jersey Mike’s. It is one of our favorites for Philly cheesesteaks. Katheryn always gets the Philly as a salad and I always get the Big Kahuna. It was a somber experience. We ate but Katheryn couldn’t eat much and then waited for me to finish. I could see she didn’t want to be there anymore so I put up the remainder of my sandwich and we left to go home. At some point we both sent out text messages to our family what had happened. I only made one call to my Mom and spoke with her briefly. It was hard to speak about it and we determined that text messages would be easier. I remember dreading telling the kids. I didn’t know how they would react. We decided to wait till after Mandy’s Gymnastics practice to tell them. They actually handled it fairly well. Layton acted a little upset but I could tell it wasn’t really deeply felt. I think he and Mandy accepted it okay. With Dallin, I could tell he felt something a little more and didn’t know how much till later that night. Several times during the day, Katheryn would ask me to give her a blessing and I told her I would but needed some time to be ready. Then one time we were lying on our bed and she asked me if I needed a blessing too. I just cried and couldn’t speak. When I was composed enough to speak I told her that I did and asked if it would be alright if I asked my dad to give us both a blessing. She agreed and I called my dad. I was able for the most part to keep myself together during our phone call but I was very soft spoken and somber and my Dad told me later that he could tell I was hurting. He hung up and cried some himself. That evening Mom and Dad came over so that we could receive a blessing. Mandy and Layton were too preoccupied with playing with their neighborhood friends and we just let them play outside. Dallin on the other hand wanted to be present for the blessings and sat in the living room with the four of us. I received a blessing first per Katheryn’s request. I was an emotional wreck during the blessing but felt a healing peace in my heart. I also could hear Dallin throughout the blessing and could feel the Spirit touch his heart. When the blessing was over, I looked at Dallin and he was crying and touched. I hugged him and then Katheryn hugged him. Katheryn used this as a teaching moment and asked him what he felt. He mentioned that he could see in his mind “Lily”, that was our name if we had a girl, and he felt sad. We explained that the tender feelings he had were the Holy Spirit. I was so touched that he was so close to the Spirit. Katheryn then received a beautiful blessing and we hugged and cried some more. Mom and Dad didn’t stay long and left. The next morning Wednesday, September 11th 2013, we prepared ourselves for Katheryn’s procedure to remove the baby. We were to be there at 11:30am. I posted on Facebook on behalf of Katheryn so that everyone would know and help us to avoid awkward situations in the future. I tried to do things like normal. I had needed to get my gas powered weed eater fixed and took it to a place that morning since I had the time. When I got home we left for our appointment. Before we went in to the building, I said another prayer and then we went in. Her actual procedure time was 12:30pm so we had time to reflect. I was asked once she had gone back for a while if I would like to sit with her and I did. It was so cold in the back that I sat next to her and held her arm to warm her up. Dr Shah came in and explained a little more what would happen and said it would only take about 20 minutes or so. I left to go back to the waiting room. I spent some time reading the scriptures and felt at peace. Dr Shah had to touch my shoulder to get my attention but when it was over he assured me that it went well and it would be another 20 minutes or so before I could see her. When I went back to see her, she was just getting her faculties back and seemed to be okay. I was given a pain prescription and instructions from the nurse and then Katheryn got dressed and we went home. Throughout the day and many times since, we both have had moments of emotional expression. I have felt the Comforter many times the past few days. I have appreciated the many comments, offers to help, and love expressed by family and friends. On my way to work on Thursday, September 12th , I was listening to the Mormon Channel on my phone like I often do. I came in on a Talk given by Thomas S. Monson in the April 2009 General Conference. I feel that Heavenly Father wanted me to hear this at that time. I later read the entire talk but I was touched by one specific part. President Monson said, “Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your Faith.” I really needed to hear that and to remember that and I know it is true. I know my savior loves me and have felt His atonement work in my life. I love my family and am grateful for the blessings I have right now. I have been truly blessed and the future is bright because I choose to exercise my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father. He lives and He loves me and will always help me if I will but keep his commandments and endure to the end. He cannot help us if we give up and I have made covenants with Him that I will not give up. Life will continue to have its struggles but I know I will blessed with understanding and strength as I place my hand in His and do His work. Katheryn’s Journal Entry: Five weeks ago we got the surprise of our lives – we found out that I was pregnant. We hadn’t been trying. In fact, we had no plans at all to have another child. I was shocked and a little terrified. Then as the weeks passed, the excitement began to build. I found myself overjoyed at the idea of having another child. I was looking forward with happiness at the thought of feeling the warm body of a newborn cuddled against my chest once again, of sweet baby smiles, of adorable baby laughter filling our home again, and of seeing my other children joy in having a younger sibling. But I am older, and I did fear that something could go wrong. However I let myself get caught up in the dream of that little one that I brushed that fear aside. After all, Nathan had given me a blessing that if I did all that my doctor directed me to do that I would have a healthy pregnancy. But that wasn’t to be. Perhaps because I only clung to that small part of the blessing and not so much to the part of the blessing that told me that I should accept God’s will in all things. I went to the ultrasound appointment on September 10th with only a twinge of fear that something could be wrong, but so much excitement to see my little baby’s heartbeat. My first moment of real fear was when the technician asked if there was a possibility that I was wrong on my dates and that I wasn’t quite as far along. She then said that I was measuring only 6 weeks along instead of the 9 weeks that I should have been. She made all kinds of other measurements almost purposely avoiding taking measurements of the baby. And then she could avoid it no longer. She pulled up the screen to take a measurement of the heartbeat and there wasn’t one. She didn’t say a word, so I asked to verify that there was no heartbeat. For the next hour things just seemed to move about me in a surreal way. She moved me into a quiet room so I could wait to see Dr. Shah, mentioning over and over that I could wait here so that I wouldn’t have to be out with all of the other pregnant women in the waiting room. My heart broke even more just hearing her say that. I called Nathan and I am ashamed to say that my first words to him were an accusation. He didn’t deserve that. I said to him, “I told you we should have waited to tell people.” Why did I say that to him? I don’t know. Then I told him that the baby had no heartbeat. He asked if he should leave work to come to me. I told him no. But he knew me better than that and left work anyway to come directly there. Eventually I saw Dr. Shah. Nathan arrived just as I was beginning my visit with the doctor. Dr. Shah explained our options in the kindest way possible. We chose to go ahead and schedule a D&C. We came home and both cried and held each other. The doctor’s office called and they scheduled the D&C for the very next day. Our hearts breaking, we almost blindly went through the motions of the rest of that day. Picking the kids up from school. Taking the kids to the dentist. Driving Mandy to gymnastics. But somehow we made it. We explained what had happened to the kids. They were disappointed but I don’t know that they fully understood. They continually asked why we were so sad. I wanted a blessing of comfort, but Nathan was as deeply hurt as I was and did not feel like he could do it. So he called his dad and asked him to give us both a blessing. Dad blessed Nathan first. A sweet beautiful blessing of comfort and love. During the blessing, Mandy and Layton played outside while Dallin stayed inside to listen. As the blessing was pronounced, I could hear Dallin begin to cry and sniffle. As Nathan’s blessing ended I looked over to see Dallin crying with all the pain of a tender little 10 year old heart written all over his face. Nathan hugged him and then I pulled Dallin onto my lap and held him while he cried. I asked him what he was feeling. He said he was sad because Lily (he assumed the baby was a girl even though we have no idea) was dead but he felt sure that he would see her one day. As deeply as I was hurting at that moment, it was also a moment of healing for me. It was a reminder of the great blessings that I have in the tender heart of that sweet boy and in my other two children. It brought a moment of joy to an unbelievably sad day to see that my son could feel things so deeply and truly lived up to his baptismal covenants of mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stand in need of comfort. His tears comforted me. Then Dad gave me a blessing. Nathan stood with him. I like to think that my Daddy stood with them as well. The first part of the blessing Dad told me that my Father in Heaven wept along with me that day. And I believe him. I know He weeps with me still. I don’t remember all of the words that Dad spoke that evening, and while I do remember a few of them, I mostly remember the feeling of love in the room. He blessed me with the blessing of Rebekah and Isaac that I would be a mother to children that would number more than the stars in the heavens. He directed me to a poem by President Boyd K. Packer, in which he says, “I would agree I’ve learned some things I did not want to know, But age has brought those precious truths, That make the spirit grow.” I think the message that I was to get from that was that loss of an unborn child was not something that I ever wanted to know, but it is something that will help my spirit grow. At the end of the blessing Dad repeated over and over every message from the scriptures that is the equivalent of “seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”. I have taken that to heart to mean that I need to seek the will of our Father in my life. From the small things to the large things, I want my life to be in line with the will of the Father. In her book “A Quiet Heart,” Patricia Hollland quotes this beautiful poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Let us then labour for an inward stillness An inward stillness and an inward healing; That perfect silence, where the lips and heart Are still, and we no longer entertain Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions, But God alone speaks in us, and we wait In singleness of heart, that we may know His will, and in the silence of our spirits That we may do His will, and do that only.








I think that poem says perfectly what I now seek – that I may do His will, and do that only. Yesterday Nathan shared with me another source of comfort in a talk given by President Monson. In it President Monson said,
“I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”

Nathan and I both love that – Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith. I think it will be my new motto. I know that this trial will only bring me closer to my Father in Heaven. I can already feel my heart turning to Him more easily than ever before. As Christ said in D&C 19:23, “Learn of me and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.” Through my Savior and my Father in Heaven I know I will find peace. Throughout all of this Nathan has been the greatest comfort imaginable. He and I are closer than we have ever been before. I feel his love for me reaching depths I never knew existed. It is a beautiful thing to be loved that way. I hope he knows how much he means to me. Be of Good Cheer copy
























3 comments:

B Amberson said...

Both of your testimonies are powerful. I am strengthened by your faith. Please know you have been in my thoughts since I read Nathan's post on FB. I am so sorry for your family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as it has reminded me to search out God's will in all things.

Becky Shuler said...

Thank you for sharing this with me. I felt my faith strengthen as I read both your journal.

I do love you all so!

Pamela Bryan said...

I want to thank both you and Nathan for sharing your thoughts, emotions and testimonies. Reading your journal entries brought tears to my eyes as it made me remember my own thoughts and feelings I had of the baby I lost 3 years ago. I had a very difficult time and didn't want to talk about it for quite some time. I was glad that only my family and a few close friends had known of my pregnancy, so I didn't have a lot of people to tell that I had lost the baby. I had also had a wonderful blessing from my dad about the pregnancy, and he told me the night before my ultrasound appointment that everything would be fine. He had such faith, and I believed him. I had faith also but I leaned on my dad's because I had this little feeling in the back of my mind that something wasn't right. I got concerned when the doctor who was doing the ultrasound was taking a long time. He couldn't even find the baby - it was an ectopic pregnancy. I believe there is a purpose and reason for everything and that the Lord's will is not always in line with ours. We have to get in line with his will. You and Nathan have strong testimonies and faith and are so blessed to have each other. You can see in your children what wonderful parents you are. You will both get through this with the help of each other and the Lord, and one day, we will all know the answers we seek.