Everyone is given trials. It doesn't matter who you are, you'll get a trial. It may be a trial of relatively short duration - like unemployment - or a trial that lasts your whole life - like a chronic illness. But no matter how long it lasts it's still going to be hard and you're still going to question why.
My hardest trial to date started back in 2009. In late June of that year I found out that Brad and I were going to be parents again. We were so excited! My life plan was going exactly as I wanted it to. I always wanted my children to be close in age and Abi had just turned one so the timing was almost perfect. We were so excited we told our families almost right away. But in late August I miscarried that baby.
I was devastated. At the time Abi was a fantastic sleeper - she was napping all but about 6 hours a day - so I went from having a ton of time to daydream and prepare to having hours of time to dwell and it became crushing. I lost all motivation to do anything but blog stalk when I was alone and pretend that everything was ok when people were around.
A few weeks later I visited my sister and her family. While I was there we came up with the idea for my blog So You Think You're Crafty. That gave me the motivation to focus on something and work my way out of my depression.
Things were great for a while after that. In fact, in early January we found out I was pregnant again! This time we were a little more hesitant to tell anyone right away. There were a few family members and close friends we told, but for the most part we kept it a secret. We were glad we did when the week of Easter I had another miscarriage. This time it was a little easier for me to handle. I was heartbroken, yes, but it wasn't a crushing depression like it was the first time.
A few weeks after this second miscarriage I was watching Studio5 and saw a segment they did that featured a medial study that the UofU was conducting on low dose aspirin and it's effects on fertility and early pregnancy loss. I called the university and was approved to take part right away. I don't know if I was in the control group or on the aspirin, but either way I got pregnant about 5 months into the study. But this miscarriage was pretty quick in coming.
And so was the next pregnancy. By now I had enough of a "history" to start working with a pregnancy loss specialist. So I was having almost weekly appointments and ultrasounds from almost day one. He seemed very optimistic Everything was looking exactly as it should. He said it was a "perfect pregnancy." The next week we got to go it to hear the heart beat. So exciting!! I got up on the table and they rubbed the goop all over my belly, but then - silence. The doctor couldn't figure out what was wrong. Everything looked just as it should. He thought that maybe we were just a week off on our dates so he had me come back the next week, but there was still nothing at that appointment too. We scheduled a d&c for the next day. At my follow up appointment I was still having pain and other issues so they scheduled a second d&c for a few days in the future.
This all happened in December of 2010. I just over a year I had had 4 miscarriages - the last ending in 2 d&c's. The doctor told us to stop trying for a pregnancy for the next 9-12 months. To let my body have a rest to heal and return back to normal.
Within a month of the doctor telling us that Brad and I were working with LDS Family Services for an adoption. We had always wanted to adopt - we just figured it would be later rather than sooner. In May of 2011 we were approved and posted on their website.
Then in May of this year one of my young women here in the ward found herself pregnant. She asked if Brad and I would adopt her baby and we agreed. We tried not to get to attached because non of her family was in support of placement so we knew that it may not go through. But when you want something so badly it's hard not to get excited. She told us a few months later that she had decided to keep the baby. She and the father were married this past August and their little boy was born the day after Thanksgiving. We were sad that we would not be that babies family, but also very happy that things were able to be worked out for that amazing woman.
And right about the time that we started to realize that placement would not be going through I was contacted by a friend that had just adopted a 7 month old boy a few months earlier. Their birth mom was pregnant with a little girl and was going to place her for adoption as well. My friends were unable to take her, but were wondering if we would be willing. This little girl and the little boy they were placed with are full blooded siblings. If we were to take the girl the children would be able to grow up knowing their sibling. We agreed and started working with the agency out of Las Vegas.
We were able to talk with the birth mom on the phone every couple weeks and started to get to know her. We were so grateful to her and the sacrifice she was making for us. We decided on the name Cora and started planning for her to join our family. It was so surreal.
In August I suffered my fifth miscarriage. It was just as heart breaking as the others, but this time it was tempered with the knowledge that soon a little one would be joining our family. Soon Abi would have a sibling.
Then it came time for the birth of little Cora. The birth mom had a history of early deliveries so they advised me to come out about 4 weeks early. So, Abi and I flew into Salt Lake to spend a few weeks with family. Brad would join us as soon as he got word he needed to be there too.
Just over two weeks later I got a call from our case worker. It was the day they estimated that she would go into early labor so I thought it was the call to head down as soon as possible. Boy, was I wrong. The birth mom had changed her mind. She was having some concerns and didn't think she could go through with another placement. The agency had given her 3 days to make a final decision so they would be getting in touch with us.
Again I was crushed. It was like that first miscarriage all over again. I just sat and bawled and bawled on my dads couch. Once Abi caught on to what was going on she would say things like, "But mom, just call the lady and tell her how much I want a sister, then she'll remember and say sorry and give us baby Cora." It was heart breaking. Brad and I decided to call a family/friend fast for the next day. We weren't exactly hoping for a miracle (though we wouldn't turn one down), but at least some comfort and understanding. Later that night my dad gave me the most amazing blessing I have ever received. As it closed I felt so strongly that no matter how this all played out the Lord knows me and my desires, the He loves me and that he hasn't forsaken me or my little family.
At the end of the 3 days I got another call from the case worker. She, a little fantically, told me that the birth mother was back on board. And not only that, but she was in labor! What!?! So I jumped online, bought Brad a plan ticket, hopped in the car with Abi and my dad and headed down to Vegas.
Once we got down there we found out that the labor was unproductive so they sent her home to wait for the real thing. Since we were there already though we were able to meet the birth mom for lunch and go over and resolve her concerns. Brad and I were so happy that things were back on, but we still tried to keep a damper on things. She had already changed her mind once and she still had 72 hours after birth to do it again. But we were still excited and went about planning and getting ready. Over the next week we went to a few of the doctors appointments with the birth mom an got to know her better. I will never forget those days and will always hold a special place in my heart for that woman.
After almost 2 weeks in Vegas (Brad had flown home after a week) Abi, my step-mom and I decided to head back up to Utah for Halloween and we would come back down as quickly as we could once real labor started. But what do you know, another 2 weeks went by. Just our luck that this pregnancy would be the one she would go full term.
We got the call on a Wednesday that they would be inducing labor the next Monday at 6 pm. We call and got Brad a flight for that weekend and started to get really excited. In just about 5 days we would be meeting our new little girl.
Thursday afternoon the case worker called again. The birth mother had sent a text message saying she couldn't go through with the placement and was not responding to any emails, texts or phone calls from the agency trying to get hold of her. They advised us to hold tight for a day, but if they still hadn't heard anything to head home and try to move on. By Saturday night Abi and I were back home in Boston.
It's hard to describe the feelings I have about how things worked out. I can't blame the birth mother. It's the hardest decision I'm sure she has ever had to make and I will never be able to under stand it. But I'm heart broken. I feel this loss just as much as I do the loss of our miscarriages. But this is different. Many times I think to myself, "I'm a good person. I do what is asked of me. When will this trial be taken from me. When will we be blessed with another child?" That blessing my dad gave me has been what I've fallen back to over and over again over the past few weeks when things just get too hard.
God does know me. He loves me. He knows the deepest desires of my heart. He also knows that I'm a strong woman; that I can do this and come out stronger. And I know that's true. I know it with every little piece of my being. I know that someday, somehow this trial will be lifted. And when it is, I will be that much better a tool in His hand to serve others through their trials. And when that time does come I will be all the more grateful for all that I have been blessed with.