"The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead."
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tender Mercies

Austin and I have been married for almost 6 years now.  4 and a half of those years we were blessed with a trial.  One we (mostly me) did not always handle well.  We learned and grew together through this particular trial.  This particular trial as I'm sure most who know us are well aware involved starting a family.  A few years ago we decided that our prayers and goals would not be solely about getting pregnant.  We started praying that our family would be brought about by whatever means the Lord deemed fit for us.  We began the adoption process through LDS Family Services when we lived in Idaho.  However, when we found out we would be moving to Denver we contacted our caseworker.  Upon talking with a case worker in Colorado he found out it would be easier for us to start the process over rather than try to transfer everything to a different state because of the differing laws and regulations.  In Denver we looked into foster care and attended several training meetings.  But after only being in Denver for 11 months we were going to have to move on to another state.  Several months after being in Montana we met with a caseworker  from LDS Family Services again.  We left our first meeting feeling that adoption is something we wanted to pursue, but were unsure how quickly that process would work, especially in this particular state.  The numbers we were told, weren't quite as optimistic as we had hoped.  However, we still knew that we had told the Lord we were on His timetable and would continue to put our faith in His plan for us.

On December 14, 2012 we received a phone call from my mom quite early one morning.  She was calling to let us know my sister Kelsee had gone into labor (3 weeks early) earlier that morning and our newest nephew was here, and that she and my dad were on their way to the hospital.  I was so excited for Kelsee and Tyler and was anxious to go to the hospital to see baby Kent.  Neither Austin nor I could go back to sleep and both ended up getting up and ready for the day.  I told Austin I wanted to go into town and visit them.  I knew he was reluctant to go, not because he wasn't happy for them, but because it was hard for him as well.  However, I knew I couldn't go by myself, and new we should go together.  I picked him up at work and we went to the hospital and met the little sweetheart.  Austin, was quiet through most of the visit, but I wasn't quite sure what to say to him.  My mom and I left the hospital together and she asked how he was doing.  She has always been a sweet lady, and someone I look up to, and I was so grateful for her perceptiveness and concern for my cute Austin.

Later that day we found out the couple whose house we had been staying in and taking care of while they were on their mission were coming home.  Their mission had switched departments and the opening of the visitors' center they were working at had been postponed.  They told us not to worry, and that they were going to pull their 5th wheeler to their parents house.  However, we weren't comfortable with that and wanted them to be able to come home to their house.  With the help of my mom and dad we were able to pack everything up and move out by 12:30 that night.

About a week later I had a small situation with my already love/hate relationship with the monthly menses.  It was not unusual for me to skip this, in fact it's been pretty much MIA for ten years.  After moving to Montana we were given the name of an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) by my naturopath doctor I had been seeing.  He gave us several options, and was surprisingly encouraged not discouraged when we talked with him about my emergency operation and removal of my right ovary due to ovarian torsion in March 2012.  He said, "This may sound odd, but it might do the trick."  While it was nice to hear something positive, we were pretty sure that our kiddos would be coming to us through the blessing of adoption.  But for some reason this missed period this particular time felt a little bit different.  I took a pregnancy test, it came back positive, but it seemed not super clear.  So I took 5 more.  Austin said he only believed the digital one that actual said pregnant.  We were still very skeptical and figured something must be wrong.  I was truly convinced that in this life I would never conceive, and had come to terms with and was totally okay with it.  So I finally showed my mom the tests, she kind of freaked out and said we should call my doctor's office and ask them.  They did laugh at me when I told them we had taken 6 pregnancy tests, but we didn't believe them, so they ordered a blood test for us December 19th.   They didn't get the results back in time and Austin and I left December 21st for a quick trip to Utah.  On our drive we pulled into West Yellowstone, since we had lost service going through Big Sky I had a missed call and a voice mail, it was from our doctor, and he let us know that the blood results were back in and that we were indeed pregnant.  Neither of us knew what to say, Austin had a huge smile on his face, and it just didn't seem real.

The doctor wanted us to schedule and ultra sound for the following Monday, which happened to be Christmas Eve.  He said we were only 6 weeks along, but with my history, and my past emergency operations he wanted to make sure everything was okay.

The following Monday we got the best Christmas present we could have asked for.  Two little perfect ultrasound pictures.  We feel so blessed and continue to thank our Heavenly Father for the trial, even though the blessing didn't come in any way we were expecting...which is weird to say.

In his talk entitled Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure Elder Robert D. Hales said:

We are taught in the scriptures that there must be opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11).  It is not a question of if we are ready for the tests; it is a matter of when.  We must prepare to be ready for tests that will present themselves without warning.

Several years ago I remember loving Elder Bednar's first general conference address.  He had just left as president of BYU-Idaho where I'd been attending.  He talked about the tender mercies of the Lord.
     "But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he
     hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."
       (1 Nephi 1:20)

     Recall how the Savior instructed His Apostles that He would not leave them comfortless. Not only would He send “another Comforter” (John 14:16), even the Holy Ghost, but the Savior said that He would come to them (see John 14:18). Let me suggest that one of the ways whereby the Savior comes to each of us is through His abundant and tender mercies. For instance, as you and I face challenges and tests in our lives, the gift of faith and an appropriate sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the tender mercies of the Lord....And the persistence and the fortitude that enable us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and spiritual difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord.

We feel truly blessed and grateful to a Heavenly Father and loving Savior who know us better than we know ourselves, as well as loving family members and friends who have and continue to show their love and support.

Lastly I think we are super grateful to have each other.  I know I couldn't have learned the things I have and gotten through this small portion of our live without my amazing husband.  There is no one else I'd rather love and laugh with than Austie.


Irene said...

I love you both! I'm super happy for you and CANNOT wait until this baby arrives. I smile every time I think about it.

Jeremy & Whitney said...

Shawnee, I am so happy for you! You are going to be an incredible mom and that is one lucky baby! I miss you but love reading your blog. You are adorable! Love. Whitney

Shane and McKenzee said...

This post made me cry. I'm so grateful to have you guys as friends. I can't even tell you how much I look up to you! Baby boy is truly blessed to have you as parents!