Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh No You Di'int!

I'll be honest. Being infertile is no fun. *shocker*

There are days, though, when I don't really mind it. There are some days, where I really am 100% grateful that it is one of my trials. I have grown to appreciate the blessings that come from it.

Then there are days like Sunday. Sunday SSSSSS-TUNK.

The morning was actually quite wonderful. We hit up a missionary farewell for one of my best friends, spent the morning relaxed before church. I took my time getting ready and even had time to can a batch of fresh raspberry jam from the berries we picked last week. [pictures are currently stuck on the camera. yuck.]

Sacrament meeting was uneventful. Sunday School was spent talking to this girl [who I love dearly.] Then I meandered across the church to Relief Society.

We had our opening song/prayer/announcements and then the "good news minute." [Yes, they still do that.] It's basically a minute where you can raise your hand and share any good news you have. Quite often it is so-and-so had a baby. I'm going to have a baby, and or I got married 2 weeks ago. I chose to share that C and I dressed up as Avatars on Friday and spent a few hours livening up the library on BYU campus as well as scaring some freshman boys out of their shorts. [It was fabulous, and those pictures are also stuck on the camera. patience, my friends. They are TOTALLY worth the wait tho!]

Thus began the lesson on, *eep* Parenting. Now, one of my very good friends asked me a while ago what I thought of Conference Talks that mention how we're supposed to come to this earth, get married, and have a family, because C and I have such a hard time accomplishing the 3rd part of that commandment. My response is always, "Well, I completely agree with them. We will have a family. I don't know how my babies will get here, but they will get here."  This lesson was quite different. The teacher happens to be a girl who just announced that she's pregnant. [I also have to mention here that I have had wonderful conversations with this girl. I really enjoy her company and think the absolute best of her. It is, though, extremely difficult sometimes to see others get exactly what you so desperately want and are praying/fasting/etc. for. It is also extremely difficult to see their absolute elation. I do understand that such elation also inhibits your ability to recognize the pain of others. I compare it to getting engaged and ticking off all your single friends by talking non-stop about your wonderful fiance/wedding plans/flashing your ring around/etc. which I am totally guilty of.]

Throughout the lesson, other sisters chimed in with their comments. The point that kept being driven home was that "Children are the reason for EVERYTHING we do. They are the motivation for living the gospel, for establishing good communication with your spouse, for following the prophet, for keeping the commandments etc." Then, the comments turned into a "my-cute-kid-did-the-cutest-thing-the-other-day" try-to-top-that competition. It hurt. Bad.

I found myself in a bit of a panic. I've promised myself, C, and our children that will always remain faithful through this trial, but oh how terribly I wanted to walk out. That's never been a temptation for me before. I just turned my eyes to the floor and debated saying anything. It was basically the "last call for comments" and I raised my hand. This is what came out of my mouth [as best as I can remember it]:

"I've been debating sharing my comment for the entire lesson because I'm not quite sure how it will be taken, but it is extremely important to me and I feel like it needs to be said. I believe it is vital that every single one of us remembers that our children are not the only motivation for living the way that we do. *voice shakes-tears are comin'* There are some of us, besides just me, who are going to have to fight very hard to get their children here, some will have to wait until they are mothers in Zion. Yes, we will be mothers, but it will most likely take a lot longer than anyone is anticipating. If we wait until we have someone to be an "example" for, we're going to be in a rut for a very long time. We have family night because we are commanded to. We have a food storage because we are commanded to. We build strong marriages because we are commanded to. We foster a righteous spirit in our home because we are commanded to. Not to be an example to our children."

Every eye in the room was on me. I know they knew who was speaking. The teacher closed her lesson, I choked through the closing song, and started to pack up my things. Not a single sister-not even the ones sitting right next to me-said a word to me. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt and not say that they avoided/ignored me, but I'm pretty sure that's what happened. I went to the foyer to wait for C to take me home so I could appropriately lose it.

C didn't come. [He had a meeting that I'd forgotten about.]

One sister approached me and the following conversation happened: "I'm really grateful for the comment you made."

Me: "Thanks."

Her: "It's ok if you're not ready to be a mother."

Me: (slightly more intense tone now) No. It's not that. My husband's and my bodies don't physically work they way they need to in order to make that happen. We're in the middle of fertility treatments right now. If it was as simple as wanting a baby, we'd have a 1-year-old right now.

Her: Oh! Have you tried raspberry leaf tea yet?

Me: We're a little past tea, sister ___.

Her: Is it you or him?

Me: It is US. We are married. It will always be US.

Her: Well, I'll tell you a story to make you feel better. My friend adopted a baby and then 25 years later, the MONTH she was baptized into the church, she got pregnant. At age 45!

Me: Thanks. That makes me feel a whole lot better. [Thinking: so, 24 years to go. And I just have to leave the church and get baptized again. Easy peasy.]

And then C swooped in and took me home.

Love. That. Man.


  1. Oh, sweetie! ::hugs:: I think that the comment you made was absolutely spot on though, it is that we are commanded to, that God asks us to do these things because he knows they will bless us.

    I love you!

  2. Your statement was perfect. I can't believe nobody said anything to you afterward and even the teacher didn't apologize or validate you.
    I always get really nervous for the motherhood lessons. I remember one time sitting in front whispering to each other trying to figure out how we'd reign things back in and having a huge knot in my stomach. I'm so sorry if I have ever done or said anything to offend you.
    You and Cameron amaze me. You have such a strong testimony and love for life.

  3. "is it you or him?"

    "it's the dog. He's been inactive and hasn't been oaring his tithing. We are setting him up to talk to the bishop next week."

    "same thing happened to my friends neighbors aunts rabbi."

  4. WHAT!!!??? Oh my raspberry leaf tea...
    That's pretty unbelievable. I don't think I EVER got anything quite that bad in my five years of infertility!! That's just ridiculous. I did, of course, get lots of "my friend adopted and then immediately got pregnant...they just needed to relax!!"
    And I'm really impressed with not only your comment in RS, but the way you handled the well-meaning sister. ;)
    I don't think I ever felt the need to walk out of a lesson, but I've been known to go to the bathroom during baby blessings a few times...

  5. I wish I was sitting next to you in your RS meeting. I would have put my arm around you before you finished your comment. It was beautiful and perfect unfortunately there are many people who haven't known anyone dealing with infertility well enough to know what really comes with it. Keep educating those young sisters so they will, in the future, treat you and others better.

  6. Holy crud! I did the same thing as those pictures with each of that lady's comments. I think after you explained the situation she was back-pedaling, trying to fix it by "helping" but really made it worse. And raspberry tea? What in the world?

    And, you can tell that she very likely disregarded your comments (which I completely agree with - if it were about kids Job wouldn't have had a reason to continue righteously) as you were speaking, missing the whole "I'm one of those fighting so hard to have a family." Bah. Much loves.

  7. i really like Ashley's comment. It's our bunny...we just can't get her to come to family night so we're feeling disjointed. I love you. And I think you're amazing.

  8. My husband and I have been married 19 years and have never once managed to conceive. We've done it all as far as treatment and have even been trying to adopt for two years now (only to suffer through more disappointment as the birth mothers all change their minds at the last moment). For some - there is never a happy ending. I still have hope I'm not one of those, but as I near 40 in the next six months I'm beginning to understand that our time is growing short.

    What I have learned along the way:
    1. It's not your fault
    2. God is not punishing you
    3. You need at least one person that will listen and not try to "make it better" by offering advice.
    4. When people don't know what to say they either a) say nothing at all or b) offer dumb advice.
    5. When this happens - extend grace to them. They mean well but really don't know what to say or do.
    6. The silence is deafening at times, but you're not alone. Estimates are that somewhere around 6 million people in the USA suffer from infertility.
    7. Learn to celebrate the "other" blessings in your life and focus on the positive rather than the "one thing" you don't have.
    8. Stay engaged in life and don't put things off because "you might be pregnant" next month or the month after that. If you really are - you can make adjustments to your plans when it happens.
    9. It's not your fault (bears repeating)
    10. God is not punishing you (also bears repeating)

    I wish you well. Keep the faith.

  9. I feel your pain. We're going through it, too, for two years now. It's amazing how many people have to deal with it. It's also amazing at how uninformed people are about it. You can make it. Love you girl.

  10. Good for you for commenting! That takes a lot of guts. It's hard to believe that people can be so insensitive. Sometimes life doesn't work out how you planned huh? It sucks bad. I thought I would be married and ready to have kids soon. Divorce was definitely not in the "plan". At least it wasn't in my plan. You're in my prayers. You will make an amazing mother someday, I truly believe that.

  11. wow! that is just amazing. i am speechless. i did love your comment. the church obviously does not have perfect people in it. it needed to be said, even if some people took it all wrong. and i really struggle when lessons turn to specific subjects that only certain people can grow from while others get offended and others get upset and others start bragging. when the spirit leaves, obviously that is not how HF wants it. i am always worried about that in our M/F class because not everyone is the same boat, we always try to stick to the maual and subject and what the prophets say. no prophet has ever said that because you have kids, you need to obey the commandments, no, we obey because we are supposed to. you are doing your best and HF loves you for it, even if others dont realize that.

  12. Kristin I pretty much love! I am fairly certain that the WHOLE point of this life is to get a body and a family--meaning a spouse yo! Kids are not required for the celestial kingdom, but that really great guy you are sealed to is. Sometimes members of the church are retarded. PERIOD. The other day Chris told someone I was applying to PhD programs and their response was literally "oh.....your wife is putting off kids? I guess she must not want kids or really listen to the prophet". LITERALLY. I wanted to grab that little punk by the neck and be like "oh my gosh how did you know? I actually am barely active. I totally ignore the prophet on a regular basis. I also smoke crack and sleep with a whole bunch of guys. Or did it ever occur to you IDIOT that you don't know everyone's situation? Have you read that part of the proc on the fam where is says INDIVIDUAL adaptation and listening to the spirit? I am fairly confident that the Lord would not support your judgmental comments to one of His treasured daughters, but that is jut me." (but I didn't say this because I know God will also not support me yelling at/killing this kid and He is probably not happy that I called this kid retarded)
    ANYWAY Sometimes Mormons, especially in Utah, need a dose of reality and a little less judgment and I am SO grateful for strong women like you who are willing to give it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are making the world a little bit better and a little bit easier for every Mormon women out there, who for whatever reason does not fit the "framework" of how life is supposed to go.

  13. That would have been really hard to raise your hand and say how you feel! I'm totally proud of you for that. Just stay strong, have courage, and continue pressing on. I'm mostly referring to church, here. Keep going, even if you're tempted to stay home because you don't want to deal with "people." I think a lot of us have felt like that some time or another in our lives, whether it was people at church, school, work, etc. It's so hard to feel misunderstood or like people can't really relate with you and what's going on. But I bet what you said really helped someone else who was there listening. You did the right thing to focus on how we are commanded to live a certain way and that we should live according to those commandments always-- whether we are finding the motivation in doing it for our kids, or for our spouse, or just for ourselves. All of those options are good, and anything that motivates us to do the right thing is a good thing.

    I really believe that a lot of people are still learning about infertility. It doesn't seem like you hear much about it until your 20's, and then if you don't experience it yourself, you are trying to learn about the emotions and your role as a supporter when your friends, family members, or others around you are experiencing that heartache. There's a learning curve, and too many people just aren't very aware or sensitive at this age. I hope the people that surround you will quickly learn and know how to sincerely interact with you when talking about family, children, parenthood, and infertility. I just don't want you to get hurt by others and the things they say! Hang in there and stay strong!! We are just praying and thinking of you guys.

  14. I totally know that other than an invisible blog reader, you have no idea who I am, but can I just send out a hug and a HUGE congratulations for your comment. YOU DID EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING!!!! I'm so sorry that this happens in RS meetings and like others have said, I'm also sure there were people in there praying for your comment to touch their wounded hearts as well.

  15. so I'm sitting here with tears running down my face... in the middle of psychology class. haha. I love you sweet girl. That was exactly the thing to say. I have so much respect and most of all love for you and all that you are going through. I know I only had a miscarriage, but it made me put into perspective infertility and how hard it must be. My sister recently had one too so the feelings have come back fresh and to watch you go through so much, my heart hurts for you. I love you sweetie. I really do. I wish i could be with you and let you lose it on my shoulder! I love you and those sisters definitely need to be enlightened. and i can't believe the nerve of that lady asking if it was you or him. You have the perfect insight on it. You are married and you go through your trials together. I am trying to learn that same thing right now in a different aspect. I love you hunny... I'm so sorry for your trials... i just always tell myself "all things are for my experience."... I love you...

  16. I am so incredibly glad you made the comment you made. The hardest time I had with relief society in Utah was that exact reason. Adam and I went through a long, long time where we might never be able to have children, and it killed me. I understand. None of the women ever talked to me because I was always the one that said, "Hey, we are women OUTSIDE of our families." Your comment is something that I feel is STILL SO TRUE even though I might get my family now. How are you going to be able to raise a good family or have a strong marriage if the ONLY way you do that is because of your kids? WHat happens when your kids leave? Thank you for being strong, faithful, so hopeful, and so grateful for the life you have. You are wonderful. Thank you for your inspiration.

  17. Ok.... So I don't know you from Adam, BUT I am so ready to walk in your RS and start throwing punches! Well not really, since that's NOT the Christlike thing to do...haha but it sure would feel good for a minute! My trials differ from yours greatly, and I will tell you what I have to tell myself. "The Gospel is perfect....the people ARE NOT!" I have found that LDS "culture" can cloud the real meaning of lessons in Sunday School and Relief Society. And it happens more often than I ever thought. I wish you the best on your journey to getting your babies! I truly admire your example and can't tell you enough how much I appreciate you "keepin it real." Your babies are looking down from Heaven high fiving each other for sure!!

    Sending love your way!

  18. so stinkin' close to driving to Utah right now.. to be in your relief society on sunday.. possibly packing some raspberry tea leaf..

    Those hairy lanky claw toed gorilla babies are DEFINITELY cheering you both on.

    I can't believe you kept it together, I mean I can.. you're a very graceful lady, but seriously... such a hard day. I'm so proud of you for standing up and sharing your testimony. You're beautiful inside and out.

  19. Although I'm not of your religion (of none except basic respect), as a basic human being, I cannot even imagine your fellow sisters leaving you in such a way. The pain you must be going through is unimaginable. I am so sorry that people are so thoughtless. I hope you are able to realize how strong you are to overcome this and that with your faith, this will truly allow you and C to be even stronger in the end! You will be an extra wonderful mother for all your patience!

  20. mmk, since everyone is giving real, decent comments mine seems out of place. even though i'ma still gonna kill someone up in hurr.

    anyway, you are more patient than i am. four years of infertility, and i haven't been to rs for two of them. our ward is ignorant to the highest degree. when we lost kate via the reversed adoption, well, it didn't count to them. all that counts is bio births to the young and poor. or whatever. you get what i mean. i'm medicated.

    if you want me to come to rs next week so i can be all up in the lesson's grill, i will. just tell me at least an hour before so i can take some meds.

    breathe in on the count of five, out on the count of five.

    you get used to it, which is horrid to say, but true.

    pity people like that.

  21. Hi Kristin!
    You don't know me, but I am friends with your sister Lindsay. I think our situation is very similiar. I have been trying to have a baby for 3 years now. We have just completed the testing and we find out what are options are on Monday. I know we will have to have help. I know that God gives us this because he knows we can handle it. Many blessings come out of the struggle of infertility. I will pray for your family.

  22. I am trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. Seriously?! Really, I hope I am never that clueless. And really? No one said anything? I am betting there were at least a few who were really grateful for what you said, and didn't have the courage to say anything themselves. Good for you for being brave enough to say something. I think people just don't think about all sides of it before they open their mouths. I'm sorry it hurts so bad. Still praying for you here...

  23. I'm so sorry that happened to you! You are one of the most amazing people that I have ever met! That lady is obviously crazy! We're still keeping you in our prayers! We love you guys!

  24. Oh Kristin... I don't know what to say other than we are praying for you. We love you guys and are here for you if and when you might need us. You are such an amazing woman, and such a great example.

  25. Wow. I think your comment was perfect. And your response to sister insensitive " it's us, we are married" was so dead on. I'm sorry people are dumb sometimes. I'm sorry you are going through such a difficult trial. Of course I hope you and Cameron will be blessed with bambinos in this life, but I also hope that in the midst of all the trying you find the many other good gifts I'm sure our Heavenly Father has in store for you.

  26. Kristin, I really commend you for speaking out in this situation. I know that is SO difficult. I feel for you and your husband as my husband and I were there three-four years ago. I think you've already visited my site, but if you didn't see my post "Hi. My Name is Glam-O-Mommy and I'm Infertile", I hope you will go check it out from my June archive. It details my thoughts on speaking out about infertility, as well as outlines some of the annoying/painful things seemingly well-meaning people say to people who are infertile. Instead of "It's OK if you're not ready to be a mother" I got "I just don't understand why you don't want to give your parents grandchildren!" And this was from one of my AUNTS! People can be very insensitive, and my experience has led me to try to be very mindful of people's personal situations because you just don't know what people are going through in their personal lives. Infertility is very unkind to your soul. Hang in there, be kind to yourself, and I'm still praying for you.

  27. WOW! I mean WOW! What an amazing person you are for keeping it together with the sister from church. I would have dangerously and quietly put her in her place with a quiet whispered conversation! Oh, I feel so evil. But really thank you for speaking up at the end of Relief Society people in the church need to be reminded that it is a gospel of principles that apply to all, single, married, parents, divorced everyone. The principles are the same, the situations are different.

    I'm proud of ya!

  28. Hey Kristin,
    I am a blog hopper and found you through Whipperberry, I think? It's my sons naptime and I'm trying to squeeze all my blogs in before he wakes up ;)
    Anyway I just wanted to share with you that people who cannot relate to infertility say dumb stupid hurtful ignorant things. However, after going on 8 years of this crazy trial, I have learned that people don't mean it to be how it unfortunately comes out (well, most people anyway.) The truth is, they are just nosy (I'm sure it's mean to be concern) and try to help by giving advice (even though they are speaking out of their you-know-where because they know someone's aunt's cousins friend who had infertility issues so that automatically qualifies them as experts.) Sheesh. Trust me sister, even after ADOPTING our sweet son, we still hear "OMG" moments. Anyway the best thing that ever happened to me was to give it to the Lord. I went to the temple every day one week until the burden was no longer mine. I reached a point where I simply couldn't carry it anymore. Best thing that ever happened to me, my marriage and my future. (Shortly after we decided to stop the fertility treatments and focus on starting our family through the miracle of adoption. It's not the solution for every couple, but it was for us.) Anyway I hope you stay strong; you are solid and I admire you for making the comments you did. Have a good day :)

    PS: April's issue of the Ensign has an infertility article! Score! :)

  29. I'm in complete awe at her comments. I mean, I don't know what it feels like to experience Infertility, but even I have half a brain to know not to ask those questions. I think as a whole there needs to be infertility awareness lessons. I feel so terrible that so many women are feeling the brunt of the pain from idiotic comments, while in relief society. Things need to change. I feel awful that I'm able to have had 2 children while so many want them so badly and would make amazing parents and I wish there was more I could do. But I think I'll start with trying to be more aware of others around me who may be struggling with infertility. No one deserves to feel the added pain of thoughtless comments. Especially in a place where we go to learn, and grow, and feel peace. Im so sorry. I'm so glad you stood up and shared your thoughts. The world needs more like you.