So much to share, no idea where or how to begin. This is my attempt to put my heart down in words. It sounds like an impossible undertaking, and I am certain that it will be. No matter how much I am blessed with just the right words as I sit at my keyboard today, TWO days after, nothing can ever fully express the full expression of my heart and depth of what it holds.
I am a mother! I LOVE being a mother! I am FAR from being the mother that I want to be, the mother my children deserve and need. But. I love being a mother and I love my children with all of my soul.
I am a wife! I have THE most amazing husband that ever blessed a wife. He is my WORLD. He is my VERY best friend and my lover and my eternal sweetheart. He is my partner, my confidant, my strength, my supporter, my life. We are not perfect – neither one of us. But. We are so very much in love. We work everyday to try to be who we need to be. We work everyday to help each other become more. We lift and help and encourage and support each other through all the times of joy and through all the moments of sorrow. We are honest. We believe in each other and help each other to see ourselves a bit more the way God does. We are trying. We try, each day, to ever remain each others’ centers.
WE are a FAMILY. We are far from PERFECT. We are quirky and goofy and loud and silly and so many things that make us UNIQUE. We LOVE each other. There are days when we want to run away and hide, but in the end, every night, we kneel together in a circle of love. A circle of support, of charity, of strength. We are ONE.
We have been SEVEN for almost TWO years! We all hoped to add to our love. To become EIGHT. But.
I am a DAUGHTER to my AMAZING parents. I love them! We were SIX – all girls, but Dad. We LOVED our SIX. We STILL do – perhaps even better than we used to. I have THE most amazing sisters in the world. They are my rocks! I LOVE them. They are so incredible and so mighty. I stand in awe. They love me, even when I’m not who I need to be. We fight for each other and are mighty together. We are the MERKLING GIRLS and will be forever! But. The Merkling Girls are not perfect. In many ways. Sometimes in physical ways.
I am the BABY. I liked my spot! Until. My big sisters hurt. Some have “Mittelschmerz” and others “Endometriosis.” Some have their very own “Funk” or simply “The It.” We pray for each other and depend on each other to understand when we get it too. We sometimes take turns, but not because we hoped to. This time it was my turn.
We – my SEVEN – wanted to become EIGHT. We tried. We failed. We tried again. I was too much a Merkling Girl. Some said it was the endometriosis and the mittleshmerz made me cry, but no matter the label, our SEVEN was NOT becoming EIGHT. But. We tried anyway.
Then! It happened! I was finally expecting! We realized while we were together, just as SEVEN who wanted to be together. We wandered all over the west to trace our ancestors journeys to make their homes in the west. We followed the PIONEERS’ footsteps. Sometimes literally and others only close-ish. We did not tell the kids about becoming EIGHT. We did not take a test. We drove and we hoped. We got home. Life hit crazy! We love it that way! I went and got a test. It showed TWO perfect lines! It really had happened!
We wondered when we should tell or what we should say. I went to see the Bishop. He gave me a new calling, I told him about the baby! If he knew, our SEVEN needed to too. We told them that night. Joy, happiness, peace, and celebration! We were going to be EIGHT!
Now my thoughts are jumbled. There is so much to share. I feel it is SACRED and want to tell it right. I hope. I pray – that I can do it right.
My visit to the Doctor was coming soon, but never soon enough. EVERYONE wanted to SEE the baby. EVERYONE wanted to know. Know more. But – no, not until Friday. Patience. We tried our best to have patience.
I wanted to CLEAN our HOME. I tried to clean our clothes. The couch was BURIED. The drawers were BARE. I had a book to listen to and got out my ball for a chair. I figured out my piles and started – with plans to never stop. Unfortunately my old tired body said NO. I felt SO sore. Not everywhere, but my cervix appeared to be MAD at me. I abandoned my ball and moved to the soft old red couch. The folded piles were growing and SECOND piles were started. I felt like the Energizer Bunny and kept going and going some more. The book was near over, but the laundry was not quite, so my sweet loving husband, helped the REST OF THE NIGHT! I thanked him and hugged him and we headed to bed. The nasty old clock on the stove screamed the hour. A FIVE in bright red.
We heard the alarm and hit it for PEACE. Then the thing honked again and I knew there was NO choice. Kids UP. Kids DRESSED. SCRIPTURES and take them to SCHOOL. Then I got to visit the bathroom to start my day too. I wandered in, with my eyes still half shut. But. The FEAR that hit me. It woke me right up! It was RED! Why was there red?! Not a LOT, just a LITTLE, but there should be NONE! I told my sweet husband and he had me LAY down. I told you he takes care of me! He is SO good, it’s amazing! I laid for a while. It helped calm me down. My stomach was achy though and I wanted to rest. He needed a nap too and a movie was picked. FIVE and FOUR hunkered down with their snacks and I told them to enjoy it while I took my BATH.
Oh how the water felt good! It lulled me to peacefulness and REST. Then came the time. The clock got in the way yet again. Time to get DRESSED and get my THREE boy from school. But. I was loving my bath and my tummy still hurt. I hated the thought of my muscles used to WASH MY HAIR. But. The shower, though not so hard on my tummy, meant standing and washing and sounded HURTY. OK. I CAN do this. I started my mantra and got to work with shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a razor. BUT. WHY? Why was there more red?! In my bath. In my bathtub. Oh I hated that red! I called for my HUBBY. I TRIED so hard! He was still so TIRED and he just couldn’t hear. I knew the phone might be enough to wake him, so I grabbed for my CELL. I dialed my house. No luck! I did it AGAIN. The answering lady voice left and then I could hear it ring. I called for him again. So did FOUR and FIVE! It was enough! He lumbered out of our bed. Half dazed. He saw the time and took off SO fast. He really is sweet to me – he went to fetch our son! But. He left before I could get his help.
OK. Start my mantra again. “Katie, you can do this.” Be CAREFUL, but be QUICK! I got to the shower and rinsed off in its stream. I took no time to enjoy it because the pain from down low. I dried off so fast and got dressed in some clothes. I took the hair brush with me. My HUBBY came home! I apologized for being to slow and needing his help and thanked him A LOT! He felt so sorry for sleeping so long. I laughed and THANKED him for taking the time and for GIVING his time to help me fold clothes!
Then. I had to tell him what I had seen. At the toilet. In my bathtub. Red. “What does that MEAN?” Neither of us had a good answer, but that’s what the INTERNET is for! Nothing sounded like I needed to worry. Oh well, I did it anyway. So did HUBBY. He told me to REST. To not get up that day. I did what he asked and stayed on the COUCH the rest of the day! We did homework by the couch, while mommy laid down. I read stories with FIVE, but laid by her too. I didn’t make dinner, I didn’t clean up, I didn’t even put away the stacks from the night. The laundry laid there, the kids got fed, the homework was finished and piano practice too! I SPOTTED all day, but only a touch. Never a lot, but never a full STOP. I carefully laid in a way that felt safe for the baby as I tried so hard to sleep.
I woke up worried. But. Nothing. No red in the toilet, or my pad just in case, or even the toilet paper! NOTHING! That’s something to feel hopeful about. But. I was still having CRAMPING. It wasn’t TOO bad, just enough to annoy me. It made me WRIGGLE with discomfort, but NOT enough to be crying. I called my Doctor, just to MAKE SURE. I told the Medical Assistant what had been happening, but she left it up to me. I could go in if I wanted, but if it was improving, they were fine if I chose to stay home instead. WEDNESDAY. I could wait until FRIDAY. So I stayed on my old comfy blue couch. I laid all that day. But when SCHOOL got out and VIOLIN was finished I decided to try myself to go get ONE and TWO. I did OK, but needed back on my couch! It hurt to SIT! My cervix got MAD every time that I did – even for short periods. So I laid on my couch.
More homework, more piano, more stories, more rest. I stayed DOWN all day long! It was worth it. There was no more red! But. I had a meeting for the School Community Council. This was the BIG one. The one with the Superintendent! He is such a GOOD man. I LIKE to be near him and learn from him. He inspires. So. I thought a one hour meeting, not running, not bending, might be a good test to see how my body was doing. I went. I drove all skiwhampus since it hurt to sit up, but I got there OK and parked as CLOSE as I could!
I hobbled in. MAN! I still hurt! My cervix felt BOMBARDED with pressure so bad! I hobbled into the Board Room and took a vacant seat. I was LATE. Not by much, but I was happy to have somewhere to sit. SIT. UGH! What could I do?! I can’t LAY there, on the Board Room’s chairs! I sat all off kilter. It seemed to hurt less. But. I could tell that the meeting was taking its toll on my body. I got to the car and once I was inside, I started to pray. I was NOT going to cry. But I prayed I would be OK and that the baby would too. I got home and went to the bathroom before hitting the couch.
RED! MORE red! More than ANY the day before! OH WHAT HAD I DONE! I cried and I called for my husband. He couldn’t hear. He was making us dinner and dishing it up. I finished and went to STAY down on my couch! The pain was much worse! I cried and I made ugly faces. But. The kids were awake and I didn’t want THEM to worry. I tried so hard to be brave and just TAKE IT.
As soon as THEY were in bed I asked my good husband to HOLD me. He held me. I cried. He asked why. I explained what had happened and tried to tell him how it was feeling inside. He held me some more. Then I asked what I should do. Um! He looked helpless, but WANTED to help. I called the hospital and talked to someone ON CALL. They told me there was not much they could do. If the baby was good, they could LOOK and tell me. If the baby was not, they could NOT do anything to help me! I decided to stay on my couch with my husband. FIVE could not sleep and we CUDDLED and READ. She lifted my spirits! HUBBY went to go shower and shave and find a nice shirt and tie. I requested a BLESSING. FIVE wanted to be there, she just couldn’t leave. I was SO glad. She stayed and sat so reverently! It comforted me to have her there. The blessing was PERFECT. It gave no sure answers EXCEPT that God LOVES me and my BABY too. I knew that whatever happened, I could face it with Him and with peace. EIGHT months of laying on the couch seemed IMPOSSIBLE. BUT. I would do whatever I had to. I would do everything to protect my new baby! If I did not get to have my sweet baby, I knew God would help me. He is my Father and He LOVES ME.
After the blessing, FIVE was able to sleep and I did too. HUBBY worked, since all day he had been helping me, but I SLEPT. It was a sleep of peace. The pain was not all gone and neither was the worry, but, like a blanket on top of all that, there was the sweet warmth of peace.
First thing the next morning, after kids went to school. I contacted my Doctor. It was time to come in. Friday was close, but THURSDAY was NOW! I had to KNOW. I needed to SEE. We arranged for a sitter and HUBBY stayed by my side. We went in to see Brett, the Ultra-Sound Tech. He is so nice, so friendly and calm. He gave me some warnings and then he began. I SAW my BABY! There – it was THERE! Inside of me! It was ALIVE!!! I almost feared to look, but when I SAW the red and the blue – the blood flowing just where it should – I almost cried right out loud! Instead I let it fill my heart. Fill my soul. Silent tears flowed, but they were tears full of JOY and REJOICING! Then, more magical. We got to HEAR that SWEET sound! The sound of a HEARTBEAT. STRONG and FAST! Just like a baby should sound!!! I almost thought it couldn’t get any better, but then it did. My baby MOVED! It MOVED!!! Wait! That means… That baby is REALLY alive – it has a spirit! It is mine FOREVER! No matter what, I knew it was MINE! Brett made me cry more when he said he saw nothing that looked bad at all! He gave me some pictures of my BEAUTIFUL baby! I gawked at them all the way home and texted them to my family! I asked for their prayers as we tried to see what was causing the SPOTTING. But cramping or not, my baby was FINE!
We picked up the kids and went to the store. I was not cooking and HUBBY shouldn’t have to. So he went and bought Lunchables and sandwiches and macaroni! I waited with my three youngest. We waited in our big green van Frank while HUBBY ran inside. I showed THEM the pictures of Mama’s new baby! They were SO excited. All FIVE could say was “Baby. Baby.” She just couldn’t stop! FOUR wanted to see them more and more. THREE kept talking in his HIGH squeaky voice, the one he saves just for talking to or about babies. HUBBY bought great food and we headed for home. I headed to my couch to rest for ONE more day. I COULDN’T wait to see what my Doctor would say!
Another day DOWN, just lying around. Our DEAR friends came. Their the kind that are family, even though they’re not really! They come for piano. They come to play. But. Friends or not, still I remained on my spot on the couch! They came and they left and we ate some dinner. Then the kids went to bed. HUBBY and I talked about all of his worries. Our BUSINESS. I needed to help more. He needed to talk. We need to move FASTER and get Geungle OUT! Servers. Coding. Money. Blogs. Taxes. ICK! It was hard! We talked. We cried. We worked TOGETHER. We made some steps to make things get better. We were inspired. I still kept resting, but we worked hard together. We talked through our thoughts and started to move FORWARD! Late, but UNITED we headed to bed. I still felt contentment. But. I was SO ready to ask my Doctor what I should do.
The alarm woke me. Today was the day! I would finally get questions answered and know HOW to move forward! I reached for my phone, on the table by my bed. As I swiped my finger to silence the awful alarm’s noise I felt an awful feeling. Was I wetting my pants? Was it SOMETHING more sinister? I ROLLED out of bed, bent on making it to the bathroom to investigate. I stood and felt more. Wet. I fled to the bathroom and took my place on the toilet. NO red! RELIEF! Small EMBARRASMENT, but BIG relief! And NO red! I beckoned to HUBBY to please get me new clothes. He brought them and we went to do scriptures with kids. We read. We prayed. HUBBY took the three off to school. I DRESSED for the Doctor, pulled up my HAIR, brushed my TEETH, and put on my SHOES. Ready at last, and eager to go, I went to see FOUR and FIVE and see that they were prepared. HUBBY grabbed a shower and started to dress. FIVE needed shoes, so I went in our room to fetch them while HUBBY was just finishing. 8:25. My appointment at 8:30. We need to hurry. But. I was so excited for answers that late seemed like NOTHING. I shut the DOOR behind me. The shoes were just feet away. I stepped closer. But. I never reached for the shoes.
I felt the wretchedness of a horrid mighty gush. I knew that all could NOT be right, but hoped. I hoped, for the first time in my life, that I has just completely WET my pants. But. I looked down. RED!!! LOTS and LOTS of RED! I knew. I knew what it meant. This baby would not be able to make it. I knew.
I croaked out “Help me!” HUBBY looked up. Worry in his voice. “How can I help?” What could I say? My mind was frozen. I could only STAND and SHAKE and LOOK. Look! That was it. “Look at my feet!” The words wrenched from my soul in utter agony, grief, and heart-breaking pain. He looked. He saw. Pain.
He ran to the bathroom and grabbed for a towel. He brought it for me to step on, but I knew I had to reach the bathroom fast. I begged him to help with my shoes and my pants. He wiped off my FEET so I could cross the carpet to the bathroom. I was numb. I was lost. I staggered and got to my place. I sat as my pants were pulled free. What? What was that feeling? What was that laying there? In my pants? Life. Breath. Everything STOPPED. My BABY! I knew. I saw. I stared. I broke. Death. Is this what death feels like? I could not move or see or feel or exist.
But. It was my BABY! It needed me. That thought took over. I took a breath. I sobbed a breath. My shaking, convulsing hands. I could not pick up that fragile tiny thing with these bare, uncontrollable hands! What can I do? I look frantically around. HUBBY is not here, he is working to fix some of the disaster I left in the bedroom. Toilet paper! That would help! I grab some eagerly and fold it gently. With my new tool I reach for the tiny, STILL form. Tenderly. I hold my BABY. I see my BABY! More toilet paper. Cleaning gently, carefully. Oh, wait! It is….it is a BOY! I have a SON!!! Sobbing. Calling for my husband. I need him. He has to KNOW. I show him. My heart breaks again. His does too. Our SON! He’s gone. He is DEAD. Hearts break.
But. We have two OTHER children in the OTHER room. They need help. They need it now. We are not leaving. The Doctor. She needs to know. I am gushing blood. Blood is everywhere. HUBBY brings me wet wipes and hands me more toilet paper. He checks on me. How am I doing? I am too numb to know. I am cradling my BABY! So tiny! Must be SO careful! How to protect his tiny form?
HUBBY helps me. He helps FOUR. He helps FIVE. He gets me clean clothes. He calls the Doctor. He somehow tells FOUR and FIVE what has just happened. The baby has come. He is a BROTHER! He came too soon. Too tiny. He is dead. Daddy gives them comfort and offers them his love. Then he is wise. He gives them a distraction. A movie. Land Before Time. They sit. They watch. FOUR tries not to worry. He tries to be tough. He tries not to be sad.
HUBBY comes to find me. He holds me. He loves me. I show him our son! We weep together. We mourn together. We LOVE together. Our SON! He is gone. I am pregnant no longer. I can’t put him back and make it all better. I miss him! It hurts! It devastates! We hold him. We hold each other. I need to start cleaning myself up a bit. I let Daddy take a turn to rock and gently hold his son. He gazes at the tiny baby. Such love. Such longing. My heart breaks all over again.
What can we do? Toilet paper is not good enough for MY SON! What can we do with his body? His SPIRIT is gone. I still FEEL him so close. We have to care for his BODY. HOW? Last week was the Temple Dedication. Handkerchiefs! White. Pure. Beautiful. HUBBY goes to find one. I HOLD my son. HUBBY hunts. He finds nothing. I have him hold OUR son. I try to get myself up and I will go look. I stop and I throw up. My head rings. I am dizzy. So dizzy. Time goes so fast. So slowly. Try again. UP! I am up! I wash my hands and begin the search. I hunt in the places I thought the handkerchiefs might be. I can’t find them. I get more dizzy. More blood coming. I remember! They are in my drawer! I FIND them! I take the softest one and GIVE it to my son. I wrap him. I hold him. I stay in the bathroom. I stay on the toilet. My son stays with me. OH how I LOVE him!
Life STARTED turning again. We lay the baby on the bed by his Mommy. FOUR wanted to see. See his BROTHER. He came in. He sat on the bed next to me. He was trying. Trying so hard to understand. To be tough. I could see and feel his sorrow. He asked some questions. Why? I tried to answer the questions. I tried to let the Spirit answer. He wanted to see. I told him what the baby looks different. As I explained – warned – I realized that the baby’s unusual appearance makes perfect sense. He is biggest in his head and his chest. I realized that it was exactly right like that.
He only needed THOSE parts to be ready so that he could receive his SPIRIT. His BRAIN, his HEART, His SPIRIT. Thursday all THREE were working together. He was ALIVE. Now, one piece missing, he could not live. He still had a BRAIN and a HEART, but without his SPIRIT, he was no longer living. I missed him. But it helped me UNDERSTAND more.
FOUR saw. He mourned. He tried to be strong. He wept and held me. He loves his brother. As he left the sacred realm of my room, he said something to break my heart again. “Mommy, I don’t want you to have a baby that comes out tiny as that again.” I sob. Me either, my sweet strong boy. Me either.
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