Friday, May 29, 2009

Lessons from my Experience with Infertility and Miscarriage

Since I just experienced my second miscarriage this year, after seven years of infertility and hoping, I have had some time to reflect on the lessons I have learned. I am grateful for the lessons because I would have assumed that a miscarriage would bring more heartache into my life but instead has been a very hopeful and exciting experience that I am very grateful for. I know if I gave myself license to think of the sadness of it too long, I might change my mind so I have decided to think only of the wonderful gift it is even to have only a few days or weeks of participating in the wonderful creation of a new life.

It took just over a year after my marriage before I was blessed with my first pregnancy and a few months later blessed with a beautiful daughter. Even that year was hard for me even though I know in comparison to many, one year is not long to wait. I thought my dream of at least six children was on it's way. But after this first pregnancy there were no more for seven years.

For the first several of those years, I spent much time praying and reading infertility articles and taking infertility tests which never revealed the reason I was not becoming pregnant. I felt confused and saddened when I was around others who were able to have children even when they were not married, or did not want their children or . . . many things seemed unfair. I wondered what I had done to make me unfit to have the many children I had hoped for.

Eventually, I fell into a deep depression and for some months was unable to even care for myself properly. But during that time there were many miracles.
1) I learned that it was important for me to be happy being me and to find out who I really was and what God wanted me to do.
2) I learned that God loved me and had other purposes for me along with the important opportunity of being a mother.
3) I learned that sometimes less is more and that I had a singular opportunity to give everything I had to my one precious daughter
4) I learned to desire what God wanted for me instead of what I wanted and to trust in His direction and His timing in the events of my life
5) I learned the probable cause of my infertility and depression when tests revealed thyroid problems and Graves Disease.
6) I learned to be thankful and that gratitude brings the light back when depression threatens to cloud it.
7) I learned how to feel the true sadness in some things in my life without losing the gratitude and the hope.

Because of those lessons I was able to see these miscarriages as blessings. I don't know God's plan for me and my life but I do know that He is aware of me and that I can be happy in whatever that plan is. I was even able to have great discussions with my daughter about why her consistent prayers for a baby brother or sister have not been fulfilled yet and she has been able to happily decide to keep praying and never give up but also to see the blessings she has by being the only child in our family.

I feel so happy to see the great strides and progress I have made so that now my emotional health is much more stable and disappointments, even very large ones, do not have as many detrimental effects on me. Even when my thyroid and hormone levels are not right and things are more challenging I am learning to be a better mom and enjoy each moment as it comes.

Preparing for Baptism

My daughter has made her decision to be baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She must wait a few more months until she turns eight. So we were talking about how excited she is and her plans for her big day. She decided to have a special jar to start saving some of her spending money to help buy a special white dress to wear. I am glad she is so excited to save her own money and that she is so happy about this important and special decision even though it is still a few months away.

Scripture Kids Podcast

Another great scripture study find! There is a new great online radio station (also available in other ways too) called the mormon channel and I love subscribing to their podcasts. Scripture Kids is a favorite! It has kids taking turns talking and answering questions about the scripture story that they read together. It was so much fun that my daughter was sad to go do anything else when we had to leave during one of the times it was being broadcast. It took a little while for the new ones to show up on the podcast but now we have them downloaded to listen to whenever we want.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Tube Scripture Study

We really have fun with family scripture study. Often it is as simple as saying a memorized scripture together or reading a scripture story from a children's scripture book with lots of pictures. Sometimes it is really fun to do something different and tonight I stumbled into one. We watched a you tube video of the Ammon story from The Book of Mormon. It was all reenacted with Lego figures. Hubby was out of town so we called him and he got online and watched it too. It was fun to all be laughing together as we studied.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Simply Hair: Cute Ribbon Flower Bun

I changed this style a little bit from the one on babesinhairland. First I added lots of little ponytails around the front of my DD's head and then braided each one. Then I criss-crossed them and made a second layer of ponytails. Then I braided those and gathered all the braids and the rest of her hair into a ponytail and then followed the directions from the link above. However I did not have real hair ribbon so we used curling ribbon and then made little curls instead of a bow. It was really fun to do!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Moms can have cute hair too!

We decided to go to my favorite hair blog for an idea of a fun hairdo for church today and my daughter picked the messy bun and then wanted us to be matching. It was easy and fast and cute. It is fun for moms to have cute hair too!

Spiritual Gifts

The lessons today at both Sunday School and Relief Society, were about spiritual gifts and talents. The main lesson for me today was to think about the fact that gifts are given to everyone for the purpose of sharing with others and that means they only work in a community, not for just one person alone. We all need to have friends and be friends and then we all can take advantage of the help we each can receive from the use of each others' talents.

I think the reason that is the main part of the lessons that stood out to me is because of my personal experience of depression. I was badly depressed and withdrawn for about three years before I found out about my thyroid problem (Graves Disease) and was able to have treatment and become myself again. During that time it was hard to want to be around other people. I just wanted to be alone. But family encouraged me to still look for friends and force myself to do things with other people. Even the answer to my prayers kept being "find good friends." I am glad that I did.

I found a group of women who met to work out early in the morning. The workout helped me in working through the harder times with my thyroid levels, even after the problem was diagnosed, and gave me a chance to be with friends daily. They also were good listeners and didn't judge me when I was a little "off" and more withdrawn or emotional. I was also able to help care for their children on their turn to go exercise (we all took turns with the kids) and also to listen and be a support for them through their challenges. I know that being with others gave me a chance to benefit from the spiritual gifts of others and to be able to contribute mine as well.

Sunday School Member Study Guide and related scriptures
Parable of the Talents: Matthew 25:14-30

Friday, May 8, 2009

Protect our Families

I was sent an email with this link to a Focus Action Update video about the Supreme Court Vacancy and the Hate Crime Initiative and it has suggestions on what we can do to help protect our families and our rights.
One simple way is to subscribe to citizenlink to keep updated and informed.
The most important way is to pray for our elected officals! It does make a difference

Family Values Children's Website

While reading a bedtime story from the Children's magazine, "The Friend," We noticed a page about a new website for kids. It has games, printable coloring pages, music, scripture stories, coloring online . . . and more. My daughter stayed up a little later than normal because we were having so much fun together.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Decluttering my Bookshelf

I made over $200 today by selling books over the internet. My husband and I had several textbooks and my daughter had extra picture books. I just checked on several of the most popular websites which buy used textbooks and other books and compared the offers I received. Different websites offered different prices and some accepted some of the books but not others. Most offered free shipping. The ones I used to sell my books today are: (This one accepted lots of books, they offer paypal compensation) (This one accepted the most books, and paid good prices)

Fast and Fun, "next day" Hairstyle

A pretty style I did on my daughter's hair was a round braid like a crown all around her head. On the outside, it is a french braid (pulling up sections of hair from the outside as I go around) but the inside of the braid is regular (not pulling any new sections in with it). The next morning it still looked really nice but my daughter didn't realize it so she started to take it out. I found her just in time and rescued it by pulling the undone portion into a cute side ponytail. It looks beautiful.

My favorite places to get hair ideas for little girls are: . . . I just checked this site out again and found that she has a great video and typed directions as well for the full crown round braid that is similar to mine. Check it out under her videos section.

I love Romantic, Family, Country Music

When I listen to songs about loving husbands or about good mom's or dads . . . or anything romantic and with good family values. I get more loving and romantic myself. I look for the good things that are around me and I appreciate them more. I am also more likely to treat my family in a nicer way.

When my husband is gone it is fun to listen to these songs and miss him. Or when I have a rare day where I have the house to myself I love to turn music up loud and sing along and do some deep cleaning. I have loved to do that since I was a teenager. I was the oldest of ten children and having time in the house alone was very rare but was sure fun when it happened. Sometimes I stayed home from family outings on purpose so I could have that special time to myself. I'm sure my mom loved the cleaner house when they all came back too.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Clean-Up Fairy

I was in charge of the activity for Family Home Evening tonight. (That is a fun family tradition we have been encouraged to do each week by the leaders of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

So I wanted to come up with a fun way to clean the house since we were a little behind today. I said that we were "Clean-up Fairies" and when the music played we would quickly clean and then stop and become humans again whenever the music stopped.

It was really fun. My daughter really got into it and even decided to clean out and organize my tupperware drawer and my kitchen towel drawer. Each time I stopped the music we would start to "wonder" what happened to all of our stuff. Each time the music began again we became magic fairies trying to surprise and help the humans. It was really fun!!

Great "Total Body Workout"

I have a thyroid condition which lends me to easy hormone shifts and mood highs and lows. So now I have finally become fairly stable and functional as long as I don't skip my exercise time. That used to be a goal and sometimes only a dream but is now a necessity.

My favorite workout is "Total Body Workout" aired on BYU Television and KBYUTV It can be watched at anytime online (and your choice of the episode of today or from the past six weeks) or at scheduled time on those two TV channels. It is an hour long so sometimes on my more "off" days I can only do half of it but it is still a good workout then too.

The main reason it is my favorite is because it automatically sets up a complete physical fitness program for me including stretching, strength training and aerobics because the episodes are arranged each day to rotate between those focuses for a well rounded routine. If I simply do the program that is on each day, I automatically have worked out all those areas of my body. It is a fun surprise to find out what the focus will be each day. Some other reasons I like it are
1) The music and the dress don't make me uncomfortable or distracted as I workout.
2) The teacher explains things simply and I feel like I am learning new things.
3) They do a lot of yoga which I really love.
4) There are several ages and conditions represented for each workout: older, middle and younger; advanced and beginner; flexible or not; pregnant; both men and women.
5) The equipment can be as simple as I want (for example they use disks sometimes and I don't have them so they recommend a paper plate or I have even used a plain sheet of paper to slide my feet on. . . it is a lot of fun) and they always have someone representing those who don't have the equipment.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Own Personal Pamper Session

I had a discussion with my husband about how I felt I was always working and that even my "play" was doing something to benefit the family. I didn't feel like "me" anymore. He had some great advice:
1) choose some things to do just for fun.
2) Change the way you look at what you are doing. If you look at it as work it will not be fun even if it is something you enjoy.

Well, I have had some fun experimenting with both of those suggestions since then. One of my favorite new luxuries is that I followed option #2 above and decided that when I get ready in the morning I will have fun, not rush quite as fast, and enjoy a pamper session. Now I really look forward to my bubble bath or shower, make-up and a fun hair-do even if some days it is only a quick ponytail. And if I have 20 minutes instead of 15 I can even add a bracelet or necklace too. It is a simple change but has made a big difference. I really look forward to my own personal pamper session almost every morning.


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