Sunday, February 12, 2012

Holding on to Hope

Artwork by Greg Olsen

This weekend has been a bit frustrating. And I've been really hesitant to share what's been going on. But, due to my present circumstances, it's becoming necessary-- how else can I explain why I've had to put the brakes on my very busy life?


Friday morning I asked Russell for a priesthood blessing. I try not to ask him for blessings too much because I tend to prefer that means of communicating to the Lord, (I like to hear the words) and I have been known to abuse it a bit. Yet in the last week or so I've felt prompted by the Holy Ghost to ask for one, so I did.

You see, after two miscarriages since Eryn was born, I am finding myself again in the early stages of pregnancy. I am keenly aware that my childbearing days are nearing their end, but in a sacred experience in the temple, I was told that there would be twelve. And that I would need to be BRAVE. That happened way back during the summer.

Anyway, Russell gave me a beautiful, concise, detailed blessing. I was told quite clearly that I would carry this baby to term, bringing another child into our family circle. And I was told to take very good care of myself physically, writing down the inspiration I receive. (See why I'm blogging about this now?) And I was reminded that I need to make a list of all of the good things I'm heavily involved in right now, and to PRIORITIZE them.

I felt such joy, peace, and relief after that beautiful blessing! I have been on edge for weeks, worried that I might miscarry this baby, too. I haven't told anyone I was expecting, except for Russell and my older kids, because of my fear of losing another pregnancy. It's still quite early; only seven weeks.

I resolved to do the things that the Lord has asked me to do. At ten o'clock I had to take Dierdre to her charm and poise class, and so I gathered up a notebook, pen, and the most recent Ensign magazine before heading out the door.

Her class lasts about 2 hours, (but it's far enough away from home that I don't want to go back and forth twice) so I dropped her off, grabbed myself a quick breakfast in the nearby Trader Joe's, and parked at a nearby park. It was a beautiful day and the park was quiet. I quietly turned on some relaxing music, ate my meal, and started to write.

I made a list of everything within my stewardship right now. Husband, children, homeschool, directing a musical, three church callings, unfinished projects. Growing a baby. Everything. As I went down the list, I felt the inspiration of the Lord touching my heart. I could see where I was worrying unnecessarily, and what things I could simplify and re-work. It felt good. I had peace knowing that I was doing what the Lord had counseled me to do.

I went to pick up my daughter, and visited with her teacher for quite some time about her midwife. She gave me her reasons why she liked her so much, and told me more about her practice and how she worked. I felt good about her recommendation. I determined to go home and talk to Russell about it so that we can start planning and saving to pay for the birth.

I finally allowed myself to get excited about the pregnancy, seeing that we would really be getting a new baby out of this! I could relax and rejoice. I even started playing with baby names again. (One of my favorite things!)

After I arrived home, I made a scary discovery-- I was bleeding. Only a tiny bit, but still. That's how my last two miscarriages started. I ran to Russell, panicked. What about the blessing? What about the promises of the Lord? I thought I had done what He asked of me. Had I done something wrong?

I quickly laid down, and Russell and I talked. He told me that he had hesitated to make those promises in the blessing, but that the Spirit had pushed and prodded him to say those things exactly in that way. I took deep breaths, and remembered the story of an acquaintance who had been able to keep from going into labor with one of her babies by rubbing lavender essential oil on her abdomen. So I applied some lavender oil and prayed and PRAYED. The words "Faith is a verb" kept going through my mind.

Since then I have put myself on bedrest. I'm not out of the woods, yet, so Russell and the kids have taken over. I look at my calendar and try not to panic. This was going to be a very busy week for me! Auditions for the musical are on this Tuesday-- Valentine's Day, not to mention I had some big plans for Russell and I that evening.

Now I think I understand better about what the Lord meant when He told me to prioritize. I'm working my way through one moment at a time. We'll see what this week holds. But I am also trusting in the Lord's promise that I will carry this baby to term, that he or she will be okay. I need to do my part and follow the promptings of the Spirit, so can know what is most important for me to do right now, and not endanger the life of this new little one.

Thanks for listening. Any prayers would be most welcome.



  1. You know I'll pray! It is so hard to hold on to faith and the promises from a blessing when you're staring at the evidence of bleeding, I know. I've had bleeding in all but two of my pregnancies, plus 3 miscarriages. It's terrifying, crushing worry sometimes. Can I suggest you read the article from January's Ensign on Recognizing God's Hand in Our Daily Blessings?

    The part about daily bread especially touched me last month as we waited anxiously for Mason's arrival:

    Get your priorities figured and then focus on one day at a time. You'll have just enough 'bread' to get through that one day.

    Excited to read as your pregnancy continues!

  2. Praying here, Rachel!! You are an absolute inspiration to me and I know you are in the hands of our loving Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Keep resting and knowing!

  3. Congratulations! A good down-time sure puts priorities in place, eh? I will pray for you and baby and fam as well. I always enjoy peeking in on you guys via your blog...

  4. Thank you for sharing what is going on. I will be thinking and praying about and for you. You are a great mother in Zion. So glad to "know" you.

    Much love.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this, Rachel. You wrote something that was an answer to a prayer in this post.

    I will be praying for you.

  6. Congrats on the announcement of a new addition to your family here on earth! I will pray for you and your family.

    Hugs to you,

  7. I don't know if I ever told you about this, but my first two pregnancies were miscarriages. After that, I felt prompted to quit my job completely. When I got pregnant the third time I laid on the couch every day for the first 4 months. Some say I was just really scared, but I know it was what kept my little Samantha healthy until I got past the early stages. I did spot and bleed twice, but I was able to stay on the couch on my own forced bed rest.

    My doctor thought I was crazy. (Later they all called her the miracle baby.) People told me I was over doing it. I didn't care. I knew what I needed to do to keep that baby. I'm SO THANKFUL that I listened for now that sweet, precious baby is 20 years old.

    Moms have inspiration and intuition for a reason. It is one of the guiding principles of Motherhood. Do what you need to do. You are in my prayers!


  8. Oh Rachel; you are in inspiration. I don't comment much, but I always love to hear your words, and your calm spirit. You will be in my prayers. <3

  9. Oh miss Rachel, I am so sorry for the worry you have been suffering. I hope the remainder of your pregnancy is smooth. While I was pregnant with James I bled from about 8 weeks until 16 weeks. The Dr said the baby had implanted on a vein in my uterus and until he grew large enough to cover the vein and stop it from bleeding, I had to have faith that he was going to make it. I hope your midwife will have words of comfort for you!

  10. Thank you so much, ladies! Your sweet words are giving me a lot of comfort.

    I'm not out of the woods yet, but I am doing all I can to be careful.

    I love you all!

  11. Praying for you and that sweet blessing! With our 6th I had suffered a miscarriage before and then started to bled with her. Thankfully she made it and is now a crazy 6 year old :)

  12. Just a little assurance here...

    When I was about 6.5 months pregnant with my twins I pulled two children up a hill in a wagon - running - Big mistake! I started spotting and cramping immediately and was soon told by the Dr that I had to go to bed rest or I would have 2 pound babies (I was even told not to sit up, but to lay down - 24/7 and to only bathe weekly - HARD STUFF!) It was terifying to begin with but ended up being a great blessing for our family in a number of ways and the twins were only born 2.5 weeks early and were born helathy boys each weighing close to 6.5 pounds. I hope this story gives you some comfort. :) I will pray for you with your pregnancy. Have faith and take it very easy...

  13. Just now getting around to reading this...

    I pray all goes well for you. You already know to follow the Spirit. Keep UP your positive attitude while keeping DOWN the rest of your body. =)


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