To My Darling Son

August 12, 2016

08/10/2016


To my darling son,


Though you are not here yet, I love you more than words can express. I have loved you for so long, and that love has only grown over these past months of carrying you. I have loved every second of carrying you inside of me. From the moment I knew your presence existed, to the first time I ever felt your precious feet kick me, and all the moments in between..I have loved you. And though I have been carrying you for all these months, in reality, you have been carrying me. Your presence has lifted my spirit and helped me through moments of despair and pain. Your spirit has enlightened me and made me better than I could ever be without you. I can hardly wait to have you in my arms and walk with you through this crazy thing called life.
I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, and the fact that our Heavenly Father has put His trust in me to be your mom is a blessing beyond compare. I know that we knew each other before this life and that we have both been anxiously waiting to reunite with one another. Isn’t it amazing that we finally get to see each other again so soon? I feel so blessed and humbled that I get to be your mom, Conrad. You are everything I could have ever hoped or dreamed for and I haven’t even seen you yet. I know that you will make mine and your dad’s lives so much better.
Being pregnant with you has been the most challenging yet rewarding thing I have done in my entire life. I love you beyond words. I love you beyond comprehension. Sometimes I worry that I won’t be a good enough mom for you, but I promise you I will always do my best. I promise you that I will give my very best to you and your dad, and to our Heavenly Father. I will always give you my time, my energy, and my love.  
I am so excited to hold you in my arms for the first time, to comfort you, to get to know you. I am so excited to laugh with you, and cry with you, and learn with you. I will always strive to be an example to you and to teach you the gospel in word and deed. Your dad and I love you with everything we have. We will always be your friends and your guardians. We will always love you. As your due date gets closer and closer, I can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t have you with me every moment. I have so very much loved feeling your kicks and movements letting me know that you are there. I have loved keeping you safe and you helping me feel safe and assuring me that I am never alone. You have been my constant and have impacted my life so deeply already.
I love you, my sweet Conrad James. I am so excited for you to be here, and I want you to always look to your father as an example. Oh Conrad, you are going to love him so much! He is the kindest, most diligent, hardworking, loving, and amazing person I know. Your dad works so hard for you and me already. He works so hard to provide for us and has so much love for you. He loves to talk to you and tell you he loves you. He always makes sure that I am taking good care of my body for you and that you are doing well. He has not missed a single doctors appointment from the moment you came into existence. Your dad is going to be such a blessing in your life and will always protect you and guide you. You and I are both so incredibly lucky to have him and I can’t wait for you to meet him.
Though you are not here yet, I love you more than words can express. My darling son, I love you. I love you through and through and for all eternity. I will cherish every last moment of feeling your sweet kicks and movements inside of me and will continue looking forward to seeing you in just 8 short weeks. My love for you will only grow in time. Thank you for choosing me to be your momma, I promise you I will love you forever.
Love you always,

Mom.


"That's Not Your Trial"

August 08, 2016

About a month after I found out I was pregnant, a friend of mine broke the news that she had miscarried. This girl has been one of the biggest examples in my life for years, and I was completely devastated for her. Why did she have to go through this and I got to stay pregnant? This isn't fair, I thought. I felt completely and utterly undeserving of the magnificent blessing that had been bestowed upon me. I felt it was unfair to those who were struggling with infertility and that I just didn't deserve to be pregnant. I felt guilty and extremely inconsiderate to those that struggled when I publicly announced my pregnancy. Even with the indescribable joy that I felt from being pregnant, I was completely swamped with those feelings of guilt. I couldn't seem to shake those feelings until a conversation with my husband changed my mindset completely. He sat me down one day and simply told me, "That's not your trial. We have other trials, this just isn't one of them." The words were so simple, but it really made me take a step back and think.
When the phrase "I don't deserve this" is used, it is generally in the context of feeling that one does not deserve to go through the trial they are facing.* However, there are times when "I don't deserve this" is used in the sense of feeling undeserving of a grand blessing. So, if we are blessed with something unexpected, we may think that we don't deserve it because someone else has it worse, or that we haven't 'earned' that blessing. But when we feel that way, we disallow ourselves from fully enjoying and appreciating what God has given us. It took me a few months to really grasp that I didn't need to feel guilty for being pregnant and that I really shouldn't have even felt that way in the first place. Just because infertility was not my trial, does not discredit the other trials I have gone through nor does it discredit the future trials that I will go through. Perhaps even some of you have felt as I did: undeserving of a blessing. The thing is though, you are deserving. You deserve happiness, joy, and light.

Do not suppose that your trials are any less real or of any less significance than the trials of those around you.

Our lives are tailored to us individually so that we may each grow in the way our Heavenly Father needs us to. May I reiterate the word individually. While we are here upon this earth to buoy one another up and to help each other reach our eternal destiny, it is ultimately our own test to complete. Everyone's experiences here are different and unique, and as children of God, we will continually be met with trials and blessings throughout the entirety of our lives. Enduring and experiencing is why we are here, and I have a pretty good feeling that our Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy each moment of our earthly test. So when He blesses you with something, big or small, embrace it. Be thankful for it. And when you face a trial, big or small, embrace it. Be thankful for it! Learn from it. Don't assume that your life experiences are lesser than those around you. Likewise, stay humble and grateful always.  If you see someone suffering as you are experiencing something wonderful, it's okay to still be happy and thankful for your blessings. It's okay to have happiness and joy WHILE you help someone or pray for someone or even mourn with someone. We are not placed upon this earth to be sad. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25). So be joyful, be happy! That is why we are here, after all. As you go about life, know that God is watching over you and wants to bless you. Welcome each blessing with open arms and find joy in the journey.

*To those who may currently be suffering or feeling that they do not deserve their trials, I echo the words of Elder Dale G. Renlund when he declares, "Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, ultimately, in the eternal scheme of things, there will be no unfairness. All that is unfair about life can be made right. Our present circumstances may not change, but through God's compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for. We are promised that 'God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain" (Full talk can be read here). 

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