Thursday, May 17, 2012

to dream...

For as long as I can remember I dreamt of being a mom.  My childhood was filled with hours of playing with dolls...stuffed animals...and my favorite, playing "house."  Being the oldest child, I am sure I always insisted on being the "mom."  (Sorry Dede...)

I had a few other dreams of roles I might fill in life.  These always changed.  A few that I remember:

  • age 6:  someone famous  (doing what?  I have no idea)  hours of looking in the mirror...knowing I would be famous someday.  I am not sure I even knew what famous meant, but it was said to have happened regularly---that I stood in the mirror and a recited the phrase..."famous Carin"
  • age 8:  bank teller  I am not sure what it was about those ladies behind the counter or glass windows of the drive through.  Maybe it was that I thought they had all of the $ in the world.
  • age 11:  an artist  I loved to draw and I remember the sweet encouragements of my mom
  • age 12:  a writer   I remember sharing my stories, written in a gnome journal, with my mom's cousin Randy, an English teacher, at a family event held at our house.  He was gracious.  :)  The idea of being a writer lasted until age 14.

Unfortunately, at the age where I could have really focused on any sort of dream, high school, I let them all go.  My confidence faded and my focus switched from learning to friends and social issues.  School could have been easy for me, but I was distracted and lazy.  I lost direction, ambition and vision.  The one dream I always saw for myself was to be a mother.  After a poor academic attempt at high school I took a few junior college courses, mainly because I didn't have a better idea and my friends were going.  (I also became a bank teller.)  Finally a spark was ignited and I decided to go on a mission.  I am not sure I would have even had the confidence for that, but it was an answer to prayer...and my heart told me to go.

I set out on my 21st birthday for the missionary training center.  I spent a year and a half serving, the majority of those months I spent in Argentina.  It was good for me in so many ways...but one in particular was confidence.  I knew that I if I could travel to another country, learn a foreign language, teach and communicate and live with people I had never met before....I could go to college.

Returning to college started out slowly, I was working full time (again, at a bank) and took a few classes a session.  My first goal was to do special education or occupational therapy.  I wanted to help people.  Then I took a communications class that I LOVED.  I had finally finished my general education courses and headed to the University.  Danny and I were married now.  I was still working full time as a bank manager while Danny was finishing his degree and playing football.  I was sure that all of this would be interrupted and at any moment I would have a baby and become a full time mom.

A baby wasn't coming, so my first class at the University of Utah was in communications.  I decided to combine the two interests and study communication disorders through the Speech and Hearing Science department.  I still expected to be pregnant at any minute and drop everything to be a full time mom.  I was fascinated by the sciences and was excited to be learning.  I loved becoming a full time student once Danny graduated.  My dream was to sit in the library in the middle of the day---during those M-F/9-5 hours that had been occupied at a bank for so many years.

During my senior year in college we were trying more serious fertility measures and nothing was working.  Finally, the month before I graduated, our doctors recommended we travel to a specialist outside of UT (in CA or CO) to pursue our fertility issues further.  They said they couldn't do anything for us.  I was approaching graduation...without a plan.  I had been sure we would be parents by then (we had been trying for 6 years), now that graduation was upon me...I had wished I had planned for graduate school.  My dream of being a mom seemed to elude me no matter what I tried.  I worried about why I wasn't worthy of the opportunity.  I struggled not knowing what path to take.

After graduation I decided to get an entry level job in both Speech/Audiology.  I was hired first at a local hospital in the "maternity ward" doing infant hearing screenings.  I would test the baby's hearing the day after they were born.  I wondered if my mental wellness could handle it.  Would I be able to spend hours each day...facing my one dream that always stayed constant...that I never let fade away...knowing that for me it wasn't happening???  I decided to do it.

One of my first days of training at the hospital I felt queasy and sick.  I remember worrying that maybe I would spread something to the babies.  I washed my hands well and started learning the new job.  After work I went home and called the doctor.  My period was several weeks late, I was thirsty, tired...and sure that I had diabetes.  The nurse asked me if I had taken a pregnancy test.  I fought back tears and told her about my promise to myself that I would never take another pregnancy test again.  Too many had been (-) and I couldn't face another stick to pee on.  She told me to drive down (40 min. away).  I felt so silly driving down there.  It was just two months ago this same office  told me that intro-fertilization wouldn't work.  I hadn't been on any fertility treatments in in the world could I be pregnant.

Without telling a soul, I headed to the doctor's office.  After several hours the results came back (+)!!!!!
I don't believe in coincidences.  I became pregnant one month after I graduated from college.  Although those years of waiting for what I wanted most were hard, painful, soul searching years, they were some of the most precious to me in any growth I may have attained thus far.  Now, to have had those experiences AND to be a mom to THREE DAUGHTERS, I feel as though I couldn't possibly ask for more.  I am a better mother because of a formal education...but also the spiritual education my trials have given me.


~Lisa said...

I LOVE your story! I can't THANK YOU enough for having the courage to share it! This is exactly what I needed today. Dealing with infertility has been one of the hardest trials I've ever had to face and one day (hopefully despite what doctors have to say) I still secretly hope to find a positive pregnancy test. You've given me hope.

Shauna said...

You ARE a writer! Your expression with words is beautiful! ARE famous! You are famous within your own circle of friends!!! are an amazing MOTHER! xo

Annemarie said...

I remember when the last part of that story was going on...I also remember admiring your strength and faith! You are an amazing mom to three very lucky girls!

nikki said...

I agree with everything above! You are an amazing mother, wonderful photographer, patient and a sweet friend to everyone you meet. I am grateful to know you.

Tebbs Family said...

Thank you for sharing--I loved reading about your journey. Heavenly Father sure knows what is best for us, doesn't he? I wonder why I'm always so slow to remember...

Ashley Kate said...

You are such an amazing person Carin, I love to follow your posts and read about your girls and your love for you family and others. Such a wonderful person I wish I had the pleasure of knowing in person! Thanks for sharing so much of your heart and talent. Your love is contagious!