...I'm late. Two days late, to be precise. Two days!
As you think about the past week (massive depression, crazy hormones, falling down the stairs, horrendous house, zit on your nose), it's gone in a moment --all you can think about is the dreaded question: Am I pregnant? Could I be? Am I?
You get your boys dressed. You shower. You check again to make sure Aunt Flo didn't show up while you were hoping. You drive to the store, careful to buy other things than just a pregnancy test. You take your time; no rush, man! No rush. You drive home. Instead of jetting off to the bathroom, you stop and make your boys lunch. You eat some lunch yourself. You drink a LOT of water. Then you excuse yourself and head to the bathroom.
Taking your time, you read the instructions (even though you've had them memorized for 11 years). You make sure you do it right. You opt for the cup just to be sure there are no mistakes! You leave the room for the allotted time. You are confident. You are sure. You imagine how to tell your husband.
But the test is negative. You are not pregnant. Your body, which used to be so easy to read, has lied to you.
You spend the next four hours crying. It's the culmination of a week spent in mental agony, coupled with emotional turmoil. The hormones raging inside of your body finally explode and you sob deep, ugly, mournful sobs. Your young boys aren't sure why you are crying, and so you hold them and kiss them and love them. Your husband wants to know if he should come home when you tell him. You refuse; he needs to work. You fall asleep with your also sleeping toddler on your chest and your four-year old continues to learn about shapes on Blue's Clues. When you wake, you cry some more. You cry and cry.
When your older kids come home from school, you realize you had planned today as chore day. They are not happy --neither are you. You cry, you yell, you say things you regret, and then you hide under the blanket on the couch and cry some more, all the while praying and asking and praying and wondering and crying.
Then your friend calls. Your daughter answers; you take the call. You can't hide it --you sob. She listens for two hours. You calm down. She understands and tries to help you by just listening.
When you get off the phone, you are physically and emotionally spent, but you feel calmer --even when the bleeding starts and you berate yourself for not waiting for three days instead of two. The kids, while you were on the phone, played in the welcome and fleeting sunshine. They come to you and perform a play they made up. You smile, you clap, you feel the stirrings of joy. Then your daughter brings you a binder they have wrapped for you. The children, while you were on the phone with your friend, created a "Best Mom in The World" binder full of pages of reasons why they love you. You cry some more. You hug and hug and cry and cry, but this time, it's for joy.
Then you pray in your heart. You thank your Heavenly Father for children and friends and husbands and feelings and the ability to cry. You talk to your oldest child about the quote on your fireplace mantel: "Faith in God includes Faith in His timing" (by Elder Neal A. Maxwell). You explain to her that you hope she will understand that concept better than you have. You tell her about the baby that never was; she cries with you. You apologize for your words, your behavior, she forgives you freely. The other children already have.
Liberally quoting (badly): There is nothing in this world that can compare to the joy found in motherhood. To be given the children that need me is important, but more than that, I believe I have been given the children that I need.
My heart is hurting, but tonight, it is also singing. I am truly humbled.