Today, as I left my corporate office for the last time, I gave gratitude to God for sending me there and for giving me so many incredible experiences and opportunities to serve while working there. I patted my baby bump and teasingly said out loud, “Well Autumn, you can come anytime because I’m all done with work.” Suddenly a shiver went from my head to my toes and I felt the spirit whisper, “Your work is just beginning.”
Choosing to leave my full-time job was a hard decision because I have been the financial supporter of our home while Skyler continues to finish his schooling. After we got pregnant, we started discussing options of how we could “make it work” and I schemed up ways I could still work while he would be home watching our baby and getting homework done. I remember one day I was visiting with a friend when she shared with me her testimony of motherhood and that God always provided a way for those who made His work a priority. In my heart I knew that she was right. On the drive home that day, I committed to the Lord that I would make this calling and His work number one and asked for His blessing and help financially. Since then, the blessings have continued to pour on us and I have been told over and over again in priesthood blessings that the Lord is pleased with me and the choice I have made in faith.
Before I met Skyler, I would feel my future children around me often as the veil from one side of life to the other has always been very thin for me. At the time I was not married and not even dating anyone and I remember calling my mom often and being perplexed because these spirits were so anxious to come to earth and I felt they were letting me know it would not be long. Every blessing I received during that period kindly instructed me to prepare for motherhood. I also remember that one time my brother came to visit me from Virginia, and we were sitting on the couches in my family room when he told me he could feel my future kids hanging around my house. It confirmed my craziness, and I also found it interesting that he, too, could feel their energies, gender, and excitement.
Only a few months later I was sitting in the bride’s room of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple while I waited to be ushered upstairs to be sealed to Skyler. My emotions were surface level as I sat there, waiting, and contemplating on everything I had been through and how quickly all of this had come together. The Lord was anxious to get us going and though I had pushed back initially and asked for more time, His urgency and miracles helped our marriage date fall quickly into place piece by piece. As I sat in the bride’s room all alone, I remember feeling 5 or 6 spirits sitting around my feet. Tears flooded my face as I sat there and could feel their support, excitement, and approval that I was at last, stepping into the marriage that they would soon be joining. It was a tender moment and a confirmation that I will never forget.
Fast forward 2 months when we started getting strong impressions about getting pregnant. I was still healing from many past wounds and trying to overcome the emptiness I felt from giving up my two dogs who had been my “proxy” children for many years. When promptings started coming that we were supposed to get pregnant in October, both of us were very scared. It was soon. Very soon. And though I had been anxious to be a mother all my life, I was in a situation where I was enjoying my time with my best friend while still trying to heal from the past few years of trauma. But, after much prayer, temple attendance, fasting, and conversations with Skyler, we both decided to move both feet forward in the direction the Lord was guiding us in. Not only were we told the exact day to get pregnant (and we did), but we were told everything would work out and that the Lord was proud of us for moving forward in faith and obedience.
It took me about 5 months to emotionally accept the fact that I was pregnant. I was very fearful that it would not last, and that it was once again, a test. I was struggling with a lot of emotions of abandonment and separation from my dogs and the thought of getting attached to one other person and losing her, was unbearable.
We planned to tell our families on Christmas Day as a fun surprise and present. I had a major melt down and emotional upset that morning as I bawled and bawled with fear of telling everyone. I tried to keep my thoughts focused on what the Lord had promised and directed us to do, but inside I was still not really believing it was real and was very afraid to tell others. I had already planned in my mind it wouldn’t work out, and the thought of telling others frightened me.
Fast forward three more months, when I finally started to accept the fact that there was indeed a kicking, wiggling human inside of me. My belly was growing, my clothes were all not fitting, and people were starting to comment on my bump. I felt very uncomfortable for a few weeks until I accepted the fact that more and more people were going to find out I was pregnant and that it was ok to be happy for myself and accept it. Did I want to be pregnant? Yes. It had been an amazing experience thus far and I was loving the changes my body was doing on it’s own to grow and nurture this living spirit inside of me. But still, I was terrified that one day, I would lose her, and that I would once again be, alone.
Everything shifted when I had a girl’s night with my mom and we went shopping. Up to that point I had refused to buy or look at any baby things, but that night I decided to embrace it. She was ecstatic at the thought of a granddaughter and seeing her excitement as we looked at ruffled dresses and little bows started to take my walls down one by one.
The next morning I sat in my bed, looking out the window and looking on the floor of all the shopping bags full of baby girls clothing. I smiled and decided that it was time to embrace it and that my “shopping spree” was something I needed to do in order to step outside my safety net and acknowledge the reality of the blessing that was coming my way.
During our pregnancy we have had some scares and even a point in time when we felt Autumn slipping away. I remember a very dark day when I came home early from work, and Skyler and I cried in each others arms about how much we loved our baby and wanted her to be part of our family. It was that day that I realized we had both allowed ourselves to overcome our fears and were now, very much in love with this special girl that God was sending to us. Later that night we both received blessings from a friend in which we were told that God would not remove this blessing that He had asked us to act on in faith and that soon the 2 of us would be the 3 of us. I was also told to keep looking forward, dreaming of the day Skyler would bless Autumn Rose and to remember on days that things looked dim, that the Lord had promised me it would all work out.
I have contemplated Autumn’s personality many times as I have talked to her, read to her, sung to her, and held my belly while she wiggles and kicks to the sound of my voice. I know without a doubt that God is sending me a girl to heal my heart from the scars that still remain from giving up my dogs to make room for Skyler in my life. I know she will be a healer, and that she is coming not only to heal me and welcome me into the wonderful world of motherhood, but to also heal Skyler from many childhood scars he holds about parenting and abandonment as well.
We have continued to push forward in faith, experiencing many ups and downs as we get closer and closer to our little girl’s arrival. I have never been more excited for the unknown. I know that our Autumn Rose is coming to heal us both and that the timing couldn’t be more perfect. As I have worked extra hard in the past 9 months to let go of all past trauma and emotions (so they don’t interfere with motherhood), I have seen me and Skyler growing closer and closer together. God knew what we needed to heal and bond. Our marriage is stronger today than it ever has been before. Pregnancy has been an adventure, as I’m sure parenthood will as well, but I know that God is sending us a very special and choice daughter to heal the wounds we hold.