Celiac disease is not just an allergy, sensitivity, or an intolerance to gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that makes it impossible for your body to process or break down gluten, causing malnutrition, inflammation, etc. It’s not fun. I had two months of bathroom problems, often losing up to fifteen pounds in three days, every week. I wasn’t retaining any nutrients!
It was painful, exhausting and frustrating not knowing why my body was causing me to run to the restroom four or more times at work in an eight hour day. Not to mention at home or on the weekends. However it was a little better at home. I soon found out why when I decided to try out a gluten free diet right before being diagnosed.
I used to be a coffee drinker. Well, I replaced that with a coffee alternative that had barley, rye and chicory. Yeah, all gluten baby! That equals massive inflammation and several painful trips to the bathroom. So not fun. I wasn’t drinking it at home, however, so that explains why it wasn’t as bad.
Apparently Celiac Disease can cause infertility or recurrent miscarriage or pregnancy loss. To date I have lost a total of nine pregnancies. They all varried in how far along I was, but none were any less painful than the others. When I had asked my stake president about why Heavenly Father allowed me to become pregnant, only to take them away from me, his answer left me slightly confused. Being the thinker that I am, especially during my morning showers, (necessary to wake me up in the morning,) I thought about his answer over and over again.
“They just needed a body.”
I belong to a closed LDS group on Facebook that offers support to women who struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss. This one particular woman was grieving over her second miscarriage. I offered my sympathies and explained that no matter how many you have, they will always be emotionally painful. I also mentioned how many I had had and that I have come to the point where I literally placed whether I have any more babies in the Lord’s hands. I want one, and we all pray for a baby, if it be His will.
I haven’t really been trying for a baby since my last miscarriage earlier this year, because I just couldn’t put my body through that again. I struggle to keep my iron up, and after my d&c with this last one, less than a week later I ended up with strep throat. I have no idea where strep throat came from, but it was miserable. Not to mention I didn’t have any sick days left, so I went two days without pay from work. I was so discouraged and distraught. And having a miscarriage is in my opinion, almost as traumatic as actually delivering a baby. It certainly takes its toll on a body.
It wasn’t until I was carrying on a conversation with this woman who had asked me how I kept going after losing so many. I asked myself ‘How have I dealt with nine miscarriages?’ I basically told her that I just roll with it. I have a husband and a daughter to look after. I work full time, and I have two children that live with my first husband that I care very much for. I was preparing for them to come spend six weeks with me in the summer. I get to see them only once or twice in a year, so I really try to make it special.
Well, while I was writing this to this grieving mother, I kind of realized something. I was strong and I was an instrument! My babies whom I will get the privilege of raising in Heaven, only needed a body. They chose me to be their mother, but I was also trusted by the Lord to provide that body, because the Lord knew I was strong enough to handle it. And at this moment, I was showing the strength to continue to follow the Lord’s will to this young mother. I had not crumbled and fallen to pieces.
Though sometimes I did sit and stare off into space, doing nothing. This did not always last long, due to the fact that I had things to get done. I had a little girl that was here, and she needed me. I had a husband that needed laundry done, or dinner made. Yes, he can do those things for himself, and he has when it has come down to it, but that is one way that I show my family how much I love them.
The short of it is this; we are the Lord’s instruments here on earth. I am an instrument in writing this, hoping that it sparks something in someone. We are all here to support each other, and to do the Lord’s will. We are not here to see who can have the biggest, and best toys. We are here to fulfill our mission on making it back to our Heavenly Father. We are here to lift one another and bear each other’s burdens so that their burdens become lighter and they can see the light through the fog, so that they can find their way back home to our Father as well.
Whether you are thoroughly educated in the gospel or not, be an instrument and share the gospel with others. Let others see your progress, let them see your light! If they are not ready now, maybe one day they will be. Just leave that door open so that they can come to you when they are ready. If you were not able to serve a full time mission, this could be your chance to share the gospel.
Remember you’re worth, and that you are loved!
Mosiah 27:36: And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.