Wednesday, September 11, 2013
God's Protection in our Journey Towards New Life
*I know there are some non-Catholics who read my blog and do not agree with and/or do not understand the Church's teaching on artificial reproductive technology. Please know that this blog is for myself, for my future children, and is a very honest account of my faith, beliefs, and experiences. I don't want to hesitate in sharing things that I find to be important and emotional for me, even if it may be a tough topic to read about.*
Trying to get pregnant with lots of medical issues hindering us was really, really hard. It was much more emotional for the experience to be so intensely medicalized than I expected, rather than what you always think it will be.... just getting pregnant through the union of you and your spouse. I can't even imagine the experience for couples who dealt with it, who ARE dealing with it, for much, much longer. They have our prayers every week when we pray a rosary for couples struggling with infertility (by the way, 5 pregnant so far!!! God is so good! Let me know if you have someone you'd like me to pray for by name.). We got a small taste of what that's like, and it is so incredibly hard. It was hard on me feeling like my body was broken and failing me... failing us. It was hard being poked and prodded and having to constantly rearrange my work schedule to go to the doctor. It was hard on Steven trying to find the right way to support me and seeing the toll that it took on me. It was hard on him knowing there wasn't a whole lot he could do. It was hard on both of us trying to take care of ourselves and each other in ways we never had.
We had to work really hard on our connection during that time, both physically and emotionally. Steven was such a rock for me and the experience, as tough as it was, really strengthened us and further bonded us. For that, I'm thankful. We had to take turns encouraging the other, praying for the other, and just holding the other person in a tight hug when there were no words. We grew even deeper in our faith as we did what was in our human power, but knew that ultimately it was not up to us. Honestly, I felt God every second of the way and I'm so grateful for that. I can't imagine getting through it if I had felt a void. I prayed for hope and peace and He answered in a big, big way. We reached out to the communion of saints for intercession and we asked for God's will, not ours, to be done. That was tough but empowering. We upped our Mass attendance to include some daily Mass and that was an experience that has still remained powerful for us... the experience of the sacrifice of Jesus in the middle of a rough week. It helped to refocus us. Basically, we could not have done this on our own.
My faith in the medical community was strengthened by this experience. To know there are so many doctors out there, the numbers growing all the time!, who want to work to restore fertility instead of bypass it is so amazing to me. To learn about Naprotechnology and just how woman focused and woman centered it is made me feel so valued as a woman. To experience a doctor who shares my faith and has the exact same goals as I do, to create new life by working with by body, helped me restore my faith in the medical field after years and years of being offered only the pill. Our eyes have been opened to a relatively new and beautiful field of healthcare, to which we are so, so appreciative. We may have never had Penny without it.
I am most sincerely thankful for the wisdom of the Church. I have always agreed with the Church's stance on IUI and IVF, but never thought too much about it until we were dealing with infertility issues. Even then, I knew it was not an option, and not just because the Church told me so. It just did not feel right for us. The Church in Her wisdom protected at least one part of our experience and, to us, the most important part. Our journey to conceiving may have had many medical bumps in the road, but our baby is a product of the love we have together expressed in the most intimately physical way. I am forever thankful to the Church for preserving that for us. It has strengthened my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with Penny, and my understanding of our faith and values. Fifteen little weeks with Penny and look what this experience has done for us already! New life is powerful.