Friday, February 27, 2009

Women's Infertility Support Group: Month 2 Meeting

Women's Infertility Support Group Meeting
Saturday, February 28th

Seton Catholic School
1740 Summerhill Dr.
Lexington, KY 40515

Women with primary and secondary infertility are welcome. We share and support each other through infertility from a Catholic perspective. You don't have to live in Lexington to attend!

Mind the gap!

Sorry about the long gap in seems as if life, church, work, and the like have all exploded at once! This past week I had a meeting or Church function every night. Relief, as well as a more coherent blog post, will come on Sunday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Great Comforter

Sorry for the week-long absence; we literally had some kind of meeting or function every night! I'll get to more of that later.

First of all, check out All You Who Hope for a particularly moving post about God answering prayers. She touches upon the Gospel story of a woman begging for the cure of her daughter, despite a seemingly rebuffed answer from Jesus.

Secondly, I ran across this beautiful image online from artist Jenedy Paige. Her painting "The Comforter" really shows the loving, guiding hand of Jesus even if we don't understand. I really like how the woman is looking up at Him. This definitely speaks to those of us on the infertility journey; we need to look to Jesus even when we don't understand or things in our life are downright painful.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Further thoughts from the show

Once again, I am so thankful for the warm responses to my appearance on Johnette Bankovic's show last week. :) I wanted to expand upon two points mentioned in the show:

1. The power of prayer. Christians often receive criticism for relying on prayer. Telling someone "I'll pray for you" is seen as a weak response. However, as a Catholic Christian, I can say otherwise. Intercessory prayer on another's behalf is very, very powerful. Prayer may bring about a healing or conversion...or simply help a soul make it through the day.

Throughout our infertility journey many, many people have prayed for us: Poor Clares (the "big guns" as my dad calls them), The Tyburn Benedictine Nuns (check out their excellent website!), Nashville Dominicans, little children, married couples, good friends, relaties, and sweet old ladies (no, not my Aunt; she does not qualify as an old lady). The list goes on. God only knows the random people who will offer a prayer following the show. The prayer has brought forth many fruits: Mark and I continue to have a blessed marriage, my teaching jobs are very fulfilling, and countless blessings. One day in prayer I asked the Lord if all of these prayers for us to have children were bouncing off heaven. He reminded me that I have been able to endure quite a bit of pain. The prayers have kept me (and Mark) going through the monthly heartaches, the stupid questions, and the hidden pains no one sees. So prayer can move mountains AND keep us on the long, dark path.

2. Taking the time to give to others. I touched on this topic during the show regarding my work with children, which has been very rewarding. Children have a remarkable way of getting you out of yourself. Like my mom said, try explaining to a 3-year-old why cramps are awful!

But seriously, giving to others has proven a great way to cope with infertility and the normal worries. For 10 years I have volunteered with high school youth groups through the LifeTeen program. Many of those former teens have gone on to the seminary, become youth ministers, or stayed active Catholics. Quite a few of them came to my wedding, which made the day all the more special.

Even in recent years, I can remember arriving at youth group preoccupied with various burdens but leaving with a greater sense of purpose. It doesn't erase the pain, but ministry sure helps alleviate it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NaPro Doctor Update

Monday's appointment with the NaPro doctor was an eye-opening experience. We drove an hour to his office, which also allowed us a stop at Trader Joe's (Yea! We were out of Two Buck Chuck). The doctor spent almost an hour talking with us. I can't remember a visit so peaceful, knowing that the doctor truly cares.

The diagnosis, however, is complex and a bit surprising. I thought my problem was PCOS and the doctor would give me a diabetic drug. As it turned out, the doctor believes that I have had endometriosis for most of my life. He also thinks I have the early stages of PCOS but that it can be stopped. It's tough music to face, but relieving to have more answers. Some of the paths ahead: more exercise, an extensive hormone test, and learning Natural Family Planning according to the Creighton Method. There is also the possibility of a laparoscopy (!).

Talk about shocking. I never fathomed my infertility problems would reach such a grand scale. Needless to say, the news shook me up a bit and took a while to process. Hence the tardiness of this post. I continue to count on the prayers of so many family, friends, and random unknown people to keep persevering.

One burden did get resolved: my post-Clomid blood tests. Every month between days 20 and 22, I sauntered to the blood test lab. Blood was drawn to determine my Progesterone levels. The more of that hormone, the better indication that I've ovulated. Many months ended in sorrow when I called the nurse only to find low Progesterone levels.

The NaPro doctor told me there was no solid proof that my levels were that low. Not all women ovulate at the same time. So getting a test on days 20-22 doesn't work for every woman. That was very comforting to hear. The hormone test he's ordering will mean a blood test every 2 days (ick). However, the doctor will have more concrete proof of my progesterone levels. If I would have known it sooner, I would have spent less time crying about it! Deo Gratias.

A Winter Haiku on yet another snow day

Too much snow on ground
Ready for Spring, Mister Groundhog.
Not more school days in June

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So flattered & flabbergasted!!!

I just want to say THANK YOU...I have received so many positive comments following the show last night ("Barren & Blessed: The Plight of Infertility" on Living His Life Abundantly). Johnette is a fabulous interviewer and made us feel as if we were sitting in her living room. Even more so, I thank God for giving me the words to say, as I was a bit nervous. My heart is grateful for all of the family & friends who prayed for me during the taping and continue to do so through the infertility journey. The kind feedback has flattered and amazed me. If you still want to catch the re-airings of the show:

Tuesday Feb. 3rd: 4:00 am EST (I'm missing that one)
Wednesday Feb. 4th: 2:00pm EST
Friday Feb. 6th: 10:00am EST

The episode number is 447, if you want to order. Again, many thanks.