Friday, December 24, 2010
I had the inmense pleasure to pray for Brenda from Life as we Know It. http://lameys.blogspot.com/ .
I had been a long time lurker of hers specially to find out what Maggie was up to so it was great to be able to follow their path more closely in building a family.
I laughed every time she called her husband CHE since I could not but imagine an Argentinian Gaucho! Che is slang for guy in Argentina so I was always imagining an Argentinan in the USA!
I loved reading the updates on their pregnancy and Maggie during a very dark period for me since it gave me hope that even in the hardest of circumstances God is always there.
I put intentions at the Basilica of Guadalupe for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, prayed at Adoration, offered my hospital stay and most recent miscarriage and the pain surrounding it for her and had her and her family adopted by a convent.
I will continue to pray for you and your family Brenda and will be right there praying when the time comes for the birth of your new baby.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
One of several that I have received since Monday.
I am sure it has to do with all of your prayers and my very powerful prayer buddy and the intercession of Miguel and Rafael.
How can you explain that various forms of help could come so fast and in the very best forms ever during the most hectic time of the year?
First my meeting with the counselor. As I write it I cannot belive to this moment what happened. God was there.
She was recommended to me by my local Catholic gyn to get help after my 2 miscarriages and she agreed to meet with me during her vacations. wow.
Help I badly needed. I was in such bad shape that the slightest things made me cry.
So I arrived at this very sunny and warm office (it was been quite cold for Mexico City standards the last weeks) and I was greeted by this 50 plus very kind looking woman.
She hugged me from the get go to welcome me something not that common even by our very physical culture standards. I felt completly safe and welcome.
She asked me how I was doing and why I was there and I began my story, not of the 2 miscarriages, but that it all started 3 years ago.
She listened to me with her heart. I could feel it.
And after a while she asked me to stop and breath deeply and to sense my body.
So she began to teach me some breathing excercises and to start telling her what my body was saying.
It became painfully clear after a few minutes that my body was screaming both from physical and emotional pain. Screaming.
I had not been listening to it in all of this mess.
My shoulders felt so heavy and my chest oppresed. And I began to cry , from deep deep down. She asked me to focus on the moment, on what I was feeling and to describe it in the most primal sense I could, something very, very difficult coming from a person that likes to analyse everything.
It took many efforts, but finally I was able to connect with myself and everything in me screamed that I needed care, rest and peace.
Then she asked me something that utterly surprised me. To relate to myself as a mother would. What? To take care of myself as a mother would. As if I were the child.
It broke all my barries and all my preconceived notions.
I needed to be taken care of? Me? In the myer briggs I appeared to be protector, not the other way around.
That all my mothering instincts could be directed to me first and then to others?
Immediately came to mind the image of my maternal grandmother. An amazing woman, the very best woman one could ever hope to have as a grandmother and her nickname for me: Schatzie, little treasure in German.
She called me this even if she did not speak German and I was named after her, since its the way my father has always called me and she loved it.
I was always her little treasure and felt so very loved and secure with her.
Slowly I began to feel very, very loved. I cannot explain it other than God.
I could feel my grandmother right there. I could see her very light blue eyes, her very slight frame and all her love. She loved God and could transmit it to everybody she met. She was a prayer warrior. Always with the Rosary.
So the counselor told me that my task in the next few days was to do unto me as a mother would do and that if the image of a mother was my grandmother treat myself as she would have done.
How had she treated me as a child? What had she told me time and time again? And to do this to myself the next days.
The counselor said that the way to become a mother is first to treat yourself as a mother would.
My grandmother had loved me with such a pure love that I cried, but now with tears of love.
It resonated to me on such a deep level I cannot describe it. I can truly say she was there and so was God.
I felt such peace.
I left her office so light I cannot describe it. Emotionally drained, but with peace.
This has never happened in my whole life and for the first time in many years I felt again my grandmothers presence.
I decided not to go back to the office for the rest of the day and instead took care of several things that I had been puting off that were just for myself.
I had lunch in a very simple restaurant, but took the time to eat, to enjoy each bite and sat by the sun just looking at people and life.
I bought a children´s book for learning the rosary just for myself with the most amazing pictured for the Virgin of Guadalupe that showed her as a 14 year old girl. It was a gift for me and one that I cannot stop smiling about.
Later that day I began receiving several other unexpected gifts.
But this by far was the most precious one.
Monday, December 20, 2010
A breakdown that I am not surprised has arrived.
It happened in what should have been a joyous occasion. My parents and siblings were all together for the very first time in months (my sister and her family live in another city) and we were there to start the Christmas celebrations and to celebrate Advent.
I am too embarassed to give details, but somebody in my family mentioned that I was stressed in a very sharp tone in the middle of lunch and I basically broke down in tears in the restaurant and when we came home went to my room refusing to come down for dinner. I could not stop crying.
I ended up in my room for many, many hours crying and very mad at this person whom I love very, very much. How dare him tell me that I am stressed!
Does he not know that I am barely surviving? That somedays I can barely wake up?
I then poured out my heart to my DH and told him how much all of what has happened in the last years has hurt me on a very deep level and shaken me to the core. We had a heart to heart like never before.
I begged God for help. Told Him I could not go on.
I have been feeling like I have been swimming against huge waves and the more I try to reach shore, the farther away it seems. My 2 miscarriages have almost drowned me and on Saturday when this happened I felt with barely the strenght to continue to swim.
Add to this my DH´s lack of direction in his job at 43 and me hiding from most people that I am supporting us in a job I do not like, deaths in both families, many health complications on both sides together with IF (just this year between DH and I we were 7 times in hospitals), financial stresses brought by these crisis, etc.
Basically my life is where I would have never imagined it would be.
And it hurts.
I know that God must have a plan for all of this. I know it in all this darkness.
Yet, it hurts and continues to hurt when I thought it could not hurt more.
And I need help. This has become clear.
And God, I think, has been providing it since Saturday.
I began today by feeling an urgent need to go to Mass early and there I had an amazing confession. I haven´t had the energy for weeks, but today I was able and felt so much peace on my way there.
During confession I was told by the priest a story from his brother which I think was the reason that God wanted me at this Mass:
His brother had lost a newborn baby due to SIDS and he told the priest that he always thought that he would take care of a child, but with the death of the baby he found out that he now would be taken care of by his own child in Heaven.
It left me speechless and in the middle of many tears shed in the confessionary I felt some hope.
That Rafael and Miguel might be taking care of us in all of this, I had been praying to them,, but had not envisioned them watching over us like I would have watched over them .
Not the order of things I would have wanted to live, but that one that makes me feel near them.
And God continued to help today.
I had received on Friday a call by my amazing Catholic local gyn who was checking up on me after the D&C.
He also wanted to check up on me emotionaly and he told me that what we had been living was amazingly hard. Miscarriages back to back after a long time of IF and with medical complications can break the hardiest.
I began to cry and asked him for help. Out of the blue. I never expected it.
I told him that I needed to speak to somebody and asked him if he knew of person that he trusted, that would not start recommending me IVF. He said he would think about it.
And today he called. I did not expect it.
He gave me the name of a person specializing in grief. He had even called her to recommend me to her.
This amazing holy man. A super-numerary from the Opus Dei who is a saint in my eyes.
This woman was expecting my call and due to the inmense respect that she has for him has accepted to see me this week when she is on vacation.
God in the middle of the darkness.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
He did not mention a retreat or more prayer, but instead that I should go on a romantic trip with my DH to really rest and focus on us. An advice that surprised me, but at the same time was very wise.
Without knowing all that would happen this week he also told me that it was OK to be mad at God about all that had been going on in our lives. I think he would agree I have now even more reasons to be mad on a very human level.
Another health crisis, another miscarriage, more money spent when it was already tight, no possibility of becoming a mother in sight, the possibility of me graduating as a practioner farther away, etc.
I had told him that I was feeling that all what had happened in the last 3 years was unfair. We were good people, we were trying our hardest to do what God wanted and we both were commited to bringing Napro to Mexico and the more we tried to promote this the worse and worse it went for us and the father away the possibility of a family for us was.
It seemed to me that the Devil was working overtime to make us give up and that God was doing nothing to help us. Several people had even told me this and even some had warned us about all of this when we started. They said that things would start to happen that we would not understand, but to keep ahead.
We discussed what Sta Teresa de Avila had said to God when things got rough, something like this: "No wonder you have so few friends, since this is how you treat them".
Then he told me all of this was normal and that of course the bad guy did not want for Napro to come here and that all that was happening to us and to the other practitioners was a clear sign that we were on the right path. Wow... it is kind of scary.
Then he told me: Its OK to be mad, even be mad with God and Christ. Its human and They know it. Then he said:
>"But when you are mad do not look horizontally. Do not look at your neighbors that did IVF and have lovely children, at those that do not do work for Life and have tons of money, to those that have children as they want with no issues, to those that have what you do not have."
"Please. Look vertically, look at the Cross and tell Him what you feel and how all of it is unfair. Tell Him, He will understand. And then tell me if you can be mad for long"
And its true. In all of this I am mad and sad and I cannot deny it, but then I look up at the Cross, look vertically at Him being cruxified I cannot stay mad long. Such wise words.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
My prayer buddy must be working overtime since I am still alive.
Yesterday we found out we had conceived.
Us, the couple that it took 3.5 years to conceive the first time conceived 3 months later again when we were not actively trying, where there were not clear signs of ovulation, progesterone was almost non existant and I was not doing all the things that I thought had helped the first time (acupuncture, herbs, excercise, meditation, etc).
We also found out that I was in the process of miscarriage.
I had been pregnant a couple of weeks without knowing it and what I had been thinking was my period was the signs of an ongoing miscarriage. The second one in 3.5 months.
We took the news hard.
Yet felt much more peace than the 1st time. This time The Virgin Mary has been all over this.
All had begun really on the Feast of the Inmaculate Conception and went on through the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe and ended in a convent.
My period or what I thought was my period had arrived that day, yet it was different. I knew deep within myself someting was off.
The very next day, the Feast of San Juan Diego, the bleeding had increased substantially and on Friday I was very, very scared. I had asked for prayers here and many people wrote that they had been praying. My local doctor advised that we go for an U/S as soon as the bleeding lessened.
I was very afraid to go again to the U/S doctor where I had found out we had lost Miguel. I could not bear it. So I did not do it on Monday.
During the weekend I tested to see if I was pregnant and it came out negative so I was thinking something else was going on. I was still uneasy, but decided to concentrate on something else.
This weekend was the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe and I meditated a lot on Her words to Juan Diego. That we should not be afraid of sickness, that She is there and is Our Mother. I even wrote about it here.
I had no clue on what I was actually living and I would need to live those words.
Monday came and I decided not to do the U/S. I was stil afraid.
Then came yesterday. I asked the Virgin to give me strenght to go to this place. During the U/S the doctor, an amazing woman that had lost 3 pregnancies, told us that she was almost 100% sure I had been pregnant.
Me? Was she sure? My God.
Then she mentioned that most probably my doctor would let nature run its course.
We go to the chapel of the hospital and pray. I see a little paper where somebody had printed the Magnificat. We pray it. We also decided to name the baby Rafael, Raphael in English for the archangel.
I joke and tell my DH we have 2 angels in heaven, but hopefully God does not want another so he can have now a Gabriel, pur only missing archangel. He laughs and tells me in a very serious voice:
"E. we are parents of 2 angels, we are priviledged, do not forget this".
He smiles and I know he means it.
The next hours were a blurr. We tried to locate my doctor and could not and decided to make and appointment and luckily he had one open early. I was driving around not even knowing where I was heading.
We arrived at his office and he confirmed the findings. I had been pregnant. No doubt in his mind and he agreed with the U/S doctor.
And he added that I needed another D&C at the same exact hospital where we had lost Miguel and also where I had been treated for 4 horrible days of complications. The very next day since from what he saw there was a risk of infection or continued anemia.
My worst possible fear had become reality.
We left his office in complete shock. We called our priest and could not find him. We left a message so they could pray for us.
We called our friends, the contemplative nuns of St John, to ask for their prayers and they do not answer the phone. I think that they might be away.
My DH decides to go and knock on their door to ask if we can go in and pray in their chapel. (the doctors office is only 2 blocks from them). I feel its crazy, but we do it.
We knock, one of them opens and in the back I see another. She hugs me.
I start to cry like there is not tomorrow.
They just received a call from the person that had answered in the parish.
We sit out of their small chapel while they pray.
There is beautiful stone image of Our Lady of Guadalupe filled with flowers right in front of us. She is looking at us.
They start to sing in Latin the Magnificat in the chapel.
The exact same prayer I have in my pocket from the chapel in the hospital.
I feel tremendous peace. Feel those words deep within myself
The priest arrives, the exact priest we were looking for. His name: Juan Diego. the name of the Indian to whom the virgin appeared.
We tell him what has happened, he did not know. He feels inmense sadness. He is there for the 7 p.m Mass and had just arrived 5 minutes after us.
We are invited to join a convent of 6 contemplative nuns, all very young, that cover us in prayer, for their private Mass.
The Mass is dedicated to us and our intentions.
The subject: The cross since is the Feast day of St John of the Cross. Since my DH is a 3rd order Carmelite its a very important day. He feels consolation.
After the Mass the priest calls us into the refectory. He tells us not to give up in the quest to be parents, but also that I should not give us my work for Napro.
I tell him that I cannot believe that this is happening. It seems almost a punishment for working for Life.
I tell him paraphrasing st. Teresa de Avila: "If this is how You treat your friends, no wonder you have so few". Why are we given the cross of IF and then miscarriage and not only once, but twice.
I also tell him that I cannot be sick. This is the very week I need to deliver most of my work that I had not done due to my 1st miscarriage. I will not be able to graduate. It will be almost impossible.
He tells us that we have a mission and that we must offer this and whatever else for this. He is sure that God is with us, more than ever. He says it in such a way that peace again fills my heart.
We leave and the sisters tell us they will continue to pray for us and Rafael.
If you would have asked me a few days ago if I would have survived another miscarriage and another D&C I would have said no. I would have died.
Yet here I am. At home recuperating from my second miscarriage and D&C in less than 4 months. Sad and in disbelieve, but with strenght and peace.
thank you prayer buddy and Our Lady
She is with Us.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Today a 14 year old girl appeared to a widowed indian that believed he did not deserve it. Who was he to deserve this? Who are also we to deserve it? Yet She calls us to Her. To be under Her mantle and protection.
He called Her: "My Lady, My Queen, my Little Girl"
She called him: "My youngest and dearest son". "Juanito" meaning little Juan
She asked him to be : "Faithful, not to fear, to trust Her, to do as She told Him".
Words of pure love and that She tell us also
This little girl stood over the moon and gave a sign so powerful, an image of Herself, that 6 million indians converted in the next 7 years, making Latin America Catholic
And today 6 more million people gather at Her feet since Friday.
This is the video from this morning where we sing happy Birthday to Her. Poor, rich, famous, humble, old, young, sick and healthy at Her feet:
She was a sign of unity, not division.
Everything in Her speaks to the heart, when you know what to look for. She is both an Immaculate Conception, a pregnant Virgin, a pregnant "mestizo" woman, an image that speaks both to the Europeans and to the Indians. A beautiful sign of unity.
In this link you can find one of the most beautiful love letter ever written.
The Nican Mopohua. The written account of the apparitions. The second largest collection of words by Our Lady approved by the Church after Fatima.
And today, as everyday, you can put all your petitions at Her feet. She will listen to them as she promised hundreds of years ago. Here you can write all you needs and they will be prayed over at 9 a.m Mass tomorrow and everyday:
Where She will listen to our weeping, sadness, where She will cure our miseries, griefs and pains.
"Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
(Words of Our Lady to Juan Diego
Saturday, December 11, 2010
"Let nothing else worry you, disturb you"
These were the words said to Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego hundreds of years ago and She tells me this everyday in my IF journey. To every one of us.
Am I truly listening? Living this way?
She is the Virgin protector of Life. She has been named this by different Popes and bishop. She is pregnant and about to give birth to LIFE and She is telling us not to worry, that She is with us.
Yet, am I listening to what She said? Am I truly living this way? Making Her words my own?
This is Her weekend. A weekend where we conmemorate Her apparitions. Its Her birthday and here in Mexico we sing to Her happy Birthday, Feliz Cumpleaños, Las Mañanitas.
Tomorrow most churches will be tolling their bells in Her honor, millions (last time they say there were 5 million pilgrims during 3 days) will visit Her, masses will be said, altars will be filled with flowers. We will celebrate Her with thousands of fiestas.
Yet for me this is a very difficult weekend on so many levels. I continue to bleed heavily, not so heavy as yesterday and Friday, but my body is giving clear signals that something is not well. I feel very tired, weak and deep down that something is off. Also another Christmas childless.
Two amazing doctors have different theories, neither of which is consoling: My local holy doctor thinks it might be that I still have remains of my miscarriage in me and my body is again trying to get rid of them. He mentioned that we need to check this out ASAP.
PPVI.... well they mentioned I should have a pregnancy test on Monday if this continues and if not go again into full hormonal testing mode. More and more testing again.
If its a pregnancy.... An ectopic pregnancy? such heavy bleeding during the 1st trimester is not a good sign. At all.
Being me I already tested and its negative, yet my heart of course is worried and hopeful at the same time.
DO I TRULY HEAR THIS THAT SHE TELLS ALL OF US? Do I live this way?
"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health?"
And I need to graduate to become a practioner and with so many health crisis in the last months I am way behind in reporting things. I basically need to do 2 months of work next week. So I am seeing clients during the weekend and all next week and will need to work nights to graduate.
DO I HEAR THESE ALSO HER WORDS?
"know, my little dear, that I will reward your solicitude and effort and fatigue spent of my behalf"
Work done for God always, always bears fruit. Do I truly live this way?
" Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything"
So today when I am frigthened, weak and sad I repeat Her words over and over again and know that She is with me. With us
Friday, December 10, 2010
I need your prayers please for strenght. My poor prayer buddy is having a difficult case!
Since yesterday I have been having very, very heavy bleeding.
I had a very unsual cycle last time with a lot of variable return of peak type mucus, unusual bleeding and tons of PMS. My period started 2 days ago and yesterday I started to bleed a lot, much more than normal. I had to change pads every 2 hours or more and when I was unable I soaked right through them. I left marks on the car and in a restaurant. Horrible and embarrasing.
Since my miscarriage my cycles have gone from bad to horrible. I am so frustrated and sad.
Also I received results from all my blood work of my miscarriage: I do not have any recurrent miscarriage dangers (no factor Leiden, protein C, etc) which is great news, BUT my thyroid is again a mess. Below or way below most measurements even on medication.
I feel so utterly defeated.
This heavy bleeding has never happened to me. I called PPVI and they told me it was very limited what they could do for me long distance and if this continued to go to the ER this afternoon. I panicked.
They told me they would call back, but to be ready to speak with a local doctor ASAP.
Well it has since diminished to normal, but I feel horrible, very weak and dizzy.
I called my local amazing 83 year old Catholic ob/gyn, a saint, who told me that I will need to do an U/S on Monday to see if there are still a traces of my miscarriage. As I write this I cry, my heart breaks all over again.
I called my mom and started crying. My DH is on his way.
I do not have any strenght to go back to the same hospital where we received the news of the death of Miguel, where I had the D&C and where I had to stay 4 days due to horrible bleeding and complications.
Yet he told me its where they have the very best equipment to do the U/S and my prior tests. I will need to go.
And if they find again somehthing I do not know how I will bear it.
All the feelings from my miscarriage have filled my heart once more. I cry like the day we were told the news.
I went to confession with the same monk that married me. A young and holy priest, that actually lived a very succesful professional life before joining this order.
I need to clarify first that they are different variety of monks if you can explain it this way. =)
They have many of the ways of monks and are considered monks, yet lack one fundamental quiality of monks: the live in community, dress the part, have regular prayer times, do a lot of Adoration, have a weekly desert, etc yet do not have the vow of stability which is that they will stay in the same place their whole lives.
I love, love this order. Its quite new, founded by a Dominican, yet different from the Dominincans. Here is the link to their history: http://www.stjean.com/EN/Jeu_accueil.php
Well so I am sitting in confession and start telling him what I am feeling: that my prayer life is very weak, that I am extremely tired and that I think that its a combination of grief, hormones and too many things happening at once, that I feel that there are too many things happening without clarity on what God truly wants and that in part I am starting again to feel angry at all that God has been asking of my DH and I and that being surrounded by children born from IVF or out of wedlock has become once again very very hard.
In a few words, a mess. I cry.
So I tell him I need to go on an urgent retreat to be with God. Perhaps with their contemplative sisters that have a very nice convent in the desert. I have been there twice and I have always felt so very, very happy there. To focus on prayer and silence away from the world. This Martha needs Mary time.
He looks at me and tells me:
You need to go with your husband on a romantic vacation.
I smile. My heart sings.
He tells me: you need to go with A. to a nice romantic hotel in the mountains and have couple time, love each other. Have an unusual vacation.
Go to a romantic hotel, rest, and have with plenty of time to talk, to grieve, to enjoy each other. And take the Bible and read it together and discuss what God it asking of each of you.
But make sure to have plenty of time to hear what he has to say. To love each other.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Today, 479 years ago, would be the start of an event that would change the history of Catholicism in the Americas.
Between today and the 12th of December Our Lady would appear 4 times in our continent leaving a message of Pure Love, Hope and Kindness, asking each of us to come to Her with our pain and all our needs and that She would comfort us, hold us in the hollow of Her mantle. .
She would leave an image of Herself, pregnant with Jesus, about to give Birth and would ask that the second most visited Catholic pilgramage site after Rome be built in Her honor.
Today this is what happened hundreds of years ago (please see what She had to say to Juan Diego)
Apparition on Tepeyac Hill
As a widower, Juan Diego walked every Saturday and Sunday to church, and on cold mornings, wore a woven cloth called a tilma, or ayate made with coarse fibers from the maguey cactus for cotton was only used by the upper class Aztec.
On Saturday morning, December 9, 1531, he reported the following: As he was walking to church, he heard the sound of birds singing on Tepeyac hill and someone calling his name. He ran up the hill, and there saw a Lady, about fourteen years of age, resembling an Aztec princess in appearance, and surrounded by light.
The Lady spoke to him in Nahuatl, his native tongue. She called him “Xocoyte,” her little son. He responded by calling her “Xocoyote,” his youngest child. The Lady asked Juan Diego to tell the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumárraga, that she wanted a “teocalli,” a shrine, to be built on the spot where she stood, in her honor, where:
"I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me , of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes."
Recognizing the Lady as the Virgin Mary, Juan Diego went to the bishop as instructed, but the Spanish bishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga was doubtful and told Juan Diego he needed a sign. Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac hill and explained to the Lady that the bishop did not believe him. He implored the Lady to use another messenger, insisting he was not worthy. The Lady however insisted that it was of the utmost importance that it be Diego speaking to the bishop on her behalf. On Sunday, Juan Diego did as the Lady directed, but again the bishop asked for a sign. Later that day, the Lady promised Juan Diego she would give him a sign the following day.
Saint Juan Diego was a very pius man that had been married, but did not have children and was a widower when the Virgin appeared to him. He spoke with the Virgin in his own indian language, nahuatl, a language still spoken by hundreds of thousands of Mexicans.
Juan Diego was born in 1474 with the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" ("the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico. He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anáhuac Valley.
When he was 50 years old he was baptized by a Franciscan priest, Fr Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries. On December 9, 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the outskirts of what is now Mexico City. She asked him to go to the Bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her. The Bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true. On 12 December, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac. Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was winter time, he found roses flowering. He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them in his mantle and told him to take them to the Bishop as "proof". When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.
With the Bishop's permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus.
Much deeper than the "exterior grace" of having been "chosen" as Our Lady's "messenger", Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbour.
He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on May 6, 1990 by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The session was very, very emotional and we are still feeling the aftermaths 3 days later.
They gave us time to discuss what we were feeling with our DH´s as a couple, write a letter pouring all our feelings on what we had felt and were feeling regarding losing babies, losing the possibility of biological children and the lack of control over everything.
My DH had a heart to heart talk during this time that was very eye opening and that continued the last two nights.
He: the strong in faith, the silent one, my Mary counter to my Marthaness, the very deep Carmelite in spirituality, the always positive, my rock, is still hurting.
He told me he was still grieving that he would not have a child that looked like me and the loss of Miguel. He did not want to tell me as not to worry me, hurt me.
He had always had dreamt of a baby girl that was just like his wife, me. Blond, blue eyed and very, very pale. He did not know why, but in his heart he always felt that this would be our first born. He had always felt very sure of this.
then came the loss of Miguel and he felt, like me that it was a boy. And we named it after the Archangel.
Still the dream of this little girl persisted in his heart.
This was the hardest for him. That somehow this dream that he felt so sure of had been shattered. He felt he could love any child as much as he would love this little girl in his dreams, yet it was hard to face the fact that this dream was only a dream.
He did not understand why we had been given this cross, having done everything right in the eyes of God. We had not had sex before marriage (both virgins that married very late in life), used NFP right from the beginning and done all treatments in the light of Church teaching.
In both of our families we are the ones that everybody expected to be the best parents. Both sets of our parents have suffered right along us this path.
Yet we were surrounded by IVF babies, children conceived out of wedlock and couples that just went off the Pill and had gotten pregnant the very next cycle.
He then began to tell me he loved me very much and was very sad not being able to give me children (we have both male and female factors, yet he feels that his side is the main contributing factor).
That he felt regrets having married me so late (it took him 3 years to make the decision since he did not feel financially ready, I was ready year one) and that he still felt that his heart was still broken over our loss of Miguel, our 9 week old baby, three months ago.
He feels very excited about adoption and his heart is very open to it, yet its very hard for him to let go of this dream. He feels torn.
My heart has been aching so very much for him. I do not want to see him suffer.
He is such a very holy and good person. Amazing with children, his godchilden and nices and nephews and has a faith that I would love our own children to have.
At the end of the course we were given a task for the next weeks when the course will be on recess.
We were given a key. A key that symolizes a baby with a set of instructions.
We need to take care of this key in the coming weeks as if it were a baby. We need to return it in January all dressed up and during the next weeks not leave it alone.
I found my DH last night in the TV room. Left of him I saw my favourite blanket and since it has been very cold so I wanted to use it. He said no.
The key was wrapped in the blanket. He said he was taking care of the key, our baby.
Then at night he wrapped again the key in a warm blanket next to us. He spoke to it in soothing words telling the key good night, to behave well and that he would take good care of it. that he loved it very very much.
It broke my heart.
Why does this amazing man have to suffer so much?
Saturday, December 4, 2010
For example we have posadas (9 days of feasts before Christmas where we sing in respresentation of St.Joseph asking with Mary for a place to stay). An amazing tradition. We have piñatas in the Posadas and we always, always even in the most humble houses we have Christmas mangers. Beautiful ones.
Its a very social Christmas, with many reunions, bright lights and very, very large families.
We eat Cod for Christmas or Turkey and some candies from Spain and sing villancicos (Christmas songs from Spain)
Yet this is not my Christmas in my heart. My Christmas is my father´s. A very German Christmas. With only my closest familiy with a lot of silence
My father is German. Born there from a German father and a Mexican/German mother in the middle of Germany right at the beginning of WWII.
My grandma had gone to Germany to study and work with some of her siblings and fell in love and soon after got married without permission.
She came back to Mexico after the 2nd WW with 5 children born there and three more would follow. Since she was Mexican Mexico has a law that protects first and foremost the children born from Mexican women so they were accepted in the country as refugees.
My father is quite reserved, a convert, that learned Spanish when he was 8. Right now he can either pass for a Mexican or a German, he is one of the few siblings that speaks German and Spanish both fluently. And when when he tries to speak English he does it with a very, very German accent which usually throws people off since they only hear him speak Spanish to us.
He lived in a country at war and came to Mexico as a refugee and touching up on the subject of his childhood can be touchy sometimes. Some of the few things he has told me is he remembers fondly the American soldiers, which took over his birth city after the surrender of Germany, with whom he exchanged the butts from smoked cigarrets and the tabacco from them in exchange for American chocolates. I cry as I write this.
My father is quiet, very reserved about his childhood. Yet his childhood is all over our lives with the best from it.
His presence is all over Christmas. A very strong presence that I would love to transmit to my own children.
A quiet presence where candles, classical music, homemade food and family are what Christmas traditions are all about.
My Christmas traditions are mainly German with some Mexican (the mangers and cod ) and American (fruitcake!!!!) thrown in there. Long story short my mom grew very close to the US, my grandpa was even born there, but never requested the nationality. Yet my mom with her Mexican and American side gave way to my Father during Christmas making our Christmas much his.
So my Christmas is very different from the one of my country. And I am so very very grateful that my mom promoted that we celebrate in the manner of my father and not her own.
So we celebrate Advent each Sunday. The part I love most about the whole Christmas season.
We get together before it darkens and sit by the Advent wreath and eat and enjoy each other companies. We listen to traditional German music and anjoy a quiet time among the busy season as a family. Just being.
We bake cookies all November. Lebkuchen, Spice cookies and buy Stollen (the German cake for Christmas) that respresents the sleeping Child. We eat Glühwein (warm wine with spices) and eat the cookies that we baked in November.
We watch the candles light the darkness and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and Advent.
So in this busy season of year end budgets, crazy Christmas shopping, parties and bright lights....
My heart only wishes for my Father´s Christmas. A quiet light in the middle of the darkness in silence.
And I wish this for my children so very much.
Friday, December 3, 2010
It has gotten me thinking a lot and it has shaken me. I have been musing over it for the last 2 days. It kept me up awake last night.
It has made so very clear in my eyes why I am sttruggling and why am exhausted.
I have too many things in my life, no balance and my personality type is not helping.
I used to have a life plan. One where I wrote how I wanted to live my life.I was taught this by a numerary from the Opus Dei and it was an amazing tool to guide me.
I followed it a long time and my life was balanced. Purpose filled.
The life plan I did contains 7 areas in which I expressed my ideal life and my prioritites and purpose in each one. They are: Work/ professional, Family (DH, children and extended), Faith, Health, Social (Friends), Money/Financial and Cultural.
Each thing has a place and when one area overtakes the other your life becomes a mess, you focus too much on an area and lose sight of a balance.
I was never perfect and I always sttriving for balance, yet I felt more content, more in control. Like life was worth living.
Right now Work/ professional and Money/Financial have overtaken my life.
Work/professional in terms both of my full time job and also Napro and Money/Financial since the whole weight of this is on my shoulders. DH has no stable job and its seems further away than ever in the next months.
I am right now at a time where I feel overwhelmed with decisions and work and with no clear direction. And I hate it. The test told me why I have reached this point.
I am an INFJ which is called, a Protector.
The Protector got me thinking and as I read the description I was amazed how well it exemplifies what I am going through right now.
Why I have not been following my life plan. Why I feel so lost.
You have in the test several areas: If you are Introverted or extroverted. I am introverted, but slightly. I have a wide range of aquaintances, but few real friends. If I have been with tons of people a long time I need to reframe and tend to stay home and read for a few days. I need to go back to myself.
Its clear I am in need my own time and have not been giving it to myself.
I get daily calls and emails for Napro here, calls from the local practitioners even if I am not their supervisor (general advice on how to manage the daily logistics, how to fundraise, how we will develop things, etc), as I do not have an office my clients call me at all times and I meet them sometimes at home etc. I have not established clear boundaries. And its very difficult for me since I love it.
I work full time for Latin America, I am in the process to become a practitioner, I am working daily to help bring Napro here, I am in the process of adoption and I am trying to heal myself in case God wills us to get pregnant again and ....I manage a house.
All could be full time jobs. Sigh. My Protector side makes me want to say yes to everybody.
I have not respected my own need for time alone, nor rest.
But there is more that describes the state of things. The description says:
" their primary interest is in the safety and security of those they care about - their family, their circle of friends, their students, their patients, their boss, their fellow-workers, or their employees".
YEP, above onself. So I have put other priorities above my own. So my boss, employees and clients have come above everything.
" Protectors have an extraordinary sense of loyalty and responsibility in their makeup, and seem fulfilled in the degree they can shield others from the dirt and dangers of the world".
YEP and its not good when you put others above yourself. I have been doing it. My boss has been sick most of the year and I have taken over many of his tasks. i have protected him.
I have no been excercising, my diet is a joke, I have been protecting my employees way to much.
"Speculating and experimenting do not intrigue Protectors, who prefer to make do with time-honored and time-tested products and procedures rather than change to new. At work Protectors are seldom happy in situations where the rules are constantly changin"
YEP.... I am not happy. Napro has not been established here and all is open, in the air. There are no rules, no office hours, no location, no clear way how we are going to establish it here. So.....I am struggling.
"Wanting to be of service to others, Protectors find great satisfaction in assisting the downtrodden, and can deal with disability and neediness in others better than any other type. They are not as outgoing and talkative as the Provider Guardians [ESFJs], and their shyness is often misjudged as stiffness, even coldness, when in truth Protectors are warm-hearted and sympathetic, giving happily of themselves to those in need."
YEP, yes, yes, yes.... but what happens when you are tired or working through your own grief? when your thyroid is not working?
"Their reserve ought really to be seen as an expression of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose. The most diligent of all the types, Protectors are willing to work long, hard hours quietly doing all the thankless jobs that others manage to avoid"
haha.... I almost cry. I spend nights trying to work for Napro...
"Protectors are quite happy working alone; in fact, in positions of authority they may try to do everything themselves rather than direct others to get the job done."
Yep.... I am doing it with Napro.... and my office job...
"Thoroughness and frugality are also virtues for them. When Protectors undertake a task, they will complete it if humanly possible."
"To save, to put something aside against an unpredictable future, to prepare for emergencies-these are actions near and dear to the Protector's heart. For all these reasons, Protectors are frequently overworked, just as they are frequently misunderstood and undervalued. Their contributions, and also their economies, are often taken for granted, and they rarely get the gratitude they deserve"
haha! Since my DH job is still unstable I am overworking to compensate. I am saving, worrying about money, planning for the future.
I has become painfuly clear that I need to go back to basics. To put my life in order. To write down my priorites and search for the ever elusive balance.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Yesterday I was seeing weeds everywhere, but today God showed me that alonside the weeds exists wheat.
First I started the day on my way to work being hit from behind by a car and spent my morning in the hospital.
I was stuck in a small street when a girl driving a small van hit my car, also a small van. She was distracted and hit my car hard. Very hard.
My brand new car. Three weeks old.
The street had a very pronunced incline so she hit me with more force than normal, even if she was going slow. I was so very surprised that I even thought it was me who had hit a car.
I moved to the side and she came out looking so very shaken. People started honking hard and looking for a way to pass us. It was exactly rush hour.
She expected for me to come out screaming at her. She was ready to be screamed at. A normal reaction in the middle of very busy traffic.
And instead I came out touching my neck telling her not to worry. For some reason I felt truly sorry for her. I felt the need to comfort her. She was so very very worried.
My neck went back and forth during the crash and I was touching it so she was scared she had hurt me very badly and I was thinking she had.
She was a lawyer and offered to help me in any way she could. She could have excused herself, but she did not. She was truly sorry and accepted that it was fully her fault. She acted like a true lady.
She could have escaped easily and not taken responsability, or excused herself or just called the insurance company or used her lawyer ways to try to get out of a possible big mess. Yet I saw true humanity.
We built a moment of peace in the middle of a very busy and conflicting city. A city much larger than NY. The largest in the world.
The interesting thing is that everybody expected me to be very mad and for her to make excuses in order not to get sued. My brand new car and my neck were damaged by the distraction of another person.
But somehow I felt peace and the need to give it to her. And she the need to accept full responsability knowing full well as a lawyer that this would put her in a risky position. She was pure wheat.
My prayer buddy must be very powerful.
Then in the hospital I was taken for x-rays. They thought I had damaged my shoulder and my neck so they wanted to make sure what the problem was.
I was feeling very sorry for myself thinking that my DH and I had been in hospitals in and out all of last year and this due to IF treatments (2 laps and 1 varicolcele surgery), miscarriage complications (one D&C and one 4 day hospital stay) and one nose operation for my DH and 2 hospital stays for various issues. ...I counted at least 8 times in this time frame. Wow!!
It made me very sad. I felt that God was being very hard on us. Then....
As I was waiting I sat there listening to a woman speak to a doctor. She was pushing a very old man, clearly very sick in a wheelchair. They looked very poor in this very, very rich hospital.
She was explaining to the doctor that she was not a member of this man´s family and that he did not have money, nor insurance (this hospital takes in a certain % of pro bono patients), yet she was taking care of him.
She had contacted some grand nephews of the man to help out, but she had said they had told her they could not help, so she, the neighbor could not abandon him.
I was blown away. She was fighting for him to have great care without any need to.
Then they passed me and I saw this mans face. Deformed by a tumor. With an eye almost out of the socket.
I no longer felt sorry for myself.
Two moments where God was clearly present. In a crash and in a hospital.
Yesterday I was seeing only weeds. Today I saw the wheat. A woman taking full responsability and truly worried about another and a neighbor acting like a true neighbor should.
Monday, November 29, 2010
One day more and more surprising than the other. GOD wants something, I just do not know exactly what.
Messy cycles, adoption progess, full budget planning meetings during this mess with many more work responsabilities and the most surprising development for Napro here ever.
My cycles are a mess and today I do not know what is truly going on. Its starting to freak me out.
For the very first time in my whole charting life I had a double peak, but also unusual bleeding.
I had called PPVI Monday last week to ask for advice since I was not sure on when to use HCG and only until today they they call me. Which was stressful in itself.
The nurse starts by telling me that Dr. H determined my peak on cycle day 19 BUT I tell her it really came on day 26th. The only instruction he had given was to start ASAP the anti-inflammatory diet, but now we need to wait for further instructions. I was instructed not to use HCG until we figure out what is going on so I am not on it.
So I start telling the nurse all my lovely new signs: I had amazing 10 KL with a little bit of blood (never had seen this in my life!) (we had used that day as it started dry and my peak had passed) but this is to me was a sign of ovulation on 26th. Then nothing so I determined this as my peak but then!!! on 29th and 30th I see again 6 and 8 KL with blood!! now more and to me its clear that its not my period at all. And today cycle day 31st 10 CKL!... So I ask her: could it be first my ovulation and then implantation bleeding?
The signs and dates match.
She said maybe...
Now I need to wait for a few hours for more instructions. Its still too early to say what is going on, but one things its clear my cycles are getting consistently worse as time passes after my miscarriage and a pregnancy in this condition without my luteal phase support is not ideal.
In the middle of this....
During all of this exciting developments of my cycles the adoption course has been amazing. Something out of this world and we hear from contacts that the director of the agency thinks very, very highly of my DH and I. We are told that adoption might happen very quickly for us. We are super happy. So biological or adoption? Today I am a mess thinking about both.
I am given much more respnsability in my job. My boss has assigned me some 60 to 70% of the team´s budget. All last week was budget planning and I am given more tasks and the option of hiring more people for helping with these tasks, but it will take time.
My focus right now is my family so this is not good.... I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.
BUT THEN in the middle of this!!!!!!!!!!
I get a call by the director of the bioethics department at a Catholic universtity. A doctor I gave a presentation to gives him my name. A saintly man that works directly with the Vatican.
He feels the duty to put me in contact with a group of prolife investors that are working without much publicity on funding prolife activitites. They have been looking for this crazy practitioner and do not know where to find me (they have my company name, but not my name) He tells me to prepare for something big. Very, very big. Tells me to prepare a presentation of where we are with Napro in Mexico.
I work nights trying to get ready knowing that this is huge.
So I meet with the advisors together with some people that have been helping with Napro here. The advisors give me all the names that have recommended me. They have done their homework and contacted several people that I have been presenting this to. They know a lot about me which to me is surprising.
Friday morning , the meeting starts at 10 a.m and ends at 5:30 p.m. What was a one hour presentation turned into a full day one. I do not even believe it as I write it.
We have in the meeting a PHD in social studies, the dean of a medical school, one top social investor and the director of the fund. They interrupt my presentation dozens of times with questions. They have been online trying to learn about Napro and think its key for the development of their prolife plan.
They need prolife doctors and think this is the way for this.
But also since IVF is unregulated mainly its a huge abortion mill. They are very worried that no options exist for Catholics.
I present them with a budget to start training practitioners. A very large one in my eyes. They tell me its too little. That if they are going to invest it needs to be very big, a 5 year plan. A full blown clinic with satelites in differents states, education programs for the catholic universtities, marketing, etc.
They give me the names for their donors.
They appear regularily in the best business magazines as top business men. A couple of them belong to families that are also in Forbes magazine among the world richest. I had known they are Catholic prolife, but not this.
I smile..... a very, very nervous smile.
They ask me if I would dedicate fully to this. If I would quit my 12 year old job and work with them full time.
I call my spiritual director on Saturday in panic. He tells me that he knows about these people and that this is the way to do it. That I have a responsability to help out. Yet to find a balance with my family life.
I spend 2 sleep less nights.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Just a quick reminder:
The Pope has asked again a few days ago for the Universal Church to unite in prayer for all Nascent Human Life. He is asking all parishes, bioshops, etc to unite in a Vigil right before the First Sunday of Advent to pray for LIFE.
I just wanted to resend so you can promote if possible in your parishes or participate with the Universal Church.
The US bishops have published the materials here: www.usccb.org/prolife/papalvigil
and her is the appeal by the Pope.
PRAY FOR LIFE, HOLY FATHER APPEALS
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is calling on all Catholics to join in a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life, to be celebrated in local parishes and dioceses Nov. 27.
After praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that the event is "a joint initiative with the local Churches throughout the world and I have recommended it to be observed in parishes, religious communities, associations and movements too."
"The time of preparation for Holy Christmas is a propitious moment to invoke divine protection for every human being called into existence, and also for a thanksgiving to God for the gift of life received from our parent," he added.
The Hoy Father will celebrate the vigil in St. Peter's Basilica on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family collaborated in creating an outline for the vigil, and the U.S. bishops' conference is developing resources for the parishes.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I feel a little guilty, but I truly and absolutely needed it.
I need time to reflect what all that has been happening means and I also found that it has nothing to do with the way I was living some months ago when I got pregnant.
Major work issues, big proposals to fund Fertility.Care in Mexico and an overwhelming amount of requests on this matter from IF couples to institutions to my own training program, our adoption process, my own health issues, my grief after my miscarriage, family pressure, etc.
I also found the Fertility diary I was using when I was trying to get pregnant a few months ago and I was blown away....
Its a diary where you put all your medicines, alternative therapies, thoughts, feelings, excercise and diet related to IF and it helps you keep track of everything. I used it to motivate myself to get healthy and to become closer to God.
I found it last night and it was fascinating. And it hit me right in the face.
It journals the 2 months prior to my 1st ever pregnancy after 3 years of IF. I had decided to follow the path that Ran.dine Lewis had suggested to me in her Fertile So.ul retreats. I was very, very clear to her that I would never do IVF and I was suprised since she completly agreed with me and actually was very interested in Napro.
She had told me: From true LIFE comes LIFE. From living life to the fullest in terms of health, spirituality, joy, peace. Only from truly living can you be truly fertile.
Embark in this journey fully and you will be fertile, maybe not have a baby, but fertile in terms of living LIFE.
So I had embarked on a true quest for this balance. I yearned for LIFE after 3 years of never ending grief (please read my side bar and you will learn what these 3 years were like). I yearned for a baby, but was letting go. I wanted to LIVE.
My diary has all of this written down:
I ramped up my prayer life doing several group novenas (St. Gianna Molla, Our Lady who unties Knots, St, Anthony) and had become a regular at Adoration. I set a time each day for meditation either with books or with CD´s. I was in regular contact with Him.
I was doing the practitioner work that I found that I loved deeply. I was able to combine it with my full time work and it gave me tremendous joy. I felt the call of a vocation.
I was doing excercise via Nia ( a type of dance with body expresion of feelings), Tai chi, was on a strict anti-inflammatory diet, was taking tons of supplements and doing accupuncture regularly. I lost weight.
I also was on the full dose of T3 for the first time, high doses of vitamin b12 which my nutritionist thought I was missing and started Nal.trexone.
I also was fully in love with my DH. I felt an intense love for him that I had not felt since the beginning of our woes.
I started to enjoy life as I had not before and I was truly, truly, truly happy when some close friends adopted after 10 years of IF. Something that I was not able before .
It gave me tremendous hope instead of envy.
And in the midst of this all I got pregnant.
I was shocked. My heart was now fully open to adoption and this happens?.
I also was fearful. I knew miscarriage existed.
And then 5 weeks later I miscarried.
And I ended in the hospital 4 days later for 4 days of contractions, full blown bleeding and anemia. Physical and emotional pain I had never felt in my whole life.
Full blown grief. I could not pray anymore. I did not take care of my body. I did no care anymore.
A strack contrast to when I got pregnant.
During the last 2 months I worked my way up the grief. I started to regain my energy somewhat (although not fully) and tried to find balance. The start of the adoption proceedings has given me also some peace.
I thought I had conquered the grief when last week I lost my footing again. And reading this diary showed me how much.
Major issues at work (i had my first ever confrontation with my conterpart that was doing bad things last Friday and I almost quit my 12 year old job). I need to work and I cannot lose it. And although it seemed DH would get a great job it has not materialized and it seems it will not.
So I left the office feeling completly tied to a job I do not like anymore.
Fertility.Care has become a burden rather than a vocation. I have not been able to handle all the requests for presentations, offfers of donations, etc. I am the first practitioner in Mexico in the last years and this means that I am starting many things. There is a tremendous need for this and people are excited.
On Friday I was called to a meeting with a major player on the Bioethics arena in Mexico and he wants me to meet with 2 of the most important pro-life donors in the country. They have heard about Napro and want me to present a plan. They set a date for next week.
This is very, very serious money and I felt like it all was on my shoulders. The weight of the world on me.
He tells me this is my responsability since there is no true option against IVF, but this one.
And I am inundated with IF requests.
And I have not even been able to graduate.
What does God want from this? Instead of peace I feel fear? I need urgent discernment.
I have not excercised and my diet is a joke (I have been on an anti-inflammatory diet again since Tuesday of last week and have not done it as I should).
I have not done meditation, nor prayer. . .
I have not retested my thyroid which I suspect is again off and my mucus cycles are irregular (Variable return of peak type mucus) and I am afraid of what this means.
Did the doctor harm my cervix? Is it from the miscarriage? But both local Dr and Dr. H have told me to start to try to conceive since last cycle.
My cycles were my consolation in the midst of IF Tons of 10 CKL during the fertile phase. I have not seen it since I got pregnant. Now its a confusing array of 4´s, 10 SL´s and one minor 8 KL. In stark contract to 5 days of 10 CKL even 2 or 3 times a day! My body is not cooperating anymore.
I also have noticed that the feelings of grief have returned.
Yet I can be happy and alive living a childless life, adopting or being a biological mother.
I want to LIVE like in the glorious months before I got pregnant. Close to God, very healthy, doing what He wants , happy.
My DH needs me, but more important of all I need myself heatlhy , focused and able to discern.
And I need God.
So today I skipped work and started the day with excercise, a long talk with a very close friend that knows my journey well , reread my fertility diary and will end it in Adoration, puting things in true order.
I will try to listen to Him.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
On Monday we had our first adoption class. From 7 p.m to 11 p.m !! =)
The first of some 15 in depth classes on adoption, a prerequisite for our adoption process. All is so very professional that I am very, very excited about it. Even if we do not end up adopting I am sure they will be very worthwhile. Top level professors covering all aspects of adoption, education and child development from a very Catholic perspective.
We are together in the class with 12 other couples from all kinds of backgrounds, from a very simple and poor couple to the director of the national crisis pregancies centers and a very important company director. All are Catholic (a prerequisite with this agency and married by the Church) and range from very Catholic people to people that are just starting their faith journey. Since most of the process of adoption is free you can get very different people in the same class and this really adds to the experience.
Monday was the introductions and I heard their IF journey´s. So similar to ours, in terms of the stages of grief that all experienced, yet many far away from God and I reflected that I can only be grateful that He has always been there.
I have been lucky in terms that I have always had good Catholic doctors since many of their stories were terror stories in terms of ethics by doctors.
The class and the group made me actually very excited about adoption!! And on top of it all the professor when she heard I was a practitioner invited me to a coffee one of this days to learn about Napro!! =)
But then during the rest of the week I started to struggle with conflicting feelings.
I just miscarried about 2.5 months ago. Actually we were on the adoption path, when I found out I was pregnant. We did not cancel the adoption process knowing full well that miscarriage was a possibility and then it happened.
And a month later after the miscarriage we get THE CALL. Our process has formely started and the odds that we will adopt are very high.
My miscarriage was the hardest thing I have ever experienced, but it also gave me hope that I can be a biological mother.
So right now my DH wants to pursue both roads and all my family and his are expecting us to continue only the biological route, yet I am pulled in both directions.
Yet very scared of even restarting the biological one. That God will ask again a child to Heaven from me.
I haven´t done my thyroid testing yet not any of the testing to check for any inmunological factors. I have let my health slip due to grief and this way I have a good excuse. wow! Now that I see it on paper its so clear. Yet I cannot let my fear dictate my health management nor that I will or not have a family.
Can it be that God is really calling us in both directions? None are sure and we might well end up childless, yet I feel both.
Do I have the strenght to pursue both and have my heart broken in both?
But I am scared of the biological one on a very deep emotional level after all that happened, yet if I do not pursue it again will I regret it for life? and my DH?
I think and feel yes.
And then there is my work. Crazy!! I am overwhelmed now. After my miscarriage I had to stay 4 days in the hospital due to complications. I had very, very strong bleeding and also contractions and it took me over a month to go back full time.
And a person near me took advantage of this.
I will not go into details, but this person decided to start bossing my team around and played politics and now I have a mess in my hands with lack of prioritites and an amazing amount of work on me and my team. So right I have to play the strong role and be the bad guy and try to put order where a person decided to do all in his own personal interest. Sigh!
And then there is Napro Mexico. People have discovered there is a practitioner here and I am getting calls and emails from several other states. One or 2 new client requests a week!
And there is the development of the program so we can have it up and running and not be a one woman show. Tomorrow I have a very important meeting with a donor for Catholic causes that looked for me specifically after he found out we had now people trained. And Monday and Tuesday with some people form NY that want to start doing this type of programs in developing countries.
Yet I cannot focus too much on the development side since I have not graduated. I need to do so still since I pushed the date to Februray. Yet I feel that all of this is a true call from God.
Can you feel so many calls: adoption, biological parenthood and work with IF couples? Or am I kidding myself?
So many directions and feelings:
Adoption: Happiness, expectations
Biological motherhood: Scared, yet a deep yearning for it also
Napro: Deep calling to it, overwhelmed with work on this respect, deep happiness when I can work with couples. I see God´s hands very clearly
Work: Duty (I need to work and cannot quit) and anger due to the person doing bad things. Also the need to be very, very strong to put order.
Tonight I will go to Adoration and put it in His hands. Could you also please pray for wisdom and strenght for me?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Alphonsus Maria Liguori
He has a very, very long baptism name, but I loved that it has some of my favourite and most meaninful names in it.
Alphonsus Maria Anthony Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspar....
I loved that his first name is linked to my DH´s (he is Alonso a derivative of Alphonsus ) and that he also has Michael (Miguel my baby) and Maria (Our Lady) and Anthony (my favourite Saint).....
Patron Saint of the confessors, moral theologians and of the lay apostolate..... and founder of the redemptorists. I do not know a lot about his life, but will read more about it his soon..... If anybody has any insight on him would love to hear about it!!!
My DH patron saint: Brigid of Sweden. Patron saint of Europe (he loves it!!) and widows... (I am not too happy about this!!!!).
Will also read more about her!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I am dead tired after walking for almost 4.5 hours non-stop, yet I feel a peace that I have not felt since my miscarriage and I feel Her presence and closeness like never before.
I had been looking forward to this Pilgrimage since I felt the need to thank Her for having little Miguel, although just a few weeks on earth, in our lives. We are parents now for eternity. I still cry as I write this, yet I feel peace.
This is an amazing gift.
Also I wanted to thank Her for all the gifts She has given to Napro in Mexico, which we have consecrated to Her.
A year ago I went on this same Pilgrimage feeling completly alone and scared. What a difference SHE has made.
A year ago Dr. H had told me a few weeks before that I needed a new lap at PPVI and we did not know how we would be able to afford it, I was in the worst moments of my undiagnosed thyroid condition (most mornings I could not even wake up) and I had just come back from Omaha after starting the training for the practioner program.
Nobody knew what this Napro thing was all about and I started to panic that maybe I had been crazy in my desire to become a practitioner. I felt utterly and completly alone.
I prayed so hard at that pilgrimage for Her help. I cried so hard when I was under Her Image that my husband was even scared. He even cried with me.
Yet as I look back on this year and although we are still childess in the eyes of the world and I ache with all my heart to hold my child in my arms I see Her presence and gifts.
She promised to Juan Diego: "I will hold you in my arms" and asked him not to be scared since She was our Mother and indeed She keeps these promises to every one of Her children.
My parish priest consecrated Napro in Mexico to Her and even had a mass in the Basilica to ask for Her intercession . We were given the gift of a traveling image of Guadalupe that went from home to home for months with this specific intention.
5 months later after this now have three additional practitioners and a doctor.
Just last night while I could not sleep I discovered in my trash emails one, perhaps the most important of all the emails related to Napro that I have every received , from the dean of bioethics of a top medical school. Just a few hours before the Pilgrimage.
It said that he wants to meet since there is a group of possible donors for an IF clinic and he wants to see how they can work with PPVI.
But changes have also been more secret, more in the depths of my DH and my hearts.
We prayed for a child and we have one in Heaven.
Of course I would to anything to have him in my arms, yet I see this opportunity to be his mother as an incredible gift. I feel sadness, but also gratefulness. I value LIFE now even more than ever. This is Her gift.
Our hearts have opened towards adoption, not just as an second place alternative to biological parenthood, but as an true equal in terms of love. We are completly open to God´s plans for us in this respect.
And perhaps for the very first time in my life I know She is my Mother and will always be there.
Friday, November 5, 2010
He always used this word to signify that anything that happens in life is not just part of a random plan, but the plan of God.
He also used it constantly when there was something that was a clear sign from God. Things were just not coincidences.
He has already died (he died from leukemia a few years after we had broken up, at 32 and is one of the persons in Heaven I pray to. I loved him deeply , but it was clear that we were not meant to be.), but I remember him everytime something that is a clear sign from God happens.
Godincidences. Love, love the word.
Very clear Godincidences, very unexpected have happened in the last days. They have given me great comfort in days when Faith has been weak as well as my thyroid symptoms are back with a vengance. I do not know which is worse, not knowing what normal is, or knowing it and then have the symptoms come back. Sigh!
My body and spirit are broken...yikes!!!
We had the very, very important interview with the adoption agency founder a couple of weeks ago and we just signed for the adoption course that starts next week. Wow. By no means is it 100% sure tht we are accepted, but its great sign.
Since the interview the signs from God have not stopped...
When we met her I was very surprised by how similar she was to my deceased MIL. We had heard the worst terror stories about her, yet my DH fell in love with her.
So this week I returned from my trip and had on Tuesday an Creighton system intro session with a couple sent by the Napro doctor in Mexico. I do not know him, yet I had recruited him. haha! everybody kept saying he was the one, but he lives in another city and we kept contact over the months via phone or email.
So I sit down with this amazing couple who comes from another city and after we finish the intro session she tells me that her mother is the right arm of the director of our adoption agency.
What????? She helped found it 30 years ago and continues to be one of the most important persons in the whole country for this agency.... (I have her permision to write this here)
Then proceeds to tell me that the doctor that I had been speaking to for months is actually the doctor in that part of the country that helps to prevent abortions in the girls sent by the agency.... He talks to them and convinces them not to abort..
He actually treats some of the women at one of the shelters of this agency....What???? Had no idea.
then.... yesterday night.
I studied a course for women leaders a couple of years ago at an Opus Dei university and I am invited to the launch of a new book on women´s leadership and ethics.
I arrive late due to traffic and I sit on of of the sides of the auditorium. I look around and see the back of a woman that reminds me of someone.
I then think: its the founder of our agency!!!!
Then in the Q&A session a person right in front of me asks a long question and the director looks back and sees me. The question included a very long commentary... She smiles at me recognizing me.
Wow!!! I have known who she is for years and years, yet have never seen her anywhere. She is a person that you know when she is a room, yet I am sure I have never been in the same room as her.
Then a dear dear girlfriend calls me... She has had lunch with her recently!!!!!!! My friend is helping me with trying to promote Napro here and has been invited to lunch by her!!!
to see how to expand the agency!!!
and last.... the presentation of the books ends , but the founder of the agency has walked out early. Still I am happy she has seen me and remembers me.
I say hi to one of the directors are the university with whom I went on a spiritual retreat a few years ago. The first thing she asks me (as usual!) is if I have babies or if I am pregnant. I tell her no, that we are struggling. I tell her about Napro and that we are also working towards adoption. She tells me she is on the board of our agency!!!!!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Next Sunday I will go on a walking Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe where She appeared to Juan Diego and asked for a Basilica to be built. Her image is right there and going there has become a fundamental part of my spiritual journey with IF.
In the darkest hours my prayer has been the same words She said to Juan Diego:
Each pilgramage I have done, via car or walking, has had tremendous fruits even if I have not been able to see them right after my visit, but they have been there.
In the past I have taken Her for granted. I have 30 minutes from my house the most visited Marian site in the World and one of the top three together with Lourdes and Fatima, yet I did not visit often prior to my IF. This has been one of the great gifts brought from the pain of my IF.
I will walk together with the priests of my parish and other pilgrims from our church through the city to get to the Basilica in this annual pilgrimage. Its some 10 miles and we will walk from early Sunday to midday approximately. During the walk we will be praying, walking in silence some parts and also singining.
I have an offer to all those interesed:
In the past whenever I have gone there I have taken with me intentions from the catholic IF yahoo group and some far away friends.
In this case its special since we will be also be praying during the walk and taking many intentions with us. We will be adopting the intentions in our walk for 3 hours walking the same steps as Juan Diego. Later at the Basilica we will have a Mass said for us and I can place the intentions at the altar and if anybody wishes later I can light candles, put more Mass intentions, etc. Nothing would make me happier than this very clear example of our Catholicism (universality!)
you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org stating your intentions and wishes.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
today is a very nice day outside so I will go out now with DH and FIl for breakfast and then midday Mass. A great way to start new beginnings.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Lost myself. Wow.
That is exactly correct and as I wrote it it became so very clear.
But most importantly lost Faith.
My general focus as a very Martha person has been to fix things so I could feel some sort of control in my life, which has at least given me some sense of security in all of this mess. But it has not worked on a deep emotional and spiritual level.
I can see this clearly reflected in my last 2 posts, which came from a frustration and anger that it is there deep down in places in my heart that I have avoided seeing. And I hate it.
I do not want to live my life as a person that is angry, sad, the eldest sister.
I am not called by God to that.
I am called to love, to accept, to grow, to live life to the fullest. Yet from a human perspective I do not understand the last 3 years. So I need to see it from His perspective. He must want something from all of this.
What is He asking of me right now?
What is He telling me in all that has happened in the last three years?
Wanting a baby so badly it broke my heart
2 emergency stays in the hospital by my DH. One of them major.
1 by me for major bleeding and contractions after my miscarriage
2 operation for my DH
3 operations for me
1 violent mugging to my parents
A failed adoption
The death of my grandfather
The death and its aftermaths of my mother in law
The job loss of my DH and his lack of clarity professionally at this time
The emergency hospitalization with diabetes by my FIL
Living with my inlaws for 8 months in some of the worst emotional conditions imaginable
My horrible thyroid that has brought me to my knees in terms of tiredness
and last: my miscarriage after 3 years of IF.
As I am writing this I am crying. What do You want? All of this has not brought me closer to You. But into an angry, jealous and sad person. And I hate it and I am sure these are not the plans You have for me.
I am on my knees. I am no longer mad tonight as I was yesterday, I just need Your help please.
Please give me a sign. Please. I really cannot fight anymore.
5 minutes after I closed this post and I was crying in the middle of a hotel lobby in Brasil my DH called....
He has been offered a great job just today and was called for a couple of interviews. He has not sounded so happy in months.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I am in no way good company to anybody.
My IF hit me like a ton of bricks and it became painfully clear that my family cannot even begin to understand what we are going through. But also other older scars added to the pain and jealousy.
I spent the last days prior to this trip at my sisters, near Cancun , where my DH and I were invited for my oldest nephews First Communion. We were ínvited by him to be his Godparents at a beautiful ceremony. In Mexico is something not so official as in the Baptism, but an opportunity by the child to chose his companions for this.
What should have been a joyus time turned into a time where I spent a great deal of it hiding my tears.
Here were were at the First Communion of an 8 year old, son of my younger sister, and here were childless. But it was not only this, but waves of sadness over many things that I am not happy about in my life.
I have been having the same feelings at the oldest son in the prodigal son. I am not proud of it, but at the same time this truly reflects that i feel abandoned by God and jealous for the plenty given to those I think less deserving (she has never been interested in God, nor religion). Horrible yes, but this is how I feel right now.
My sister has the life I would love to have (2 beautiful children, the ability to work as she pleases, a healthy body, a very good economic position, etc) and being near this for 5 days and then seeing my parents so proud of her and only talking about her success and children and so disappointed with me, took me way back to very painful times in my life.
This was not always like this, my parents were very proud of all 3 children, but I know deeply in me that they do not understand where my life is heading and are very pained by what they see.
My sister is only a year and a couple of months younger than me. For the longest time I behaved as she was my doll, my little daughter and was deeply protective of her. She was afraid of many things as a child (dogs, escalators, people, etc) and I took it as my duty to protect her. We even slept on the same bed for the longest time. My grandmother called me "la mamacita", the little mother and always said I was to be a great mother by seeing the way I treated her.
As time passed we grew apart and there were very marked differences between the both of us.
I loved to read and she did not, I was very messy and she was orderly, I never knew how to dress up and she was always in fashion, she loved sports and I books, etc.
With time she was always named by people as the beautiful one and I the intelectual one. I hated it.
Adolescence was specially difficult as I had horrible acne from the age of 11 until my late 20´s and my sister grew up to be a beauty. She even began to look like my adored grandmother after whom I am named. People always complimented her and many times did not know what to tell me so they ignored me.
She was never interested in religion and was always popular and I grew to be very introverted due to my acne and found solace in God and in reading. Later I outgrew in part my introversion by becoming an achiver in terms of studies and work, yet I have never overcome it completly and it became painfully clear this weekend.
She married at 26 and moved to this small city by the sea. She lived in a small house at the beginning right by the beach and with time her DH and her built the most amazing house.
Her father in law had moved there some years ago and helped open the doors for them and with time has become one of the most renowed businessmen in Mexico and very well known for his social commitment. He is this figure that is revered by the press and his workers and its truly well deserved.
During the next years she decided not to have children and spent the time focusing on herself and her marriage. She decided to start it 4 years later. I never found the right person until I was 33 and by that time her first born was 3.
Later she lost 2 very early pregnancies and then 1 year later my niece was born. I married 2 years later and have fought with IF and my health ever since. Something that my family has never understood and will probably never understand.
During the longest time we only spoke as necessary since we did not have anything in common and for a while I even made the concious decision not speak to her . She is always trying to fix my way of dressing or telling me what I was doing wrong or telling to get over things (she is a psychologist and had always tried to give me adivice) and one day it became too much and decided to separate myself from her.
She called me 4 months later saying she wanted to amend things and for the first time I told her how much her comments always hurt me. She asked me for forgiveness. We were again on the right path.
Then a couple of years later it started to become increasingly painful as my parents were always speaking about the grandchildren or her DH achivements and I know that my IF and my DH lack of success has worried them a lot.
Then came my pregnancy and she started calling me every week and asking me how I felt and we had some common ground. She even cried tears of joy when she found out. I have always known that she loves me deeply, yet somehow there is always something keeping us apart.
Then when my miscarriage happened I thought she would understand and she did for a few weeks, but later told me to move on as she had done and not dwell on it.
She had had 2 and had survived, but in my head I told myself she had never had IF, had gotten pregnant as she wanted, has always contracepted and had the miscarriages after having a healthy son.
So she had at least one child and wait.... she was not nearing 40. I felt like she was comparing us and that she could handle it so should I.
Then this weekend the depth of my feelings about everything caught me by surprise and it became painfully clear that I am hiding some very deep wounds, old and new.
Old ones like the fact that she is gourgeous and my mother telling her over and over again right in front of me and that I am normal and not feeling very good about myself since gaining weight again. When we were heading to the Mass she told her: wow you look amazing! and then turned to me and said nothing. It truly stung.
The fact that I barely can move in the mornings and she is preparing for a Triathlon which was the talk of most meals. I tried to wake up to go walk and could not even do that!
The fact that we are the ones helping my DH family and in her case they help them.
The fact that her DH is very successful and mine does not know what to do with his life and I hate to admit....I support.
That she can choose to work and I have to.
And then as if it were not enough and even if she has never been a believer in anything from the Church nor God she has 2 children and I have none.
I feel like this cruel joke. I feel like the one that was always near the Father is punished and the one that has never been is being rewarded in all aspects.
So I ended this weekend hiding the tears which came pouring down as my nephew had his first Communion, as I lay down in bed, as I showered and as I spent several sleepless nights asking God why things had turned out this way.
Me, the eldest daughter, asking why He has chosen to give his bounty abundantly to others and not only was I not his daughter at his side anymore sharing His love, but He has seemed to have forgotten us for the last 3 years.
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- Prayers please =(
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