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.
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