Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Light and darkness

This weekend was a weekend that I might never forget.

It was a turning point in so many ways. So many things that happened at the same time that its hard to put it all here.

A few days ago I wrote that I was struggling with so many things going on at once and nothing really sure. I felt truly overwhelmed and had a hard time believing that things would turn out for the best.

I presented last Saturday my exam to become a practitioner after speding both Thrusday and Friday studying like crazy. I knew that I knew most things, yet I was very nervous since I had been teaching everything for over a year in another language (many terms I had to restudy in English) and since so many things that had happened in between and I had not been consistent in my studies.

It was a 6 hour exam and I felt such a relief after finishng that it was incredible.

I think I did OK and truly hope I pass so I can graduate.

Afterwards my DH and I went to the very first meeting with our adoption course friends. All morning with the test in mind I had been thinking about curing, bioethics, diagnosis, etc . So what happened later was like day and night.

It was such an eye opening experience that I find it hard to explain here. We were six couples from very, very different backgrounds that shared the common pain of IF and the longing for a child. In our group we are 12 couples, but only 6 were able to attend.

When I arrived late they all asked me what my exam was about and I explained to them what it was. They could not believe it. They had never heard about Na.pro or anything that did not cost an arm and a leg and could cure you. Some of the couples had very clear diagnosis and even had sterility, but three did not even have a final diagnosis after many many years.

I explained that even if I never got pregnant again I would forever be thanful for Na.pro. That it has saved me from a life of misery.

None of them could say the same thing, with the exception for a girl that had a kidney transplant and could not conceive because of this. She was the only one, that felt that the medical profession had treated her well.

Then a girl began to cry and cry, she could not stop. And began to tell her story. I still shruder to think about it.

She had as recently as December 2010 had done IVF.

Not just normal IVF, but ICSI with 8 embryos. She called them my little frozen ones. ICSI is the most extreme form of IVF. They take and egg, then hit (literally) one single sperm, take it with a seringe and inyect it into the egg. Then they place the egg or eggs in the uterus sometimes using a techinque to help them hatch and wait.

It has the highest complication rates of all IVF, the highest rate of embryo deaths and the highest of problems for the babies.

I shrudder just from remembering.

She asked me if I had done anything and my DH said we did everything to cure.

She looked at us as if she did not understand and I explained that after seeing what IVF could do to you, we had decided against it. I did not want to make her feel worse than she already did.

We had had operations, taken tons of tests and medicines, but had never done anything that separated the marital bond from the act of procreation.

She is now very overweight after all the treatments (gained some 40 pounds), they have basically no money (they will have issues once the adoption legal fees come) and her health is in shambles.

She looked completly lost and defeated.

From her IVF last March she had gotten 18 eggs fertilized. 18 babies. All of which had died in different parts of the process. 10 in the first IVF and 8 in the last one. I do now know the details and do not even want to know.

She had endured three operations, her husband also 3 during the years, she had 2 IVF rounds, they had destroyed her thyroid and hormonal system in the process, she almost died in March due to complications since she devolped a serious medical complication, yet she decided to do it again this December with the "leftover" (hate, hate this name) embryos despite being almost guaranteed a baby in our adoption process since she had made it so far. She had become obsessed. Her DH could not even stop her.

She was not continuing anymore because her husband had said enough was enough and also due to the money. Her marriage was now at risk.

She looked completly destroyed, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I am sure she does not even have an idea of what she has done to her babies. If she knew she would for sure be even be worse off. She had trusted the doctors and not even thought about the details.

My DH and I discussed on the way back that in all of this we had been so blessed. Despite the pain, the hardship, etc.

That we had found good Catholic doctors that wanted to cure, we had been treated with respect, we had not become obsessed (although at time I had the risk), nor lost all our money, nor health, nor marriage in the process. If anything it had made us stronger

We have had a diagnosis, I have been cured of my symptoms and we had even been blessed with a pregnancy. Now an angel in heaven.

I can tell God that we did everything according to His Will.

She is now approaching adoption as a last resort, without any real commitment to it. I am not sure she will pass the psychological examns in the next weeks since she seems so depressed.

Later she asked me for help and I will probably meet with her in the coming days.

The morning I spent thinking about a system that seeks to preserve health, to cure, to maintain the marriage bond intact.

And I spent the afternoon I spent seeing the results of IVF.

Such strak contrast. I have no words other than light and darkness.


  1. What a great post showing the stark contrast between the two options. I'm so glad you did well on your exam. I've been thinking about you since your last post on how overwhelmed you were. I can't wait to hear your test results!

  2. Oh, how I wish the world could see this post. It is so sad, and so true. Heartbreaking.

  3. Wow. What a truly contrasted day, indeed!
    You and your husband are such strong and powerful witnesses, though, I have NO DOUBT that you were meant to come into her life and plant those seeds.
    I know you'll pass the exam with flying colors - you are a shining star!

  4. Wow! They couldn't be any more polar opposites! Hopefully you can be some goodness in her life :)

  5. Wow, that is such a sad story. What a blessing that you were there with your story. Such a difference!

    Praying you passed your exam! When do you find out?

  6. Wow. What a post. Such a stark contrast. I know of one couple that did IVF. It was so hard on her body. The ups and downs of different cycles and losses, the meds and hormones. I can't even imagine.

  7. I just continue to be amazed at what a witness you are. God makes sure you are in the right place and the right time!

    Prayers for her and her husband's healing.

  8. This is such a powerful story; thanks for sharing.

  9. I agree, what a powerful story. Think of all the people who will be able to avoid this, thanks to the work you are doing with Napro.

    Sometimes I really think you may end up being a saint.

  10. Wow, I think God put you in the path of that girl for a reason, hopefully she will get the right help!

    Good job on your test! :)

  11. Wow. Praise God for NaPro. God sure does bring people in our lives for certain reasons. He is working miracles through you:)

  12. Thank you for sharing. We are at the end of the foster/adopt program and should be certified soon. This gives me hope and yes, our marriage is intact.

  13. The Holy Spirit was indeed working through you!! And praying for you to pass the exam!!