Sunday, May 20, 2012

An IF heart among baby bumps

The arrival of Josemaria to our lives has healed my IF heart in so many ways,  yet  it has also made me yearn for more children badly and sometimes random things remind me that perhaps I will never again experience the wonder of having a life grow inside of me. And it  hurts and more knowing that time is short.

We are  also in no mans land also regarding our next  adoption.  We have already applied for a second one, but we have not  been able to start the formal process and we were told about a week ago that we should call again in 5 months.   FIVE months of no news.   My heart stopped when they told me this.

Five months of nothing.

 Just waiting and only then, maybe,  restart the whole process which each year is taking longer and longer.  A year and a half of waiting at least.    

The news coming from our agency are not good.

This also does not make it any easier.

And I do not need to look far for reminders that waiting is hard and that IF sucks and its not fair.

I work in an office that is  male dominated.  Each team has one or 2 women at the most, yet my team and PR are the ones with the most women.   4 internal employees and 2 external.

When I arrived the head of PR was 7 months pregnant.   She sat right in front of me.   I took things in stride when a lot of our lunch times focused on pregnancy talk and how they had planned for this baby exactly at a time when it was convenient for her career.

She and her DH each  had been married before and as she said: they each have their own children and now will share one between them.  After this one she says she is done.  Its already confusing enough for the children to continue adding to their family. These were her words.

His children, her child, their baby.

 I saw her belly grow and grow for 2 months until she left for maternity leave. She is now the mother of a little baby girl.

A few weeks into the job I learned that my counterpart (she sits right  behind me) was 2 months along.   In the next months I saw her belly grow and grow and I brought many of her cloth diapers from my trips to the USA of the last months.

Pregnancy and baby talk filled my lunch times again.   I took things in stride, yet my heart hurt each time she mentioned this was going to be her first and last.   She did not want any more.

 It was very easy for her to get pregnant and since this was the second marriage  for both (they got married just last week so the baby would have his last name and insurance, it did not have any meaning other than this to them ) and he has 2 children from his first marriage,  they have made the decision to close shop.  The exact words.

They do not want to risk another baby.  Risk!

So everyday I get to see  her belly grow and ache that I might never experience this again and know that she does not want to live it again.   That its almost a burden for her.

Then about a week ago I speak to the girl that sits right beside me.  She is from Europe, lives with her Mexican boyfriend, a divorced father of 2.  She told me she will start trying for a baby in the coming weeks  and get married after the baby is born  She is already doing some testing to check that all will be OK and then time conception according to their schedule.  So it fits their plans.

I sometimes feel when I hear her talk that it like planning a vacation or the purchase of  puppy.

Also when I asked here why not get married before, she says it really does not matter and also she wants a big party in both continents so it does not fit her schedule for now.  Better get pregnant first and maybe later do the marriage thing.

And then Friday of this week.   The girl that is an external employee and  that reports to me.   I see her coming and somewhat sense not all is OK.  I ask if she is feeling OK and she tells me right there:  "I am 2 months pregnant".

Again pregnant on the first try right when her first baby is 2 years of age.  She had mentioned to me that  she was thinking about it about 2 months ago and so on the very first try. ..pregnant again.

So my whole year will be filled with pregnancies timed to perfection, one in a second marriage, 2 in unmarried relationships (if her plans go as planned) and only one in a first marriage.  There is no way around it.  From January  to December and even beyond.

One sat in front of me, one sits behind me, one is right  at my side (the European girl who plans to start in a few weeks trying) and one reporting to me which I see every single  day. What are the odds?

Also... there are no other pregnancies in the office.  Only in my area and right around me.   I am a pregnancy magnet.

Only the other external employee who is a woman  is not pregnant  and has said she is finished with this.  Two was her plan and she has 2 so she has also closed shop.   She called differently from the others:.   Closed the factory.

And here we are , waiting, hoping, praying  that we are blessed again with a baby via a pregnancy or adoption yet being reminded each day that we are IF.

Not able to plan anything regarding the building of our family..

And everyday hearing comments such as: Closing shop,  closing the factory,  risking a pregnancy, done with my fertility,   planning a baby so it fits my schedule, marriage does not matter for a child, on the very first try....

It so hard.   Seeing how the culture of death has filled the minds and hearts of so many women and how for them everything is controllable.  Hearing them it seems that a baby is a right that suits your lifestyle.  

Yet for us that have always been open to life, that waited until marriage to be one,  for whom marriage is a life time commitment, that would be open to any baby  there are no  pregnancies and adoption is so, so far away.

Sometimes IF really really sucks

Monday, May 7, 2012

On the waiting list again

Today I called our adoption agency to be put on the waiting list to adopt once more. This means that in as little as a year (most probably 1.5  to 2   ) we could be parents again.

 Its so exciting and more so after being yesterday to the Basilica of Guadalupe to give Her thanks for our son.   I still remember being there many times begging, pleading, crying to Our Lady asking for Her help and intercession so we could be parents.  And there we were several years later with our son in our arms thanks clearly to Her.

The law  here states that you can adopt again when the baby is 2 years of age and Josemaria just turned 1 and we can get on the waiting list for the  paperwork and then take during the next year all the courses needed for this.  Once he is 2 the agency can grant us the permission to adopt again and  then its only time to wait for the baby destined for us.  (the agency assigns babies using prayer and physical characteristics. In our case almost like a miracle Josemaria truly looks like my DH and specially my father in law.  We have a picture from him as a baby and you cannot tell them apart)

Our agency is Catholic and they are extremely worried about what they are seeing in the couples coming to them so they  have implemented many new courses for first time and second time parents.  Just for example in our class one couple had 18 frozen embryos and she spoke of them as little eskimos.

Rampant use of IVF, no idea about what it entails, lack of basic religious preparation and much more , so they  are very concerned about the families where they are placing the children.  Although the criteria to be accepted by  the government  is very strict it does not ask for any of this,  so the agency has taken matters into their own hands making these courses mandatory.

We not only need to attend a 3 day  weekend intensive course for repeat adoptions (how to handle siblings, the challenges of telling the baby about its history, etc) even after taking 12 sessions over 4 months on adoption last year and reading many,  many books, but they have also made mandatory bioethics (yep, so people understand  what not to do and can start explaining to others what IVF and such really mean) and cathecism.   From what I understand its over 4 or 5 months of once a week  courses at night lasting over 3 to 4 hours each.    

Its very exciting to be on the path towards adoption again, yet  somewhat overwhelming.  Courses, paperwork, the wait....

We know that its the most wonderful thing we have ever  been through and Josemaria is worth all of this and more,    but all the paperwork that we will need to have and also all the new courses that we need to take will be a lot with now a baby and work,  plus FertilityCare (and my own medical treatment since we want to leave this door open as our hearts still tell us to do).  

I am starting to prepare myself mentally and focus on the end result, that we could be parents once more.  

The wait has also extended due to a very,  very sad reality.  Normally it was a year from the time you  received the paper work to the time you were assigned a baby, but now is has extended to 1.5 to 2  years.  Fewer  mothers and babies are arriving at our agency, yet the waiting list for IF couples grows each day.     Many beds are not being used.

This is because abortion is now available legally in Mexico city (the 5 year anniversary has passed recently and over 70 K abortions have taken place here).  Most states are still closed to abortion, yet is slowly making its way into the main cities.      US  private clinics funded by PP and Mary Stoopes and the such have had a field day here and continue to expand.  More and more babies are dying and less are coming to be saved to our agency.

It makes me sick to the stomach and every time I think about it I need to go and hug Josemaria tightly. We need to start praying for our future son or daughter now so she/him can be saved from this.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

An amazing movie you must see and an offer

Two quick takes first and then the review of the movie you MUST see.  

1st: A last minute offer:

 Tomorrow my DH and I will go in a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe with our parish.  We just made the decision early today.   The priests of have been allowed to celebrate mass at the High Altar of the Basilica right under the image of Our Lady on a Sunday of Easter in the month of Mary.  This is such a gift.
We can put all of your intentions in this mass at the altar.  Please put them in the comments section or send them via email:
I have on the top of my mind these:

  • Jelly belly so they finally conceive. 
  • TCIE: as promised every time I go there you are in the main intentions and more so after your last post and the call by Leila to pray
  • In thanks for JoAnn and baby Joseph.  
  • For the continued success of the Catholic Infertility Companion book
  • For the start of the Spanish IF online group and many other resources in Spanish.  

 But I can include as many as needed and light as promised a candle for each one.


The winner of the Catholic Infertility Companion  book  as chosen in the draw by my son Josemaria is:

Lucky as Sunshine  Please send me your info and I will make sure it gets to you!

Now for what had me up all  night with a smile.....

An Amazing movie you MUST see!  One that portrays Catholics living their faith!  that shows the lives and stories of  20 h century Martyrs in the large screen with top talent, with  wide distribution   (20th Century Fox) and whose main theme is religious freedom.  I still cannot believe it.  

Last night my DH and I this amazing movie:   For greater glory   AMAZING.

See the clip here: For greater glory

Here is the official page in English:

Here is an article about it:

Knights of Columbus: For greater glory

Its already out here in Mexico with great success  (nr 1 at the box office) and it will come June 1st to the USA.    All Catholics there should see it. Specially at this time where your religious  liberties are at stake, it will inspire you and while arms are not the best option, it really has a message to stand up for your faith.

Here is an American blogger saying why:

Why every American Catholic should see it

And what Carl Anderson from the Knights of Columbus had to say:

After seeing an advanced screening of the movie, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said, “For Greater Glory is a powerful film that provides a compelling account of a forgotten era of our continent’s history. In celebrating the centrality of religious freedom and man’s need for God, it tells a story of enduring relevance, and is ‘must-see’ viewing for all who care about faith and liberty today.”

The movie recounts the story of a horrid time for the Catholic faith in the 20th century.  After many attempts at controlling the Church here  in Mexico the bishops made the decision to shut all religious ceremonies in protest. ALL.

In protest against the government thousands of men, women and children decided to fight in a war called the Cristero war.  (its stems from their war cry: ¡Viva Cristo Rey!, Long live Christ the King!)

Some of them did is peacefully, some by protesting and others by going to war.  

My grandmother remembered these times and told me about them.  She had to have her 1st communion in hiding.  Many priests were killed and many had to hide in houses, basements and the mountains for months or years.   My DH`s grandfather was born in one of the most important cities for the Cristeros and up until his death was an extremely religious man that could not even speak of what he had seen.

Its also the time of the 1st large emigration of Mexicans to the USA, most fleeing from religious persecution here.

Really see it if you can.    It portrays the lives of  several   men and children  martyrs  and some are  have even been signaled as blessed like the child portrayed in the movie  Blessed José Sanchez del Rio  and some   others even saints.  Most famous is Miguel Pro, SJ a Jesuit that gave his life for  his faith.

JPII and Pope Benedict have given many speeches about these brave people.

And Pope Benedict just a few weeks ago celebrated Mass right where the Cristeros fought and not only this,  it was  only a few kilometers from the Christ the King monument built in remembrance of this war.

The movie is also amazing due to the combined efforts the USA and Mexico.   It has big name  cast   with Hollywood stars such as Andy Garcia (from what I have read a practicing  Catholic, father of 4, married for over 20 plus years) Eva Longoria and as a martyr priest: Peter O´Toole as well as Eduardo Verastegui from Bella  fame who has after his conversion become an outspoken speaker for his faith .

The producers are a mix: Pablo  José  Barroso, a very successful   Mexican businessman that as part of a conversion has decided to start producing movies with a message and Dean Anderson from the Knights of Columbus.

Really see it if you can.    Few movies have stirred my soul like this one and its not only because I am Mexican, but as a Catholic that daily sees our faith attacked it inspired me once more.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The one book I wish I had years ago

IMPORTANT:   I have one book from "The infertility Companion for Catholics"  to give away.  And Josemaria my son will choose the winner by EOD  May 4th.    Write in the comments section or send me an email and I will include you.    One important thing: in case you do not live in the USA and have therefore not been able/willing  to participate please do so here.    I have seen the statistics from my blog and know many of you live far away and I know how lonely it can be.    My offer is this:  I will make sure  you get it either by  sending  the copy I have from Mexico  to anywhere in the world you are or buy another one and send it via Amazon. Whichever is best, but lets not keep the distance from getting this book to you   =)

My review:

I am a voracious reader and have been since childhood.  Books have helped me learn, have given me  big dreams and in many cases have accompanied me spiritually.   

When I started to realize we were facing IF,  my natural instinct was to look for  books to accompany me  on my journey.   I bought many, even I could say I have over 20 on the subject from diet, to alternative therapies, to treatment options, to stress management, but none truly spoke to my heart.  

Most were from only a clinical perspective forgetting that we are not only body or mind and the few that addressed the spiritual part were not Catholic. 

I , and I know many others,  felt so alone.   How could this be possible? 

After many years one day I learned that "The infertility Companion for Catholics" was coming and could not believe it.   I went on Ama.zon and put my name on the waiting list.   I could not wait for April to come!!!!  

Then they put the online example and I browsed the index and could not believe it. Finally a book that addressed my pain, that spoke about the many aspects of IF and written by no other than 2 women friends, that had faced one primary infertility and the other secondary and that both were now  adoptive  and biological mothers.  They would for sure understand what we have faced and indeed they did! 

When my copy arrived a few weeks later I could not put it down. 

Page after page spoke about what I had felt, my questions, my anger at God, my rebellion, my growth in faith,  the challenges to my marriage, our miscarriage and adoption journey .   My book is full of annotations and many chapters I have reread.  

Some of the highlights for me:

·     I loved that the authors explain in chapter 4 in layman´s terms the treatment options for Catholics and in the back of the book  there are several resources where to find answers..   Although I have read many of the Churches document on the subject the authors clarified many points for me and manage to put everything in such a way that we can easily refer to or even show to people when they ask.  

·     Another very important chapter for me was chapter 5 on discerning God´s will  in our IF journey by using the discernment  method by St Ignatius of Loyola.  I had the privilege of studying at a Jesuit university and meeting a couple of amazing Jesuits, yet I never thought of using this method for my journey, yet is makes all the sense in the world since we are faced with so many little and big decisions.   I plan on using this chapter as we continue to face IF and we are still facing many decisions.

·     In chapter 7 the authors talk about bearing the cross of infertility and I found so many insights that almost the whole chapter is full of annotations, but one that I want to share here is:

  “Every day as we walk this journey, we await the miracle of a child.  But perhaps the miracle is our own transformation into more faithful Christians.  Christians who look in awe for miracles all around, but find that these miracles start slowly in the same way that the miracle of a seed becomes a giant tree.  Just as a seed needs to be nurtured by sunlight and water in order to grow,  we , too need to nurture ourselves and our relationship with God in order for the miracle of our transformation to transpire. “

This made me reflect for days and I am thinking of putting this in the sidebar of my blog.

    Chapter 10  I had to read slowly and with a tissue nearby  as it speaks about the pain of miscarriage.  Having been through I cannot be thankful enough to the authors for writing it.  When I came out of the hospital after my D&;C I did not know what to do.  To the world my son was just a bunch of cells, the pain of miscarriage much less than the one of a still birth and nothing compared to losing a baby, yet my pain was very deep, the most pain I had ever faced and it seemed nobody understood. Yet in this chapter the authors validate what I felt then and give many  resources to living through the grief.

I could write  a lot more about this amazing book, but for sure my review is nothing compared to it.   So go and buy it and buy more for your priest, friends and family!!   Lets show the world that we need these types of resources and that Catholics care by buying it here. The Infertility Companion for Catholics  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Where to go from here

My last results of my Napro testing have arrived.    After a month full of testing only a couple of  things seem  off, but maybe the key for why we have not conceived again.   I really do not know.  

Need to wait for the doctors to let me know next steps, but nothing clearly stands out from this testing.  I will spend the next days translating my studies and send to Gianna in the coming days. Maybe they will see something to address that me as a normal person cannot see.

Yet I feel:    Arghhhhh!

I thought we would find something specific to address.  Something to focus on, a red flag.

My chart looks amazing
My blood work on P+7 is great
Estradiol is almost from a book
U/S found normal follicles.
My DH increased numbers
etc etc.

So my plan is to address  for now,  until they give me directions,  these couple of  things  that I understand are not perfect and really, really focus on general health.  I have not been doing a good job about it.  There seems nowhere else to go from here,  but this.  

When I got pregnant I kept a diary for fertility.  I found one in an Ame. rican Bookstore here in Mexico city.  Its normally used for IVF cycles, but I used to record my feelings, my exercise, my diet and to keep myself accountable.

I put into practice a lot of the stuff I was told to do by Rand.ine lewis from the Infertilty Cure (I was to one of her retreats)¡ I went to a functional nutritionist, read all my books again and devised a health plan for myself on what made sense to me.  

 I am no sure the connection since I also was doing Napro and TCM also,   but I got pregnant on the 3 rd month of using the journal and doing all the health recommendations.  

So I will go back to it and record all of this.    It cannot hurt and if I do not get pregnant Josemaria will have a much healthier mother which would be also great.  

My only medical findings:


  • FSH day 5: increased from 7.5 to 9.  Nine is  still OK, but not perfect.     IVF clinics would still take me as a patient.   Napro does not consider it important only,  from what I understand,  if its way higher.  For this I will read the book Inconceivable which is very encouraging.   
  • Low vitamin D  (actually very low).   Which we need to address since its a crucial component for health.  It prevents cancer, helps with hormones, fights depression etc.  They have in the last years discovered it to be a major vitamin.    So the plan is: more sun (only using sunblock in face and neck)  and start vitamin supplements , 2000 IU a day.   I will still have an appointment with the nutritionist.  

General health. Reading my fertilty journal  again I am not doing most of the stuff I was doing then. Here is a summary of where I am  in case it help anybody and what I will focus on:

  • I have started to drink caffeine since starting my new job, and have not really focused on my  diet. So first step:  stop the caffeine!!!  
  • I need to lose 8 kilos ( 17 pounds ) to be in a perfect, perfect weight, but the doctor has said that by losing 8 pounds I would be in healthy range.   My body mass index shows high percentage of fat which is normal with thyroid issues (plus my lack of exercise) and it would be great to lose it.  So nutritionist here I come
  • I have a disaster with all my supplements.   I need to go over them again with a functional medicine nutritionist.   So many books and so many different viewpoints.  This confirms that I need to go to the nutritionist and the only that I really found to be compatible with Napro are the functional medicine ones.   They are simply amazing since they look at the person as a whole and also see infertility as a disease to be treated.  The nutritionist was open to explore with me the recommendations by dr. H (fish oil, pycnogenol etc) and also the ones by the book Fertil.ty cycles and nutr.ition.  She put me on an anti inflammatory diet and tons of natural supplements. I lost a lot of weight, tons of inflammation , etc.  It was amazing.  
  • Stress has been high.  My work is very demanding and also I have had several very difficult charting cases, plus other stuff going on.  I need to  relax. I have several tapes on this from, and other authors.  While not  all Christian I will focus on the aspects I knew were not contrary to my faith and the rest I  will not do 
  • Exercise:  I have not exercised in the last 3 months with all the travel,  childcare duties and work. and this does not help with the weight, nor with the stress.  When we conceived I was doing NIA (a type of free form dance which I love) , also breathing work and Chi Kung (slow movements with breathing that according to TCM help move the body energy

I will post more once Gianna answers and I meet with the nutritionist in case it helps any older women.