Sunday, January 30, 2011

Because Babies are Just Another Accessory

Has anyone seen this commercial?

It sickens me.  It's a commercial for a contraceptive called Beyaz, during which several women are canvassing a trendy little boutique picking out life priorities.  The most horrific scene is when the stork approaches one woman and she puts her hand up to it as if to say, "Oh no...I couldn't possibly!"  The ad, of course, is not supposed to be horrific.  It's supposed to be visually and emotionally appealing to the 21st Century empowered woman!  But to an infertile devout Catholic who is open to life and actually views children as - GASP! - blessings from God, this is nothing short of appalling.

Though I suppose it shouldn't be, as 21st Century women have been conditioned into thinking that babies are nothing more than accessories, to have whenever it's convenient for us, as long as they don't interfere with our, you know, important life plans like traveling to Paris and buying a house.

Except that contraception has done everything but empower women.  It has turned us into objects.  It has taught men that we can be used.  It has taught society to devalue and dehumanize women and unborn children.  It has perpetuated the God-less, and love-less instances of sex.  It has removed the intrinsic beauty and purpose of sexuality.  Janet Smith analyzes this wonderfully in her article, "The Social Footprints of Contraception" so I won't go on.

So I guess it shouldn't be so surprising to see ads like this.  Don't get me wrong...every birth control commercial makes me queasy.  I can't stand the fact that contraception is pushed so heavily on our culture.  It is, of course, the reason for so many unexpected and teenage pregnancies, failed marriages, and abortions. But this one stood out so glaringly as anti-life and anti-baby that I couldn't help but vent about it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

HSG Results - Help!

I had my HSG this morning.  I'm not sure what to think of the results.  There's still no real answer, but at least we're making progress.  My tubes aren't blocked...the solution traveled through them fine.  But the doc did find a polyp, which she said isn't necessarily blocking the tubes, but it still may or may not be affecting my ability to get pregnant.

She gave me films to take to my Creighton doc just in case I want to go to her to have it removed (for insurance purposes).  But my Creighton doc doesn't take my insurance anyway, so "Dr. Secular" is going to remove it.  I need to get that scheduled.

Anyone have results like this?  Any advice you can give me?  Could the polyp, although not blocking my tubes, still be causing my IF???

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On a Roller Coaster & HSG is official!

I'm on an emotional roller coaster today!  As you know, last week was really intense getting ready for the March for Life with tons of events & activities.  Monday was the March and it's always a major high to go there and witness for life.  And it's especially great to be reminded that we're not alone!  The number of young people there is so encouraging!  Then, of course, I got to meet one of my pro-life heroes!  It was a terrific day & I still need to post more pictures!

Of course all of the exhilarating March activities were tarnished by the horrifying news from Philadelphia.  So yesterday my organization all met up to discuss our next steps, since this abortionist used to practice in Delaware.  We decided we needed to hold a press conference and urge the Attorney General to investigate the clinic where he worked.  So...that's tomorrow and it's just a *tad* stressful to put it together so quickly!  So I'm dealing with that.

Back to the other hand again -- I FINALLY GOT MY HSG SCHEDULED!!!  Let me tell you, this has been a source of stress lately.  I was supposed to call on CD1 and have the procedure scheduled between CD7-10.  Of course CD1 was a Saturday so I had to wait till CD3 to even get in touch with someone.  Long story short, I had to go through a run-around of people not answering phones or calling me back while my window of opportunity kept getting smaller.  Not to mention that two of the available procedure days were over the weekend so that made it even smaller!!!

But I finally got through and it's on the books.  I'm SOOOOO excited to finally have this procedure done!!  I'll be having it Friday morning, so prayers are much appreciated.  Obviously I don't want anything to be wrong with me, but if there is, at least that means we've identified a problem and can hopefully fix it - and move forward!!  After FOUR years of relatively no progress, I finally have a glimmer of hope!!

THANKS so much for all of your prayers, support, and encouragement lately!  You ladies are awesome - I wish I'd have found you sooner!  :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

My idea of a celebrity

...looks an awful lot like this woman:

Yes, this is the beautiful, amazing, pro-life champion, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann!  I was so lucky to have run into her in the halls of Congress today!  In fact, I didn't even see her at first.  We were just walking out of Mike Pence's office (because I'm originally from Indiana) and she saw us and asked if we were in town for the March.  I turned around, noticed who made the comment, and my knees went weak!  No literally, I just. about. lost it.  I might as well have been 14 years old and backstage at a Taylor Swift concert.  I so wish my husband had been on the other side of me to see if I looked as pathetic as I feel like I did!  As though we were old friends, I reached my arms out to give her a big bear hug.  God bless her, she hugged me right back!  She even knelt down to say hi to Jack and asked him how his day was going!  She was beyond kind and even humble - a virtue so lacking in our nation's capital.

See, I've never been one to get starstruck by celebrities.  In fact, I don't necessarily consider celebrity to be the same as what society considers to be celebrity.  I don't think people should be revered simply for looking beautiful or for using their talents (or lack thereof) to corrupt our culture.  Personally, I "celebritize" (Blogger is telling me I just made up a word) people with brains who use their talents to forward the common good.  People who choose to make a real difference, especially if it's unpopular with the "cool kids" (as opposed to jumping onto the latest trendy bandwagon Hollywood cause).

And this woman sets the bar.  She is an unflinching advocate for the unborn.  She is a successful attorney from Minnesota, has 5 kids, and she and her husband have fostered TWENTY-THREE children!!  (Where on earth she finds the time, I'll never understand.)  And she is one of the leading pro-life advocates on Capitol Hill.  She has been one of my heroes for several years.  I have so much respect for her.  It was a thrill getting to meet her!

That was certainly the highlight of my day, but I have plenty more pictures to share.  But it's been a long day, so more tomorrow!

PS: Please note that no, I do not weigh 300 pounds.  It was a high of 23 degrees today so I was ultra-layered!  Which also means I was not wearing my most flattering pants!  :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On this day...

On this day 38 years ago, our nation decriminalized murder -- the murder of a particular class of human beings who was deemed less than human by unelected judges.  And in these 38 years, we have lost 50 million of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

Born in 1978, I am an abortion survivor.  I will march on Monday, while 1/3 of my generation intercedes from Heaven.

On this day of remembrance*, please join me in prayer:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father, Creator of the world, have mercy on us. RESPONSE: Have mercy on us!
God the Son, through whom all things were made,
God the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life,
Lord Jesus, the Beginning and the End,
Lord Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
Lord Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life,
Lord Jesus, Eternal Word of Life,
Lord Jesus, living in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
Lord Jesus, Lover of the poor and weak,
Lord Jesus, Defender of the helpless,
Lord Jesus, Bread of Life,

For every sin against life,
For the sin of abortion,
For the daily killing of innocent babies,
For the bloodshed throughout our land,
For the silent screams of Your children,
For the killing of Your future disciples,
For the exploitation of women by abortion,
For the silence of Your people,
For the apathy of Your people,
For the co-operation of Your people in this tragedy,

For our pre-born brothers and sisters killed by abortion, RESPONSE: Lord, hear our prayer.
For our pre-born brothers and sisters threatened by abortion,
For our brothers and sisters who have survived abortion,
For mothers who have had abortions,
For mothers tempted to have abortions,
For mothers pressured to have abortions,
For mothers who have refused to have abortions,
For the fathers of aborted babies,
For the families of aborted babies,
For the families of those tempted to have abortions
For abortionists,
For all who assist and cooperate in abortions,
For doctors and nurses, that they may nurture life,
For government leaders, that they may defend life,
For the clergy, that they may speak up for life,
For the pro-life movement,
For those who speak, write, and work to end abortion,
For those who help provide alternatives to abortion…
For those who promote adoption,
For national and local pro-life groups,
For unity in the pro-life movement,

For courage and perseverance in pro-life work,
For those who suffer ridicule and rejection for their stand for life,
For those imprisoned for defending life,
For those who have been injured and mistreated for defending life,
For legal professionals,
For courts and judges,
For police officers,
For educators,
For media professionals,

In thanksgiving for the babies saved from abortion,
In thanksgiving for the mothers saved and healed from abortion,
In thanksgiving for the former abortion providers who have become pro-life,
In thanksgiving for all those who take a stand against abortion,
In thanksgiving for the call to be part of the pro-life movement,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us,

O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us pray,

Almighty and ever-living God, You have created all things through Your Son Jesus Christ. He trampled the power of death by His Paschal Mystery. May all who acknowledge You promote the sacredness of life and always serve You faithfully, through the same Christ our Lord.


*Update: As typically happens on significant days, CD1 has arrived.  I guess the silver lining is that I get to schedule my HSG.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Marching Delawareans

Here are a few pics of our local March for Life in Wilmington today.  It was about 20 degrees with wind chills at 0, but as you can see, we have some courageous pro-lifers here in Delaware!

As you can see out front, PP always hires off-duty cops on baby-killing day (Fridays).  They had nearly their entire staff of whom was recording us walking by.  I'm sure she was hoping to "get us" on something, but unfortunately for her, WE actually follow the law!

On to Monday!  Have a great weekend everyone!

"Ask Them What They Mean by Choice" Blog Day!!

Thanks, Jill Stanek!  Today is "Ask Them What They Mean by Choice" blog day!  From Jill:
"Today’s the day! 87 89 pro-life bloggers* have signed up to respond to NARAL’s“Blog for Choice Day” with our own “Ask Them What They MEAN By ‘CHOICE‘ Blog Day.” When you write something on your blog, post a link in my comments section.
Facebook users please click “Like” to this post and add your own comment.
Twitter users please add hashtags #BlogforChoiceDay and #prochoice to your tweets. Also copy @NARAL and @JillStanek if you have room. I’ll try to retweet."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three Down...

Three down, two to go!  Pro-life events for this week, that is.  Unfortunately most of the events have been clouded by the recent horrific news out of Philadelphia.  And I thought the week was going to be difficult enough to get through.  Then I have to publicly confront an atrocity like this.  I literally have to compartmentalize my infertility at times like this.

On Monday night we screened the documentary Blood Money.  I know, I know...I keep talking about this film.  But that's how much I believe in it -- this film is a MUST SEE for everyone.  If you're pro-life, it affirms your position and even makes you more convicted.  You'll learn things you never thought possible.  If you're pro-choice, I dare you to defend your case after seeing this film.  I warn you though...if you're a fellow IF or are trying to adopt, this will be difficult to watch.  But please don't let that stop you.

Yesterday I spoke to 7th & 8th graders.  It went rather well, and I think we really made an impact on the kids.

Then, the news broke.  Emails circulated, press releases released, phone calls came in.  The last 24 hours have been hectic.

I was a guest on a radio show this morning.  Fortunately it wasn't too hostile and most of the callers were sympathetic.  But just having to do the research about this Philadelphia case for the show and talk about it in public are difficult.  And could be unbearable if I wasn't able to emotionally separate my work and personal lives.

Because when you go on a radio show to discuss something like this, you have to read the DA's report.  You have to read the grisly details.  You have to look at the photos.  If I let myself think too much about how I would adopt one of those poor, tortured babies in a heartbeat, I couldn't carry on.  (You might wonder why a pro-lifer from Delaware needs to be so involved in a case out of Philadelphia.  Geographically, we're very close, and this abortionist used to kill babies at a clinic in Delaware until he lost his license recently.  Also, two women from Delaware are being charged in the case.  This story hits very close to home.)

So I remind myself that this is my vocation.  God gave me the talents and put me in a place to do this job and I have to march on.  Because babies need advocates like you & me to prevent this horror from continuing.

Please keep us and the hundreds of thousands of others who will march on Washington on Monday in prayer!  I wish you all could be there and we could march together!  :)  I will definitely post pics!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Just up the road from me, lies Gomorrah.

This "doctor" used to kill babies in my state, too.

Update: Ace of Spades nails it:
"Partial birth abortion -- a technique I assume she supports -- consists of delivering just the body of the infant (and all limbs), then scissoring the head that remains in utero and collapsing the skull by use of powerful vacuum and then finally pulling the baby out the remaining four or five inches; I'm a bit mystified at how that technique is a super-duper legal one and the doctor's "let's cut out the middleman" version of it is illegal, and murder, and not really an abortion."
As I keep saying to those trying to argue that this is not the same as abortion:
"Tell me - why, to abortion activists, is George Tiller considered a hero and Kermit Gosnell considered a horrific monster? Because Tiller hadn't yet delivered the head? Because he killed the babies 2 minutes earlier? Everything BUT the head is delivered, scissors pierce the skull = hero. Head is delivered, scissors pierce the spine = monster. If you were truly - and I mean TRULY - trying to be a logical person, you would see the irony."
Update 2: The Anchoress makes a VERY good and important point -- the fact that our own president voted IN FAVOR of a bill that would have made Kermit Gosnell's actions perfectly legal:
"But some of our most prominent politicians have voted against the very bill — the “born alive” bill — that defines such behavior as criminal. Meaning, I guess, that if only enough politicians had voted with Sen. Barack Obama, Gosnell’s behavior would not be “criminal” at all, and therefore we wouldn’t even be talking about it?"

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us!

Today's Awesome Quote

"It's only when parenthood is planned that Planned Parenthood loses."

~ Alveda King, from the documentary Blood Money

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Being Infertile in January

I hope you're sitting down.  Because I'm about to announce a MAJOR newsflash:  I’m a pro-lifer! I know, I know. When you’ve finished gasping for breath I’ll go on.

I’m also secondarily infertile. Again…catch your breath.  Breathe...breathe....

OK…ready?? Moving on…

So…….this isn’t always an easy mix. Because of Roe vs. Wade’s anniversary, January is the busiest month of the year for pro-life activists. For an infertile pro-life activist it can also be the toughest.

My job, as the president of the board of my state pro-life organization, is to “educate citizens on life issues.” More specifically, we staff exhibit tables, speak to groups, hold prayer vigils, etc. Pretty much anything that educates. Ironic, right?  :)

And I'm sure it goes without saying why that makes my infertile situation so difficult.

Disclaimer: I don’t write this post because I feel sorry for myself (well, haha, sometimes quite frankly I do!), or because I want you to feel sorry for me, or to make myself sound like some sort of hero. I assure you I’m NOT.  I do this because I believe it's my vocation.  And clearly I don’t do my work in the most graceful, penitential manner. I believe the pro-life issue is the most important one the Catholic Church stands for, because without life, then none of the other issues even exist. I’m just using this forum to speak honestly about my trials. I know my infertility is my cross and I must bear it with humility. I just haven’t achieved that humility thing quite yet.

Anyway, let me give you a couple of examples:
1. I spoke to a Baptist church’s youth group awhile back. The youth pastor had asked us to speak because he was concerned about some of his members’ pro-“choice” views. During the presentation, we showed the group what a 10-week post-conception baby looked like. One of the girls, probably no older than 15, gasped slightly and admitted without remorse, “Wow, mine was 15 weeks. I had to go to New Jersey for my abortion.” Ugh. *SUCKER PUNCH*

2. Prayer vigils. Standing outside an abortion clinic and watching desperate women enter, feeling they have no other option besides abortion is probably the most painful of my duties. I want to stop every one of them and say – “You DO have another option!! And I’m standing right here!” Unfortunately very few women actually stop to talk to sidewalk counselors, because they’ve already made their decision. Standing there praying that women change their minds about killing their unborn children is almost too much to bear. But I do it. Because they need the prayers. And God knows I need the penance!
Let me be clear – it’s not like I expected anything different when I entered pro-life leadership! I was basically a pro-life activist in the womb, thanks to my parents, so I knew all of the excuses, justifications, and arguments already.  I knew what I was getting into.  But I wasn’t (or didn’t know I was) infertile when I started really getting into the movement at this stage of my life. So especially at first it was difficult to come to terms with.

We’re in a small, very liberal state where the pro-life community is subsequently rather small. My husband swears that we haven’t gotten pregnant because God needs my energy to be focused on this task, in this place, at this time. Which makes sense and I get that – no matter how hard we try, we seem to be stuck here! Not that I believe myself to be irreplaceable, but I just don’t think there’s anyone out there right now who has the time to put into what I do.  I have a hard enough time trying to fill open commitee positions on my board!  Although I hope that the next generation will provide a strong new leader in the next few years. But I’m trying to focus on the fact that this is where I’m needed right now.

So today officially starts my busy week. Tonight we’re screening the film Blood Money at the local indie theater, tomorrow I’m speaking to students in 7th & 8th grades to prepare them for their trip to D.C., Thursday I'm being interviewed on a local radio show by a less-than-sympathetic host, Friday is our local March for Life, and Monday I will head to D.C. for the national March for Life. The best (only?) way for me to get through it is to push my own problems to the back of my mind for a few days.  (And alcohol.  Oops...was that out loud??  :) )  And I will get through it. Probably not without some veiled tears, but I will.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Was Martin Luther King, Jr. Pro-life?

A lot of controversy exists surrounding whether or not Martin Luther King, Jr. was pro-life.  Of course he was, right?  He was the greatest civil rights leader of our time!  But because he was asassinated prior to the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, and because there don't seem to be any quotes from him directly related to abortion, there is a lot of uncertainty about his views on the issue.  His niece, Dr. Alveda King, is an avid pro-life activist and insists that yes, her uncle would have indeed fought for the protection of the unborn.

Unfortunately, abortion-rights activists attempt to claim that Dr. King would have fought for abortion/women's "reproductive" rights.  There is some basis 1966 he was given a Planned Parenthood award in honor Margaret Sanger.  Of course, this was prior to the legalization of abortion, but can we assume that his acceptance of the award proved his acceptance of Sanger's utilitarian, population-control beliefs as well?   On the other hand, it's important to note that his wife, a known pro-abort, accepted the award on his behalf, so the jury is still out on whether or not he actually wanted to accept the award.  He himself did not even attend the ceremony.

But -- assuming that Dr. King did agree to and allow his wife to accept the award in his honor, this is certainly a dichotomy, as Sanger was also an avid proponent of the extermination of the black race.

So what would Dr. King say today of the disproportionate number of black babies aborted in this country, often referred to as "black genocide?"

In Delaware alone, almost as many black babies are aborted as are born.  Nationally, 78% of Planned Parenthood's clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America.  Are they being targeted?  If so, isn't that indeed genocide?  And wouldn't Dr. King protest this behavior?

One of Dr. King's most famous quotes is, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for personal comfort and safety." 

Many of today's prominent black pro-life leaders affirm Dr. King's presumed pro-life views.  Most prominently, Alveda King maintains that her uncle's civil rights activism extended to those in the womb.  She has written an open letter to leaders in the black community attesting to it.

Personally, I would of course like to think that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s civil rights activism encompassed unborn children, because I believe that abortion is the greatest civil rights issue of our nation's history.  But I really just can't get past the Margaret Sanger award, whether his wife accepted it or not.  She was black too, so why on earth would she accept an award in honor of a eugenist? 

I applaud the work Alveda King does on behalf of the unborn and she is a fearless leader in the black community.  I can only hope that she truly is carrying on her uncle's legacy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Prayer Request

My family would appreciate prayers for my cousin's family.  I received a horrible phone call today that a cousin of mine lost her 16 month old daughter to a very sudden brain tumor.  The worst part is that it was only a matter of days between the time the baby started acting sick to when she died.  If you would join us in prayer, I'm certain her young parents and sister can really use it right now. 
To You, O Lord, we humbly entrust this child, so precious in Your sight. Take her into Your arms and welcome her into paradise, where there will be no sorrow, no weeping nor pain, but the fullness of peace and joy with Your Son and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My backyard and 2011 Patron Saint

This is my backyard.  And I LOVE it!  Jack's not at school today so we'll be going out sledding later!  I'm such a winter nerd!

I love Jen's suggestion of randomly generating a Patron Saint for 2011.  So I stole it!  :) 

My Patron Saint for 2011 is..............................St. Rose of Lima

My chin almost hit the floor when her name popped up on my screen because my husband and I always said if we have a girl we will name her ROSE!  Is it a sign???  I don't want to get TOO optimistic, so for now we'll just say it's a crazy coincidence!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Speaking to Pro "Choice" Youth

I got asked this morning by my son's preschool teacher (she's a nun and teaches 8th grade in the afternoon) if I could speak to her class before the March for Life.  I was thrilled to be asked out of the blue because I LOVE talking to youth about life issues.  In addition, my pro-life New Year's Resolution was to get into more schools and educate more students and staff on the issues!  Then I got a another out-of-the-blue call from an educator at a charter school asking if I could come speak to her students!  If that's not a sign from God, then I don't believe they exist!
My son's teacher approached me because in some of their talks about attending the March for Life, some students (apparently one girl in particular) claimed to be "very pro-choice."  (DISCLAIMER: I absolutely loathe the term "pro-choice."  It's misleading, distracting, and an outright lie within the context of abortion.  But I will use it here in an attempt to be bit more merciful towards pre-teens who have been conditioned by the MTV culture.)  So his teacher wanted me to give the kids some Catholic pro-life apologetics!

The second situation in the charter school, was nothing less than Divine intervention.  The woman who called me spoke at our 40 Days for Life kick-off event this past fall, though she didn't remember me well (I don't organize that event).  Deb* said she is filling in for a woman on pregnancy leave for an organization that works with and in schools in inner cities (she's not officially a school employee).  She recently attended a staff meeting where teenage pregnancy was brought up and another administrator commented, "Oh then we better get Planned Parenthood in here."  Grrr!  It's so frustrating that PP is the go-to when teen pregnancy arises, even though our local crisis pregnancy center does a FABULOUS and positive curriculum on abstinence and human sexuality. 

THANK GOD Deb happened to be there at that exact moment, because she immediately thought, "Not good...these kids need to hear the other side of the story -- the Truth."  Ironically Deb's last day is Thursday!  Who but God could have orchestrated something so serendipitous?!?

As I mentioned, I absolutely love talking to students about the pro-life issue.  But it can often be a double-edged sword.   It's in these situations that I can feel the Holy Spirit working through me more than ever.  In fact, I often don't even feel like I'm the one formulating the words and thoughts in my head.  Afterwards I often think back and realize it was almost like I was hovering over my own body, watching the Holy Spirit take over!  It's the most amazing experience!

The other edge of that sword is the complete opposite end of the spectrum.  The justifications that come from the kids in attempting to defend such a horrendous act are chilling.  It's frightening what they pick up from the secular culture...even Catholic kids.  And it stems from a striking lack of education.  They unknowingly take up a hierarchical view that somehow they themselves are worthy of living on this earth and they're able to decide who else gets to and why. 

Never was this more evident than when my organization sponsored a Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) last spring at our local university.

For instance:

Justification #1: Abortion should be legal because some kids will inevitably have "crappy lives."

Well, Mr. Perfect Life, please enlighten us on what it's like to live such a privileged existence!  And, by the way, who was it again that made you the arbiter of said "crappy lives," you white, affluent, college-educated student?!?  And furthermore, please define "crappy life."  There's a chance even I might fit into your definition.  Then what?  What do we do with the already-born people who have "crappy lives?"  And why do they have more of a right to be here than unborn children who just have the potential to have a "crappy life?"

Justification #2: Abortion should be legal because we need to control the population. first!  If we're just going to start offing people because there are too many of us, why not get the ball rolling yourself?!?  Because, see, you're already emitting dangerous greenhouse gasses.  Why don't you reduce your carbon footprint right now?  (Obviously I'm not really advocating that population-control supporters start killing themselves, I'm just pointing out the absurdity of the argument.) 

And these are just two of the hundreds of "I'm worthy of living on this Earth, but I'll make the judgement about who else gets to live here with me" type arguments. 

I know it's not just students who make these justifications.  But it's more troubling when they do.  They haven't even yet lived in the cold, hard world (most of the ones I've heard make these arguments), so where do they get these cold, hard views?  Oh wait - probably MTV.

This is all the more reason we need to make abortion and all of its contributors, including sex and contraception, THE most important political, social, and religious issue they learn in the home.  Otherwise they get mixed signals, foggy messaging, and twisted morals from our secular culture.  And I don't think the Catholic church very often looks to MTV for guidance.

*Deb's name has been changed to protect her anonymity.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Infertile Holidays

I REALLY wish I had been IF blogging during the holiday season.  I could have used the support of other infertile, encouraging, prayerful, bitter, optimistic, jealous, confused, supportive ladies.

Let me give you a little preface of what I was getting myself into.  I've been dealing with IF for 4 years.  In that time I've had two relatives get pregnant out of wedlock.  I admit, I have handled both situations in less than a Christ-like manner.  I have responded with bitterness, jealousy, and abandonment.  I've gone through the spectrum of emotions: "It's not 'fair,'" "Why bother doing things the 'right' way?  It doesn't matter anyway," I'm sure you all get the point.  I stopped praying.  It seemed futile.  I'm still not in the best place spiritually.  But somehow I'm still completely faithful to my Church and its teachings and know that its way is the right way.  I know in my heart that things are happening according to God's plan.  I do.  It's just hard to remember sometimes.

In one situation (baby #1), the couple was living together and likely to get married in the future.  The woman (who is married into the family) is someone I love like a sister and get along with really well.  We don't have a lot of deep, important issues in common, but our personalities click and I'm so happy to have her in the family (they have since gotten married by the Justice of the Peace).  The couple is not Catholic (he was raised but is not practicing...she was not raised Catholic) and they were actually trying to get pregnant.  It wasn't condoned by the parents, which made for a tough situation.  Usually when unmarried couples get pregnant it's an "Oops!" moment.  So how do you react when the unmarried pregnant family members expect you to be excited for them?

Obviously, as a Catholic, their situation was one that I don't believe is morally acceptable, but it doesn't make me love them any less.'d never know that by the way I reacted to the situation.  It "wasn't fair."  I retreated, pouted, and literally did not talk to her the entire time she was pregnant.  It was JUST. TOO. HARD.

In the other situation (baby #2), the relative was in an emotionally abusive relationship, unmarried, and likely not to get married.  She's relatively irresponsible, has fallen away from the Church (though I'm not sure she would say she was ever a faithful Catholic), and is practicing Buddhism.  She flippantly wavered back and forth about whether or not to have the baby.  She finally chose to have the child, commenting, "It's not like a baby has to ruin my career."  How selfless.  I tried my best to be supportive while she was on the fence, afraid that any wrong move might convince her to abort (I even offered to adopt the baby). 

I later learned that this baby was not her first pregnancy.  Just a couple of months before she found out she was pregnant, she had had an abortion.  Needless to say, this was just too much for me to take.  When I found out, I felt like I had been stabbed in the gut.  Talk about not fair!  (I know, I know.  I'm fully aware that my version of "fair" is not the same as God's.  But just because I know it, doesn't mean it's easy to submit to.)

How's that for a wordy backstory?  So these past holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was going to see both of them, respectively.  I was dreading it.  Not necessarily because I didn't want to see them, I just didn't know if I could handle it.  I didn't know if I could act like a normal human being.  But I had no choice.  I had to handle it.  So I bucked up and put on my game face. 

We got up on Thanksgiving morning and got ready to see baby #1 for the first time.  Did I mention I was dreading it?  But I was trying to keep my mind on other things.  I made a lot of food, bought some gifts, and tried to focus on the real meaning of the holiday.  We're getting ready to leave, packing up the car, and then, the mother of all insults - I START MY PERIOD.  Yes.  Thanksgiving morning.  Happy Thanksgiving to me.  I felt like God was metaphorically throwing salt in my wound.  It was horrible.  And it made the anticipation that much worse.  But I got through it.  The fact that baby #1's mom is completely understanding of my religious beliefs and knows my situation made it bearable.  Thankfully, since baby #1's birth,  I've been able to open up to her and tell her how I feel and why this is so hard for me.  Oh...and why I've been acting like such a child.  And she's sympathetic, God bless her.  I know some women would be mad that I just couldn't be happy for them, and write me off as a selfish jerk.  So in that respect, I'm blessed to have such an understanding relative.  All in all, the weekend ended up being relatively bearable.  Once I got over myself and put my mind on other things, I was able to get through it. 

Then came Christmas.  We traveled on Christmas Eve.  I was 3 days late (fyi I'm not currently charting so I have no idea how many P+'s I was).  I was *hoping*, *praying* for a Christmas miracle!  I tried SO hard to take my mind off of that thought to avoid disappointment, but every day that passes is like a tiny miracle in itself (my cycles are very regular in number of days).  I went over in my head how being pregnant right now would be the perfect timing for so many reasons.  Jack would be starting school full-day, 2011 is not an election year so I wouldn't be as busy, I just got rejected from a fellowship I applied for (of course Divinely, because I was pregnant!), etc. etc. 

Christmas Day was my 4th day late.  I just knew I should have started by now.  We got up with Jack to open presents.  I stopped to use the restroom before going upstairs, still praying for no indication of a period.  But...there she was.  AF.  ARE.  YOU.  KIDDING.  ME.  Christmas Day!!! 

I'm telling you I was a heartbeat away from throwing it all away and giving up.  I was angry.  I was angry with God.  And I told him.  I told him it wasn't fair.  I mean, it's one thing to know I'm not pregnant on Day 28, like clockwork.  But to make me 4 days late only to start on Christmas DAY, after having started my last period on Thanksgiving Day?!?!???  What are you doing to me?!?!??  I knew I was being punished.  Punished for how I reacted to baby #1 and baby #2.  Punished for not being ecstatically excited when I found out I was pregnant with Jack.  It was a rough day and difficult to enjoy, which made me then feel guilty that I couldn't just enjoy the wonderfully perfect child I already don't deserve, and make this day fun and special for him.  Which made me then think "no wonder I'm not pregnant, I'm a horrible mother!!"  It's a vicious cycle.

The next day was spent with baby #2.  I survived, thanks in no small part to the fact that brunch was served with screwdrivers and mimosas.  But it was unbelieveably difficult.

The past couple of weeks have consisted of a lot of healing and discernment.  Though probably not enough.  I'm still in a place of confusion and a little resentment and anger, but it's getting better.  (She probably doesn't know it, but much of any healing I've done is thanks to Leila, which will require a full-length post in the future!)  I'm getting over my pride and asking the Lord for help.  I'm saying my Rosary.  And I finally have hope, ironically, thanks to "Dr. Secular." 

I'll update with more thoughts and progress in the coming weeks.  As always, prayers are appreciated!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Baptism, Priests for Life, and a Little Pro-Life Apologetics

Happy Baptism of The Lord!  Fr. Denis Wilde from Priests for Life spoke at our mass this morning.  I absolutely love the ministry of Priests for Life.  Being a state Right to Life director myself, we use a lot of their resources in our ministry.  Our organization is officially non-denominational, but most of what P4L evangelizes transcends denomination. 

Fr. Wilde gave a brilliant, yet simply stated homily about some general pro-life statistics and apologetics.  He talked about how many lives have been lost to abortion since the most horrific day in our nation's history - January 22, 1973.  He urged pro-lifers not to use the term "pro-choice," an argument I make all the time!  Calling oneself "pro-choice" ignores the fundamental issue.  If I asked you out of the abortion context to raise your hand if you wanted to "make a choice," you would certainly ask me, "Well, what choice do you want me to make?"  I would hope you would ask what the choices are before you were forced to make one!  But this is how the pro-abortion lobby has successfully deceived our society.  They have semantically simplified the killing of babies by calling the act a "choice."  Everyone is "pro-choice" in most aspects of our lives.  But choosing to beat your wife, rob a bank, or molest a child, for example, doesn't make it morally acceptable just by calling it a "choice."'

Father also refuted the popular pro-abortion argument that says, "I would never have an abortion, but I don't think the Catholic Church should force their morals onto other people (or that the government should be involved, etc)."  The pro-life rebuttal is similar to the one I made above.  Every law is someone's morality being "forced" onto society.  You would never make the argument, "I would never molest a child, but I don't think the government should be involved in that decision."  I know that sounds completely absurd...perhaps callous...but moral evil is moral evil.  It is never justified by saying "I would never do it but for some people, in some situations, it's ok."

Having Fr. Wilde speak on pro-life issues at the mass of the Baptism of Our Lord, rounding out the Christmas season, was so fitting.  It was refreshing to hear a priest candidly and confidently champion this most important ministry (being a leader in the movement, I have fought priests tooth and nail on speaking about pro-life issues from the pulpit...a whole post in itself). 

On this day, please remember to pray for all the children who have not had the chance to be baptized because they were denied a right to live outside the womb.  For you can be certain they're interceding for you from Heaven.

I'll leave you with my favorite inspirational quote from Congressman Henry Hyde.  Remember - we're never alone!
"When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I've often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, "Spare him because he loved us," and God will look at you and say not, "Did you succeed?" but "Did you try?"'

Ok, back to IF blogging tomorrow, I promise!  :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011


All I'm posting for today is GO COLTS!!!  We'll be hanging out inside all day watching the snow and the Boys in Blue!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sick Little Boy

I've been up since 3am with my poor sick little guy.  He woke up twice throwing up, the second time with a 103 degree fever.  After a bath, some ibuprofen, and a popsicle, we spent the rest of the night in the recliner watching movies.  I dozed off, but my li'l dude stayed awake the whole time!  Needless to say he's napping right now!

I took him to the doctor, certain he had pneumonia.  Thank God the verdict was negative.  But he does have a sinus infection and an ear infection.  He's such a trooper.  As we pulled into the driveway at home, he asked if he could play in the snow!  If I were him I'd be milking this illness for all it's worth!

Jack being sick is a great source of stress for me.  Every single cough, fever, and runny nose makes my shoulders tense up.  (Which is odd, because I always used to be so laid back!)  I'm not the type of person to get on the phone with the doctor at every whim, but I just hate hearing him suffer (although clearly he's not suffering too much if he's still asking to make snow angels, God bless him!).

So it's times like this that make me remember how much respect I have for parents of special needs and terminally ill children.  Tragically, nearly 90% of children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the womb are aborted.  Yet families of Down's children always say they can't imagine their lives without that child.  There are so many people out there even waiting and praying to adopt Down's and special needs children.  I call those people saints. 

As stressed as I get when my child is sick with something as benign as a hacking cough, I don't think of myself as being emotionally capable of having a special needs child.  HOWEVER, I would consider myself blessed if God ever entrusted one of His special children to my care. He knows better than I do what I can and cannot handle.  And I would be honored if he considered my husband and me good enough parents to care for one of these little angels.

God bless all of you special needs parents out there.  You can be certain there's a spot in Heaven with your name on it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Easy Decision?

In the words of the brilliant Mark Crutcher, "Killing your child shouldn't be an easy decision."  Yet despite its title, apparently MTV implies that abortion is exactly that -- an easy decision.  Their new show, No Easy Decision, trivializes abortion and furthers MTV's liberal agenda by portraying the decision to have an abortion as just another option within the realm of "women's reproductive rights." 

(Sidebar: I know I said I was shifting my focus, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't dabble into religion and politics every now and then.  It's just who I am!)

Ok, so I readily admit that I haven't actually seen this MTV show that everyone is talking about.  Show like this just serve to raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels.  But I've read some reviews from trusted sources and frankly, I don't think I need to watch it to know exactly what their goal is.  Foremost, it's to coddle their pro-abort supporters like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the rest of their ilk, since they were so upset that MTV's other teen pregnancy show, 16 and Pregant, didn't show any of the teens having abortions.  Could this be a more glaring indictment about what they truly stand for?  Certainly not for keep abortion rare if they're upset that teenagers aren't having them!  In public!

I'll leave the rest of the commentary to those who have had the brass to watch the despicable show, and point you to Kathryn Jean Lopez, the New York Times (shockingly), and Big Hollywood for some great analyses.

But thanks, MTV, for keeping our culture self-centered, secular, and pornified.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shifting My Focus

So I haven't done a lot of blogging on here about my personal experience with secondary infertility.  Mostly because I haven't been sure if I want to share that very personal & private experience with the internet world.  But due to some recent Divine inspiration, I think it's time I start putting myself out there.  I'm not sure why yet, or if it will do any good.  All I know is that I haven't been able to find a good in-person support group on this topic.  Sure, there are infertility support groups.  But infertility is much different than secondary infertility.  And secondary infertility is much different than Catholic secondary infertility.  It's pretty specific.  And there is already a blogosphere of wonderful, devoutly Catholic women out there with the same struggle.  So maybe I'll join them, if they'll have me!   :)

A little background: I was married in May of 2005.  We had just moved halfway across the country, my husband took the bar exam that summer, and we were content just being a young married couple for at least a few months.  Well, more than three at least!  But God had other plans and I was pregnant by August.  It was a total shock, as we weren't prepared at all.  But looking back it all makes sense now and obviously it was a total blessing.  We had our son, Jack, on April 29th, just a month before our 1st anniversary (in fact, he was baptized on the date of our first anniversary, May 28th, 2006!). 

Because I hadn't been prepared to have a child (let me be clear - I was always "prepared" in the sense that we were never on artificial BC, I just wasn't mentally prepared), we wanted to wait about a year before we started trying for #2.  I was so new to this mommy thing! 

***Sidenote:  A lot of people (who don't understand) say things like, "Just enjoy the child you have," or "Can't you just focus on Jack?"  As much as those comments hurt, let me be very clear: Jack is a gift from God that I don't believe I'm even worthy of.  He's the most wonderful child any parent could ever ask for and I truly don't know what I did to deserve him.  It's not that Jack isn't "enough" for me.  It's that I love him SO much and he's growing up SO fast, that I want more of it!!!  (I also never wanted to raise an only child.)

When Jack was about a year and a half, we started thinking we were ready to stop "not trying."  So we just took it easy and didn't pay attention to charting.  Because we conceived Jack so quickly and without even trying, I started to get concerned after just about 4 months (sounds crazy, I know...I just wanted to talk to my doctor to see if I should be worried).  Well she basically told me, "Yes, you are crazy.  We don't consider infertility until it's been a year with no success." 

But that wasn't good enough for me.  So I pestered her, she gave me some advice, and finally, after a year, she conceded that yes, we do need to consider infertility at this point.  So I had some bloodwork done, with nothing conclusive.  The next step was to get a semen sample.  That was the red flag for me.  I knew that the traditional way of gathering semen was incompatible with my Catholic views, so I did some research and found Creighton/NaPro

The closest practitioners were about an hour away, near Philadelphia.  I didn't mind the drive.  But, long story short, I was extremely frustrated with the process.  My frustration was exacerbated by the fact that it seemed like everyone else who did CrMS/NaPro had wonderful experiences and success with it! 

First of all, my cycle, though regular in number of days, is very inconsistent within that 28-30 day timeframe.  It took MONTHS to find my peak day.  To this day, I'm still not even convinced we found it properly.  And the NaPro doctor wouldn't see me or start any meds or procedures until we found that stupid day!!!  Furthermore, I was really frustrated that she wouldn't just do some sort of ultrasound or procedure to just see what was going on inside of me.  I felt like if she just would have looked, maybe she could have seen something like endometriosis, poly-cystic, or something wrong with my tubes, and we could get it resolved and move forward.  Instead it was blood test after blood test, Clomid, progesterone, injections, etc etc.  I understand that there's a process, but it just seemed like a lot of it could have been avoided.

Anyway, it all came to a halt, ironically, when it DID come time to do the procedures.  I hadn't realized that my doctor wouldn't do them herself.  She referred me to a doctor in NJ, three hours away from me, to do the daily ultrasounds.  And to Gianna Health Center in Manhattan for the laparoscopy.  I've spoken with Dr. Mielnik in the past and she's wonderful!  But here's the kicker: none of this was covered by my insurance.  I even tried to get someone in my area to do the ultrasounds and have them read by the doctors in Camp Hill, PA.  But no dice.  And since my husband took a pay-cut earlier in the year, and we have a rental property, paying out of pocket just was not an option.  So I just let it go for awhile.  I decided to pray on it and see if I could discern anything from it.

I don't know. I know a lot of people LOVE the method and have had tremendous success with it.  I truly wish it would have been successful for me, as I do believe it is a wonderful alternative to secular infertility treatments.  I just wish there were currently more practicing doctors and pray that more will enter this vocation. 

So that brings me to today.  Because of my frustration with CrMS/NaPro, I finally scheduled an appointment with my old GYN.  I felt more comfortable now that I knew a little more about what is/isn't acceptable within the Catholic faith.  We got the semen analysis part taken care of thanks to Creighton!  So I felt I was comfortable enough to move forward with my old doctor, at least until anything controversial came up.

I had my appointment this morning and left feeling hopeful.  We're going to get the semen analysis (which she says most likely isn't the problem, but might as well cover all the bases - agreed!!!), and then when my next period starts, she's going to schedule me for an HSG, or hysterosalpingogram.  Yeah...try to pronounce that one.  On or around day 7-10 of my next cycle, I will go in for this procedure.  They'll basically shoot dye up into my tubes and just make sure they're open.  This is exactly what I've been wanting done for THREE YEARS!!!  It sounds odd, but I do hope they find a problem on that day and that it's just a matter of opening up my tubes.  So I'm saying my prayers.

It's unfortunate that NaPro didn't work out for me, but this is the FIRST TIME in three years that I have left a doctor's office feeling *hopeful*.  Mainly it's because I've been too afraid to be hopeful.  But I'm just praying this is the answer.  If not, at least I feel like we're finally moving forward.

Quick Question

Anyone out there do Weight Watchers?  What do you think of the new PointsPlus plan?  Just curious!