Thursday, February 25, 2010

I've been thinking about infertility

As most readers of this blog know, in May 2007 I miscarried our first child.  It was a painful loss and feelings of grief, blame, inadequacies and guilt were overwhelming.  What caught us off guard but was just as painful was the lack of support for parents like Travis and I, especially within the context of the Catholic Church, and the lack of recognition most pro-life people gave to our first child.  I don't blame those people for how they reacted or didn't react; had I not gone through the process myself I too would not know what to say or how to act with a miscarrying mother.  Yet I believe that as a pro-life community we should and can do much better. 

In the past few months I've become aquaintenced with several Catholic women who struggle with infertility.  The pain, sadness and frustration these women feel is palpable.  A few of them have shared about problems they've had for years that, when brought to the attention of their ob/gyns, were just masked with the pill while they were unknowing teens.  Later, when they began to ask questions they were told they'd never be able to have children and that was that.  No seeking other treatments, no getting to the cause of the problem, just a band-aid and a meaningless "I'm sorry."

To an extent I can understand how these women feel, but only to an extent.  After that I wonder how much it hurts when they hear us good, procreating Catholics - blessed with fertility - make comments about "how Catholic could they be - they've been married for x many years and have no kids."  I know those types of comments are made because I've heard them said and I've made them myself.  Shame on all of us.  Shame on me

So this morning I googed Catholic infertility and you know what I found?  Blogs and two Catholic websites offering links, support and prayers.  All but one of them seem to have been created by families struggling and feeling alone.  Yes, there was a statement on reproductive technologies from the USCCB (very good), but the 7th top find claimed to be Catholic and then offered help finding a sperm donor...  ummm... no.  Once again, as a pro-life community we can and should do much better.

So here's a question to you, if you are struggling with the inabiltiy to concieve what would you want?  Someone to listen? 
A way to submit your name for Mass intentions?
A support group of some kind?
Messages of support and kindness?
Education of some kind?
I'm not sure if anyone will want to comment, but I want to listen if you want to talk.

Good links I found:

Related posts:
Miscarrying Peter
How to Support a Miscarrying Mother

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Don't you like nice people. People who bring home made stationary as a gift for hosting a party. People who come early to help set up. People who are happy for you because you're happy and that's just great. People who give of their time, talent or treasure because they're kind - and that's the only reason.

I like nice people.

Water Under the Bridge by Jars of Clay is a beautiful song.

"And the years roll by, and you hold my hand while the shadows stretch over the land crumble and fall in my arms and we'll struggle to hold on..."

It's a song about a marriage preserving and persevering until the end. My marriage has not hit any major bumps, but I'm sure something will come up eventually. I want to be hopeful like this song is, definite that Travis and I will stay "til the last drop of water flows under the bridge."

Playlist for the Girls' Night I just hosted:

Fidelity-Regina Spektor I'm the Man Who Loves You-Wilco Hurt-Johnny Cash Out Loud-Dispatch Brandy Alexander-Fiest When Doves Cry-The Be Good Tanyas Can't Help Falling in Love-Ingrid Michelson Fly-Sara Groves Corrina, Corrina-Bob Dylan Sweet Rose-Matt Costa  Come on Get Higher-Matt Nathanson New Soul-Yael Naim When the Saints-Sara Groves Samson-Regina Spektor Undeniable-Mat Kearney You Are the Best Thing-Ray LaMontagne


Lydia, ready to help Daddy shovel the snow. Too cute.

For the aforementioned Girls' Night I cleaned the house and moved the swing and play mat from the living room to the nursery.  The living room looks very nice, but not as homey.  I guess that's what having kids does to one's home - it becomes more full (of clutter, toys, books, rainforest themed play things) but instead of feeling too small it feels it like a fuller life.

I'm helping plan a conference for youngish Catholic moms here in Central IL. 
We're calling it the Behold Conference. 
In Scripture "behold" is often used when we are about to be told something deeply significant - God wants our attention.  Think of the angels to the shepherds, "Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy..." or Jesus, "Behold, I am with you always..." 
 It is also used when the motherhood of Mary is revealed to us.  "Behold, you will concieve in your womb and bear a son..."  "Behold, I am a handmaid of the Lord..."  "Woman, behold your son."
Lastly, we feel that every woman, in the core of her heart, wants to be something worth beholding.  We want to know that the things we do - curling our hair, cleaning the house, encouraging our children - are appreciated and seen as beautiful. 

Our hope is that the conference will allow moms (and all women) the chance to spend precious time with Christ, at Mass, adoration and confession, while speaking to them about motherhood, womanhood, and God's love.  We hope to affirm women in their dignity and their vocation.

(Mother Assumpta Long from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and Teresa Tomeo from EWTN and Relevent Radio are our two speakers!)

An anonymous donor told us that they're tired of our pathetic couch and so they are buying us a new one.  Last night I picked out the sofa of my dreams and we get it on Monday.  It'll look a little like this.  So excited!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A mom's help for Lent

If there are any moms out there in need of some tools to teach and reinforce Lent Momopoly has a great post with tons of links and ideas. I love her Stations of the Cross idea and I'm wondering if Lydia is old enough to "get it".

I think she is... gotta get a neat box to put all the stuff in.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hitler Rails Against Pope Benedict

So funny. Found it on Fr. Blake's blog.

What Valentine's Day looks like in our house

The calla lillies in the centerpiece are from the bridesmaids' bouquets from my wedding.  So I like them especially.  The roses came from a college Wal-Mart run with Danielle, aka Sr. MN.  :)
Travis' Valentine's Day gift was home made card and some cream filled cupcakes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I love my husband

Dear Travis,
I know you don't like your picture being up for everyone to see... so here is a picture of you and me at Hadrian's Wall on our Scottish honeymoon. But all we can see is your lovely leg and wristwatch.
I love you, my best friend. I am so grateful for our marriage, our children and all the ways you provide for me and our family.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Love, Bonnie

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God's Hand in my life

It is amazing how many "good things" happen to me when I pray more and speak honestly of the generosity of God.

This is not to say that I earn them in some way, or that God is rewarding me for being holier. I believe that I am tuning myself to God and gratitude. When I make a deliberate effort to be thankful for all the things we have (Trav's job, health insurance, healthy children and loved ones, rum and coke) then I am more likely to notice all the good things that happen, and in turn I am more likely to give credit where credit is due. And the more I speak of it (give due credit) - to my husband, children, friends and Facebook friends - the more I notice wonderful things in my life. But not only do I notice more, I believe those wonderful things actually happen more.

For example, 3 employees at Krogers gave me $5 the other day when I told them I couldn't afford to buy the jar of tahini they had helped me find. They insisted I take the money, telling me to buy my tahini, make my hummus and pass on the good deed. They joyfully gave to me and I was in tears as I accepted their money.

Another example, God has recently asked us to take on a new responsibility, one that may seem irresponsible to many outsiders. But we feel blessed by His decision, and in an act of faithfulness, He provided for us by having our insurance cover 100% of Bennet's birth, along with all my pre and post natal care. The $500 we thought we'd have to pay our midwife we can now use for other bills. And just to show how He likes to go above and beyond, our midwife is crediting $3.20 for out next child because that's how much extra the insurance company paid her.

I have also been asked to be part of two upcoming Catholic women's conferences. These invitations have provided me with chances to work with other women of faith, be challenged and encouraged, and to use the talents I was blessed with. I am honored to be a part of these events, especially because doing so fulfills a desire I have for this sort of work. I am sure my involvement in them are just more ways that God is forming and loving me.

Lastly, after creating a home-made Valentine's Day themed centerpiece for our dining room table, my husband actually 1) noticed it and 2) commented on how nice it looked!!! His compliment meant so much to me, and well, actually I'm still pretty happy about it, 20 hours later. :)

What good things has God done in your life lately?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

No, David

No, David is an awesome little book by David Shannon. It's a retelling of a book he made when he was a schoolboy. The only words he could spell were "no" and "David" and that's what he wrote, accompanied by illustrations of him doing things and getting in trouble.

Lydia loves this book, I think, because she likes to see someone else do wrong things and be told "no".

The video below is her "reading" it to me. The clip will make a lost more sense if you know the book, but basicly David makes a mess, runs away, and plays with his food. He is told to put his toys away, stop picking his nose (this instant!) and not play ball in the house.

I hope you enjoy No, David told by Lydia, age 21 months.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

to the woman who does everything well:

Reading your blog makes me feel bad about myself. 

Are you Queen Midas, because it seems like everything you do is golden, perfect, lovely, better.

Like, do you have to be even more beautiful as a mom than you were when you were 22?  I mean, couldn't there be something about you that wasn't as pretty?

And why do you have to accomplish everything you set your mind to?  And why do you set your mind to do the only things I'm any good at? 

I bet that since you've conquered those 2 things you'll move on to succeed at the things I'd like to be able to say I do but am too lazy to practice - like sewing, and scrapbooking, and knitting, and having my own garden, not just picking things from my parents'.  And then I bet you'll get a book deal and become a national speaker. (which is my secret dream!)

Do you secretly hate me?  Is that what this is all about?  Did I once say something stupid or insensitive and deep down you've been waiting to put me in my place?  No, I'm sure that's not it, because then you'd be just as sinful as I am and I'm pretty sure you are a way better Catholic than I.

It all just makes me want to give up, go to bed, and send my kids to be raised by you.  I'm pretty sure they'd be read to more often, do fun holiday-themed crafts, eat healthier foods, have a consistent schedule and only have 30 minutes of screen time a day - if that!

O! woe is me!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm not comparing my children

But Lydia rolled over at 3mo 3 wks.  She sat up by herself at 4mo.  She began crawling at 6mo 3wks.  And she was competently cruising by 8 1/2 mo, walking by 9.

Bennet, who will be 5mo on Thursday has yet to master to rolling.  He's soooo close, on the brink, but he has no interest in being on his tummy so he just stays on his back or side. 

Come on, buddy!  You can do it1

Is this completely unhealthy?  I'm not disappointed in him.  But maybe I'm paving the road for a lifetime of comparing my children.  But really, when it comes to the Better Baby Award Bennet wins hands down.  All he does is laugh, blow raspberries and smile.  He plays with his toys and falls asleep by himself in the crib.  Lydia, you may remember did few of these things the first 6 months of her life.