Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Leap of Faith

 

In just a few days fall will be here. I know many who say fall is their favorite season. These people are crazy.  Some like the excitement of the football season (around here, if you don’t pledge absolute and utter allegiance to Carolina or Clemson  football, you are branded a traitor to your family, your country, and God). Others like the promise of cooler, crisper weather which is a relief from the scorching summers. Many, like myself, simply appreciate the landscape–crimson and amber-colored jewels one minute and something even more breathtaking and brilliant the next.

For me, fall has never been a favorite season. It is more of  a reflective time and I know it is for others as well. I have no clue why this season is so reflective in nature. Maybe it has something to do with the shorter days. Whatever the reason, I spend this time thinking, not necessarily about the previous year, but years gone by. I don’t necessarily think about bad things that have happened.  Rather I am reminded of what still lingers.  Memories I have long since tucked away, and yes, of memories that I still want to make.

For the longest time, I’ve wished that I could be the person I was before infertility.  That person has always lingered within me, even in my darkest times. I’ve clung to her, even romanticized her.  But now I realize that I will never be that person again nor do I want to be.  I want to be a better, different person.

People say that happiness is a choice and I both agree and disagree with this.  When things go badly for a long time, you tend to question the good things when they finally come your way.   You find yourself retreating into that cloud of doubt, not because you prefer it, but simply because it is what you know.  Infertility does that to you and unfortunately the memory of it cannot be erased.

So, how do you find the faith to accept the blessings that are in front of you?  How do you become the person you want to be when the ghosts of infertility haunt you?  Like everything else, there are no easy answers.  For once though, I think I’m ok with that because I want the future that has been planned for me.  I want to create those memories, make those moments count.  It’s not easy, but I think it is possible.

 

The Pope Thinks You’re Arrogant

I was dozing off this afternoon for a nap with the TV softly playing in the background, when a news correspondent uttered a word that snapped me back to full alert:  infertility.

Pope Benedict has attended a 3-day conference on infertility in Rome and has one piece of advice for couples: shun IVF treatment. 

Most couples do, indeed, already do this.  They are super fertile as they have so shown the world.  Many other couples have trouble, but manage to conceive by drugs or surgery.  Yet others shun infertility because they simply cannot afford it.   But, the Pope has other reasons why a couple should refrain from artificial procedures:

“The human and Christian dignity of procreation, in fact, doesn’t consist in a ‘product’, but in its link to the conjugal act, an expression of the love of the spouses of their union, not only biological but also spiritual,” the ‘Daily Mail’ quoted Pope Benedict XVI as saying.

He also told the specialists in his audience to resist “the fascination of the technology of artificial fertility’, warning against “easy income, or even worse, the arrogance of taking the place of the Creator”.

He suggested that this was the attitude that underlies the field of artificial procreation. The emphasis on science and “the logic of profit seem today to dominate the field of infertility and human procreation”, the Pope said.

I feel like these words are a slap in the face to anyone who has ever suffered through this disease.  These words coming from a spiritual, well-respected man only add salt to the wound. 

I have said it once and I will say it again:  I did not choose this!  It happened to me.  I bet the same can be said of you all as well.

The Pope’s words are demeaning on so many levels, I do not even know where to start.  Does the Pope really think that I seek the help of an RE and artificial inseminations because I am merely fascinated with technology?  Am I just bored or something?  Does he really think that I prefer needles, medicines, ultrasounds, blood work, and inseminations over “conjugal relations” with my husband?     Am I so “fascinated” with technology that I can’t wait to fork over money for an IVF?  I think the Pope thinks so. 

The Pope’s words also imply that I haven’t tried to do things the natural way with my husband.  Newsflash:  we’ve tried it that way for over two years!  We tried it last month and we tried it this month.  Yeah, just have sex and you’ll get pregnant.  Relax and it will happen!  Sound familiar, anyone? 

The most damning implication here is that people who have IVF’s or other procedures lack faith, do not persevere,  and do not trust God.  Yeah, try telling this to the infertile couple who have spent years in prayer, begging God for that one special blessing.  Has the Pope ever considered that God leads couples (some Catholics, I’m sure) to and through the path of IVF?  Can God not work through science?  The only thing I find arrogant here is the Pope’s limitations he seems to be placing on God.  I can’t quote the Bible verse, but I’m pretty sure limiting God is a big no-no, no matter what your denomination or rank in religion.

I can’t help but think of all those babies born because of IVF procedures.  Those babies and those mothers who fought with every ounce of their being just to bring their children into the world.   God did not say to those women, “Your ovaries are bad, so forget it!”  He did not say, “Oh, your faith isn’t 100% perfect, so you lose.”    He knew that those women cried, prayed, and endured and he answered those prayers in the way he saw fit.  Most importantly, he knew those women were not trying to play God but merely had enough faith to walk down a path that was unfamiliar and frightening to them.

In my opinion, IVF and other procedures simply level the playing field.  We all have the right to create our families.  We may not have been blessed with working equipment, correct hormone levels, and a perfect reproductive system, like most people on the planet.  It is our absolute right and privilege to try to make things as they should be without suffering the judgement and scorn of others.     

These days, I’m trying my best to stay positive, although that’s hard to do.  Stories like this really negatively affect me because it reinforces the idea that society just does not understand.  But that’s ok.  The Pope will never have to walk in my shoes as most people won’t.  I have to hold on to the faith that I have even it is the size of a mustard seed.