Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saint Catherine, Pray for Us

I cannot count the number of friends who have shared their sorrowful miscarriages with me over the past week. It was truly shocking. This prayer is for all of us (thanks to a dear friend who gave it to me) and speaks almost perfectly for me. Miscarriage can be a silent suffering, but it should not be. A baby died, and the pain will stay with us forever. We mourn, but we are not alone.

prayer card available here

Dear Saint Catherine, patron of those who have suffered a miscarriage, you know the dangers that await unborn infants.

Please intercede for me that I may receive healing from the loss I have suffered. My soul has been deprived of peace and I have forgotten what true happiness is. As I mourn the loss of my child, I place myself in the hands of God and ask for strength to accept His will in all things, for consolation in my grief, and for peace in my sorrow.

Glorious Saint Catherine, hear my prayers and ask that God, in good time, grant me a healthy baby who will become a true child of God.



Friday, January 27, 2012

Six Babies

Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl. They fell in love, got married, and wanted to start their family. They wanted a “big family,” five or six children (not to be confused with a “big Catholic family,” which is more like nine or ten children, LOL!). The girl knew she had some reproductive issues and waited for them to resolve once stopping “the pill,” as her doctors said they would. After all, she took “the pill” at their advice to solve the irregularities, but rather than solve them, it merely covered the symptoms.

When the problems continued, she sought help from no fewer than five different doctors, and the varied responses they got drove the boy and the girl crazy. “Why not wait and see if you grow out of it?” “You’ll never have children.” “I don’t know what’s wrong, but take this medication and let’s see if anything changes.”

Finally, through the gift of Natural Family Planning, they found a solution and travelled hundreds of miles from Texas to Nebraska to a trusted physician for surgery. A year later they were blessed with a tiny baby who was born nine months later (despite trying to come early during a move from Michigan to Texas) a healthy little girl. When her body was ready, the same physician advised the girl on ways to maintain fertility, and they began TTC again.

Becoming weary of the expense and medications, here and there they would take months “off,” and one of those months one spring they conceived a little soul and lost him before a test could confirm he was there. Since a doctor didn’t confirm the pregnancy, it was almost as if the miscarriage hadn’t happened, but the boy and the girl ached.

After a long summer of wondering God’s will, they conceived a third baby who was born nine months later, a delightful baby boy. Upon moving back to Michigan from Texas, the comments in the store ranged from, “You have your boy and your girl now!” to “You have one of each, so you’re all done.” And, their hearts ached for another tiny soul.

Again, on and off with the medications and blood tests and nothing for many years. The girl, now a mommy, one summer allowed God to finally give her peace, whether she was able to cradle another newborn or not.

They conceived at the end of that summer. What a miracle! What a lesson! Relax. God’s timing, not ours. However, that baby was called home to Heaven one short week after the positive pregnancy test. Devastating. Depressing. Incomprehensible. She was precious and now awaits us in Heaven.

Determined to praise God no matter what, the boy, now a daddy, and the mommy mourned their loss and hugged “the big kids” a few more times a day and that very next month conceived again. Overjoyed. Humbled. Incomprehensible.

How they were anxious! Thankfully, nine months later another baby boy was born, and the family of five moved from Florida to Texas (are you seeing a pattern here?). Every moment of this little one’s life is treasured, as he might be the last baby. The mommy and the daddy both truly enjoy each milestone together for the first time. (Daddy worked nights during the baby girl’s first year and was in law school for baby boy’s first three.)

Yet, a few weeks ago, the mommy wondered. Could it be true? As a nursing mama, things were unpredictable, but three dollars would clear up any doubt. She fully expected the test to be negative. It wasn’t. Really? Another? Oh, yes! We are hoping to build a house this year. We must continue the moving + baby pattern.

How exciting! God is really going to let us have another baby? Oh my! What a gift! Two in diapers? We haven’t yet had that privilege. The mommy imagined the tiny fingers and toes with delicate pink skin. The daddy searched for floor plans with one more bedroom. The “big kids” danced and sang – “we’re having a baby!” over and over!

But, God’s will is incomprehensible. We lost that baby last week. He was our sixth child, and he now awaits us in Heaven with two siblings. Six babies. Our big family.

The mommy and daddy are sad. The “big kids” were sad but are already praying for another baby. They all know that these three little saints are praying for us. And life goes on, but the hurt is real. God’s will is unknown, but they trust Him anyway.

And in moments of exhaustion, I ask: Is this mother’s heart strong enough to endure this pain?

but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9