Who We Are:

We are women, we are wives, we are mothers, and we are open to life. This is our way of standing by one another, learning from each other, and leaning on Christ our Savior.



May 5, 2011

Confessions of a Naturalist

It's a popular trend to have "confessions" lately. There's the song "These are my confessions" by Usher. (There was a time in my life when I did listen to Usher, ok, I'll be honest I think I still have him on my Ipod sadly). Then confessions are in the movies, "Confessions of a Shopaholic" or "Confessions of Teenage Drama Queen."


It must be innate in us to reveal what is deep within.



Anyways....The Confession Part:

I've had an epiphany and it took about a year in the making. It all started with a minor little hang up I had, a paranoia really, about getting pregnant right after having a baby. I would gawk at stories or relatives who would be expecting when their baby was only three or six months old. It would shock me. I couldn't wrap my brain around it. "Please, please, don't let happen to me" I would say.
I couldn't understand how someone could handle it or I thought maybe they didn't know how to practice nfp. Jesus very kindly and gently has shown me otherwise.

I didn't get pregnant right away after my second. Quite the opposite. I could NOT get pregant. I lost visual signs of fertility and tried hard for nine months. So, at some point my prayer changed from "Please God don't let me get pregant right away" to "Please God, let me have another baby."

One night, after another failed attempt, I thought it could be very possible that I may be trying for years and started to cry. My husband gently asked, "Wait, I remember you crying because you thought you were going to get pregnant...and it's funny you're crying now because you can't get pregnant" ....let's just say more crying ensued.

I laugh at myself now, but those feelings were very raw at the time.

The Way God Worked On Me:
There were nights when I would lay in bed and a slight brush of panic would make my heart skip fast as I wondered if I would ever be able to have more children. I've heard many many stories of people having their first two or four easy and then never again could they concieve. Was this me? I wondered how long I should wait before getting help from a doctor. With every period, I thought about what my life's purpose would be if I could only have two? I envisioned be occupied with six or eight and I couldn't rework that life plan in my head. I grew up with 10 other siblings so the thought of life with two is foreign to me.

Truly, on a small scale, I say small, because I am expecting now. On a small scale, I felt briefly what it is like to live with a pain of not being able to have children. I'm sure my grief was only a splinter of what some women go through and I can not imagine what a heavy heart they carry. It was bittersweet to hear my sisters share their joy of getting pregnant. I thought about how lucky they were.

On the other hand, a year before, I got hung up on what "natural" spacing meant - in terms of the number of months and years. Getting pregnant with a newborn was a stubling block for me. I, without asking or going to God for guidance, didn't want to get pregant when I had a six month old because, in my mind, that was too soon.

I found myself many times, post baby phase, to wonder what the catechism means when they say natural family planning allows for the "natural spacing" of children. You hear a wide range in nfp circles, "It mean's no spacing", "It's 2 years" "It's when ever you stop breast feeding" "It's three years and three months".  I saw too, that what feels natural to me could feel unnatural to someone else and vice versa.

I got so hung up on what the right number of months or years spacing means in the church or hung up with my own ideas of what is natural to me. I think both are wrong because I could be making that very delicate decision without God and thinking about what merely feels comfortable to me.

I realized it was obviously not up to me because God had something different in mind. Life is not in our control. I couldn't make a new life in me no matter how hard I tried. But if and when that ability to conceive is up to me, it is another area of CONTROL I need to hand over to God.

After two novenas, one to St.Joseph and one to St.Therese, we conceived baby number three. On the nineth day of my St. Therese novena, I was at a dinner party out of town. I wasn't suppose to go and only decided to last minute. Sure enough, as we were gathered in the host's backyard, a single rose was blooming on a bush. I wasn't looking for a sign, I just wanted to be at peace knowing I had prayed and God had heard my prayer in whatever way He chose to answer.

A few weeks later, the pregnancy test was confirmed. I had tears of joy at finding out God allowed us to have another baby.
Slowly, God helped my heart to understand, through the painful and gentle process of having to wait for a child, that He doesn't care about the number of months your children are spaced apart, he cares whether or not your heart is is open and ready for what HE wants. He wants a heart that trusts Him, that doesn't hold back because of selfishness, superficial reasons, or want of control.

Practical Part:
This will play out differently for each couple, some will have theirs back to back and other couples will have big gaps and hopefully, each according to God's will for their marriage.  I think therein lies the task of each soul and each couple who sincerely want to be open to life and be faithful to the teaching of the church: we have to take it honestly and humbly before God each month. If we are sincere in following God's will, than each families numbers and spaces will be as different as the stars.

7 comments:

  1. Love your honesty maria!! This is such a great post!

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  2. Great post! Thank you for sharing this...and I love that St. Therese gave you a flower.

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  3. So thankful to you for sharing your story and being an inspiration to me and many others:)

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  4. What a beautiful post! I'm so happy I found this blog. Your story speaks to me deeply. In times when we could "afford" another baby, I felt compelled to prevent, albeit naturally, for various reasons, and now that we "shouldn't" have another baby at the moment, it's the only thing I can think of! If we rely solely on our judgement, leaving prayer out of the equation, there is never a clear answer, only confusion. Thank you for the reminder to leave more up to HIM.

    :)

    -dweej

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  5. I understand this. We got pregnant four times without even officially "trying". We'd just begin to have the discussions of when/if and little did we know I was already pregnant. Four times. And now.....well.....we've been trying and no luck. I've come to the same conclusion that perhaps there are other changes or a deeper longing or more sincere heart or something. Whatever it is God has in store, I know that it will be great. Whether we stay a family of 3 (with 1 in heaven) or we grow.

    Thank you for sharing this. I know so this helps so many women.

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  6. Wow. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. This was so beautiful. Your last paragraph sums up so perfectly that loving, compassionate, joyful attitude that we should all take with ourselves, our spouses, and our friends. Thank you for articulating the balance that we should all be seeking through thoughtful prayer and discernment.

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