Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Fertility Story

There once was a little girl who hoped that someday she would be a mommy. She loved and played with children whenever she had the chance and babysat frequently. She grew up (a little) and went to college to become a teacher so that she could continue working with children.

Right after college the girl got married and soon after that moved hundreds of miles from her family. She and her husband had decided to wait a while to have their own children so she began taking birth control pills to keep from getting pregnant before they were "ready."

A couple years into their marriage, the urge to have a baby really hit her. So they decided to go off the pill and begin trying to conceive. Months went by. Her cycles were incredibly long, often making her think she was pregnant when she was not. Eventually she had a ruptured ovarian cyst and had to go to the ER. She was referred to a doctor who put her on drugs to make her ovulate. After three months, she was elated to find out she was pregnant.

On the way home from her first OB visit, her husband told her he wasn't happy. He thought they should separate.

The girl was devastated. How could this be happening? They tried counseling, but her husband was unmoved. He said he had never loved her and that it was God's will that they divorce. Less than three months after finding out she was pregnant, they were separated. The girl finished out the teaching year and then moved back to her home state to live with her parents and raise her soon-to-be-born son.

It was a very emotional time for the girl, a time that caused her to depend on God in ways she never had before. She found great joy in the arrival of her son. She was now a woman.

The woman and her son grew together, with much support and love around them. When her son was 8 months old, her divorce was finalized. The woman didn't know if she'd ever get married again or have more children. She poured her all into mothering her child.

A couple years went by and just when the woman found herself accepting her singleness, a man came into her life. He also knew the pain of a divorce. They had know each other for awhile when finally the man asked the woman on a date.

A little less than a year later, they were happily married. The man and woman agreed they should wait awhile to have children. The woman did not go back on the pill although they tried other methods. Three months later they had a baby on the way. They were thrilled! The woman desperately wanted another baby, a sibling for her son and the man was excited to welcome his first child into the world.

Their son was born a few weeks shy of their first anniversary and the family was happy. They knew they wanted more children, but felt that it would be best to wait a couple of years. This time they did not use any birth control. The woman was breastfeeding and that helped to delay the return of her fertility for over a year. During that time the man learned a lot about God's vision for the family. He began to share with the woman what he was learning. At first the woman wasn't sure she liked what she was hearing. She liked being in control of when the next pregnancy would happen. And considering that her husband was quite a bit older than herself, she worried about having too many children and then having something happen to her husband. Who would take care of them then?

When their son was 16 months old, they were expecting again and again they were thrilled! They had been learning more about God's design for the family and were excited for their family to grow.

Sadly though, their daughter was born into the arms of Jesus. It was (and continues to be) an incredibly difficult time for their family. It was during the grief that the woman was able to fully accept that God is in control of their family. He is the author of life and death. The woman then realized that she wanted as many babies as God wanted them to have. She is still learning this as they lost another baby a few months later. They learned a method of family planning that helps couples achieve or avoid pregnancy and they used this so the woman could get healthy after the loss of their second baby. And then they used the method to get pregnant again.

God is continuing to work on this family as they have learned that baby #5 could potentially get very sick or even die before he or she is born. They are also facing the fact that if they have more babies, each one also has a chance of being very sick. They wonder why this is happening to them? Does God want them to stop having children? Does God want them to trust Him in ALL things, including having more children? They are scared and hopeful. They have many decisions to make, but will seek God's will in all of them.

THE END

This post was written, not to judge anyone for their methods of family planning, but rather to tell you of the journey we've been on. It's been a long, hard journey! But God is faithful. The method I wrote of at the end is called the Creighton Model of Family Planning. We are relatively new to it, but have been very pleased with it. It is a simple and very effective method of achieving or avoiding pregnancy. It can also be used to diagnose and help a variety of women's health issues including infertility, PMS, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian disease, repetitive miscarriage, hormonal abnormalities, postpartum depression and others. To find out more, visit their site HERE


Blessings,

4 comments:

Sara said...

Rachel,
That was beautifully written. We have read and went to a seminar of the Creighten Method. It is neat. Thinking of you and that precious little one on the way. Love to you today Rachel!
Sara

Carolina said...

Hi Rachel

Thank you for sharing your story-I am really interested in learning the Creighton model. Is it something you have to enroll in a class for? I went to the website and did not find training online.

I have been praying for the health of baby # 5 these past couple of weeks and for peace through this time.

Thank you for your transparency and honesty! it is always encouraging to me

Carolina

Heidi said...

That was a beautiful way to write out your story!

Molly Koop said...

Rachel,
Thanks for your post. We were trained in the Family of the Americas model of NFP which is a very simple, usable method. As we have had children and as I get older, we are discovering that perhaps further training in sympto-thermal methods would be helpful. We do feel that we have a medical reason to postpone pregnancy at this point, at least for a while. At this point, we've only had time to read up a bit on the subject and haven't attended more classes. (The Couple to Couple League offers classes in our parish a couple of times each year.)

Thank you for your witness to God's clear intent for openness to life within marriage. We have discovered that by simply using the methods taught in Natural Family Planning that the Lord has blessed our marriage and our family in so many ways. And it clearly transforms one's mindset in regard to trustful surrender to God's will for the family!