Friday, December 28, 2012

Quick Takes on Growing Our Family

Here is a brief update at where we are at with growing our family, I almost forgot we were trying to do that.......

--- 1 ---
On the adoption front we contacted two agencies. One agency is nationwide but their price tag consisted of about $47,000! Yup, that's right you did not read that wrong! We are now taking donations for our adoption fund, just kidding kind of. They also seem to not care very much about the adoptive parents just the birth mother.
--- 2 ---
Another agency only charges for the home study they do for you but they are out of state in MN. The woman from that agency said if we lived in MN it would only be about $400, you are not reading these numbers wrong people. Since we are out of state we would need to do a home study in our state and fly to MN to meet their social worker so we can be listed with them. If a birth mother picked us we would need to spend a few weeks after the birth of the baby in MN waiting to be cleared to leave the state. This all sounded hopeful to us until the woman told us that it was a long shot that one of the birth mothers would pick someone out of state. Hello who would not want to pick us and CA isn't so bad right?! I do really like the agency in MN though. They are completely donor funded and they deal mainly with women who are in crisis pregnancies who have chosen adoption.
--- 3 ---
I am realizing that we probably won't be adopt a hispanic baby in CA or anywhere in the US. There is a really bad cultural stigma/way of thinking, that it is better to abort or raise your baby in very poor conditions than to allow someone else to love and raise your child. I don't know where it came from but that is the sad truth here, there are very few hispanic babies up for adoption. This reality makes me sad not because I have my heart set on a hispanic baby but because I know there are many hispanic babies aborted. This also pushes me to learn spanish so that I can reach this community and let them know that adoption is a noble choice for their child.
--- 4 ---
There are more agencies that were recommended to us to contact by our super cool Facebook group but we haven't contacted any of them. It is a little discouraging because the money varies from agency to agency as does the attitude toward adoptive parents. I feel like I need a fairy godmother to walk us through the process of adoption because I really have no idea what we are suppose to do! Is there an adoption checklist out there somewhere? I am better with lists and a plan. If there isn't one out there I am going to make one, uh-oh here comes my choleric side.
--- 5 ---
On the biological front we are suppose to be back on cycle plans. We forgot to pick up the prescription for clomid in time at the pharmacy so I guess we are not doing that this cycle. Plus we need to find a place to do an ultrasound near us so they can send the results to our NaPro doc. So we are basically hoping that my body will ovulate on its own this cycle, hey a girl with PCOS can dream can't she?
--- 6 ---
Aunt Flow came on Christmas Eve and she brought cramps back with her this time. What is up with AF coming on holidays? I was really liking not having any cramps! I did take Tylenol because I did not want to deal with cramps with all the stuff I wanted to get done before Christmas. I laughed and found it ironic that I had cramps the day before we celebrate Jesus' birth and Mary probably did not feel pain from childbirth. JJ and I asked for her intercession and the cramps went away before the Tylenol even had time to work. That was my Christmas miracle!
--- 7 ---
We are hopeful for the coming year and we are so ready for 2012 to be over! We have no idea whether we will adopt this year, conceive, or both. Hopefully we will grow in love whatever may come. Happy almost New Year!  
For more Quick Takes, visit Jen @  Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Prayer Buddy Reveal and Merry Christmas!

So my Prayer buddy this Advent was.................. Katie from, The Sunflower Diaries  I have been praying for all of her intentions this Advent. I included her in a novena to St. Joseph, lifted her up at Mass and included her in my daily prayers.

Merry Christmas to you all! Since we did not get gifts for everyone this year we did a gift exchange game on the first day of Christmas with our family. I ended up getting a dvd of West Side Story that JJ stole for me from my SIL. All of JJ's family came over except one of his sisters who is out of state; my mom, brother and grandma came over as well. We ate food, played the game and hung out. We are looking forward to continuing to celebrate the rest of the Christmas season, because it just started it isn't over!

 Here are some crafts and recipes I recently did. If I ever figure out how to do more stuff on my blog I will put a separate tab on the side for crafts and recipes.

Front of  Bag

Back of  Bag

My Ornament

JJ's Ornament

Anniversary gift I made JJ

Gluten Free Spice cookies w/ chocolate


Friday, December 21, 2012


By the title of the post you are probably expecting me to announce I am pregnant...sorry that is not the news today, maybe someday. I know of many people who would like me to announce that we are pregnant and believe me I would like to announce that someday. I sometimes feel like everyone is expecting me to announce that, every time I see them or talk to them or when they ask me what's new with hopeful eyes. Since most people know about our struggle there would be a a lot of happy people at that news and we have a lot of people praying that we will become pregnant again. There are a lot of people journeying with us on this road and there are times where I feel like I am letting people down by not getting pregnant. Our parents would obviously want grandchildren from us but how do you let them know that they are hoping for something that may never happen. I guess that is the point of hope, huh? It was heartbreaking when we had to tell our parents we were miscarrying only the day after we told them we were pregnant. So these thoughts of pregnancy and becoming pregnant led me into a deep reflection. Would you expect anything less from a carmelitic heart?

I am pregnant and I am called to be pregnant just like every other woman on earth. You are probably thinking what the heck is she talking about? Has she taken a trip to crazy town? No, I have not gone off the deep end at least not yet. As a woman I am called to be pregnant, it may not be physical but it must be spiritual. I am called to spiritual motherhood and to be pregnant with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are two sources that are the inspiration for these posts. One is JPII's letter to women, Mulieris Dignitatem, and the other is a book called Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. The book is divided into four parts and I will be drawing a little from each part. I cannot recommend this book enough, if you ever get the chance to read it you will get something out of it.

The first chapter is titled Emptiness. Ugh, I know IF can make a woman feel really empty but we must be empty for Christ to take up that space. So what kind of empty are you? Houselander, describes three different types of virginal emptiness that Mary possessed.

" Are we reed pipes? Is He waiting to live lyrically through us? Are we chalices? Does He ask to be sacrificed in us? Are we nests? Does He desire of us a warm, sweet abiding in domestic life at home?"

 I feel like I have been all of these at different times through this IF journey. When I am promoting NFP and NaPro I feel like I am a reed pipe being played and the musician is God. When I am struggling through the sorrow of not getting pregnant every month or when we miscarried Cecilia I identify with the chalice. Now I feel like I am the nest preparing for what is to come. I am preparing my soul and womb with love, not just for my children but for humanity. In a practical way I have been making our home more clean, beautiful, and warm; a place where my husband wants to come home to everyday and where a child will be lavished with lots of love. So which empty are you at this point in your life?

Mary's Fiat was extraordinary and yet ordinary at the same time. Mary didn't have to acquire something before she gave herself to God. She did not have to find the secret treasure, do any fundraising, or climb the highest mountain. God used the exact material she was created with, her humanity.

"She was to give Him her body and soul unconditionally...She was not even asked to live it alone with this God who was her own being and whose Being was to be hers. No, He asked for her ordinary life shared with Joseph. She was not to neglect her simple human tenderness, her love for an earthly man, because God was her unborn child."

This passage speaks to me because with IF the husband sometimes gets pushed aside. The blood draws, surgeries, nutrition, and supplements are mostly concentrated on the woman. I know there have been times where I have been guilty of neglecting JJ and focusing too much on the end goal of children. Since I make a lot of my food from scratch because of my diet restrictions there have been times where I just throw a frozen dinner in the oven for him. Mary had the incredible gift of being the Mother of Christ yet she knew her role as a wife. This humbles me as I have a lot to learn especially because we as women can sometimes have the attitude of "I carried the child for 9months what more do you want? or I am the one having to be on this special diet and giving myself progesterone or HCG injections why can't you take care of yourself? or Don't I do enough for you?" We lose that sacrificial love for our husbands that Mary had for Joseph. Our Fiat is in our saying "yes dear, I will serve you seconds...sure I can do an extra load of laundry...sure I can go pick up your razors from target." Now I am not saying that we are our husband's slaves in any way but that we often neglect their needs. I speak from the perspective of IF but those with children on this earth will have a different experience.

We are called to be empty so that the Christ child can fill up that space in our womb and hearts. If we do not love the Christ child and give of ourselves to him how can we expect to do the same for a child we so eagerly await. When we lost Cecilia I felt incredibly empty, there was no baby to nurture or grow inside me. During that time of sorrow and emptiness I was allowing Jesus to be sacrificed in me and offering my whole self, even my not so healthy body. For every time I touched my empty belly and cried out to God to help me understand why He was asking me to be His chalice. Why must we be emptied out? So that God can fill us up, of course! Which will be covered in part two…


Side Note: Prayer Buddy I have not posted it but I have been praying for you! Which I will reveal who you are on Christmas Eve J    

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Quick Takes!

--- 1 ---

We went to a friend's wedding on the feast of the Immaculate Conception! It was beautiful and a blessing to witness their sacrament. Speaking of weddings a dear friend of mine recently got engaged. I am so excited for her and her fiancé. The woman who got married and the woman who got engaged were both in our wedding, so I am especially happy for them both.

--- 2 ---

I finally have my 12 clients I need to have my supervisor visit which will hopefully happen in Jan. or Feb. Most of my appointments have been cancelled lately because my clients have been sick or one was actually stuck in MN because of the snow storm. I did that individual intro. last week and the couple was awesome. I can't wait to work with them!

--- 3 ---

I have been spending my time decorating, crafting and organizing for our Christmas festivities. When we were decorating the tree on Sunday I got a little sad, JJ asked me what was wrong and I told him that I wish Cecilia was here to experience this. This time of year is bitter sweet.

--- 4 ---
The anticipation of Christmas has been stress free in our home since we are not doing gifts. I have been enjoying my time with JJ watching cheesy Christmas movies, drinking hot tea/decaf organic coffee(which I am allowed to drink now, in small amounts), and doing our family prayer while lighting the advent candles as we sing. Yeah, JJ and I love to sing, we harmonize quite well together.
--- 5 ---

Here comes the TMI. This cycle was weird, my cm was less than what it normally is, which worries me. I hope it was just fluke if not this will be another obstacle we face as we TTC. We go back to our NaPro Dr. today so I am sure she will have something to say about it.

--- 6 ---
This weekend we are going down to San Diego! We are seeing our Dr. Fri. Saturday we will have the honor of being at one of our closest friends Solemn Vows for the Augustinian order! He will be doing his solemn vows on our 5 year anniversary, which is awesome! At our wedding he presented us with a papal blessing that he went through the trouble of getting. He is so special to both JJ and I, he is more like family especially to JJ. He and JJ almost started their own hip-hop group and collaborate on some songs. He also gave me a beautiful pep talk/mini-sermon as my friend was doing my make-up on my wedding day. So we are really excited for his solemn vows! Then on Sunday we will head home and attend a Christmas party Sunday evening. So this weekend will be full!

--- 7 ---
Saturday is our 5 year wedding anniversary! I can't believe it's been 5 years, but I also feel like we have been married for a long time because we are so close. I guess tragedy can really bring you closer together, JJ truly is the other half of my soul. It is going to take a lifetime to express my gratitude toward God for bringing us together and to JJ for pursuing me. I did not make it easy for JJ to court me and God did not make it easy for us to get together. I am so glad we fought for us from the very beginning and we did not run away at the first sign of adversity. I guess it prepared us for IF.  Here are my anniversary flowers JJ brought home for me today, a couple of days early.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Remember to head on over to Jen's for more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pho Soup

Last night we had Vietnamese Pho soup for dinner. It was delicious! I came up with the recipe so that I would be able to eat it with my dietary restrictions. This is what you will need :

1 box Pho Soup Starter base(I used Pacific Brand the chicken one) make sure it is gluten free
2 cu. chicken stock
2-3 cups fresh chopped spinach or frozen whatever you have( if you do use frozen add it before you add noodles to soup for about 3min.)
1/2 of a red bell pepper diced
2 small zucchinis diced
1/4 cups chopped green onions(both green and white parts)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 package rice noodles (or if you want to be crazy healthy you can use Kelp noodles) I didn't use the whole package because there was a lot
1 teaspoon rosemary
1-2 cups Asian salad dressing *
A few lime wedges (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Marinate the chicken in the Asian salad dressing and rosemary for a few hours. Then when it comes time to prepare dinner fry your chicken in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. As chicken is frying chop up your veggies. Start the stock/soup starter in a pot to gently boil along with zucchini and bell pepper. When chicken is done chop into 1/2 inch chunks, set aside. When soup is at a gentle boil add rice noodles(they take about 2-3 minutes to cook)** Then add your chicken, spinach and green onion. Cook altogether for about 5min. Add S&P to taste and garnish bowl with lime wedges.

*Asian salad dressing recipe. This was modified from another blogger so that it is gluten free and does not have cane sugar. Combine ingredients and whisk in bowl or shake up in a glass jar. It can last about a week but it usually gets eaten in our house before the weeks is up.

1/4 cup Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar ( I use Braggs) I sometimes put slightly less because cider vinegar is very strong and I am not using as much sweetener as the original recipe calls for.
1/2 cup grape seed or olive oil (olive oil gives a different taste, grape seed oil is more mild)
1 tablespoon Braggs amino acids (or gluten free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons Raw Agave Nectar

** When opening rice noodle package be careful not to cut yourself with the scissors, like I did.

Enjoy! I hope to add more recipes in the future. Since I am on such a restricted diet I try to find the things and tastes that I like and modify them so that I can eat it. Healthy does not have to be tasteless :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baby Showers and Mother's Day

Every IF gal has to figure out how they are going to deal with baby showers and Mother's day festivities that you will be invited to. To go or not to go? That is the question and if I do go What kind of gift do I bring?...How long do I stay?...Will there be liquor and chocolate available? Is it co-ed or just gals? If you are Catholic and pro-life and most of your friends are then baby showers are pretty much inevitable. If you are a fertile gal reading this you probably are thinking what's wrong witha baby shower or Mother's Day. Well nothing is wrong with them originally butsince struggling with IF it has been more painful than celebratory at times.

This past Mother's day I did not want to celebrate my mom(sorry mom), I wanted to be as far away from Mother's day celebrations as possible. We went to Tridentine Latin Mass which we love but also for the reason that they don't do the whole all the mother's stand up and we pray for them and clap then give them a flower as they process out. I don'tlike this for the obvious reason of what about those trying to become a mother and I think it's disruptive to the Mass. After Mass we went to go eat and watch a movie with one of our friends. When we got that text from our friend that he was gonna go out on mother's day it was a perfect excuse for JJ and I to ditch mother's day stuff, again sorry moms. It was what I needed because I was still physically and emotionally a wreck from the miscarriage. I would cry at mother's day advertisements and my hypoglycemia was out of control so I wanted to just chill. I did get a couple of texts from dear friends who knew about the miscarriage and wished me a happy mother's day, that made me feel special. It turned out to be a great day.

Why is mother's day so hard? Well it is a reminder of what you are not as an IF gal or if you've suffered a miscarriage it reminds you that you don't get to hold the child that you once carried. So when people try and make you feel bad for not celebrating mother's day it makes it more painful because they don't understand or are not even trying.

Baby showers are a whole different animal altogether. I haven't gone to a baby shower in years because it has been confusing and painful. I was suppose to go to the baby shower of a blogger/friend this year but it was too close to when we lost Cecilia that JJand I could not bring ourselves to go. We got two baby shower invitations that week and our new niece was born around that same time so I just lost it, one invite was in the shape of a onsie. Do we regret not going to baby showers? Yes and no. I do want to celebrate new life and am happy when people are pregnant but the ceremony of a baby shower is torture to me. The whole event is about the fact that the woman is "going" to be a mom. Hello she already is a mom! She is pregnant! I don't regret not going because I knew at that time, I would not be able to be there and not ball my eyes out. I also did not want to take the attention away from the celebration of the life waiting to be born.

I feel like I am at a place now to be able to go to baby showers or try going to a baby shower. I don't know how it will be but I am willing to try. Hopefully the next one will be co-ed so JJ can go too. I don't want my fertile family and friends to be afraid to invite me to stuff, I think that would hurt even more. I at least want the option to decide whether or not I want to go. There was one time where I was not directly invited to a baby shower because my mom was suppose to tell me about it. Well at the time my PMS was still really bad and I was going to have my surgery soon so my abdominal pain was very evident. So my response to the situation was something like, News flash people: I am married and don't live at my mom's house anymore! That really hurt, I felt like just because I did not have kids I was not fit to send an invite to. You can guess I did not attend that shower.

It eventually all worked out, I was able totalk to my mom about why I was so upset, she did not understand at the time. I was able to open up and dialogue with my mom about the struggle of IF, which she may not understand but she is willing to listen. Also the baby in question of that baby shower became my goddaughter! Now I get to share with her why nina was not at her baby shower, when she is old enough to understand of course. I also get to pray for her in a special way and I pray she never experiences IF or miscarriage.

Going through IF has made me wonder if I would even want a baby shower if we are so blessed to be pregnant again. I think I would much rather have an after birth celebration combined with baptism. Also what if we get to adopt first, then it would be an adoption day celebration with baptism. There seems to be a running theme here Baptism! I am curious as to how other gals going through fertility issues deal with baby showers or mother's day? Or gals now on the other side of IF did you have a baby shower?

Sunday, December 2, 2012


So I was going to partake in Conversion Diary's quick-takes this week but I have been so busy and lazy to post anything. My life with Creighton as a practitioner intern has been busy this week and next week promises to be even crazier. I was suppose to take Dec. off from doing intro. sessions so I can focus on the paper work aspect and prepare for my supervisor visit hopefully in Jan. but a couple called me this week and I couldn't resist. So I am doing an individual intro. for them this week and I have follow-ups every night this week plus a wedding on Saturday of a dear friend who was in my wedding. Saturday I had Creighton stuff all day. We had an appt. with our practitioner(yes I go see my practitioner still I had been having issues in my chart), then I had clients of my own Saturday afternoon, and in the evening I gave a talk at a Young Adult Group here in L.A. about NFP and Creighton/NaPro. So a few things on Saturday got me thinking and reflecting today.

The first thing is that we have been doing NaPro and using Creighton for about two years now, prior to using Creighton we used the sympto-thermal method for two years. We loved the sympto-thermal method for the time we used it but we needed medical intervention hence Creighton. Our practitioner M pointed out to us how far we've come since we started our journey with NaPro. When we first started all we wanted was a baby and to have healthier cycles. We were so focused on our will and having biological children, we did not want to be labeled infertile or subfertile at all. When we took our first SPICE index (this is a diagnostic tool in Creighton for the spouses to communicate) we thought we were NFP rock stars and that we would get such a high score. Well we soon realized that we had a lot to work on in our marriage.

Our focus shifted from wanting to get pregnant to wanting to get my body healthy. We had long conversations with our practitioner during our sessions about being open to God's will and that it was something we struggled with to know that we might never have a biological child. Every step of the way from the hormone profile to my surgery to our miscarriage I know our practitioner M has been praying for us. Through NaPro our charts as well as our hearts have changed. My last cycle looked almost normal with no intermenstrual bleeding, only one day of TEBB at the end of Aunt Flow, I had no heavy days of bleeding with clotting which I usually have at least 2-3 days of, I had no signs of PMS at all and no cramping where I needed to take medication! My body has come a long way since two years ago.

Our hearts have been changed in that we are more open to God's will and where He has us at each moment. Even though I knew that I would never do IVF, for reasons I will get into later, I still thought of children as my right. I might not have said it out loud but in my heart I struggled with this, telling God that he called me to marriage so He needs to make me pregnant and give me children now. Wow the audacity I had toward my Lord, thank God for reconciliation and the sacraments! We are more open to pursuing adoption earlier rather than later, which in the beginning we wanted to have biological children before we pursued adoption. Now we are going with the flow of where God takes us. It isn't always easy, like this past week JJ held me as I cried and sobbed that I don't get to be in the mommy club and make play dates with friends and their children. I don't get to talk about breast feeding, cloth diapering, or those funny stories of baby farts.

The second thing I was reflecting on was why we chose to use NFP and NaPro to try and conceive rather than ART( Artificial Reproductive Technology) and IVF. Besides the fact that most ART are unethical they are also not healthy for the mother and child. IVF is founded on the principle to create life to destroy it so that one might survive. If you believe that life begins at conception why would you want your child conceived in anywhere other than where nature intended, the Fallopian tubes. Furthermore for every successful IVF cycle approximately 6 embryos(children) are sacrificed in the attempt and what about all those embryos who are frozen and just waiting to be implanted or sacrificed.

I am not judging people for decisions that they have made with respect to ART I am just stating facts of the process. Also, if people have feelings of guilt for decisions they make it is not a bad thing, guilt helps to guide our consciences and moral compass. It also goes back to the fact that we think we have a right to children, we don't. I know this may be hard to hear for some, it was hard for me to hear and digest but it's true. Children are a gift from God not a right or commodity. I know the longing of wanting children and thinking I would do anything to have them, but there are just certain things I will not do. Let's also mention the ridiculous cost of IVF as opposed to NaPro or adoption. A lot of NaPro treatments should be covered under your insurance, if you are blessed enough to have it, because NaPro seeks to repair the body not just get a woman pregnant. There are also adoption tax credits that you can get as well as possible reimbursements you can get from your employer.

Here is the BIG reason why we will not do ART: we are NOT willing to separate the sexual act from procreation! For the same reason that contraception is wrong so is ART. We keep the marital embrace(sex) between us as a couple and don't want a technician making conception happen for us. If it be God's will we want Him to make conception happen by our obedience and yes to our vows by the renewal of the covenant we made on our wedding day.

I know this is a hard topic to read about and it is not easy to write about. I understand that we all come from different backgrounds and values so not everyone agrees with the point of view that I have laid out here. This is a public forum so if you comment please be kind and respectful :) As we begin this season of waiting in advent may we be patient as we wait for a child, a spouse, a job, or whatever you may be waiting for.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Curse

A couple of weeks ago when we met a pro-life Dr. outside our church, we got into a very interesting discussion. We started discussing the need for generational healing and how it could be a possible road block as to why we had not been able to conceive and why we miscarried. Now at first it sounds crazy and I am almost offended at the thought of someone thinking I am cursed because of my family background and that is a reason we lost our Cecilia Esperanza (Yes that is the name of our little one, isn't it a beautiful name!?) Part of me thinks that this notion is crazy and I need to stay far away from people who think like this on the other hand this is a topic that JJ and I have discussed before.

A few years ago I started praying for the healing of my family tree. I come from a broken family where my father was not around and when he was, those few times I remember, it was nothing but drama. To this day I don't know exactly where my father is, so I don't know much info. especially medical history of my father's family. I know much more about my mother's side but those facts are not pretty. There has been abuse in all forms in my family among other generational sins. I have been praying for years that the chain is broken and stops, I have also prayed for my future children so that they would not be vulnerable to these unhealthy family patterns. Mass and confession have been a big part of the prayer process to break these ties plus the intercession of St. Joseph, Terror of demons.

Now with this all said, someone hinting that I am not doing enough to have a family frankly pisses me off! When we were talking with the Dr. I am sure she did not mean to imply that we were not doing enough or praying enough she was just trying to bring up another avenue that we might want to explore, but I am just so tired of the try this, try that advice to have children. She mentioned the notion of being cursed and that saying the word Infertility to describe your situation is like cursing yourself. I don't agree with this because IF is a medical diagnosis and the word that is usually used by medical professionals. I do prefer the word subfertility in all honesty but no one knows what I mean when I say that and I am too lazy to explain it so I usually use IF. I do believe that God can change IF to fertility at any time.

I think it is destructive to tell a woman who has suffered a miscarriage or is dealing with IF that she might be cursed because of her family background or by someone she may know. As if we don't already feel like a leper enough, to say this would do more harm than good. I think that if there has been some foul play on the spiritual dimension toward the person it is best that they discover it themselves or it is pointed out and guided by a spiritual director. I know there have been people who do not like me, I have even had someone come up to me and "apologize" to me for not liking me. When I asked them if I offended them in some way or if it was something I did they said "No, its just you." Ouch, women can be cruel! Now for someone to go so far as to curse me would be more than cruel it would be evil. The only thing that can battle evil and win is Jesus Christ! So it would no longer be a battle on the physical realm it would be a battle on the spiritual realm. I am a firm believer that the power of Jesus Christ the King can kick some serious a**(We watched Lord of The Rings Return of the King last night w/ some friends, so I am a little pumped up)!

I am not perfect and I know that I have things like character flaws and habitual sins to overcome but I don't think that God is waiting for me and my family background to be perfect to give us children, of course we are trying to use this time wisely so that we become better people and in turn better parents. I pray on a regular basis at Mass for healing in all forms for myself and my family. One miracle I have witnessed is that my maternal grandma went to reconciliation this year for the first time in over 50 years! She is now able to receive the Eucharist and she is on fire for her relationship with God. I love that I can talk to my grandma about God and she no longer roles her eyes or thinks I am crazy. She is even asking questions about the faith to better understand it and she calls me when she needs prayer or to let me know she is praying for me and JJ. This is power of Jesus Christ the King and I entrust myself to Him wholeheartedly!

I know you were expecting me to tell you all about Seattle but that will be for next time probably in a Quick takes. In the mean time here is a picture of some of the beauty we saw there, this was actually in Vancouver, B.C.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012


--- 1 ---
JJ has been working a lot! In the last month he worked six days a week and some 10hr days. Which means that we have not gotten to spend very much time together other than Sundays, which has now become very precious to us. This past weekend he did not work Sat. and he had Mon. off in honor of our Veterans, so we got three whole days together. Sat. was spent traveling 8hrs in the car round trip to meet the new interns. It was so great to spend time together, catch our breath from the business, and just talk and laugh. We got to talk more about adoption, ways to save our money and how much we love mountains. On Sunday we had a serendipitous meeting with a pro-life obgyn who had come out of the adoration chapel as we were coming out of Mass. She had shut down her practice for a while and has opened it back up again. The great news is that she is only 20 min. away so I can refer clients to her who can not travel the 1.5 hrs away to our local NaPro Dr. Awesome. She is also thinking/praying about becoming NaPro trained! She has been an obgyn for many years and it would be great to have a NaPro Dr. so close in L.A., yes please!  
--- 2 ---
Meeting the new FertilityCare Practitioner Interns! On Sat. I got to meet the new CA program interns. It was a small class of 4 and one was from South Carolina. They had just taken their final exam and were having their lunch break before heading back into lectures about yellow stamps and infertility. The poor ladies looked so tired and d-o-n-e, I remember what that felt like to be in lectures from 9am-6pm with lunch and some potty breaks in between. I am excited for them and I got to give them a gift bag I put together with a couple of letters of encouragement from some of us from the class before. It has become a tradition for the class before to meet the new class, which was started 3 classes before us. I am so thankful for my Creighton family!   
--- 3 ---
Speaking of Creighton I recently got two new clients which brings me to a grand total of 10 and just 8 more from my required number to finish the program. It is tough to get clients here, not many people are interested and it is a lot of advertising and marketing which my husband and I don't have very much experience in. Plus I am not bilingual which would be helpful here in L.A. I have an Intro. Session coming up this Sat. which I know I will get at least two new clients who confirmed with me recently. I am hoping to do my supervisor visit some time in January. Ahhh, I am scared of the sup. visit! I am even more scared of the final exam...
--- 4 ---
 Election, I know a little late huh?! I was not going to go there but I will. I did not want Barack Obama to win but I did not want Mitt Romney to win either. I am glad that this whole election is over and my little Independent heart can rest if only for a little while. I will say that I hope BO keeps his promise to compromise with republicans and independents. A huge way he can do that is to stop spending our hard earned money on services we can not afford any more and remove the HHS mandate from ObamaCare! We are in serious danger of our religious liberty as Catholics in this country and I hope the president can see that and honor the U.S. Constitution! I will continue to pray for BO and our country because who would want to be president, it is a tough job. There I am done.  
--- 5 ---
 Christmas is coming! I am seeing all of the decorations and advertisements but I am not stressed one bit. JJ and I decided that we did not want to give any gifts this year and we do not want to receive any gifts this year. I know you are thinking Scrooge, Bah Humbug, and the Grinch but let me explain. We have had a tough year starting it off w/ miscarriage, JJ's injury and knowing that we will not be celebrating baby's 1st Christmas even though I was just days pregnant last Christmas. While we were talking about what to do and get everyone this Christmas we found ourselves stumped. After thinking about it for a little while we decided that we would rather have quality time with those we love. So we are inviting family over for Christmas and everyone will bring a generic $10 gift then we will do a game gift exchange complete w/ food, movies and games! JJ and I will not be exchanging gifts either which we traditionally do on Epiphany, we will each plan a day date out for one another. I will still make my applesauce and candies for everyone and I will get my goddaughter something because she is only a baby and it will be so cute to watch her try and open a gift plus quality time at the LA Arboretum with her Nina :) Still think its Grinch like?
--- 6 ---
So my progesterone is still low :( My NaPro Dr. is upping my dose to give me greater post peak support. We will be making an appt. soon to go see Dr. Awesome to look at cycle plans before her maternity leave. So we will probably go see her in Dec. and we will go back to monitoring my prog. every cycle so the vampires get to have fun drawing my blood again, ouch. On the opposite side we got our first packet from an adoption agency! We looked at the price and said we can't afford it. Then I went on my super secret awesome Facebook group to ask about other people's experience and we got some good info. to look into, like the Adoption Tax Credit that may expire soon and a possible reimbursement from JJ's employer. Thanks so much for the info. all we will be praying about and investigating what would be the best thing for us. For now we have discerned that foster care is not for us at this point. One big reason is that we would like to homeschool and we are opposed to certain vaccines which we would have no choice in because the State would have more say so than us.    

--- 7 ---
Finally Vacation Time! We will be going on vacation to Seattle this Sat. and returning Thanksgiving evening. We are so excited, woohoo! My next blog will probably be from there and I will try and take great pictures :)
For more Quick Takes, visit Jen @ Conversion Diary!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest Blogger!

  Hello people of blogosphere. I am honored to be a guest here on the Crow's Nest. I'd like to thank my wife for the invitation to share with you a bit of my perspective on things. 

We eat very healthy. My wife has to take a lot of vitamins supplements and I don't like it because it is something that is sucky for her. I can't drink milk because I stink afterwards. I take a vitamin once a day and I feel that it helps me because when I don't take it I feel not as good. I like the rain and it is raining right now. It makes me think of when my wife and I were at our honeymoon because it was very stormy and we had to stay inside. What a drag... just kidding.

   Well, we are going through the process of trying to see what we think about adoption. We thought that it was easier than this.  Now that we have looked into some agencies and got some information we are still faced with some challenges. One agency sent us a form that had a lot of boxes that we are to check off about our preferences with what kind of child we would want to adopt... What kind!?!?!! How do you answer those kinds of questions? I have never really thought about these specifics before. Maybe I have a little, but to see labels like "drug abuse" and "learning disability" and all the other options, it makes me feel like we are trying to get the perfect kid. I did not know that these things mattered, but I'm finding out that they do. We are called to be husband and wife as well as mother and father. We want to raise children and they are not going to be perfect, whether they are adopted or biological. So, that's hard.

  I have heard some weird stories about adoption. The kid tuns out to be crazy and the parents go crazy. The parents finally tell them they are adopted and they run away from home... that sort of stuff. I have also heard many, many more stories that are life changing in a very different way. A very good way. Stories about those that were adopted having a great childhood and loving their adoptive parents. I think it all comes down to the fact that these kids need a mother and a father to raise them and we are open to do just that. It's like we just have to pick up where some one else left off.

   Adoption costs money. It seems kind of funky, like we would be "buying" a child at the store or something. I do not know the exact cost for all that is involved. We are finding out when the next informational session is going to take place and, this time, we are more serious about going. We have said in the past that we would " go to the next one", but never have. I think that it is a very important step to take to help us in our discernment on this subject. God is not going to force us to do this, we have to get off the couch.

  This is JJ signing out.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Right Place, Wrong Time?

Let me preface this post by saying that I love my husband very much and I am so blessed to be married to him. I will refer to my husband as JJ on my blog from now on.

To understand this post you need a little bit of background information. I have known of JJ for 14 years and have known him as a friend for almost 12 yrs. We went to the same high school and he was two grades ahead of me. I knew of JJ because he played football and I did the stats, uniform organization and water for the football teams at our HS.

We started to become friends my Jr. year when he started college. We hung out because we went to the same church and were in the youth group. We became better friends when I graduated HS and went to the same college. My second semester at college we were in gospel choir together along with some other friends. That semester is when we both knew we liked each other but neither of us said anything so nothing came of it. We were still really good friends and could talk to each other about almost anything (except for that fact that we liked each other)!

We would talk about being open to religious life and how awesome the Carmelite order is and I would try and get him to talk more because JJ was very shy back then. Then about a year or so later I went on NET and opened my heart more to the possibility of becoming a Carmelite even though my heart's desire was always to be a wife and a mother. During that year JJ was doing the same thing, discerning with different orders and as much as he tried to go to the Discalced Carmelite Friar house it just never worked out. So he started to pursue what career he should have and God opened the doors for him to go into the electrical trade.

After I came back from NET I really wanted to know if I was called to the Carmelite sisters so I started to work for them and spend a lot more time with the sisters. Why the Carmelites? Well, JJ and I are very Carmelite in our spirituality so much so that our honeymoon was in Carmel, CA plus, my bday is the feast of OLMC. As much as my desire for the Carmelite order grew I knew I was not called to be a sister and those feelings for JJ started to come back even though I tried to ignore them for as long as I possibly could. I will not bore you with the details and drama behind how we got together let's just say it was interesting.  

Now what does this have to do with IF? Well there have been times during this IF journey where I have questioned my vocation. Since JJ and I were very open to becoming Carmelites I have wondered if that is where we were really suppose to be. Thoughts like did I make the right choice to get married?  What If I became a Carmelite sister, I would not be going through IF? Why would we be called to marriage but not be able to have children? Why Lord, would you call us away from the safe haven of Carmel to suffer like this? The last two questions were very difficult for me to ask God because I love my husband very much and I love Carmel very much.

I have also thought about the timing of our relationship, marriage, and TTC like we were in the right place at the wrong time. Should we have gotten married sooner? Should my husband and I have started to court sooner than we did, like when we first started to like each other? Should we have tried to have children once we got married instead of waiting a year to figure out my wonky cycles? Did we waste our time? Our we wasting our time now not TTC for health reasons?     

IF does not just affect your confidence in who you are as a woman but it can also affect your confidence as a wife and your vocation. I remember apologizing to my husband that he got me as a wife because of my lack of fertility and he would get so mad and tell me not to talk about his wife that way. I know now not to do that because it is wrong and it is another way the devil wants to kick you when you are down. Obviously the answer to all these questions is simple, God has me exactly where He wants me. I know that JJ and I are suppose to be married and God has revealed to me in a lot of ways why JJ and I are called to be husband and wife. Whether or not you have questioned your vocation God has each of us where we are for a reason and I have learned to stop trying to figure out the reason. All we have to do is keep moving forward with His grace! Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us!

p.s Next time I will have a guest blogger! If you would like to be a guest blogger here, you can contact me by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook.     

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Prayers Please!

A few things we need prayer for...

1. We have some decisions to make within the next couple of months about TTC. Dr. Awesome is going on maternity leave in Jan. which means we need to decide whether or not to go back on cycle plans  before then.

2. Someone in my family tried to commit suicide a few days ago. This is the second time in the past few months that this has happened and it's two different people! A lot of our IF suffering is offered up for the generational healing in my family, there is a lot of traumatic stuff that has gone on that goes back generations. The worst part is that I feel like there is nothing I can do to help, except pray.

3. I caught a cold and there is a lot of work that I need to do this weekend w/ regards to Creighton. I have an Intro. Session on Fri., networking on Sat. @ some events and I wanted to drive up to EPI to meet the new interns on Sunday.

4. We are looking for a new primary care Dr. because the one we have now sucks. We switched our insurance to a PPO so we wouldn't have to go to him anymore. Pray we find a good Dr. for me and my husband.

If you get to our blog through our Facebook  please don't comment directly on our Facebook for privacy reasons for that family member. I purposefully did not put this post on our FB for that reason. Thank you in advance for your prayers!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Green w/ Envy

Here are some pictures of our new dining room table! The color is called Lucky Shamrock which is appropriate because we have a strong desire to go to Ireland someday. I still plan on doing a design on the trim but for now I like it plain.

I was thinking about why I was so obsessed with getting a new table and painting it because our old table is really nice. The conclusion I came up with besides the fact that I needed a creative outlet was that this is my version of getting to decorate a nursery. We did not get to meet our little one and I did not get to do the fun shopping trips for baby things. So buying a "new" table from salvation army and painting it allows me to fill that need without spending a lot of money. Plus our old table was rectangular and too big for just the two of us for everyday and I really wanted a round table.  

I noticed that there is a feeling of jealousy that I have had towards my friends that have children. The baby showers that they have gotten to have or 1st Christmases with their babies, I want that. Sometimes jealousy creeps up when I least expect it and I don't notice it until later when I am reflecting on my time spent with them. The thought process usually goes like this "why was I so annoyed with ______ today? I always have fun with her/them." Then I realize that the green eyed monster has crept in. I don't like being jealous of other people especially because I don't want to ruin my friendships but there is always going to be a hint of it. When you have miscarried and/or have been dealing with infertility you can not help but want what others have, even if you have gotten to a place of peace and are docile to God's will; we are human.

Confession has been very healing in dealing with these inclinations towards jealousy. I have also learned the difference between jealousy and longing for children of my own, 99% of the time it is not jealousy because I don't want my friend's children, I want my children. I have never really brought it up with my fertile friends because I don't think that they would understand nor do I want them to be in a position where they feel guilty when they are around me or worse, they don't want to tell me that they are pregnant. I want them to have children! I wish nobody had to deal with IF or miscarriage.

Green is a color associated with many things including envy but for me it is the color of my awesome table. Green has been my favorite color since I was a kid, it is my go to color. It is also a color that I associate with our little one that we lost to miscarriage, because it would have probably been the color of a lot of our nursery stuff. Green is a color that symbolizes life, growth, and nature.

I had dinner with one of my good friends tonight and I was telling her that I am so ready to live and not just stay in this stagnant place of doing things and not really going anywhere. There are so many questions that we do not have answers to, and it can be so easy to just wait for the answers and do nothing. We are moving forward and deciding to live our life as we wait for the answers. A way we are going to do that is by actually contacting the adoption and foster agencies this week. Ahh! The first call or email is always the hardest so please keep us in your prayers.          

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Among the many meanings of the word shalom, one is peace. I sign my emails and text messages with Shalom and we even have a wooden plaque on our front door from Israel with the words Shalom on it. My husband has more of a peaceful and calming presence to him than I do, so he has definitely brought peace to my life and person.

Since the miscarriage I have not been at peace and have been dealing with a lot of inner turmoil and anxiety. The anxiety got worse when my husband was seriously injured at work back in June and was hospitalized for a few days. I almost had a nervous breakdown when he had to stay at the hospital and I had to go home alone at night. Even my husband has been less at peace because of his injury and recovery on top of us having to deal with my health issues. When he went back to work in August after his recovery we went through some separation anxiety from each other. I was worried about him while he was at work and he was worried about me and my out of control hypoglycemia.

We have had a traumatic year so far and have clinged to each other through it. I know that we have been giving every situation to God including our health and our fertility but I have still felt a lot of anxiety about things. During Mass I have prayed that we continue to carry our crosses and unite ourselves to Jesus in his sufferings, we have also prayed for people in our families and for God to heal the generational sins in our families.

Despite doing all these things, I have still not felt peace. So a couple of weeks ago at a women's group we were discussing what virtue we think we most need right now and I said peace. I find it funny that I would pick peace not realizing that it is not a virtue I can work towards it is a gift from God. Since my nature is to try and do things as perfectly as possible it is odd that I would pick something that I really don't have that much control over. I can only ask God for peace and wait; which reminds me of a Mumford & Sons song called I will Wait.

So this weekend I realized that I was more calm and peaceful about things even though it would have been prime time to not be because of PMS and CD1 coming soon. I got to paint all day on Saturday while my husband was working. There were a couple of places I could have gone like exercising w/ my SIL or to a bridal shower but instead I wanted to be alone to paint. It was not a brooding kind of day where I wanted to sulk or anything, it was a reflective day. As I was painting I was reflecting on our struggles w/ IF, the miscarriage, my relationships with people that have become strained and awkward, my marriage and how it is not what I ever expected, my internship, needing to get more clients, conquering the world with NFP, our foster care/adoption questions, and how I don't have confidence that my body can actually carry a child to term.

Instead of getting anxious about everything which is what I would usually do, there was a calming peace that I felt. It was incredible! I have no idea what the next year of our lives will be like and we don't necessarily have a concrete plan either; foster care/adoption, another surgery, going back on cycle plans w/ Dr. Awesome, and looking into buying a house are all on the discussion table. There is so much prayer and discernment that we are doing but I am not anxious about any of these things, well maybe the possibility of another surgery makes me a bit anxious. Peace in each situation and abandonment to God and His will are difficult in any situation but it is especially hard when dealing w/ IF. Instead of fighting the pain, anger, and frustration we just need to experience it for what it is.

This feeling of peace has not left me yet and I thank God that He is giving me this peace. I will take this wave and ride it for as long as I can! This peace has given me a chance to be more thankful for what I do have. I have an amazing God who loves me unconditionally and a husband who loves God and me. During this time of not having children we have been able to make our marriage a high priority so that when we are blessed with children we will hopefully be better parents. We are able to go to adoration together whenever we want or hang out with our friends on short notice. I can paint all day on a Saturday or schedule my follow-ups with clients without having to worry about someone watching the kids. This probably all sounds like we have a very selfish life but we don't. Our desire for children is still strong but we are not anxious about it as much as we were. I am thankful God has given us peace while we wait, for now.

Here is the bible verse that correlates with this gift of peace
Philippians 4:7... 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What do you eat?!

Some people have asked me what the heck I eat since my diet is so restricted right now. So I think I will post about food from time to time. This was my dinner yesterday...

Salad with Asian Dressing, yum! Asian Dressing recipe from modified to be g-free and Candida detox friendly.

Sweet and Sour Chicken from a g-free cookbook, again modified to be Candida friendly. It was actually super easy!

I have about a month and a half to go with the detox/cleanse and I can't believe I have made it this far. Praise God for His mercy and the fact that I actually like veggies!

I fixed my blog so that anyone can comment, I think it was set to only registered bloggers. So if you are getting this from our Facebook feed you can now comment directly on here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The In Crowd

For most of my life I have not been apart of any clicks or stayed in one social group. When I was in elementary and Jr. high I was an awkward deep thinking kid who loved to read and hated playing sports. I have always been a little shy when first meeting people but if you get me talking about things I love I won't shut up which can be annoying. I am a melancholic/choleric and no one likes hanging out with a melancholic/choleric. Everyone always loves the fun and crazy sanguine or the laid back and chill phlegmatic(which my husband happens to be). I have never been part of the in crowd but I have had people who are part of the in crowd take me under their wing because of my shy nature. Once they figure out that I am part choleric and very flawed they would usually distance themselves.

In high school I was in various clubs to figure out what I really liked and not to overstay my welcome. When I was on NET ministries I was an outsider there too because my views were too black and white at times for many of my team mates. Plus I did not like being forced to bond with people that I had only known for a short period of time. Don't get me wrong, I loved each and every one of my team mates even the ones that were way different from me. I learned a lot through each one of them and they each showed me areas that I needed to grow in.

Infertility has made me feel like more of an outsider than I have ever felt in my whole life. For my body not to be able to do the thing it was created for is just so awkward. Most of my cousins have been able to have children and most of them don't want anymore. A lot of my friends who are married and around our age have children, all of my team mates from NET that are married have children. There are constant facebook pregnancy announcements or posts about pregnancy symptoms or cute pictures of friends' children. There are times when I want to put every pregnant woman on an island so I don't have to see them. Hey don't judge me, I would never do it! I do really rejoice in a new life it is just hard sometimes.

Then I went from infertility to a miscarriage, which is not the transition I would have chosen. When people ask if we have any children I am always hesitant to answer, I hate that question. My husband is better at coming up with the answer than I am. There have been baby showers, baptisms and kids birthday parties that we have skipped.  I will not go to any women only baby showers because it  has been too painful. You might be thinking this is a bit extreme but if you have never gone through infertility or miscarriage you would not understand. Now we are in the category of not TTC for medical reasons and it is tough. Sometimes I want to throw away my chart and not know anything but I know I can not do that. I am one of the few women who NEED to be charting so that I know when to take my progesterone and to make sure my body is getting back to "normal". Thankfully my husband does the charting and sometimes I have to ask him "what CD are we on?"   

There has been an amazing sisterhood that I feel when I meet a woman who is going through similar situations. I love it that these women get it and don't offer me advice on how to get pregnant, tell me to relax/go on vacation, tell me how their great aunt's daughter started the process of adoption and then got pregnant, expecting that to happen for us or offer me one of their children jokingly. I know people are trying to help and don't like seeing us suffer but that is where we are at sometimes. Our friends or family can not wipe away our situation. There is an instant connection with an IFer of understanding, compassion and prayer support. You suddenly feel less crazy and more accepted for where you are at. I know that I can not fix an IFers situation either and all I can do is pray for God's will.

I did not think I would be a part of the IF crowd but I have met the most courageous and holy women through this journey. These women are so holy and are filled with such grace, they are my heroes! They are the spiritual mothers that JPII talks about in his letter to women, Mulieris Dignitatem. Their courage and hope gives me courage and hope. I love the Body of Christ and how we are all connected! 

On a lighter note I think we chose the paint color for our dining room table. The color is called.... Lucky Shamrock! It was between a color in the blue or green family. We decided the blue did not work because our plates are white and cobalt blue and thought that it would be too matchy. Plus green is my favorite color, pictures to come soon :)                   

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Quick Takes

This is my first attempt @ Quick Takes so here it goes....

1. We went to a pro-life gala for a local pregnancy help center about a week ago and one of the actresses from the movie October Baby was the key note speaker. It was at USC and there was so much traffic to get there, of course the beauty of L.A. It was a beautiful event and we got to dress up, my husband wore his new suit that was his birthday gift from me. It just reaffirmed our commitment to being pro-life even more so and that our niche in the pro-life movement looks different from your average prol-lifer. We do not go in front of the clinics to pray or protest, neither do we counsel women in crisis pregnancies. We have decided not to do these things for my own psychological well being. I remember praying in front of an abortion clinic one time and I could not handle it and that was before I was even married and trying to start a family. We support the pregnancy centers with donations and NFP training/info. that is where we found we best fit in the pro-life world.

2. This past friday we went to our Theology of the Body study group. We have been going to this group for at least six years. We read one audience together a month, we used to do it twice a month but we all got busier over the years. It was nice to see our friends and we were pretty good about staying on topic. Sometimes we will go on tangents and talk about other things if its just a few of us. This group has been such a blessing to us as we started going to it when my husband was courting me. Now all the regulars are married and one of them has their fifth baby on the way! It is so good to be amongst people who are striving to be better human beings :)

3. Today at Latin High Mass there was an older woman who sat in front of us that reminded me of my great-grandmother(or little grandma as she is known in my family) who died in 2006. Her veil was exactly like one of my little grandma's and her mannerisms were similar. I almost cried during the creed when we sang "I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. And I await the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen." My little grandma was such a great example of faith to me and she loved Mass and the Rosary. She encouraged me when I told her I was discerning to be a nun and she prayed for me. We also had an Eduardo Verastugui citing at Mass today. I love it when I see Catholic celebrities who are not afraid to practice their faith.

4. The weather has been so nice and cool! Its a drastic change from what it has been the past month. I even got to wear my cowboy boots recently.

5. Finally, I started working on a project. We bought a round dining room table from the thrift store for super cheap. I plan on painting it a bright color and we are leaning toward a shade of green. I have been needing to let out some of my creativity lately and have felt a bit stifled because I have not, so this project is a prefect way to do that.

 Here is the table... 

And here are the color choices...
Happy Sunday and feast of Our Lady of the Rosary!