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.