2 July 2012

On Temptation

I survived the last week of school.

I was able to finish my classroom move, not lose my temper and even enjoy my class just a little bit. The best thing about my last day was my most challenging student was away. Thank God for small mercies.

Yesterday we attended Mr. JB's best friend's Canada Day/Birthday Party. We were one of the two childless couples in attendance. The other childless couple knew before they were married that they couldn't have children. The husband had cancer as a child and as a result of his treatments, he is sterile. I am always glad when they're in attendance since it can be unbearable due to the plethora of small children abound (thank you to Sew and TCIE who helped me get through the party!).

WAY back when our IF journey started Mr. JB and I went to a conventional fertility clinic. One day I had an appointment with the evil doctor that I saw and I ran into Mr. JB's bf's SIL and BIL. It was quite the awkward meeting, but I was thankful it was them and not a parent from my school. They have gone on to have two daughters, both via IVF. A has endo and has had a couple surgeries, enough to get her pg. I'm not sure how many times they tried, but their last pregnancy was quite rough. She was pg with twins, then halfway through the pregnancy she lost one twin and had to be put on strict bedrest. Her daughter was born quite premature, but is thriving now.

At the party I couldn't help but look at their older daughter with longing. If we went down the ART route there is a strong possibility that we would have at least one child, heck maybe two.
But then I was snapped back to reality.

I wouldn't have been able to live with the guilt of using ART. Heck, I felt guilty driving into the parking lot of the clinic. There was no way I could've gone through it.

I also wouldn't be healthy and endo-free. This journey of IF has led me to a much better lifestyle -- now I wish I was overweight and sleep-deprived because my kids and would trade in a heartbeat, but I have to work with what God gave me. I have no idea if this road is going to lead to biological motherhood (and it seems like more and more roadblocks have been put in front of us to show me that it doesn't seem likely, but miracles do happen).

So where is my rambling going? I guess I'm grateful that we followed the Church's teachings. I am so glad that I was not tempted by the panic that the evil doctor was trying to push on me. I am so glad that I listened to my heart and my morals. I am also so grateful that our IF has made my marriage stronger. The only thing missing in our marriage is a child, but otherwise we're happy, which says a lot after all that we have been through in the past seven years!

I wish I knew what lay ahead of us. I wish I knew that after all the pain and recovery of surgery that we will conceive, but I don't know. I do know that my heart is softening to adoption and that I am getting tired of the TTC roller coaster. It may not be time for the seven-year itch, but I know that my TTC gas tank is almost empty.

I am so glad that it's summer vacation, although I will be taking a course, but it will be nice to be the student! I also hope that I have enough time to relax and figure out what we're going to do next. I haven't had enough quiet time to just sit and think about mundane things! I hope that the next two months will be semi-relaxing so I figure some stuff out.

A summer of more discernment. Scary and exciting at the same time.

Sts. Gianna, Rita and Gerard, pray for us!


  1. It can be so hard, after years of sacrifice, to see others "get results" having gone a route that simply isn't right. There is so much peace in knowing, deep down, though that you've done the right thing. There are no guarantees in life but if we can look back and know we chose right, we strove to stay strong in hard times, we traveled the good hard road, then I feel like whatever comes our way will be filled with the graces we need and with greater fulfillment than we could have ever imagined.

    Singlehood is different, but I remember having several opportunities to just tie the knot and be done with singlehood. And yet looking back, no way... it wasn't right, it wasn't best, it wasn't good. It would have just been me trying to be master of my universe and let's face it, I am not talented enough to do that successfully. :)

    Still so excited about the adoption possibility for you two!

  2. I shudder just reading the word "discernment." Am I imagining it, or is that not such an issue for those who just have sex and...get pregnant?

    I know the IVF thing is totally unjust. I guess I'm able to see things black and white enough that there's no temptation there, but I think that's a temperament thing. Plus, I assume that the children of parents who use IVF will be monsters...may just be me :).

  3. That's one thing I intend to ask God if/when I make it to the pearly gates...I'll never understand why people who go against the Church are blessed with children when many who dutifully follow God's law are not. But, I'm glad that you have no regrets about the choices you have made. And I'm so glad you are done with school!!!

  4. I know I'm the only agnostic that reads your blog(cause I love you!), but I wish the catholic church would rethink some stuff (like ivf, gays, marriage for priests). I find it heartbreaking that so many catholic infertiles can't use ART, infertility is a disease, and catholic treat cancer and all other diseases?

    (ye know I'm not trying to fight with you, I just find it hard to understand, but as an ex-catholic I find a lot of the catholic policies difficult to understand)

    Hopefully this journey will lead you to your child/children via adoption

  5. Ps, my children are not monsters...

  6. Woot! Good job surviving to the summer break!
    I'm glad you feel good about your decisions so far and I hope this summer is helpful in terms for thinking about where you want to go next.
    (And erm, yeah misfit gal, that is rather mean.)

  7. I think my temperament is the same as misfit's. Never been a temptation for me based on principle alone... but I can certainly understand others' temptations and actions.
    I would only add here that all of the Catholic infertiles I know do not see the church's teachings as restrictive. None of us "wish" that the church would "re-think" its stance. Hard to re-think Truth, anyway. Easier to just disagree with it :)

  8. Nadine - the Catholic Church agrees that infertility is a disease that needs to be treated (or more accurately, it's a condition caused by other underlying diseases that need to be treated) and greatly encourages doctors and scientists to pursue cutting edge treatments for disease (see Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI). This is why doctors like Dr. Hilgers have been able to spearhead treatments through Natural Procreative Technology - with that encouragement from the Catholic Church! ART however is not so much about curing the original disease, but producing a child (the disease can - and often does - remain present), and even entities outside the Church recognize the incredible ethical quandaries that can arise with ART methods. So yeah, the Catholic approach is to treat the disease(s) in keeping with each person's dignity (including any children who may be result).

    It also helps to understand the teachings on marriage, sexuality, and procreation as that is the framework that the Church is speaking from (so the Catechism and documents like Humanae Vitae, as well as writings like "Love and Responsibility" help explain the positive teachings... it's not just "you can't do X, Y, Z" but... "We're striving for X, Y, Z"...). Hope that helps some.

  9. Thanks Sarah! That does help me understand, I think what I was trying to say is that I would love for my catholic friends to be able to have treatments that other religions(like jewish for example) allow.

    But, as someone who is not catholic it doesn't affect me if a religion does or does not support ART(if that makes sense).

    I must admit Misfit's comment above does annoy me, only because I have seen "monsters" up close and personal, rapists, pedophiles (some of them catholic priests), these are monsters, my 2 year old twins are just innocent little children who like elmo, and hugs and kisses. And everything I have read about Jesus is that he loves children and wouldn't want any child to referred to as a "monster".

    1. There are treatments Nadine. We, as Catholics, cure the underlying disease. You can see how far JB has come. We don't bypass the illness to get the baby. Neither do we separate the marital act from procreation.

  10. Nadine-pleas watch your comment about catholic priests. Please note that pedophila is not just in the church but in our homes and everywhere we go.

  11. Jb-I love this post!!! Ivf was never a temptation for me either. Thank you, Jesus for the beauty of the church and for her wisdom!

  12. You will remain in my prayers this summer, JB. This post hit close to home with me. I cannot say that I have not been tempted by IVF but when I think of my emotions/feelings after the procedure (successful or not) I quickly realize that I cannot stray from the Church's teachings.

    God Bless you, sweet friend!

  13. Infertility is not a disease - it is a symptom! IVF allows you to ignore these symptoms and not improve your health.

    Anyhoo (sorry, IF is a disease gets my back up - it isn't like chicken pox), I'm SO glad you have this summer to relax and think things through. :)

    And I totally get what you mean about the gas tank being about empty! I hear that!

  14. I haven't been tempted by IVF but there are people in my family who have successfully used IVF and still ask us to do the same. Our answer will always be "NO". If God wills, we will be blessed one day. Praying for you that God will send you a blessing soon.

  15. I'm so proud of you JB. You are a light to so many:)

  16. Prayers for a discerning summer for you! And for RELAXING!!!!! :-)

  17. Congratulations on being down with school - sorry this is so late in posting! I kept seeing your countdown on fb and felt for you! I applaud your honesty and although IVF is not something we have been tempted by (I am way too scrupulous - yeah, another issue entirely), but family members have asked about it anyway and explaining to non-Catholics about our stance can get tricky, but Truth is Truth. Also, I appreciate what you said about your marriage, it could have turned out so much differently at this point. Having children is not the cure all for marriages either and it is great to see someone that has a great marriage in spite of the stress of infertility. I always thought my DH and I had a pretty drama free marriage, but at the same time, I can definitely tell that the areas of less than helpful communication that we were able to just muddle through before having our daughter, definitely get amplified with sleep deprivation, losing the ability to do what we want, when we want, etc. And amplified in a not so great way. It has caused me to pray more for my marriage and it is tough to see the not so great parts illuminated for everyone around us to see. But such is life...

    Sorry for rambling, I just wanted to say I appreciate your point of view and I hope you have a GREAT summer!

  18. Nadine, your children are not monsters. All children are a gift from God and God makes everything Good!

    JB you and your husband are always in my prayers i hope you have an awesome summer break!!