Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mother's Day Blessing Letter to Priest and Two Blessings

Rewrite, edit, do whatever you want to it if you want to use it!  I posted this a few years ago.   I'm sending it today after last year's disappointment.  After the wonderful discussions on spiritual motherhood with Rebecca, I reworked the sentence on spiritual motherhood and fatherhood. Let me know if you have suggestions!

Dear Fathers-

Easter blessings to each of you!

I am writing this letter in regards to the annual blessing given to mothers on Mother's Day and fathers on Father's Day.  Over the past few years, I've become active in an online support group for Catholic women who are experiencing the cross of infertility.  While I myself have one child, I suffer from secondary infertility.  I'm in the unique position to receive the blessing and yet have a heavy heart for the children that are my heart's desire.   I also hear stories every year through this support group about how hard Mother's Day and Father's Day Mass is for those who are experiencing infertility, for those who have had miscarriages and for those who are single waiting to be married.  It's especially difficult when you strive to follow the teachings of the church regarding sex and birth control, are open to life and for one reason or another are not able to conceive.  It's even more painful when miscarriage is involved. Although I haven't personally read anyone's struggle post abortion, I would assume women who are at Mass on Mother's day and are healing from abortion would also be in pain.  While many of the women and men I know accept the cross of infertility and are open to God's will, the journey is hard and can be lonely. Would you prayerfully discern making the blessing more inclusive of all women and men in their unique vocation as mothers and fathers, including what we are all called to be:  spiritual mothers and fathers?  The blessing can be an opportunity to help heal those who are suffering, acknowledge those living out a vocation as a single person and also support mothers and fathers in the thick of parenting living children.  The spirit of this letter is not meant to be one of complaint nor entitlement.  I am only attempting to bring to light a painful issue that can potentially marginalize the faithful.  I trust that whatever decision you make about the blessing will be in our best interest.  If you would like more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  Please know you are in my daily prayers!


Made for Another World

Here are two blessings I found last year- not sure if I will include with the letter or not:

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food
stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or
running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and
disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t
mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit
with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge
your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of
motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we
anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have
real warriors in our midst. We remember you.


God our Creator, we pray:

for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility;
for expectant mothers, wondering and waiting;
for those who are tired, stressed or depressed;
for those who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family;
for those who are unable to feed their children due to poverty;
for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;
for those who raise children on their own;
for those who have lost a child;
for those who care for the children of others;
for those whose children have left home;
and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.
Bless all mothers, that their love may be deep and tender, and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good,
living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others.
Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Catholic IF Blogs: My take

I've said before and I'll say it again, this little blog community has changed my life.  The stories from all of you and your willingness to email and share medical advice have healed my body.  The spiritual and emotional aspect of the blogs helped me know I wasn't alone as I battled secondary infertility.  A few weeks ago, someone asked Simcha Fischer if she knew anyone who had Simcha's style, but had secondary infertility. The blogs this reader had encountered were "holy" and "I'm going to offer it up" type women.  She wanted someone who was willing to say it sucked while trying to live God's will.  My first instinct was that she hadn't found our little community!  Then, I was wondering if she had found it and that's her impression.  Then, it got me to thinking why that might be someone's impression of this community.  I came up with some possible reasons.

1.   The bench isn't deep:  NFPers are in the minority.  Take the small fraction of that minority who can't get pregnant, and you have a super minority.  We are in that super minority.  And, out of all the Catholic IF bloggers, I can't think of one who is professional writer like Simcha.  Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic writers in our community, but I can't think of one who does it as their main gig.  We all have day jobs.  And really, since I haven't blogged since November, can I really count myself as an IF blogger? Hmmm.  

2.  The subject matter just doesn't lend itself to humor or lightheartedness:  The medical visits, emotional pain and spiritual trauma are hard to joke about.  When you are dealing with someone who isn't able to fulfill what they believe their vocation to be, it's hard to make light of it.  There is no one in my real life that gets IF.  I don't know a single person (except for my Creighton practitioner and doctor) that understands what I'm going through in this area of my life.  I try to explain it, but it's all too foreign- the charting, the hormones, the traveling to weird doctors, the why in the heck wouldn't I do IVF?   I'm a very jokey person- I laugh all day long about a variety of stupid things.  But, it's really, really hard for me to be lighthearted about IF.  It will be one of the greatest regrets of my life.  And that's really not funny.  This is the only place I can read and talk openly with people who get it.  So, it is a serious place for the most part.  When I think of the mommy blogs who have shared serious topics such as infant loss or a sick child, those posts are jarring and sad and just awful.  But, then they are interspersed with cute kid posts.  Well, that can't really happen here.  There's no break from IF.

3.  The secondary infertility issue:  Then there's that.  What do you identify with?  Mommy blogs or IF blogs? For me, it is an identity issue.  It's super confusing when you are both.  Where do you belong?  Well, that's why my blog is named Made for Another World.   I do not belong in this world (this earth, not the IF world!) and having secondary infertility has taught me that.  Right now, I'm okay with truly not fitting in anywhere.  But, there was a time when I wasn't okay with it.  I'm sure in the ebb and flow of life, I'll be back to feeling alone at some point.  Well, that sucks and not fun.  But, after reading your stories and rooting around the internets and all the people I've encountered IRL, I'm starting to think that no one really feels like they really fit in anyway.  I'm thinking it's normal to feel this way.   I tend to identify with the IF bloggers more because I've found more authenticity and rawness in their stories.   They aren't writing as a brand or with a voice or to reach a certain amount of readers.   They are real women working through the fight of their lives. 

4.  The women here really ARE holy (minus moi).  For many of them, this journey has made them holier than they were when they started.  Not being able to conceive while being open to life in the midst of a culture of death tends to do that to you.  I hear your wisdom and I see your holiness.  You are light in the darkness. Thank you for shining bright.  

Just a few thoughts rattling in this ol brain of mine.

*disclaimer: this post wasn't meant to be defensive about what was said about this community- just some musings on my impressions of this community and why others may view us in a certain way (okay, that was a horrible sentence- I have to go to bed now and that's the best I can do.