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Infertility Speaks: 4 women reflect on the journey to parenthood

Note: The following couples were interviewed for or contributed to our feature stories on infertility in the March-April 2011 issue of Family Foundations magazine.

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Mrs. Mike is a Catholic blogger and NFP user who has two adopted children, Mrs. Mike reflects on infertility at http://musingsofmrsmike.blogspot.com/.

When we were married, we received the gift of a plaque with a quote from Pope John Paul II exhorting married couples to be open to life. (I don’t remember the exact quote now.) I had it hanging in our dining room for the first year and a half of our marriage, but after a while, I had to remove the plaque from it’s nail on the wall because it felt like that quote was just rubbing salt in the wound.

Open to life? pffft! My womb was open for business but I had no takers.

But it got me pondering this idea early on of how the IF couple can reconcile this notion of being open to life when our wombs have been closed against our will. What if adoption is not feasible for each infertile couple? What then? …Read More…

For more posts by Mrs. Mike, see Infertile Mother and The “good Catholic” Family

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Kathleen Basi is a regular contributor to Family Foundations. She writes about Down syndrome, life with three children, and faith at www.kathleenbasi.com.

We embark on the journey to parenthood with a considerable leg up on most people: namely, we understand how the process works. We know, because of NFP, the hormonal shifts and the changes in my body they cause, and we’ve been tracking them for a couple of years already: cervical fluids and temperature shift. But we also know that my patterns are considerably less than ideal: long, ambiguous secretions without the clear pattern that you want when you’re trying to conceive. And polycystic ovaries run in our family; one sister has opted to adopt, and another has had medical complications. So we go into the process feeling nervous, but hopeful. After all, we also know how to target our efforts.

We start trying just after 9/11. Mired in the sense of history, I feel that this is one way in which we can respond to all the death and destruction: by bringing new life into the world. I’ve also already done a lot of research, which reveals that every 5 pounds lost by a woman with PCO yields some increased percentage of getting pregnant. Read More…

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Nicole Havrilla is a Creighton Fertility Care Provider in the Amarillo, TX area. She blogs about her journey through endometriosis and infertility at http://survivingendometriosis.blogspot.com/.

A couple of years ago I woke-up in the middle of the night with abdominal pains. It kinda felt like I was getting ready to start my period, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t too concerned, but it was unusual. I didn’t think much about things and went back to sleep. Over the course of the next few months I started noticing that my menstrual cramps were getting more and more painful. I would sit at my office desk and be in such blinding pain, hoping it would pass soon.

The pain grew in intensity over the course of a few months and I went into my OB/GYN’s office for a check-up. He performed his usual exam and said, “You probably have endometriosis and should try to get pregnant. Getting pregnant will stop the growth of the lining and ease your pain.” WHAT? I was totally confused. We were not ready to start a family yet; we had only been married for a year. This was his solution? Before sending me home, he suggested an ultrasound series to assure I was ovulating. At the ultrasound appointments the nurse discovered I had a cyst hanging off my fallopian tube. She said it was nothing to worry about and everything looked fine. So in 2006 Doc #1 said I was fine, the cyst was nothing to worry about and if I wanted to relieve the pain, I should get pregnant. This was not good enough. Read More…

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Michael and Alison, who shared their story in the March-April 2011 issue of Family Foundations, live in Houston, Texas and teach a local STM of NFP. They have been trying to conceive for nearly two years. Alison blogs about infertility at http://matchingmoonheads.wordpress.com/. This is Alison’s story, in her own words.

Being NFP teachers ourselves, I have charted my cycle since before we got married. We thought conceiving would be straight forward as I have textbook cycles with 15 to 16 day luteal phases. Let it be known that that is not always the case!

After 6 months of charting and using the peak fertile time we were also able to sense that there was a problem. The doctor verified the presence of mature follicles on my ovaries and performed a “post-coital” test that showed that my husband and I were “compatible” in my fertile phase. I also did an HSG which affirmed the presence of two intact and open tubes and a normal uterus.  READ MORE…