Infertility

Convert,
I don’t think the thread has turned into a debate. I think the responses so far, have indicated confusion and puzzlement. NFP is a natural way to know your own fertility indicators. Using NFP, dh and I were able to determine, on our own, that we had infertility issues, 6 months into our marriage! We presented our charts to the doctor, and were diagnosed in under a year. We chose adoption very early on, and were proud parents of our first child when we were under the age of 30. VERY young compared to most first time adoptive parents.
If you learned and used NFP for a short while, to see what your problem(if you have one) is, then you could be the parents you want to be soon! It may be simply timing or perhaps thyroid problem, etc. It could be something that could be solved very easily, and in line with the Church! Taking vitamin supplements and cutting out caffeine are always healthy things to do, but they won’t assist you if you have a hormone imbalance or if you are not having relations at the “right time”. It’s difficult for people to give advice, when it seems you have cut out a very important tool in determining what your problem may be!!! Would you be opposed to having an x-ray to determine if you have a broken bone? Would you not take antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection? Would you not have an MRI, if a doctor thinks you’ve had some type of brain injury? NFP could be a diagnostic tool in your case. Nothing more. Anyway, I just wanted to chime in and shed more light as to why people keep returning to the subject NFP!

Hello! It’s funny how we all seem to be on here at all hours of the night :wink: I really do thank you for your sweet comments. I realize that you are not wanting me to suffer needlessly and, again, I thank you.

I came to this thread to share more the emotional/psychological aspects of infertility/low fertility. Though I welcome advise of any and all kinds :slight_smile: Since neither one of our opinions is in contrast to the teachings of the Church (praise God!), I believe we should act according to our well formed consciences. God will bless us both for acting accordingly. :thumbsup:

I am SO happy to hear of your beautiful stories of conceiving your “miracle babies.” I know you probably desire nothing more than half a dozen more! We must continue to pray for, and lift one another up in Chirst. We have heavy crosses to bear, but, together, they won’t be so bad. Thanks be to God that we are brothers and sisters in Christ! :heaven:

Welcome, Convert99!

My husband and I have been struggling with undiagnosed infertility for nearly three years now. Like you, we don’t wish to involve fertility doctors, etc. We did learn NFP but found that using it in an attempt to achieve pregnancy was detrimental to our marriage. So here we are, three years on, one early miscarriage (5 weeks) two years ago yesterday, and nothing else.

Honestly, it hasn’t all been bad. The miscarriage was awful, and it was seven months before I could be around pregnant women or babies without crying. Of course nearly everyone we knew had new babies or grandbabies in that time period. But some of the rest of it has been good, or at least character-building. It has brought my husband and me closer together, it has helped us to be open to the idea of adopting. It has been extremely humbling to realize that no, I can’t do something simply because I will it; God must also will it. It has helped me to learn patience and that even if God doesn’t give us what we ask for, he still gives us good things.

I have to admit that I have had a pretty easy life: excellent parents, a Catholic religious and moral upbringing, a huge extended family and lots of friends, a nice home, good schools, a wonderful husband. I always kind of wondered what my cross would end up being, as it didn’t seem like I had any hardships worthy of being called a personal cross. Well, this is it. Certainly not what I would have expected (both my parents are from 7-kid families, and many of my cousins have multiple “surprise” kids), but I can deal with this, and apparently so can my husband. We’ve really drawn on the graces we received at our wedding.

As for diet and supplements, we tried a lot of things. Obviously nothing has worked for us, because this is apparently completely out of our hands at this point. But I have heard that for many people, green tea is beneficial, as are B vitamins, and that blueberries can be detrimental. Of course the people who told me these things also told me that a surefire way to ensure a pregnancy was to wrap a piece of bread in foil and stick it under your mattress, and then prop a fertility goddess statue on your headboard, so make what you will of their nutritional advice. :rolleyes:

Convert,
The article above “Babies Deserve Better” is excellent. I highly recommend reading it, if you haven’t already. You’re in my prayers.

THANK YOU! AND GOD BLESS YOU! I will pray for you too. I offered my Mass up yesterday especially for all those couples here struggling with infertility. :signofcross:

Yeah, I am SO glad you rolled your eyes at that! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Double eye roll! I am also thankful you shared your beautiful story with me. I do appollogize for cutting your quote short. In fact, that part I cut out was SO special, so readers scroll up! :thumbsup:

That is just one of many reasons that my husband and I are choosing not to use NFP. There are so many infertility problems. The timing of the woman’s egg release is just one of many. It does help lots of couples conceive, but it can also be devistating and heartbreaking to those whose fertility problems lie elsewhere in the woman or even the man. We also are leaving conception entirely up to God’s timing right now. Whether the fertility issues lie within me or my husband, God will have to work through them regardless in a miraculous way.

I did have someone email me privately. They found links that the male consumption of caffeine could greatly reduce male fertility, up to half! So, that might be something to look into if you haven’t already.

I do believe that this is Jesus’s precious cross He is allowing you to share. Why are there so many infertile couples today, at this time? Why do we, who would never dream of using birth control pills, have to suffer the same effects as those who DO use them?
I don’t know the answer. I know that our world is in very troubled times. I know that things could get very bad one day with the state of world crisis.

Maybe, all these infertile couples will be needed one day in the future to care for orphans and the sick due to war, crime, terrosim, etc. A family with six, eight, twelve kids would have a hard time being able to take in but maybe one or two. We might be able to take in six, eight, twelve! I would hope that nothing so tragic to cause that much devistation would ever happen, but it has happened before. And you well know the state of our world, even the US! It’s just one of many possibilities that God could use us for, though, large families would have much more trouble being used for the same purposes.

As for the precious darling, now in heaven, before the throne of God, he/she is certainly happy and blessed. The child is interceeding for YOU and longing for the day when you will all be re-united in heaven. When a child is taken, and goes directly to God, you will see them again. When we have children on this earth, no matter how well we raise them, we cannot have that same guarantee. And to think, you now have a little darling intercessor for you, personally, since no one else knows about him/her, pleading for you before the throne of God.

I hope one day, if you haven’t already, that you will name your child, and talk with him/her daily. It has helped SO many couples dealing with loss of a child, due to miscarriage or even abortion. There is nothing contrary to church teaching in it, it is reccomended by holy priests and religious. Saint Paul mentions the neccessity for the saints on earth to communicate with those already preceeding them to heaven.

Just a few things. I hope this helps even a little. We must pray for one another.

Anybody out there regular enough on this thread want to start a daily prayer system for all who come by here? We could set it up through private forum emails, so as not to tie up the forum here.

I do. I never tried it (not looking to ttc’ing right now) but I learned a lot based on other peoples experience. If you are interested, send me a message.

Sure! That would be great! I need all the help I can get. I am a young married woman, and have LOTS to learn :wink:

May God bless you and yours!

Longtime TTC’er here and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned about nutrition and TTCing. Some things to consider include cutting back on your caffeine and eating as though you are already pregnant (healthy foods, not quantity :wink: ) Consuming good amounts of water may aid in the quantity and quality of your fertile mucus. Some women speak highly of flaxseed oil as a supplement that may help. I only take a prenatal vitamin, to be certain that I have the folic acid in case I do achieve a pregnancy. Regular exercise is also recommended. B vitamin supplements are also supposedly good but are covered if you just take a good multivitamin. Ah, and limit soy-based foods as they’ve been somewhat linked to childhood leukemia.

Healthy happy natural trying is great. In our case, we knew I ovulated only once a year at best, DH was 41 when we got married, and as it turned out, my hormones would have caused me to miscarry any time I got pregnant ( which I did the one time we got pregnant.) I take very minimal, natural supplements so that I can now sustain a pregnancy, and surgery fixed my other ills. None of this would have happened had we not gone to the doctor. We are also planning on adopting, but are giving TTC 12 months and then giving up officially trying. That puts DH at 47, and we agree that’s enough. I too wonder about the numbers of infertile couples and God’s plans for the world. Our home is open any time to any child that needs parents.

Thanks for sharing your story :slight_smile: My family is also prone to frequent miscarriage, though everyone else has also successfully conceived several :confused: I am thinking it might just be God’s will right now. He knows best :heaven:

Yes, I have heard the caffeine one myself. I also have been taking multi-vitamins with folic acid (just in case.) I drink TONS of water, milk, and juice. I take short walks daily (can’t take long ones with asthma) and LOVE fruits and veggies. Truthfully, I just LOVE food period. Any kind! You mean I can’t start eating for two NOW? Darn, I think I have already started. :smiley:

My struggle with the caffeine is that the caffeine in tea is so good and healthy as a natural pain reliever/asthma reliever. So, while I want to get off of it enitirely I am afraid that having to take pain relievers/asthma relievers every four hours would be worse for the baby. So I am sticking with this plan for now.

My husband and I long to adopt children too. My husband, sweetheart that he is, wants to adopt one or two even if we can have half a dozen. We can’t adopt right now, that money is going to pay off college. It sure costs a lot to adopt a child who would be so willing to go with any loving family for free! I know its the laws/politics involved that cost.

You may want to consider begining the adoption proceedures now, especially if you are desiring an infant. At least look into it and begin finding a good lawyer. (These processes, as you probably well know, take years to complete. I have heard up to five years for a U.S. infant adpotion! Overseas, they usually require only two or three years max.) Then, if you are blessed to conceive naturally also, you will have two beautiful children within just a year or two of each other. Just a consideration, of course, you and your husband know your situation best :wink:

Best of luck, you are in my prayers!

Ok, I am on an emotional rollercoaster. I was able to start the blood work for hormone levels and I tried to explain that all I can handle right now is showing up. They have to take care of the rest. I can’t be responsible for deciding when to be there or what color tube to use to put the blood in. This is all very important to me and I can’t be trusted to get it right. I am to emotional right now. I am distracted and I need it simple. I Have my hands full and I MESSED IT UP!!! I told the lab tech I was on peak 7 and I was on peak 5. I am waiting to find out if we have to dump all the samples and begin again. I can’t put this off for one more month. The doctors see the clinical part, not the emotional part. I am trying to get through the day. I don’t have family near by and I don’t have a parish family to lean on. I have three children at home to try to care for. They are older, but I homeschool. I can’t put them in another school right now. I am morning the loss of two children. This is to much. My husband and I can’t get close, because I always have fertile mucus and I can’t handle another miscarriage or stillbirth. How do people do this? The anniversary of Theresa’s death is Mother’s Day and I really don’t know how to do this. I am praying my heart out…God what would you have me do? I will do anything?

TAKE A DEEP BREATH! I AM HERE FOR YOU, we are all here for you. I will pray for you. I will send more in just a second. Just know there is someone else out there THIS EXACT MINUTE, lovingly praying for you and wanting to help. :slight_smile:

P.S. Antihistamines (SP?) decrease fertility. If I explained what they do, that would go into NFP. I would imagine anyone with asthma takes them.

There you are! And thanks so much. LUCKY FOR ME, I just have asthma, not allergies. So I don’t have to take antihistamines (can’t spell either :wink: ) You are right, lots of people have both. Thankfully not me. :slight_smile:

Convert in 99

I pray that God may bless your wonderful marriages with an abundance of grace.

I too, shared your distrust of fertility medicine when my wife and I were in a similar situation 15-20 years ago. When we made the foray into this territory, we found that, with the exception of the Pope Paul VI institute, we were saying “No, we do not believe that is moral” a lot! In the sorry state of the world today, medicine does not promote good morals, and instead will question them. “But don’t you want to have a child?” or “No one else thinks that is a problem” were common responses. Very basic philosphical errors occur in medicine now (‘the ends justify the means’ and ‘it must be right if everyone else does it’).

I also understand your thoughts on NFP when used for preventing pregnancy. The Church teaches that medical technology to correct problems with physical health is licit, as long as the intentions are moral, and the action is moral. The action of collecting information about fertility is not inherently immoral. Although use of that information for selfish intent (preventing pregnancy when it is not necessary to do so) is immoral intent, a married couple may certainly morally use fertility information to attempt to become pregnant. Also, medical procedures (e.g. laparoscopy, hormone corrective treatment) that seek to restore normal reproductive function are licit.

That being said, there can be the emotional discomfort with sharing such a personal part of married life with strangers.

I would recommend to not hold back sharing a little about your challenges with close family and friends. It takes some humility to ask for prayers in this regard, but humility is a good thing, especially in this situation. I believe that God acts (perhaps not exactly how we think we want Him to, but always in our best interest) when people pray. Also, in the event you do pursue adoption, the more people that know you want to adopt, the better.

I think when children come into this world should be entirely dependant upon GOD, and not us.

I think I know what you mean… However, the Catholic Church teaches that new life comes about from the participation of a couple with God. It is not God’s job alone. :slight_smile:

I am having trouble seeing that God blesses our marriage. Sometimes I feel that because we can’t have kids, it is a sign that God dosen’t approve of our union. Also, this leads to feeling stagnant and sterile in the marital act. Like its fruitless, therefore pointless and no longer pleasing to God.

We had the same issue as well, although my wife felt that way more than I did. Infertility was one of the biggest challenges we faced. Christopher West helped us here. If you have not read “The Good News about Sex and Marriage”, I would highly recommend it. There is abundant grace that God grants a husband and wife during the marriage act, regardless of whether it produces a child or not. It is fruitful in other ways.

Dan

Thank you Dan! God bless you and your wife.

I have been very openly sharing my feelings with family. I think pretty much everyone out there knows I want a dozen kids. My mother is the prayer warrior! God bless her. I have not seen such faith as I have in her.

Trust me, we are very actively participating in God’s creative plan :wink: :wink: We are blessed with a very loving and healthy marriage.

Thanks for your kind words and support. We will pray for you too!

Hello (again) “dkoinzan!”

I am not certain if you are needing emotional support, submitting a prayer request, or need some “tech support” for NFP.

I cannot help you with NFP. I know very little about it. I am sure there is someone right on these forums who could though. I understand it may be a very necessary thing right now, and, as I understand, high stress can alter/change what may have once been more predictable. This could be very frustrating and might make you want to give up on it, but, I DO know that there is hope out there, even for very irregular cycles. I am just not sure of the points and particulars :wink:

HOWEVER, if you need just a little emotional comfort right now, that I might be better able to help with. I have known and helped many family members, couples and single mothers who have dealt with the loss of a child through miscarriage and abortion. I do not know your situation personally, save what I read here, but I would be most willing to help you via this forum or private mail if you want.

I know you have a ton on your plate right now, and sadness in loosing a little one on top of it is almost unbearable. What a blessing that you are homeschooling. Maybe there is a co-op that you could join for support. We did for my schooling. It saved my mom a lot of time, energy, and helped her through what she could not teach. Many of them are protestant, some are catholic, some are both. But, as long as YOU teach the religion, either could prove helpful.

Something, that may help right now, in dealing with the loss of a darling child:

I hope one day, if you haven’t already, that you will name your child, and talk with him/her daily. It has helped SO many couples dealing with loss of a child, due to miscarriage or even abortion. There is nothing contrary to church teaching in it, it is reccomended by holy priests and religious. Saint Paul mentions the neccessity for the saints on earth to communicate with those already preceeding them to heaven.

Also, here is also a beautiful prayer, written by Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network):

"My Lord, the baby is dead!

Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or a flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’?” Well, I will tell you why.

You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity."

I was in tears when I first read that, but it has helped me a lot in dealing with miscarriage and infertility. I hope it helps you also.

God bless you, we are praying for you!

Dkoinzan-

I’ve followed your posts carefully and have always kept you and yours in my prayers. I have had the blood draw struggles myself and will try to offer some help. Are you getting your blood drawn at PPVI or at a local doctor’s office? As far as Peak +5 vs Peak + 7, they will get what they need from the blood they drew, and they could extrapolate the numbers if they need to. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and believe me I know the emotional side of all of this more than most. Though getting pregnant is hard/seemingly impossible for me, I could name off over 50 babies/children I personally know that PPVI have helped be born, at term, and healthy.

I am getting my blood work done at the local hospital under someone trained in PPVI methods. I will be going to PPVI next month. My local Dr. only does fertility care on Thursdays. This fertility issue is new to me. I have endo. and have been treated for that in the past. I had trouble conceiving in the past, but the last two children I conceived were conceived in the first month. Of course then they both died. I know my hormones are off. I feel crazy. I am ussually pretty even keeled, but I not anymore. My Doctor’s assistant emailed that everything should be ok. I guess they worked it out with PPVI institute and I will continue as scheduled. I explained that I really can’t be responsible for anything more than coming in and producing blood. I want to be responsible and I want to take an active role, but I can’t. I forget what I am going to the basement for by the time I reach the bottom of the stairs. The Doctor told me to cut the stress and the biggest stress is trying to get in for labs when they want me to keep track of all the paperwork, the techs ask me what color viles to use, and I am suppose to know what blood to take on what day. It is to much. Give me a couple of months and a week vacation with my husband and I am sure I could figure all this out, but not this month. I need the labs done. I need to have these hormones straightened out so I am not up with hotflashes all night, so I am not crying one minute and calm the next. I know there is a reason for all things and I know God is watching over me. Today this is hard.

Ah- ok. First of all, I am again sorry that you are going through all of this. I do have a suggestion regarding vials and blood draws. When I lived in Omaha, on the weekends I had to go to Bergan Mercy for blood draws. There used to always be confusion there as far as what was required (which vials, etc…) PPVI gave them a cheat sheet showing the different colored vials and what days they were used. Maybe you could request a copy of it, make a copy of it for yourself to bring to the draws and then give them a copy for their office. Of course if you are already P+5 you don’t have long to go, but perhaps the cheat sheet would be useful for any future clients they have.

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