Happy Easter! Today I cover one of the saints you all requested. He is a great saint who I already have a devotion to as a spiritual mother to priests. I could talk about him and the priesthood for hours, but I tried to keep it somewhat short. Please pray daily for our priests!
Trust is constantly on my mind these days. My husband and I found out that I am pregnant. Anyone who has read my previous work for Catholic Exchange knows that I have had three miscarriages and spent 3.5 years afflicted with post-partum depression and anxiety. The doctors know why I had miscarriages and my Catholic NaPro doctor told me three years ago that she could possibly help us have another successful pregnancy. In the meantime, she was able to begin treating my severe hormone deficiencies.
At that time, I had just suffered my third and most traumatic loss which resulted in emergency surgery. The post-partum that had developed 10 weeks after I gave birth to my daughter, deepened after each loss. That was not the time for another child. My husband and I knew that God wanted us to heal and walk the Cross of post-partum depression. My body also needed major healing after all it had been through. We didn’t know when the post-partum would lift and we knew the risk of me getting it after another pregnancy was high. Thankfully, NaPro offers a post-partum depression progesterone treatment that has helped a lot of women.
After that difficult time, we didn’t know or think we would have any more children, but God’s ways are not our own. It would have been imprudent to try and I wrote about the need for prudence in such decisions. God calls each one of our families to a different path to holiness and we cannot compare our situation to the person sitting next to us in the pew because we have no idea what they are going through, can handle, or what God is asking of them. Being judgmental is a sin for a reason and it stems from the destructive sin of pride. But, God is also not done with any of us. Crosses lift, evolve, or take a new shape. Old Crosses disappear and new ones take their place. In all of these we are called to trust.
Okay, I am just going to be honest here, sometimes having to use NFP sucks. I don’t mean because I want to use contraception. Quite the opposite. I know how contraception has hurt marriages, our culture, women, pretty much everybody. Our culture just cannot see it, but the Church has predicted the disastrous results we see before us, for decades. My husband and I do not want any part in the contraceptive culture. So don’t misunderstanding my venting.
I have gone through my first series of HCG shots. I am getting better at giving myself the shot, which I usually choose to do in my stomach. If I pay attention it does not hurt, but if I do it in a hurry, I bruise myself. The first few days I was feeling a bit better mentally and physically. It’s the pregnancy hormone and I usually feel more balanced when I am pregnant, minus the projectile vomiting. The problem is, that it has not lasted, not that I expected immediate results (that doesn’t mean that some small part of me wasn’t hoping…lol).
I am still struggling with the same severe PMS symptoms: severe anxiety, fatigue, cravings, depression. The HCG has had no impact on these symptoms even though my progesterone levels have risen to “awesome” levels and my estrogen is rising, it just still is not at the goal. My estrogen levels were really low. As my husband explained it to some of our friends, “here is average, here is one step below average, and here is my wife, way down here”.
Here’s the thing, there are no quick fixes, and I was not expecting any. So if you decide to see a NaPro doctor, keep in mind that it will take a while to figure it all out. Body chemistry, especially hormones, are extremely complicated. It is amazing how much they impact our bodies. It can be discouraging, but like me, you have to remember to be patient and not lose hope.
When you have days like today, like the day that I am having, where I am anxious, tired, and depressed, listen to your Guardian Angel and pray. I keep hearing over and over again, “pray, Constance”. Am I doing a very good job of listening? No, but I do know that it is all that I can do and it is the right thing to do. I have been through these kinds of days hundreds of times, so I know that in time, things get better. I also need to learn to cling to the Cross. The Cross is the only thing that will set me free and my Guardian Angel is trying to smack me upside the head. Have you seen this image on Catholic Memes:
Keep up the good fight and remember to fall on Christ. Have a blessed day!
My first HCG injections arrived today. They are being used by my doctor to treat my estrogen and progesterone deficiencies. If you have had repeated miscarriages, post-partum depression, PCOS, severe PMS, or other gynecological issues check out the Pope Paul VI Institute and find a doctor in your area.
Today is the day that I find out the results of my month long hormone panel. I am working with a Catholic NaPro doctor whom I met through the Lady Dominicans. My husband and I are about to make the 2.25 hour drive to her office. I have to admit that I am nervous. I think that I am more nervous of her saying to me that she could not find anything wrong with me. That would mean we would know nothing more than we did when we started this process four months ago with me learning Creighton NFP. That would mean that I would have no answer to why I have lost three babies.
I am trying to write as I go through this process. I will write a post on Natural Procreative Technologies (NaPro), which are a form of Catholic Church approved medical interventions for repeated miscarriage, post-partum depression, severe PMS, hormone issues, endometriosis, etc. The most common treatment method from what I understand is natural progesterone given during the second half of a woman’s cycle when she is not pregnant and injections when she is pregnant. That is if a progesterone deficiency is found, which is really what we are looking for in me.
While the process is stressful because of all the unknowns, it was when I was introduced to this option that I began to have hope again. After this last loss, I was starting to accept that I would not have the option of more children whether it be because of my physical or emotional health. Each pregnancy was taking its toll on me. Rough pregnancies, that resulted in loss, and then periods of post-partum depression and anxiety. The last three years have been a roller coaster.
So today I find out if I have a hormone issue. I have had every blood test possible this year. All of which came back normal. While this is not the last step, it is the last step in the easier options. The next options would be genetic testing and structural testing. I have to admit that there is a big part of me that is hoping she will tell me I have a progesterone deficiency. So much of what I have been through in the last 20 years will make so much more sense if that is the case. Miscarriage was just the catalyst to start looking for issues. I have struggled with severe PMS for decades. Most OB/GYNs just throw birth control at women, rather than looking for the actual medical issue. I have never gone on the Pill for medical reasons and never intend to. Some women have to, but I think that these women need to look into NaPro.