Tuesday, April 4, 2017

And now.....

Hello old friends, I have not shared this space with you in far to long but baby, I've missed ya.

 After finally remembering my blog name and password, I know I know, I was reading some old posts and realized, I have to tell you the rest of the story.......

After my 33 days of consecrating in September 2013 my husband and I renewed our vowels on our anniversary and then, one month to the day we conceived our beloved Amelia. I was at our weekly prayer group, kneeling down during the last decade of the rosary, I heard a soft , gentle voice say to me, it is time. I immediately knew it was Our Lady and she meant its baby time.... So then I waited, we prayed a lot and we waited, then on the feast of the holy family at 5 am the test said positive. Fast forward to many months of sickness , trips to the ER for IV bags and  then in September of 2014 she arrived, two weeks late but who cares right, she was here and let me say, oh so perfect... 

Now let's fast forward once again. We had Amelia, we moved to another new house, we felt really good. If God wanted to give more kids we were open but listen we didn't think we would get this one so we weren't about to start making demands... Then one sunny day last March I was reading while Amelia napped, suddenly the page in front of me disappeared, all I could see was a beautiful, chubby, dark haired baby boy and more intensely I could smell him. I knew this was my son, I then heard a strong male voice say, this is my son Samuel whom I am giving to you. Just like that it was over, he was gone and I wept. I cried so hard I could not breath. I knew that baby, he was mine and I wanted him here, now..... Again I waited and prayed , on the feast of Saint Joseph two weeks later, the test said positive ...once again the sickness came, IV therapy at home , months of feeling horrible, replying on friends and family to care for Amelia and myself. I begged God to help me, of course being the good God and Divine Physician He sent me a wonderful woman who for the next several months would see me once a week for acupressure and massage therapy. Then on December 1st, again two weeks late, we welcomed Samuel William into the world and perfection grew. 

Some thoughts...

I fully understand that some of you may be saying,, Shannon did that really happen to you, are you just hearing things or hearing the things you want to hear? My true and honest response is, yes, those things happened, I know it to be true and look I have the kids to prove it! You my friends do not have to believe me, you can take it up with the Big Man yourself, but I know in my heart heaven spoke to me about these babies... Now will I get a Divine pregnancy test every time we are expecting, I honestly don't know. I can hope because selfishly it is kind of amazing but maybe God won't plan that going forward.  

I feel the urge to write this ,to share ,not because I want to brag or throw around cool interactions with Our Creator but because I pray that  if you are reading this and you are struggling to give up control and fully trust God, that this story of our life can help you let go. Let go of the power struggle bc God isn't going to compete with you. He loves you and has given you free will to keep pushing your wants, you won't be happy and neither will He but He won't stop you. I am unable to fully express the peace we have felt surrendering to His will and the graces and blessings He has given us , well they are more than I could have ever dreamed. I beg you, offer Him your pain, your love, your desires, make a consecration to Our Lady and give up the fight, fall back and let the Divine wave carry you away. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

What I've learned in 33 days

         I have found the secret to Marian consecration , it is a little heavenly book that I borrowed from my mom one lazy afternoon. For many years I have wanted to consecrate myself to Mary, but for one lame reason or another I avoided it. I would  hear these horror stories about when you start your consecration, your life falls apart, things get messy, then if you keep going , Mary comes and cleans you all up, shiny and new. I could never get past the messy part, my life felt pretty messy as it was, did I really want to open the closest and drawers I had spent so much time shoving all my baggage into, something was bound to fall out and then what would I do? Well, the answer to that is one of the easiest and also most difficult things in the world, trust. I was supposed to give Mary my everything, my good deeds, my works, my loves, my life and even my prayer intentions so she could care for them as she saw fit?? Doesn't she know that I know best! How am I am going to turn over that much control, I cant even handle it when my husband drives the car ( I am working on it)!
  However our beautiful Mother knew all this, she knew my fears and still she trusted in me. 33 days ago I cracked the spine of a new book, a book that would bring a mess to my life and then in the most tender way, clean it up and make me new again.

       First, the Priest that writes this retreat is one of my favorites, he also wrote ,Consoling the Heart of Jesus, which I try to do annually. His style is one of the few that I can grasp with ease, I feel truly blessed that God called him.
Secondly, if you are like me and have trouble with the traditional consecration in terms of long daily prayers , then this is for you. When I started I was shocked at how simple this was, I could not believe one reading a day was all that was required, and not even a rosary after! This was something I could do, even if I missed a day I caught up easily, I found myself so eager for the next days reading, itching to know what St. Louis, St. Maximilian and others had to say about Mary.
 The graces began to flow , and yes, there was some messiness, but it did not matter, I was able to see it was all for my greater good. Finally on my consecration day , Our Lady's birthday and also the day of our God daughters baptism ( how cool is that) I gave myself to her , placing a miraculous medal around my neck, I turned it all over to her, Our most Loving Mother.

  Now on to what I learned in those 33 days, through pray, fasting, communication with our Lady as well as my husband we feel it is time to stop infertility treatments. Maybe not forever , but at least for now. This feeling grew in me as I prayed and fasted these passed 33 days , I could not fight it any longer, true trust in Her and the carrying out of HIS plan, not ours was to stop treatment. We had been feeling like a break was needed before I started my 33 days, but that feeling grew and God showed me it was what He wanted. I was scared of course ,I would be giving up the control of taking these medications, doing things "right" , planning out my cycle, but I also felt such peace . No more planning , no more medication that turned me into the wife from a Steven King novel. No more control, pure trust, utter bliss in knowing my Parents are handling it. Here, I will also say I reserve the right to be frustrated about this and possible cry ( bc I have already been doing that) but I do not foresee taking back control. Maybe we will be lead to return to medications at some point, however I am not going to put a time line on that, because as I have learned, it is really not up to me.
   As an adult there are times where we long for the care free days of childhood, no worries or responsibilities just fun, well I have found that loop hole, it is called trust and partnered with 33 days of Mary, it feels pretty darn good.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Moving, gardening, becoming a HCG eating monster and more!

     Where to start... I have been taking a blogging break, and by that I mean, locking the computer in the closest , hiding under the covers and refusing to write, even a grocery list. I wish that was a joke but I have really been scared to write, I guess I felt like I did not have any "good news" to share so why share at all? I see now I think that may have been a trick of the devil, keeping me away when really this blog is helpful to myself and my process.

   In the past few months we have moved into our new house, in the same town as where I grew up. I cannot tell you how good it has been to be home. I feel so much better here, I am more active, I am spending time with my family daily, I am able to help my grandparents when they need it. I am really grateful that we were given this opportunity. The move itself helped me to clear my head, let go of some of my obsessive moments when charting. Things became more laid back and I think a certain grace was given to us in terms of our fertility. After we moved all our things in and got the house just as we wanted it, we brought in two foster dogs, they stayed a short while but helped make us feel more at home here. So much so that my prayer is if we are to adopt a dog that God put the perfect situation on our laps , bc I would adopt any and all of them. I have spent countless hours weeding,digging and planting in the back yard, ok it is a tiny space but I am thankful to have a spot to grow some herbs and peppers. Our house has been filled with peace and love and truly grace, for which I am so grateful for.
   That being said, our fertility has also had some new developments. I started clomid, those of you who know me, know I avoid this for a long while. I was scared of the side affects but after much prayer and thought , I popped that little white pill. Don't ya know it worked, I ovulated right on time ,day 14, something I have never ,ever , done before. I also started HCG injection, things were looking good, my chart looked, dare I say, almost normal. Then reality set back in, my body would not hold the HCG. The doctor tells you not to take a pregnancy test when doing the injections bc you will get a false positive, in my case I got negatives. Every P+ 3,5,7,9 I would inject 2000 units of HCG into my belly and by night fall, they would all be gone. My body would eat them up like some crazed HCG monster. So as I tried my list of new medications, stumped my doctor and charting instructor, the negative tests piled up and good old Aunt Flow arrived right on time.
   As for the spiritual aspect of my life, I have been feeling my closer to God. I have started Light weigh a Catholic weight loss program. It has a bible study, daily sacrifices, prayers and much more. I feel some major graces flowing in terms of light weigh , and boy am I thankful. I also started total consecration to Mary. GULP. This I was really nervous about , but with the help of two beautiful new friends, and the heavens of course, I am really enjoying this journey to Jesus though Mary. I have never felt so loved and cared for, both here on earth and in Heaven. Even though I seem to be a guinea pig for infertility treatments , I feel a strong peace.
  That is all for now my dear friends, thank you so much for you support and love these past few months, I love you all !

Monday, May 20, 2013

On the road again


        That's right friends, I am in post surgery phase ! I went to St. Peter's hospital last week and allowed the absolutely amazing ,Dr. B, to cut me up, what did he find you ask? A giant cluster of endometriosis encasing my ovary! I feel lighter already,in all honesty, I feel very peaceful. I am extremely grateful that, Dr. B found and removed the "endo", also that I have such a wonderful family ,my grandparents have let us move in for my recovery period until our move.
    As of right now, it is just like old times, I am healing, which means laying around and letting my grandmother do everything, okay not everything, she isn't washing me. Its glorious, however I am feeling pretty good so it will probably need to end soon. Today, however, I had the pleasure of spending a lazy day with my oldest dearest friend .
We sipped delicious mint, cucumber filled drinks, we laughed till we cried, we made new friends, who played us love songs and made us outstanding snacks.
Today, I felt like my old self, I wasn't worried about doctors or medication , I was just present in the moment, the music and the love of a friend. 
I pray for more days like today, maybe it is my hormones evening out, maybe I am just filled with grace , either way I am grateful. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blog Button!

      I am so happy to announce that I am now part of the Catholic Blogger Network!! Hooray!
Because I am part of this awesome directory, I get to have a blog button! How cool is that? So I am linking the button as well as the button of the "wonder woman" who helped me create it. However, it is thanks to you, my dear friends, that I am able to be apart of this network, so really, honestly, thank you!

Chasing St Gerard 300px.jpg


Thursday, April 18, 2013

What we have learned thus far

Processing.....Processing.. Processing...

Yesterday I received all the information we have gathered from my month of tests. For the sake of time I will list for you what the doctor printed for me ;

Ovarian Dysfunction
Medications needed: Misoprostol , HCG Injections, progesterone
Medications: Levothyroxine
Treatment: Surgery
Vitamin Deficiency
Daily tablets needed

The break down :

          I think I had a vision in my head of walking into the sunset after surgery, hand in hand with my husband , babies just over the next hill. I felt like the surgery was going to be my cure all, my one and only treatment, but, God has other plans.
Yesterday I learned I will never be able to conceive and carry to term on my own, unless there is an act of God, which I am not ruling out. I will need to take oral medications , inject myself with HCG , change my diet, and be treated, forever. All this is a giant reminder that I am broken, I am sinful, I am not in my glorified form. This is what stuck with me, not that I need these treatments but why I need them. I am in disbelieve a little too, that my body is so unwelcome to life. How can my heart and my womb be so off base, don't they converse about our plan? Maybe so, maybe they do want the same things, that doesn't mean God does. He allowed this brokenness, He has a larger plan for us , like I have said before, a plan that will , we hope, get us to Heaven, a place where our babies already reside. So I am trying to keep my focus on the cross, I am longing to be with my Beloved, and my heart is filled with peace, knowing this is His desire too. Will these next few months bring some struggle, sure, but that does not mean all is lost. There is glory, grace and Goodness at work here, my prayer is that we are open to receiving it.
       That being said, am I sad? YES ! I am tender, I am willing to walk this path , to carry this cross, but, my heart does sink a little. I could easily go on a rant about all those little perfect couples who get pregnant without effort, or, the young girls who treat a child like an infection and cut them out. However, I will not { that didn't count ,right?} I do not want to let hate into my heart, I cannot get upset every time God's will for us is not the same as His will for you. I can however, take my sadness to Him, offer it as a consolation for His sufferings and rest joyfully with my Friend. So please dear loved ones, keep praying for us, our cross looks differently than we pictured and we need a few Simons to help .

Monday, April 15, 2013

Real Talk

  Yesterday I found myself in a conversation with a woman who was in tears over her daughters recent infertility. I knew this woman's pain, this was my pain. I knew this families grief , it was my grief. I too shared that tight smile while holding back tears , when told " I am praying for you". My heart broke for this woman, I wanted to hug her, tell her that God has a plan and He is leading her to heaven. Instead I just cried, cried for her and with her.

      The weight of knowing there is no perfect response, no magical phrase I can offer her was heavy, all I could do was know her pain, pray for her and love her. I tend to forget that this is happening, I get caught up in our next doctors appointment , are we charting correctly, is my surgery scheduled, what will my recovery be like? I move along, I power through, I pray and I push forward. In moments like yesterday it hits me, WE MAY NEVER HAVE A CHILD, and I need to be okay with that. I need to be open to what God wants and has planned  for us, I need to trust Him. I am reminded of this scripture passage that I have used before...

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal". (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

 This passage brings me great comfort. I must not lose heart, I must remember that this is our cross, this is our path to Heaven. We must carry this cross, no matter how heavy.