Celebration of Memories

Last night we attended our parish’s 25th annual Celebration of Memories. It is a celebration of the lives and memories of those that had passed away this year. We actually didn’t just attend, but were participants in this celebration. Many parishioners, and even some of the Priests, approached us and were confused as to why we were in line holding a candle. I had anticipated this reaction.

2014-11-03 22.05.02On September 11, 2014, the heart of the baby still in the my wife’s womb, stopped beating. Abby was just about 9 weeks into her pregnancy when we miscarried our dear Hannah. We had already begun planning how we would tell everyone the news. Our immediate families were already celebrating the little miracle that was Hannah. We even started discussing who were going to be the Godparents. But God had other plans. Our dear Hannah decided that she wanted to be with her Heavenly Mother and Father instead.

During the homily of the mass, Fr. Pius revealed that he changed the Gospel of the Mass and instead read the story of The Empty Tomb. He wanted to reveal that when Mary Magdala went to the tomb of Jesus, it was not only the tomb that was empty, but also a piece of her heart. This is because someone that was very important to her was now gone, someone she loved. This is exactly how Abby and I have been feeling ever since Hannah left us. She is someone we had been fighting to meet for the past 5 years. She is someone that has held a place in our heart ever since we were married.  But then Fr. Pius told us that we should not be focusing on the Empty Tomb, but the garden in heaven where we are reunited with our loved ones. I couldn’t help but to imagine little Hannah running around in heaven playing in the grass and maybe chasing butterflies (yeah they have butterflies in heaven).  This made me smile.

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Our daughter’s name displayed in our church for all to see and acknowledge how loved she is.

Which leads me to the point of this post… striving for heaven. In the past I always knew that my job was to lead Abby to heaven and visa versa. But this Healing of Memories brings in new purpose… I want to make sure my wife gets to heaven so she can meet her daughter Hannah for the first time. I can only imagine how happy they both will be when they get to meet. When she finally gets to embrace our little angel. Oh and of course I would love to be there too reunited as a family.

But until that day, we know that we have a little angel in heaven praying for us.

My prayer is that all those couples that have suffered from a miscarriage strive to lead each other to heaven so that they too will be reunited in Heaven’s garden with their little angels.

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Sonograms taken during our 4 week and 8 week visit.
OurLadyOfSorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows Medal that Abby got engraved so that we could remember Hannah. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
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5 tips to ease the stress on your bride

Dealing with infertility as a couple is not easy, especially if you are the woman. For us men however, there are things we can do to help out the situation and ease the stress on your beautiful bride.

Here are my 5 secret (or not so secret) tips on how to help ease the stress on your bride!

1. Chart

She hates charting. It reminds her of the infertility you are fighting as a couple. By removing that visual reminder of her current and past cycles, you remove that big daily Red/Green/Yellow reminder. Doing this will also help you understand what is going on with your wife’s body, therefore understanding your wife more.
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2. Prepare her cocktails of medicines.icecream_pills

This means reading that page long description of the 10 different pills she has to take throughout the day. You will want to understand what each pill does; that Clomid helps to jump start ovaries in order to induce ovulation and that dim+ helps to promote the “good” estrogen. You will need to administer the HCG shots (and trying your best so that they don’t hurt). Packing her pills to so that she can take them during the day. Often doing these little things make it easier for her when she has to swallow her 11 pills on cycle day 20. Bonus: When I give Abby her medicine, I say to her “time for ice cream!”

3. Change subjects

When you are at a party or dinner with other friends and the subject veers towards how they love/hate their children. Just talk about the Lakers or make some weird noise…


If everyone else is talking about something else, they can’t make your bride feel uncomfortable.

4. Date night

Date night is very important. It makes her feel special and loved. It allows you both to be alone in somewhere that is not your house. Take her to the local miniature golf course or Disneyland (if you have passes). It doesn’t have to be fancy… my wife and I will sometimes go to Mass, then walk all the aisles in Costco (a very dangerous sport).datenight

5. Consistency

I can’t stress this enough. If you are consistent, she will never feel alone while carrying this cross. If you only do these things once every blue moon, it is meaningless. Her body is unpredictable enough, you have the opportunity to provide some consistency. She may still sometimes get annoyed at you, but she will know you are bugging her because you love her.

Hope you find these tips helpful. Do you have some tips of your own? Leave me a comment.

This is not an easy cross to bear, but together (with Christ) it is a much easier yoke to bear. I never realized how much work it takes to be a husband, but through this journey the love I have for my wife has grown much deeper. And maybe the husbands out there might be asking themselves why they should even care to do any of these 5 things. There is an easy answer for that – because you love her. Infertility is a very touchy subject. You may get a feeling of disappointment and hurt when you start thinking about the fact that you might not be able to play with your own kids, but how much more does your wife feel hurt? Often times women will blame themselves because after all it is their body. So it is important that we, as husbands, do all we can to remove that burden.

It is our job as the Pastor, Provider, and Protector.

yoke

http://www.creightonmodel.com/

Out of my league

Happy Birthday to the most wonderful wife in the world. Every time I look or think about her, I wonder how I tricked her into marrying me. I have learned so much from her since we first started dating.

I had a hard time coming up with what I was going to get my wife for her birthday, but I found the perfect gift – a novena in honor of St. Anne, Jesus’s Grandmother.  Join us and www.praymorenovenas.com as we honor St. Anne.  It starts today on July 17th – Abby’s birthday and ends on July 26th – Abby’s parents anniversary.

On another note, I am working on a new post that will highlight the lessons I have learned as a husband to support this bride of mine… so stay tuned!

abby

 

the wall of underwear

So I was in the middle of Target standing in front of a wall of women’s underwear and I had no idea what I was doing. Abby said get the ones that will go above her tummy to cover her scar… so I grabbed a few. Each of the different brands had different size specifications. I mean, in Mens, we have Small, Medium, Large… etc. Women have Small, 4, 28… I was starting to panic. The number of women in the underwear section was growing. They were passing by me left and right, and I could feel them staring at me… judging me. They were giving me this look like, “Why is this guy just standing here and looking at women’s underwear?” I couldn’t take it. I grabbed a few different packages of underwear and headed to the register to checkout. Quickly realizing that I was in line with just women’s underwear… I grabbed a pound of Target brand coffee so I wouldn’t look like a weirdo and got the heck out of there.

Well, this is my life. This is the choice I made. And when my future son dyes his hair blonde (like his father did once when HE was a teenager) or begs me for the new iPhone 24, I will remember that moment at Target and remember the yes I made…to Abby…and to God. To buy my wife underwear because she just endured an Ovarian Wedge Resection. We are doing our best to say yes to what God is asking of us. For Abby, it’s to have surgery. For me, it’s to buy women’s underwear. I’d say that’s about equal… don’t you think? 🙂

And so here we are. We have taken the next step. Abby is in recovery mode and I wish I could say I understand, but I don’t. I will never fully understand because God didn’t ask me to understand. However he asked me to not get upset when Abby gets short with me because she’s in pain. He asked me to be uncomfortable because there is nothing I can do that can compare to the discomfort that Abby’s feeling. He asked me to play my part… “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her” (Ephesians 5:25)

This is the beautiful part of NFP (Natural Family Planning) and NaProTechnology. It is not just a method in which to achieve pregnancy, but a tool that can help mold a relationship of understanding and empathy. If both husband and wife are fully participative in this process, then that is when you start to see the real fruits. Husbands get to learn exactly what is going on within their wives’ body. It is no longer a mystery, but a miracle. Wives get to learn that the husbands will never fully understand the pain they go through and that there is no reason for them to get upset because of that.

So I’m just doing what I can… mostly praying that she gets better. That way I don’t have to buy women’s underwear anymore…but mostly so she can finally get a good night’s rest and not be so uncomfortable.

 

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Abby approved pictures below.. 🙂

 

 

Dr. Hilgers and Catholic Answers

Hi All its been a little while since I’ve posted and thats mainly cause I have so many things I would like to say… just can’t finish anything.  But I do have something that requires little to no effort on my part!

Recently Dr. HIlgers, the creator of naprotechnology appeared on Catholic Answers Live… an awesome radio show that Abby and I listen to via podcast.  Anywho… I just wanted to share the link of his interview.  He explains the whole subject 1000x better than I ever could…. well enjoy!

http://www.catholic.com/radio/shows/overcoming-infertility-7342