FET Update and Spiritual Works of Mercy: IVF Edition

After my appointment on Wednesday I received word that all is a go!  I am scheduled to transfer our last frozen embryo, our last child conceived by IVF, early morning on March 2nd!  I’ll keep you updated!

Knowing that we will never need to rescue another of our own children from his/her frozen enslavement brings me peace, but not completely.  There are still over 600,000 embryos in the U.S., waiting to continue their lives, stagnant in time, hoping to be loved and nurtured by their parents.  So what do we do about that?  We can stop this very large number from increasing through our actions and our prayers by using the Spiritual Works of Mercy!

 

Spiritual Works of Mercy- IVF Edition

Admonish the Sinner

If someone you know is thinking of doing IVF, then tell them why it is wrong and the moral dilemmas they will be faced with if they go through with it.  This is a great site that explains why IVF seems like good intentions, but in reality it is extremely immoral.

Instruct the Ignorant 

Teach everyone about the immorality of IVF.  I guarantee that most people don’t know the truth.  If you are the ignorant or would like to show someone more information on the immorality of IVF, watch this IVF video by Father Tad Pacholczyk for great commentary.  If you’ve been through IVF and know the implications, your story is your most powerful weapon.  Here is mine.

Counsel the Doubtful 

Infertility is hard, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s not easy to be around friends and family who pop out babies left and right while you suffer.  This makes it all the more difficult to stay the course and remain on moral high ground.  IVF clinics are showing up like Donut shops and they claim to offer you that child that you so desperately want to hold and love.  It’s enticing, but at what cost?  Not just financially, but ethically? If you or if you know someone who doubts the unethical actions of IVF then please watch Father Tad’s video above.  What other option do you have?  NaproTechnology.  Watch this video by New Hope Infertility for a detailed explanation.

Comfort the Sorrowful

Do you know someone who is struggling with infertility or who has lost children through IVF or is dealing with the moral dilemmas that IVF brings?  Be there for them.  Listen.  Offer help in any way.  Hug them. Let them know how to be patient and wait for God’s plan or to seek forgiveness through confession.

Bear Wrongs Patiently/Forgive All Injuries 

Forgive anyone that might have coerced you into doing IVF or who was involved in the act, such as the nurses and doctors at your IVF clinic.  If you are the one who needs to be forgiven for undergoing IVF when you knew that it was wrong then please go to confession.  If you need to forgive someone else for having gone through IVF when you specifically told them it was wrong, don’t hold it against them.  We all do crazy, stupid things when under duress and through desperation.  It’s what we do with our mistakes that make us good and holy.

Pray for the Living and the Dead

Pray, pray, pray for all of the embryos that are still frozen.  That they will one day continue their lives, be born, participate fully in God’s creation, or that they are released from their stagnation and die in peace.  Pray that their parents realize the unethical depth of IVF, seek moral guidance and do what is right.  Pray for those contemplating the act of IVF and that they alter their decision and choose a route that does not create life outside of their marriage, nor manipulate, or destroy it in the process.  Pray for all the children that have been eradicated due to IVF’s abuse of life.  Pray for the salvation of their souls, their parents souls, and the souls of the employees in the IVF industry.

 

Please forward this post onto anyone who may be contemplating IVF.  I hope this changes their mind.

Last Frozen Embryo Transfer Update

Just wanted to give an update on the cycle of our Last Frozen Embryo Transfer.

After my doctor’s appointment yesterday, once again, our scheduled transfer date is pushed back a week due to insufficient thickness in my uterine lining, therefore, our new transfer date will be March 2nd, give or take a day or two.

All is well otherwise!

In the meantime, I am encouraged by pregnant Mary’s words when, after the annunciation, she visits her cousin Elizabeth, and John the Baptist leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb upon encountering the presence of Jesus Christ, and Mary says this:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;my spirit rejoices in God my savior.For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.The Mighty One has done great things for me,and holy is h.png

I will pray this everyday because that is exactly how I feel, no matter the outcome, always accepting and being ever grateful for His will.

Benedicamus Domino,

Kara

Don’t Just Give Up Something This Lent, Do the Works of Mercy

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Can you believe that Ash Wednesday (February 10) is just around the corner?

This Lent will be different than other Lents because this is the Year of Mercy, and Pope Francis calls us not to sacrifice, but to show mercy:

For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favourable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practising the works of mercy. In the corporal works of mercy we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy – counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer – we touch more directly our own sinfulness.” – Pope Francis

So I’ve compiled a list to do just that through the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  

These are practical ideas that anyone can do once a week or everyday, even those of us with young children.  Some of these activities even include the little ones!

Just think of how many people’s lives we can touch, change and even save by doing these works of mercy!  

Someone out there needs us and it is in these works that we will find them.

*Scroll to very bottom of this very long list to find out the four most important works of mercy!

**Suggested Pro-Life works are highlighted in green.

 

Corporal

Feed the hungry

  • Cook meals for your family – they are hungry too!
  • Fast – eat two small meals and one regular per day with no snacking in between.  Take the money saved and donate it to a food bank.
  • Keep treats in your car/purse for the times you encounter the homeless
  • Bring a meal to a new mom – they are starving and don’t have time to cook!
  • Budget by giving up restaurants, fast food, and cutting costs at the grocery store. Give the saved money to a charity such as a food bank or the St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • Buy a meal for a soldier in the airport or give them a gift card to a fast food chain
  • Take a friend/co-worker/family member out to eat
  • Host a dinner for friends or family
  • Invite a person in need over for dinner
  • Pay for a meal for the person behind you in the Fast Food line
  • Provide a grocery store gift card to someone in need
  • Provide snacks at your child’s next play date/group activity
  • Buy one-level-down – “Whenever you are going to purchase something, look at what you want, then buy “one level down” from that. Order a smaller meal, go for the off-brand, rent a movie instead of going out, etc. At the end of Lent, tally up the money you saved and make sure someone in your community has a meal this Easter.” – DynamicCatholic.com

 

Give Drink to the Thirsty

  • Stop drinking coffee/wine/soda/tea
  • Budget by giving up coffee shops/going out to bars and give the money saved to charity
  • Keep water bottles in the car to hand out to the homeless or anyone who looks thirsty
  • Get your kids involved and set up a lemonade stand.  Give the lemonade out for free or give all proceeds to a local charity.
  • Pay for the person behind you in the Coffee Shop line
  • Give a Coffee Shop gift card to a soldier, law enforcement, fireman, garbage man, mail man
  • Provide baby formula to a new mom or donate some to your church
  • Provide drinks at your child’s next play date/group activity

 

Clothe the Naked

  • Ladies, clothe yourselves – dress modestly and cover up what you would normally flaunt
  • Show your strength in being chaste! – Read this 10 1/2 Reasons to Be Chaste to better understand why. “The key to love is chastity, because it is only through chastity that we can learn to love one another as God loves us (1 Jn 4:12).
  • Stay away from sexually explicit movies, music, TV shows, and magazines
  • Give up purchasing new clothes, accessories, cosmetics, spa appointments, any luxuries and use that money for charity
  • Clean out your closet of anything that you don’t wear anymore and donate it to charity
  • Keep old blankets in your car and give them to the homeless
  • If you can sew or knit, donate some of your creations to charity
  • Have your kids go through their clothes and pick out ones they would like to donate
  • Host a Baby Shower for a pregnant friend or someone who is adopting

 

Harbour the Harbourless

  • Give up buying home decor and donate to a charity that provides shelter to the homeless
  • Take cold showers and turn down the heat
  • Keep shelter information and locations on hand to give to the homeless
  • Help your neighbors/friends/family repair something in their home
  • Help your neighbor/friend/family move
  • Get your kids involved and make a “Welcome” treat for a new neighbor or any neighbor
  • Babysit for a friend/neighbor/family member

 

Visit the Sick

  • Spend time with an ill friend or family member
  • Send soup/meal, flowers, or a card to someone ill
  • Bring your young kids to a nursing home or hospital and let them do the work of cheering up the patients!
  • Have your kids make a card for someone sick or lonely
  • Spend time with someone healing from an abortion gone wrong, which happens more often than you think.

 

Ransom the Captive

  • Go to confession, especially if you haven’t been in a long while.  You are being held captive by your sins!   If you are nervous or haven’t been in a long time this is a great Examination of Conscience and here is a “How To” guide to get you through the process. Trust me, the priest has heard it all!
  • Bring someone to confession who is hesitant and guide them through it or watch their children for them if they do not have childcare.
  • Have your kids make a card for someone imprisoned.
  • Pray for the imprisoned and for those on death row.  All lives matter.
  • Provide good advice for someone troubled.
  • Bring a meal or help the spouse/children of someone imprisoned
  • Give a new mom a break and watch her kids so she can leave her captivity to do personal errands
  • Pray for or guide someone that is held captive by their own spiritual absence, ignorance or misguidance
  • Pray for those held captive by their misconceptions on the sanctity of human life – Abortionists, parents considering abortion, abortion clinic employees, Pro-Abortion activists and politicians.

 

Bury the Dead

  • Pray at an abortion clinic – Get involved in 40 Days for Life!
  • Call, visit and console a woman who has lost a child through miscarriage or abortion
  • Attend a Memorial Service or Funeral of someone you know or someone in your parish
  • Send/bring food or flowers to a funeral service
  • Visit, bring food or help someone who lost a loved one with housework or errands
  • Visit the grave of a lost loved one or someone else’s
  • Pray for the Salvation of Souls of the deceased
  • Quit using Contraception (forever!) – Women and Men, you should not need contraception if you are single.  Be a strength in your chastity.  Married? Use Natural Family Planning instead of contraception.  If you are using contraception for medical reasons read here to understand that it’s doing more damage than good. Want an all-natural alternative that actually works?  Use NaProTechnology.  If you are Pro-Life, stop using any type of birth control now! Why? It uses a backup mechanism that causes spontaneous abortions.  Read about it here.
  • Stop supporting companies that donate to Planned Parenthood – Go here to view the 77 companies that have given corporate donations or sponsored events for Planned Parenthood.  I’m sure you will be as shocked as myself when reading the list.  I’m upset because I will now have to give up Starbucks! 

Spiritual

Admonish the sinner

  • Show your love for someone prodding down the wrong path by giving them wise advise.  This is tough because we don’t want to come off as judgmental. – “It means being intentional and meticulous with how we choose our words—words full of meaning and appeal. It means letting our love of God and God’s love for the other person radiate. It means relying on God to work through us and being patient with God’s timing. It means attentively listening and responding to what the other person has to say.  It means humbly recognizing our own weakness and tendency to sin.  It means giving witness to the incredible things God has done and is doing in our lives.  It means being courteous, respectful, gentle, and open to discussion.  It means praying for the other person and entrusting them to God.” – dynamiccatholic.com
  • Recognize your own sins (Pre-marital sex, cohabitation, usage of contraception, idolatry, self-obsessed, vanity, intoxication, avarice (greed of money), hedonism (indulgence of pleasure), abortion, In-Vitro Fertilization, etc) and go to confession.  If you are nervous or haven’t been in a long time this is a great Examination of Conscience and here is a “How To” guide to get you through the process. Trust me, the priest has heard it all!

 

Instruct the Ignorant

  • Teach your children to pray, about The Ten Commandments, the Sacraments, about Mary and lives of the Saints, the Holy Trinity, and especially about the meaning of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  Teach them about God’s love for each and every one of us!
  • Teach your children manners – how to respect their elders and authority figures, express gratitude, and how to give back.
  • Share your own story of conversion to someone in need of truth. No one can tell you that your story is wrong.
  • Pray for those who have never read the Gospels, never encountered Jesus, never known love like the love of Christ.
  • If you are the ignorant, begin reading the Gospels, study the Saints, understand the meaning of the Sacraments, and most importantly get to know Jesus.

 

Counsel the Doubtful

  • Bring someone to confession who is hesitant and guide them through it or watch their children for them if they do not have childcare.
  • If you are the one who is doubtful (even saints were doubtful at times), consider seeing a Spiritual Director (I have been seeing one for three months and it has deepened my relationship with God and with other people in ways that I never could have imagined.) or someone of leadership in your church.
  • “By not viewing doubt (or the person) as a problem to be fixed, you can encourage the afflicted person to explore the meaning behind their doubt. Doubt, after all, isn’t always a bad thing. It can be the driving force behind an honest pursuit of truth.” – dynamiccatholic.com
  • “Recognize that counseling the doubtful doesn’t always begin with great advice. Sometimes engaging in the “ministry of presence” is the best way to prepare a heart to receive the counsel they need.” – dynamiccatholic.com

 

Comfort the Sorrowful

  • Find the person who seems to be in the most pain at your next social gathering and talk to them.  Show them mercy in any way you can.
  • See those in pain through the eyes of Mary, as your own child.  It will help you better understand their situation.  
  • Listen to them, smile, hug them, provide words of encouragement, let them cry on your shoulder
  • And, by all means, use humor!  Tell a funny story!

 

Bear Wrongs Patiently

  • Don’t just pray for patience, practice it.  The more you practice, the more peaceful you become toward any wrong done to you.
  • Pray for those who do harm to us
  • Remember Jesus suffered through all the wrongs done to him: he was scourged until his body was unrecognizable, he was beaten a crown of thorns onto his head, he carried a heavy cross burdened with our sins up to Calvary and fell three times doing so, he was nailed to the cross and died because he loved us and loves us still that much!!

 

Forgive All Injuries

  • Forgive someone in your life that you’ve been holding a grudge against, such as an estranged family member.  That grudge is weighing you down.  Forgiveness will free you of that burden!
  • “It is a great deal more difficult to love the one who has hurt us. We do not need to excuse wrongs, or even to forget them, but we must always forgive.” – Sacred Silence by Phillip Zagano
  • Pray for all people in the world, especially in the Middle East who are persecuting Christians.  May they find the love of Christ and realize what they are doing is hateful and wrong.  It is not God who calls us to kill or harm others.  It is God who calls us to love one another.
  • “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).”

 

Pray for the Living and the Dead

  • Pray for your family: first your spouse (it is your number one job to get him/her to heaven!), then your children, then mom, dad, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
  • Pray for your friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
  • Pray for those not on your Christmas list, people you dislike and your enemies – they need your prayers more than anyone else!  
  • Pray for the salvation of souls for those who have passed.  May their sins be forgiven in haste, so they spend less time in Purgatory and make their way to Heaven in due time.
  • Pray to the Saints and the dead up in heaven.  They are so close to God and can intercede for you!  The more you ask, the more they ask God!
  • Pray the Rosary every day!
  • Do the 33 Day Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  I plan to begin this on February 21, so I will end on March 25, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is also the day before my husband receives his Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation in the Catholic Church!
  • Go to Eucharistic Adoration! – This is an hour or more of praying directly in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament at your church.  It is quiet time with Jesus! If you’ve never been, go. It will be the most intense, spiritual, and profound hour of your life.  Whatever Jesus wants for you will be revealed during this hour.  If your church doesn’t offer it, find a Catholic Church that does!!

 

I know this list is quite long, so if you are strapped for time, what are the most important works you can do?  Forgive someone, Confession, Eucharistic Adoration, and Pray the Rosary.  If you do those four, you will be make a difference, you will help someone, including yourself.  You will show mercy.

 

 

 

 

Path to More Children: Our Last Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle Begins

Yesterday was Day One of our very last Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle, in other words, we initiated the phase to release our final child conceived by IVF from her frozen chamber.

It is our closing round of making a wrong a right by continuing the life of a child suspended in time.

It is the beginning of the end.

Her enslavement is also our own enslavement.  Our conscience will not be at peace until all of our children are free.  Every single one of them deserve a chance at life.  My heart is glad that this is our last child and we are putting this IVF business to rest.

I call this child “her” not because we know by any scientific data that she is a girl, but because I feel that she is (I could be wrong.  I usually am with guessing gender). God saved his masterpiece, Eve, a female, as His final creation, and I think He is doing the same for us.

But I noticed something else.  How the core of Mary’s story resembles our own journey through IVF.

“The first Eve disobeyed God and thereby brought sin and death into the world. The New Eve, Mary, obeyed and believed God’s message which was given to her at the Annunciation ( Lk .1 :26-38 ), and brought salvation and life to the world in her son, Jesus, who crushes the head of the serpent. Mary, like us, shares in this victory (http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/meditations/neweve.html).”

In doing IVF, a sin, similar to sin that materialized through Adam and Eve, we were presented with a grace, Mary.  As she was announced to and accepted to save humanity through her son, Jesus, we were given a path to salvation through my children conceived by IVF.  As Mary did, we are crushing the head of the serpent, the badge of sin, with our actions in continuing the lives of our children, instead of leaving them to indefinite stagnation or donating them to science or disposing of them.

We are combating the manipulation and destruction of humanity in IVF with good…with life.

As of today, I begin taking estrogen then will go back for a sonogram to check my uterine lining on February 17.  If all looks good, I begin the progesterone “bum and bummer” shots, then we are a go for the Frozen Embryo Transfer to take place on February 24.

We have so much hope for this last child conceived through IVF.  I continually pray for her survival and to give her the strength and health to be born.  To grow alongside Gadsden and Davny, participating in the many blessings we share in our family, and to live a long, loving, virtuous, healthy, and joyous life.

I ask you to pray the same.  Thank you!

Benedicamus Domino,

Kara