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.

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.

 

 

 

 

emotional waxing and waning and a botched ivf success rate

The first time we stepped through the doors of our Fertility clinic, Matt and I were optimistic and excited in knowing there could be a solution to our problem.  

Over the following year, I grew in admiration toward the staff because they were helping couples appease their longing for a child when hope was lost, and they were doing it with great success.  During each visit I would stare at the framed magazine article on the waiting room wall that showed our doctor’s award-winning achievements.  I felt honored as a patient, which gave me tremendous confidence that IVF would work for us….and it did.

On our second trial, we successfully had healthy boy/girl twins.  

After some much-needed soul cleansing and boomeranging back into the Catholic Church, I realized the wrongness of IVF.  The production of life in a laboratory in lieu of the marital act of love within a marriage makes it a complete discourtesy to the bond between a husband and wife and a total disregard to the sanctity of human life.  

Now, each time I step through the doors of the Fertility clinic, I experience an emotional waxing and waning.  The anticipation of more twins sends an exhilarating warmth through my soul, and the love that I hold for these children fills me with joy and strength, contrarily, I cling to a deep remorse that I can’t let go of due to putting my children through this cold and inhumane fertility method, just so Matt and I could fulfill our desire to become parents.  It brings me great sorrow when I consider the nine of fourteen children we’ve lost because of this.  I pray that I don’t to add to that list with the three that remain.

At this moment, I’ve just realized that my calculations were incorrect in my earlier post “our path to more children: embryo transfer today!”  I did not count the eight children we created and died before their fifth day.  My mind is still wired as our society’s; to think of them as nothings, trash, non-existents, instead of the human beings that they are.

Also, I want to shed light on the calculations of a typical IVF success rate, which do not include the total number of children created.  Clinics use the number of live births (sometimes clinics won’t wait for the live birth data, or to increase their percentages will use the number of pregnancies instead) divided by the number of procedures performed (cycles or embryo transfers).

In 2013, the year I underwent IVF and birthed our twins, our clinic executed 198 IVF cycles and had a success rate of 100%.  Wow, you might say, but these calculations are extremely misleading.  Let me show you why.

For instance, in our situation, my success rate calculation is as follows:

Matt and I created 14 embryos, with 8 dying before their fifth day.  Prior to this most recent embryo transfer, we transferred 1 embryo, but my pregnancy ended with an early miscarriage.  With our next cycle we transferred 2 embryos and achieved 2 live births (our twins), so the 2 births override the first failed cycle, therefore, my success rate is 100%.  After this recent third cycle, if we achieve one live birth, our rate remains 100%, if we achieve two again, then our success rate will be 133%.  

Ambiguous, right?

Now, for a hypothetical example.

A couple creates 10 embryos, 3 don’t survive to their fifth day, they transfer 2, and freeze the other 5.  The woman has an early miscarriage, both children fail to survive.  Then they transfer 3 embryos, and 1 survives to birth.  They decide to discard the remaining 2.  So two cycles and one live birth equals a success rate of 50% (but a death rate of 90%).

Does this make any sense?  No.  Would anyone use this method, let’s say…for a graduation success rate at a high school?  Would they not include all the drop-outs in their calculation?  That would be falsifying the data, right?  Yes.

That is precisely why the IVF success rate formula is inaccurate and false. They leave out the total number of children created, as if they never existed and produced for nothing.  It is inhumane!

The children we produced through IVF, at the very least, deserve a part in this equation, so here are my revised calculations using this formula (total births divided by the total number of children created):

Again, we created a total of 14 children: 8 children did not survive to the fifth day, 1 did not survive after being transferred into my womb, 2 babies currently reside in my womb, 1 remains in the artificial limbo chamber, and finally our twins.  With all of that said, our success rate is 14% (death rate is 64%; our remaining 3 are still alive).  If the two children inside me are born, our rate will increase to 29%, and if our last one survives, we would be at 36%.

These are the true numbers, but re-calculating our success rate does little to pacify my soul.  In our situation, no matter what happens during this IVF cycle or the next the weight of death will always be more than that of life.  

All of my despair and shame stem from this discernment.

Another note of importance is our clinic has grown so much since our last IVF trial that they underwent an expansion.  Basically, that means my children have more Popsicle companions.  Being fully aware of this makes me divert my eyes to the floor anytime I meet with our doctor, but thankfully, not for very long.

Additionally, I no longer venerate the staff, rather, I would like to grab their sweet smiling faces and shake them back to reality telling them that you may think you are doing something good, but have you ever thought that you are playing god here?  Do you know how you are manipulating human lives? You are freezing and discarding children similar to manufactured turkeys during Thanksgiving season.

I can’t blame them though.  As Jesus said, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  They are all good, tender-hearted people.  I sense their genuine care for every couple that walks through the doors.  They adore my twins that tag along with me to some appointments partly because they know they helped create them.  

They remind me of the employees at Planned Parenthood who actually believe that what they are doing is for the well-being of those in need.  For Planned Parenthood, it might be to help a woman prevent pregnancy or end a crisis pregnancy.  At our Fertility clinic, it’s to grant the desire of children to an infertile couple.  In a sense, both positions of assistance are seemingly good-natured, but at what cost?  Is the cost of even one human life worth it?  Emphatically, NO!!, yet, our culture keeps telling us, Yes.

The culprit of this belief all boils down to the contraceptive revolution.  Once we accepted the idea of recreational sex, enabled by the use of birth control, it was only a matter of time before we viewed pregnancy as a disease and the beginning stages of life as biological waste when inconvenient.  Many women view the children growing in their womb as their property, as something that’s growing and taking up precious space in their body, ruining their dreams of a successful career, hindering their lifestyle.  My body, my choice, right?  Wrong.  

Yes, the child is growing in your body for sustenance, but that child is her own person, made up with the same genetic material on the day of her conception as she will have as an adult.  She has her own rights, and we have no authority to take her life, only God does.

The same is held true for these frozen embryos. Viewing them as property instead of human life makes for an easy decision to discard them when they are no longer wanted.

I perceived my embryos in this way when we began our treatments and I have complete remorse for doing so, conversely, I question if I would have given birth to my twins without this fertility method.  Although, I trust that God gives us His graces despite our faults.  

“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21)

On the day of our embryo transfer, while being prepped in the exam room directly next to the limbo chamber, I couldn’t help but brood over the hundreds of children stuck in there, waiting for a fateful choice of life and love, perpetual coldness or final destruction.  I often pray that their parents choose wisely and that of life.

Also, our exam room received an upgrade since our last trial with a giant screen that showed a live view of our embryos under the microscope before placed in a catheter, which injected them into my uterus.  

When I saw my two children on the screen, even in their little scientific, microscopic, embryonic state, I felt a deep longing to hold them, love them, rub noses with them, kiss them, and tell them that I was infinitely sorry for keeping them locked up in that cold, stagnant, limbo chamber for so long.  It’s no place for a child, no matter how small.

Yes, each time I walk into our clinic, much of my thoughts are conscience-stricken, vice versa, and seemingly hard to believe, I’m extremely grateful for the gifts that I’ve been given, and exhilarated for the road ahead prospectively paved with more little ones under our roof!  

It’s a constant tug-o-war, but my joy wholeheartedly exceeds my guilt.

what if my teenaged daughter were impregnated by rape?

A question often asked of me from the Pro-Abortion side is “What would you do if your teenaged daughter were raped and got pregnant?”  Pre-children, I faltered on this question alone, which caused me to examine my Pro-Life stance, as so many people do on this one argument.  It was a sure sign of my oblivion with the “culture of death”.  Now, Post-Children, Mom of 23 month old boy/girl twins, I know my answer without a moment’s hesitation.  Here it is in three parts with a bit of information to back it up.

First, if I coerced my daughter to abort her baby and she did it, she would have to live with that reality for the rest of her life.   It is logical to assume that aborting her baby would lessen the horrendous experience of the rape, but facts prove otherwise.  She would always be haunted by the fact that she killed an innocent unborn child.  Below are  statistics I found from theunchoice.com titled Recent Research – Abortion’s Harm to Women.

 3.5 Times Higher Death Rates from Suicide, Accidents, Homicides (Suicide 6 Times Higher)
– Researchers examining deaths among the entire population of women in Finland found that those who had abortions had a 3.5 times higher death rate from suicide, accidents, or homicides in the following year. Suicide rates among aborting women were six times higher compared to women who gave birth and two times higher compared to women who miscarried. (European Journal of Public Health, 2005)

Five Times Higher Risk of Substance Abuse – Women who abort are five times more likely to report subsequent drug or alcohol abuse than women who deliver. (American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2000)

 160% More Likely to be Hospitalized for Psychiatric Treatment – A review of the medical records of 56,741 California Medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160% more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery. Psychiatric treatment rates remained significantly higher for at least four years. (Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2003)

Abortion Increases Risk of Later Miscarriage by 60% – Researchers in the U.K. surveyed women ages 18 to 55 about their reproductive histories, life-styles and relationships and found that women who had a previous abortion had a 60% higher risk of miscarriage during a later preganancy. (BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2006)

If abortion is so great and wonderful why do women have any of these problems?

Additionally, I could hide the fact that my daughter didn’t actually kill a child by spouting off the Pro-Abortion spittle that it was just an embryo or a fetus or it’s not human or it’s just a blob of tissue, but she would eventually discover the truth.  ALL scientific evidence  proves that life begins at conception.  It is not something to be whimsically decided by intellectuals at their elitist cocktail parties.  It is not a question of capability determined by the wind of technology.  What will be the excuse when our technology advances to conception as the point of viability?

The terms ’embryo’ or ‘fetus’ are actually developmental stages in a human’s lifespan just as toddler or teenager are and the only difference is inside the womb vs outside the womb.  These terms are used by the Pro-Abortion side to dehumanize the child, which does not change the truth, the baby is human.  Both parents were human that conceived the child, therefore, the baby is human.  At conception, we are not potentially human life, we are human life with potential.

Finally, calling the baby a blob of tissue is completely debunked after witnessing an ultrasound.  Would a ‘blob of tissue’ have a beating heart at three weeks old or grow arm and leg buds at week four?  If a baby in the womb were just a ‘blob of tissue’ then why is Planned Parenthood selling livers, brains, and  kidneys after sifting through severed arms, legs, and genitalia from aborted babies?

So now that I’ve cleared up the some of biological scientific evidence, let’s get back to the case in point: my daughter regretting her abortion after being impregnated by rape.  Would that be true? The answer is yes.   The Elliot Institue conducted a study on this topic and the results are the following (from afterabortion.org):

[Study] based on letters and survey responses from 192 women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. 164 were victims of rape and 28 were victims of incest (sexual assault involving a family member). Overall, 69 percent continued the pregnancy and either raised the child or made an adoption plan, 29 percent had abortions and 1.5 percent had miscarriages.

  • Nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted the pregnancy reported that abortion had been the wrong solution.
  • Most women who had abortions said that abortion only increased the trauma they were experiencing.
  • In many cases, the victim faced strong pressure or demands to abort. 43 percent of rape victims who aborted said they felt pressured or were strongly directed by family members or health workers to abort.
  • In almost every case where an incest victim had an abortion, it was the girl’s parents or the perpetrator who made the decision and arrangements for the abortion, not the girl herself. In several cases, the abortion was carried out against her expressed wishes, and in a few cases, without her being aware that she was pregnant or that an abortion was taking place.
  • None of the women who gave birth to a child conceived in sexual assault expressed regret or wished they had aborted instead.

Now, there was another more recent study done by the University of California San Francisco of 600 women who had obtained abortions and the results were on the opposite spectrum.  They showed that after three years 95% of the women did not regret their abortions. What?  How can this be?   Well, read what this former Dallas abortionist, Carol Everett of the Heidi Group, has to say about it in an article written by Charlie Butts from One News Now:

The average woman who has an abortion denies the pain she experiences until 5 to 15 years after the abortion,” she says. “My own personal denial lasted 13 years. So three years is not long enough to study anyone who’s had an abortion because she’s probably still in the self-punishment phase and in denial.

Everett says many abortionists tell women that they may have certain negative feelings “but just to stuff them and they’ll go away.”

Also, women don’t realize the wrong done until much later because most of our culture deems unplanned pregnancy as a disease much like cancer and the only cure is to abort. Get rid of that growing “tumor” inside the womb before it burdens your life.  Beginning as early as grade school, we are fed this false jargon so incessantly that we believe it and we do it.  So much so that it’s at a genocide level.

According to American Life League, the United States of America, land of the free, kills a baby every 30 seconds, 120 per hour, 2,899 per day, 1,048,000 per year and this only includes surgical and medical abortions, not chemical abortions due to abortifacients in birth control pills, which pharmacy experts project at an extra 14 million per year.

These numbers are astonishing and I do not want to add to it.  More than anything I want to put an end to it for good.

The second part of my response is if I coerced my daughter to abort her baby and she did it, then I would have to live with that reality for the rest of my life, and she would live with the fact that I made her do it.  This answer does not require any other research or data because first, it’s my opinion, and second, the above data shows that when my daughter discovers the truth about abortion, she will have no one else to blame for murdering her baby than me.  She, the minor, the rape victim, the helpless child, and I, her mother, her confidant, her advisor, forced her to kill the child that she created.

I think pure unending hatred would stem from that realization.

Finally, the solution. I would advise my daughter to put the baby up for adoption because the innocent unborn child should not receive the death penalty for the father’s crime.  The father won’t even endure death if found guilty, so why does our society choose the child to receive this harsh punishment?  Pre-children, I never asked myself this question because I didn’t think to. The “culture of death” does not want us to think in this way. It would ruin their business.  Instead, we are a generation that thrives on convenience and instant self-gratification, so we take the easy route, especially when our daily lives are threatened.

In fact, Operation Rescue breaks down the reasons why women receive abortions: 42% are due to inadequate finances or not ready for responsibility; less than 1% are due to rape.  EWTN, a well respected Catholic news source, states that an average of 0.04% of ALL pregnancies account for rape, so even if all of these women sought abortions how can we justify the other 99.66%?  

As her mother, I could not, in good conscience, ever tell my daughter to abort her child, no matter the circumstances. This baby, as are ALL babies, is a gift from God, which deserves the greatest respect. In this situation, giving the baby up for adoption to an affectionate, nurturing, caring, husband and wife would be the ultimate act of sacrificial love for her child. Why? Because a teenage girl is still a child herself, still developing physically, mentally, and emotionally. She has very limited wisdom and experiences from life to teach this other young human being and she also does not have the means to support both of them. A married couple or a welcoming family has what this child needs and entrusting the child to them to fulfill those needs is extraordinarily admirable, loving, and selfless.

What if my daughter refused to give up her baby for adoption and chose to keep her?  Then, we would support her in any and every way possible.

Making the right decision is hardly ever the easy one, but it is always the most rewarding. Yes, aborting her baby would be the fast and convenient way to remove the ache, but it would never cease to end the pain.

Not one single person regrets choosing life.  One always regrets choosing abortion.

hey pro-lifers! here are 10 foolproof responses to pro-abortion arguments

This past Saturday, I attended the Catholic Pro-Life Committee’s Speakers Bureau workshop in Dallas to begin my training to be a speaker at events pertaining to Pro-Life topics.  We received several handouts in the class, but the one that really stood out to me was “Choice: The Reality of the Arguments”, which lists all of the most common arguments from the Pro-Abortion stance and refutes them with the truth and with scripture.  It also shows four different circumstances in which an abortion would be recommended, and then gives a surprising ending to each case if you answered “yes” to any of them.  I believe this is an extremely powerful tool, so I would like to share it with all of you!

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It is God who creates life and it is only for God to decide when it is time to take a life into His loving arms to be with Him forever.

10 Foolproof Pro-Life Responses to Pro-Abortion Arguments

  1. Doesn’t a woman have a right to do what she wants with her own body?

We don’t have the right to do what is wrong. Our rights end where the rights of others begin. We do not have the right to harm another person. Genetically, mother and baby are separate persons from conception. What if we changed the words to, “A man has a right to do what he wants with his body”? Does this include rape, or physical attack? No, because it harms another person. There is a victim. In an abortion there are many victims: the baby, the mother and others involved.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Corinthians 6:19-20

  1. It’s not a life; it’s just a blob of tissue.

Modern science has given us enough evidence that geneticists today agree that human life begins at conception. If it’s not a life, then it’s not “alive” – so why must we kill it (or abort it)? It is alive, and it is a life. The stages of the human person’s development are as follows: embryo, fetus, newborn, infant, toddler, youth, adolescent, teen, young adult, adult, and elderly. At every stage, it is a life. It’s like a chain. It doesn’t matter where in the chain the link is cut; the chain is still broken.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you: before you were born, I sanctified you: I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5                                                                                          

  1. What about abortion in the case of rape or incest?

In this case we are punishing the child, who is innocent, with death. We are also adding more pain and suffering to the mother because she will know the rest of her life that she killed her child. Less than 1% of abortions occur because the mother was a victim of rape or incest. We must always remember that only God creates life.  We can perform the act to allow conception, but “we” do not create the life. God is present and participates in every creation of life. God makes no mistakes; He does not have accidents.   A question to ponder, would you say this to a person conceived by rape, “I think your mother should have aborted you!”?

“Fathers should not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.” Deuteronomy 24:16

  1. What about abortion to save the life of the mother?

There are no cases where a child would need to be aborted to save the life of the mother. If necessary medical treatment of the mother indirectly causes the death of the unborn baby, then the Catholic Church teaches that this is allowable. Take, for example, a woman with cancer who needs chemotherapy in order to live. But she is pregnant and the chemotherapy could cause the baby to die. The woman should not have to choose between her life and that of the child. Therefore she may choose to have the treatment, which may indirectly cause the baby to die. In this case, she is taking the treatment to save her life, not to kill the baby. This is different than if the woman had an abortion, where her intention would be to kill the baby. This would be wrong. This is an extremely rare and difficult case. We must have faith in God and believe that His plan is perfect no matter how hard the situation is.

“The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up.” Samuel 2:6

  1. Abortion is legal; it wouldn’t be legal if it wasn’t right.

It was illegal for Jesus to heal on the Sabbath. Slavery and the killing of the Jews were legal. Before the Civil War, slave owners were “pro-choice” concerning their right to slavery. Yet, we know that though it was legal to own slaves, it was still morally wrong. It was also legal to persecute the Jews in Germany during WWII; it was illegal to protect them or hide them. Also, remember, it used to be illegal for women to vote!

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But, we knew nothing about this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it?  Will He not repay each person according to what he has done’?” Proverbs 24:11-12

  1. Shouldn’t every woman have a “safe place” to go if she chooses to abort?

If someone is going to do something that’s wrong, we shouldn’t help them do it just so they don’t get hurt. Then it’s the innocent that suffer just as in the case of abortion. Should we make it safe for burglars to break into houses’? For muggers to mug, and murderers to kill? Common complications From abortion include infection, perforation of the uterus, failure to extract all the baby’s body parts, sever bleeding and even death – all from “legal” abortions in “safe” clinics. Would you trust a doctor who was willing to kill a baby with your life?

“There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12

  1. The government does not have the right to get involved with this decision.

The government has an obligation to protect its citizens from murder and other wrongs. The United States has had a great reputation for defending those who cannot defend themselves, such as the two world wars. This obligation applies especially to the unborn because they are the most defenseless of all human beings.

“But your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion.” Jeremiah 22:17

  1. Does the possibility of deformity justify abortion?

Who among us is able to judge the value of a human life? And where do we draw the line on who is worthy to live? Does needing a hearing aid or having a deformed arm determine the cut-off point’? They used to think that being left handed was a handicap! When babies with health defects are aborted, it sends a clear message that any life, no matter at what stage, is not worth living if it is not a “perfect” one.

“The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute?  Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Exodus 4:1 1

  1. What about poverty and overpopulation?

You don’t eliminate poverty by killing the poor; and you don’t eliminate the problems of people by eliminating the people.  The problem is not too many people but improper distribution of resources. Instead of looking at children as a drain on resources, they should be looked at for their future contribution to produce more resources.

“For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:1

  1. What if there were no arguments against abortion?

What if we could do abortions safely, painlessly, with no side effects or trauma, and before the baby’s heart started to beat? Then would it be all right? The bottom line is that all life comes from God. He is the Creator. His plan is perfect.

“This day I call heaven and earth as witness against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19


                       

Possible Cases for Abortion

Read each of the following four situations. For each situation, determine if you would recommend abortion for that case. Then read the answers to each case.

Case 1: A 40-year-old woman is pregnant with twins. She has already given birth to 22 children, but half of them have died. The Black Death is ravaging the country were this woman and her husband live. Considering the woman’s age, the mortality rate of her children, and the threat of contracting a deadly disease, would you consider recommending abortion?

Case 2: The father is sick with sniffles and the mother has TB. They have 4 children. The first is blind, the second is dead, the third is deaf, and the fourth has TB. She finds she is pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you consider recommending abortion?

Case 3: A white man raped a 13-year-old black girl and she got pregnant. If you were her parents, would you consider recommending abortion?

Case 4: A teenage girl is pregnant. She’s not married. Her fiancé is not the father of the baby, and he’s very upset. Would you consider recommending abortion’?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these situations:

St.CatherineofSiena
Answer 1: In this case, you have just killed St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Catholic Church and patron saint of both Italy and Europe.
Beethoven
Answer 2: In this case, you have just killed Beethoven.
ethelwaters
Answer 3: In this case, you have just killed Ethel Waters, the great black gospel singer.
SacredHeartofJesus
Answer 4: In this case, you have just declared the murder of Jesus Christ.
The Speakers Bureau is a ministry of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas, the Respect for Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas * http://www.prolifedallas.com

planned parenthood prayer vigil: first of many to come

Today I attended my very first Planned Parenthood Prayer Vigil. It is a group of Pro-Life advocates who stand out in the blazing hot Texas sun every Saturday from 9am-1pm (I was there from 10:40am-1pm) in front of the Plano Planned Parenthood (810 N Central Expy Suite 116, Plano, TX 75074), which is located right next to the intersection of I-75 and the George Bush Turnpike and we pray and hold different signs that all have the same message that is to end abortion.
The number of people who showed up (I believe the count was 40 people today) was impressive.

At a little before noon, there was an accident on the freeway (we said a silent prayer for those involved), which backed up traffic and therefore forced people on the feeder road right near where we were standing. I couldn’t believe the reactions (good and bad) that we received. The bad were few and far between, but they were less difficult to forget. One guy yelled at our roadside recruiter, Steven, and gave him the finger. Another guy yelled out “Don’t knock it until you try it.” That was a bit crass. Lastly, a group of women yelled out the window “We love Planned Parenthood!” All this tells me is God is working through them and the hurt that they are going through. They didn’t have to say anything to us, but they did.

The good was much more impressionable and greatly outnumbered the bad. Many people honked their horns, holding a thumbs up, smiling, dancing, and telling us thank you for doing what we were doing. We even had a few semi-trucks who could see us from the freeway that gave us friendly loud honks. Steven was even able to get several emails from drivers who wanted to join us during our next vigil. It was truly awesome.

As for the Planned Parenthood clinic itself, there was a security guard out front to keep things under control because everyone knows prayers and signs are severely lethal. I only saw 4 cars drive up during the entire time I was there. We held up our signs higher for them when they got out of their cars. I’m not sure if it worked, but I do know that no one was in there for more than 10 minutes. The manager stepped outside for a few minutes and another woman who looked pregnant lingered around in front of the building for some time while on her phone. She didn’t look too interested in us, but why wasn’t she inside? Who knows, but I pray that we gave her, even the tiniest of inclination, to alter her path and choose life.

I prayed that we would have a strong influence, and today I know we did. It was blatantly obvious with the reactions that we received. I could actually feel and witness the power of prayer when I was standing there. This will be the first of many times that I’ll be at this Prayer Vigil, so come and join me if you’d like!

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ivf: how i conceived it is wrong (even though i received the blessing of children)

Hello, my name is Kara and I’m a Boomerang Catholic (my term for a person raised as Catholic, but fell away for a several years, and then finally returned to Catholicism, similar to a boomerang’s path).  Because of the children God blessed my husband, Matt, and I with by In-Vitro Fertilization I came back to God.  This is the story of our path to IVF, my reversion to Catholicism, and how I became aware of the immoral actions behind IVF and the implications it brings to those who undergo it.  If you have a few moments, I hope you read it.  Please approach this with an open heart and mind.

It all began with my husband and I and our battle with infertility.

We received a civil marriage in September of 2006.  Being as misguided and imprudent as I was back then I at least had the sense to marry a man with intelligence, ambition and integrity.  He made up for what I so clearly lacked.  To this day, I am forever grateful that his love for me has never faded despite my faults.  He has entirely prevented my soul from becoming vicious and ugly, and I am eternally grateful.

When we met I was living and fulfilling a sinner’s paradise, despite my Catholic upbringing, but I was in denial, and what did it matter since I was having fun?  In my mind, the Catholic church remained stuck in an ancient time zone that needed to conform to our modern ways.  Now, I see that my parents divorce, which occurred while I was in high school, my college environment of debauchery, and my father’s death after college was the perfect cocktail for my low viewpoint on Catholicism or any religion for that matter, but I did not see it then.  My analysis, being filled with so much intellect and wisdom, was ‘Who is to say who is right when it comes to religion?’, therefore, I don’t believe in organized religion.  In other words,‘God doesn’t pick sides, so why should I?’ and ‘God will love me no matter what I do, so I can do whatever I want.’ My actions reflected my lackadaisical perspective of God.  I was a heathen through and through.  I suppose when Matt was dating me he thought the good in me outweighed the bad, but he was far from right. I didn’t deserve his love, but I am doing my best to make up for my former monstrous behavior.  I pray that he is certain that I love him more than my life and with my whole heart.  I need him to know that.

We were one of those couples who weren’t open to the possibility of receiving God’s gift of children until we had our fun first.  During our first 6 years of marriage, we traveled and wined and dined until our hearts were content. When we decided that the fun needed to end, we attempted to conceive children for over a year with no luck.  I recognized that I was the culprit of the infertility and not my husband because I was never able to menstruate normally.  In fact, I did not have a cycle at all.  Together, we were inconceivable, and desperate for the blessing of our own child.

Matt and I discussed adoption, but according to him that was out of the question until we exhausted all of our resources.  We even went so far as to appease our struggle with a holistic method.  It had worked on Matt’s mother when she fought cancer many years ago, which peaked our interest, especially with the vastly lower price tag compared to fertility treatments.  During a trip to visit Matt’s family in Montana we met with a woman who used a holistic healing machine.  We each sat hooked up to this machine by wires attached to different parts of our bodies.  Supposedly, it detected areas of stress in the body and reduced that stress, which would in turn cure the problem.  Needless to say, it did not work.  The only other resource for infertility that I knew of then were through hormonal fertility treatments.  In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was not on our radar then.  We knew little of it, and never imagined we would consider doing it.

Our acquaintance with a married couple who battled infertility as well brought us to our familiarity with IVF, which led us to our next undertaking. They had been through many fertility treatments with no success, where they finally moved on to IVF.  For those who are not familiar with this method of treatment it is unscientifically summed up as follows: A woman takes hormone injections to make her eggs become mature, when many of them are mature a doctor takes them out, while her husband provides sperm.  The doctors unite the sperm and eggs in petri dishes, the eggs become fertilized and then form embryos (an embryo is one of the beginning development stages of a human being).  They continue to grow in the petri dishes for 5 days, but because of genetic flaws or, I dare say, God, some embryos survive and some don’t.  The ones that do survive are either prepared for implantation in the woman to continue growing in her womb or they are frozen.  In this case, I believe this couple had two embryos survive.  They implanted one with the result of a pregnancy and the other was frozen for later implantation.  Because of their success with IVF and other positive outcomes I had researched my husband and I decided to give these fertility treatments a try.

First, we made an attempt with a hormone pill called Clomid.  This pill provided the growth and maturity of a woman’s eggs, so they would drop.  In my instance, my eggs matured and never dropped which led them to become cystic and possibly rupturing.  We only tried Clomid once and then moved to hormone injections, which worked in the sense that my eggs finally dropped, but we did not become pregnant when my husband and I tried to conceive through intercourse.  We also only tried this method once.   Because we were quite anxious to have a baby we now perceived IVF as our only option to fulfill our longing need for a child.  I hadn’t researched the horrible implications of IVF nor did I know that it was immoral.  We thought that creating life was a good thing, but we never imagined we were destroying life to create it, so we agreed to move on and go ahead with IVF.

Our In Vitro Fertilization phase began by going through hormone therapy again to achieve controlled ovarian hyper-stimulation, which matured many of my eggs (21 were viably mature) for ovulation, and their extraction occurred just before they would have dropped in a normal cycle. After extracted, the embryologist fertilized my eggs with my husband’s sperm and we waited to find out the number of created embryos.  In our case, we created 14 embryos (that is 14 children) out of the 21 eggs, but only 6 embryos survived until day 5.  Out of the 6 embryos, the embryo that was most qualified, according to an embryonic grading system, was the choice for implantation, and the other 5 were cryopreserved, in other words, frozen (3 were frozen at day 5, and 2 were frozen at day 6).

Just to take you out of the past for a moment, I need to clarify this synopsis.  Yes, these embryos are children and yes they are frozen.  You may or may not already know that this is what happens to the ‘leftover’ embryos created by IVF.  They are essentially babies suspended in time, waiting to thaw and continue their life.  When my husband and I read and signed the paperwork required to undergo IVF, we became a bit creeped out by the fact that our children could be frozen for up to 50 years!  50 years?  We thought about it and very eerily deciphered that it would be possible (and yes completely unethical, but what does that matter since we are acting as our own gods and creating children in a petri-dish) for our grandchildren to have our children.  My granddaughter could give birth to her aunt or uncle!  As I write this it sounds like an inconceivable (that was intentional) plot designed for a sci-fi film, but this is happening now! It’s happening at a ‘fertility’ clinic down the road from you!  Now, why didn’t I listen to my conscience then?  The mere fact that Matt and I felt creeped out by this was a giant red-flag that this was unbelievably wrong, but why didn’t we stop ourselves from doing this?  I will explain why at the end of this sci-fi story.  For now, read on.

At this particular clinic, with every first trial of IVF the doctor will only implant one embryo, and a maximum of two embryos for the following trial, if the first was not successful.  We implanted the winning embryo and waited the absolute slowest 9 days for a pregnancy test.  My HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) levels came back within range of pregnancy levels, so we scheduled another pregnancy test in a few days.  The next test did not result in positive news.  My HCG levels remained the same, which meant that I was in the stage of a chemical pregnancy, in other terms, a very early miscarriage.  We were heartbroken.  The doctor reassured me that this was of no fault of mine, and that the embryo wasn’t genetically viable for becoming a baby, but I couldn’t comprehend that scenario.  I kept thinking that something was terribly wrong with me and I even my womanhood.  Why can’t I have a baby?  Why did I have this problem with my body?  The answers could only be provided by God, but I never asked Him back then.

We postponed our next round of IVF for a few months.  The holiday season was upon us and I didn’t want to go through heartbreak again during this supposedly joyful time of the year.  Inside I was a mess, but knowing we had more embryos, more possible children, pulled me through and I painted on a fake smirk.

February came and we began hormone therapy again. Yay….  This time we needn’t as many hormones, just progesterone because we were undertaking a frozen embryo transfer and hyper ovarian stimulation wasn’t necessary.  My obligation was to prepare my body for pregnancy and progesterone shots were not a pleasantry.  The tiny needles used for my earlier hormone therapy was a cake-walk compared to the quite intimidating needles used for progesterone. Not only were these shots taken alternately between each buttock cheek, but I had to prepare the shot area with ice beforehand, then massage and place a heating pad on it after, so I would not obtain a giant knot on my bum.  Yay again….

Subsequently, roughly two weeks later we implanted two of the five embryos that were in cryopreservation.  Our first pregnancy came back with positive results, but I wasn’t getting over-joyed just yet.  The second test was also good news, but I was still reluctant to celebrate.  After the results of the third test came back affirmative, I then began to turn that fake smirk into a real one.

The following evaluation was a sonogram that would show us if both embryos had survived the implantation.  I was around 6 weeks pregnant and I truly thought that only one embryo was alive in my womb, but that was just one of many times I turned out wrong.  God has a sense of humor and we were part of His joke.  We were having twins!

At our succeeding sonogram, around 8 weeks pregnant, we heard their heartbeats.

At roughly 16 weeks we identified their sexes via sonogram.  A boy and a girl!

They were born a month and a day early on October 9, 2013, and spent a little stint in the NICU, but all was well when we had them home.

During the twins’ first year and into their second Matt and I played tug-o-war with going to church on account of raising them up with morals and values.  We knew that religion was a vital role in teaching our children good character, compassion, and dignity.  My ‘no organized religion’ philosophy flew out the window because now my children’s souls were at stake.  They needed a baptism.

Matt had no religious upbringing nor had he been baptized.  In my eyes, with my background in Catholicism, baptism in the Catholic Church was fundamental, so I began to do some much-needed ‘freshening up’ on the Catholic teachings.  It was during this research that I discovered the Catholic Church viewed IVF as a mortal sin.  Say what?  Yes, a mortal sin.  I could not comprehend it. I naïvely believed that because IVF creates life it could never be viewed as immoral.  What is this madness? I never dreamed that what we did was wrong.  Were we all condemned to Hell because of this?  Could my children even be baptized in the Catholic Church?  I was frantic.  I wanted to understand the Church’s perspective, but I could hardly grasp her belief intellectually, and that was where I went wrong. I was trying to make sense of it by what I had surrounded most of my adult life in, which was sin.  I couldn’t see that IVF was wrong because I didn’t believe that anything else I did wasn’t really all that bad.  I had absolutely no discipline. I was acting as my own god.

Thank goodness the true God does not hold a grudge against the children of their sinful parents. He views all children as a blessing despite the immoral act behind their conception, so we held a baptism in the Catholic Church when they were 5 months old.

At this time, even though we had them baptized, I did not attend Mass regularly.  I was spiritually lazy or a better word might be comatose.  I also had a few opposing views with the church pertaining to homosexuality, celibate priests, and most of all, confession. I have gay friends whom I enjoy and care for; why can’t they be happy and get married to someone they love?  Why can’t priests marry?  They are men and men have sexual desires that they anticipate, otherwise they might start preying on little boys or girls?  Why on earth do I need to divulge my deepest darkest sins to a complete stranger to pursue forgiveness by God?  Doesn’t God know that I’m sorry for my sins?  Do these questions sound familiar?  Are you asking them as well?  All of my questioning emerged as a result of my perception of the church, which was solely based on secular culture media, and not from Catholicism itself.  All that I had learned or thought I learned from my Catholic upbringing I pushed aside in my mind and forgotten. My awareness had become ankle-deep.  I was ignorant and I never took the time to research and discover the purpose behind these views, as do so many people today.  Bishop Fulton Sheen sums it up precisely when he said,

“There are not over a hundred people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church–which is, of course, quite a different thing.”[1]

What I perceived as truth was a complete and total lie, but my diametric ideology of Catholicism wouldn’t be debunked for several more months.

I was so concerned about teaching our children good moral character that I never stopped to think of my own.  It wasn’t until my sister’s second child was upcoming baptism that I began to judge my own actions, or lack there of, and how they were completely contradictory to the way I wanted to raise our children.  Why did it take my niece’s baptism to finally wake up?  Embarrassment and hypocrisy.  I was a Godmother to my sister’s first little girl and the church that baptized her did not require confirmation for both godparents.   I was able to skirt by that issue.  My sister and her family moved to San Diego after my niece’s birth and their new church required confirmed Godparents.  Although, my sister chose my other sister as the Godmother, it caused me embarrassment because I hadn’t been confirmed.  I knew that both of my sisters were going through with confirmation and, as their older sister, shame washed over me due to not already been confirmed.  I also contemplated what kind of role model I was to my children, godchild and even my sisters when I made no attempt at Catholicism.  Was I a ‘good’ role model?  Was I even a ‘good’ mother?  In my eyes, being ‘good’ is composed of a person with dignity, integrity, modesty, and honesty. Was I any of those qualities?  Based on my actions in the past, definitely not.  At least I was smart enough to comprehend that unless I first adjusted my spiritual life I knew that I would never be worthy of the title of ‘good’ anything.  The ‘good’ was non-existent, and I expected my children and sisters to aspire goodness. My greatest affliction is hypocrisy, but it dawned on me that I was partaking in it.  I wanted and needed to change for the benefit of my children.  Immediately, I called up our church and scheduled myself to go through confirmation that spring.  Maybe I would learn the foundation of being ‘good’ along the way.

I only had to attend two classes before confirmation, but those two classes gave me the jolt to find the ‘good’ I was searching for.  It had everything to do with my instructor.  I could see the joy that radiated from her when she spoke of God and I could sense her closeness to Him.  Those ‘type’ of people had always been a mystery to me. I could never comprehend their passion for Christ, but little did I know that I was about to receive that same passion by means that I hardly expected….by Confession.

Our class instructions were to go to confession to achieve a state of grace before receiving the Holy Spirit, in other words, we needed forgiveness and do penance for our mortal sins prior to being confirmed.  I was aghast.  I hadn’t partaken in the Sacrament of Reconciliation since I was in catholic school, which was well over 25 years ago.  My mind began to re-enact every single inconceivable sin I remembered committing.  It was an awful recollection.  I had violated God’s commandments in ways that would be a breeding ground for a reality tv show.  The Real Housewives would at least be proud.  Complete terror fell over me.  I had an image of the scene in ‘A League of Their Own’ when Madonna’s character leaves the confessional after the priest dropped his bible because of her confession, he then had to take a peek at the person who achieved such atrocity.  Would the priest do that with me?  Our instructor reassured us that every priest has heard it all when it comes to confession, and he took a vow to never speak of anyone’s confession to anyone else.  That did little to ease my nerves.  I dreaded this horrible task.  Although, I knew that I had to do it if I wanted a ‘clean soul’ and mine needed a deep, deep clean.  I was long overdue for a power wash and then a good scrub on all fours with a toothbrush to remove the grime in every little crevice.

The day had finally arrived to confess my sins.  Matt’s family was in town and I had to leave the fun of their visit to go do something that is worse than using an outhouse during the month of August in Texas! I arrived at the church and, to my surprise, I waited in a long line for confession.  I didn’t know anyone who went to confession, so I assumed I would be the only one in line.  I was glad to know that I wasn’t alone in the need for forgiveness, but that showed how truly ignorant I was about this wonderful Sacrament.  During my wait period, I did an ‘Examination of Conscience’ or basically made a long list of sins committed, which I was still adding to as I recollected my past.  The line crept closer and closer to the confessional door and my list was shaking in my hands.  What was my possible penance?  Probably a lifetime of Hail Mary’s and polishing the pews for a year.  Could a priest make me do that?  I didn’t know what to expect.  I was up.  I walked in and kneeled behind the screen.  There was no way I was going to sit in front of the priest and show my face while admitting my monstrosities.

I began my confession with the common line ‘Forgive me Father for I have sinned’ and at that moment I could feel the presence of God.  His majestic aura induced a digging in deepest part of my soul of all my ugly sins that I had kept buried for far too long, and I shoved them out one by one to His exemplar, the priest. I soon realized that holding in these sins had built up this false wall of justification.  Every horrible, monstrous act I had committed had slowly become less and less dire because I only used myself to judge the severity of my sins.  Releasing it all out in the open stripped me to full nakedness in front of God, revealing everything.  I then visualized the massive impact and heartache I had caused others and to God, and it made me weep.   A weep so strong and forceful it was as if I lost my father all over again and I hadn’t the will to let go.  But that emotion was overcome with the gentle touch of mercy that caressed my shoulder, wiped my tears away, and held my hand in which it led me far away from that pit of shame I had stewed in.  I no longer smelled of rot.  I received restoration by an atonement from God and I savored in the radiance from His grace.

When I ended my confession I looked like a mess on the outside, but on the inside I was at peace.  The priest’s response to my involvement with IVF was that he wanted my husband and I to meet with him later to discuss our situation in further detail.  As for my penance?  He told me to tear up the list and pray for all the good I had done in the past.  What?  I got off that easily?  I couldn’t believe it!  I felt awe-stricken, least of all because of my unwarranted penance.  It was in light of the weight of my past having finally been lifted from my shoulders and recognizing that Jesus was the only one who was able to do it.  That guilt of IVF and a host of other sins I had carried was gone!  I had not realized the weight of it until then.  My transformation began.

Soon after my confession I received confirmation along with the Holy Spirit.  I believe it is the reason for my contemplation from then to now. I concluded that in the past, I hadn’t tried that hard to genuinely discover God. My lack of discipline and my selfishness blinded me from His love. I was quite unworthy of a friendship with Him. When I finally understood that I had to surrender myself to Him and communicate with Him regularly (as you would to a dear friend here on earth), I immediately began to see Him and His inconceivable mercy as I had never before.  Consequently, I had a hunger to know more, to understand our Heavenly Father more deeply, to love Jesus Christ more intensely, and a prolific desire to please God, instead of adding to His disappointment.

Since then, I have exhaustively increased my knowledge on the Catholic Church and her teachings, especially toward IVF.  I have read countless books and articles on Confession (my new favorite sacrament, which I now practice every month), the Mass, the Eucharist, Catholic doctrine, scripture, Holy Matrimony (my husband and I will be completing our convalidation in the near future and will be further reflected upon in upcoming blogs), the Saints, and especially the Pro-Life movement and the Immorality of IVF.

Among all of this research, I came to a revelation that the Catholic Church makes complete sense to me.  She is a church that is entirely perfect and true in this imperfect and dishonest world.  She still practices the same teachings that her founder, Jesus Christ, preached to his apostles 2000 years ago.  She holds the proof of the interrelation between faith and science, as is so cleverly portrayed in the writings of my patron saint,  Saint Thomas Aquinas.   And she obtains an ecology that holds the highest regard for human life.  None of my previous questions pertaining to the church went unanswered and every answer had a reasoning so crystal clear that I felt foolish for not seeing it that way all along.  With each unveiling, holiness and virtuosity appeared more and more attractive to me and I sensed to achieve them I must follow and live as a Catholic in the most absolute way.  It could not be just a phase.  My attitude, my manner, my style, my life, my path for eternity must convert to Catholicism.

Also during this time, Matt and I did meet with our Pastor to discuss our situation.  He explained that the preeminent logic behind the severity of IVF is that we, as husband and wife, are not procreative by means of natural law, in other words, we skipped over the marital act to receive the gift of children.  We weren’t involved in the “human act by which the partners mutually give [ourselves] to each other”. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1627)  We didn’t take part in “this consent that binds the spouses to each other [to] find its fulfillment in the two “becoming one flesh”’(Catechism of the Catholic Church 1627).  This is further and brilliantly illustrated by Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph. D who earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did postdoctoral work at Harvard.  He wrote the following about IVF:

“It substitutes an act of laboratory manipulation for an act of bodily union between spouses. It turns procreation into production. IVF is really the flip-side of contraception: rather than trying to have sex without babies, we try to have babies without sex.”[2]

As I once thought and what most of our culture currently believes is that creating babies without sex is no big deal.  But why?  Why have we, as a society, become so lax about the marital act of sex in which we are given the gift of children?  Father Tad says:

“Because many Americans have come to view sex largely in terms of recreation, ignoring its procreative orientation, they have lost touch with the grave violations that occur both in contraceptive sex and in making babies in test tubes.”[3]

Let me repeat the most profound line.  We “have come to view sex largely in terms of recreation.”  The soaring rate of divorce and infidelity, the abundant use of contraception, and the legality of abortion has dampened our understanding of the true meaning of sex and has caused us to view it as merely recreational.  As a fun thing to do.  As ‘it feels good and I like doing it, so I’ll do it when I want and with whomever I like.’  This is not what God intended.  He gave us the pleasure from it, not to have sex with anyone we want at anytime we want, but as a reward to us when we choose our eternal spouse.  When we receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony with that person and give ourselves completely to each other in conjugal love, through body and soul, and the ‘two become one flesh’.  That ‘one flesh’ is the melding of our bodies, our puzzle pieces fitting together, our lives that are now unified and have become one body under Christ, and it is the gift of a child that we may receive from the marital act of love.  We have lost all concept of this and it is only one reason IVF did not seem immoral to me and much of society, but it is the basis for all the other reasons.

Dr. Jose Simon Castellvi, the president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) said:

“As Catholic doctors we recognize the pain that infertility brings to a couple, but equally we believe that the research and treatment methods needed to solve the problems of infertility have to be conducted within an ethical framework which respects the special dignity of the human embryo, which is no different from that of a mature adult with a brilliant mind.”[4]

So how can an embryo be no different from an adult when it is definitely smaller in size, has no brain, no heart, no limbs, no genitalia and no nervous system?  These are all very obvious physical differences based on “judging humanity on everyday appearances”[5] or rather how we perceive humans to look outside of the womb, but we tend to forget that the embryo has not grown into these physical differences yet.  Randy Alcorn says, in his book Why Pro-Life?: Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers:

“In fact, she looks just like a human being ought to look at her stage of development.”[6]

Additionally, what Jose Simon Castellvi means is that these differences are already pre-determined in that embryo with the human DNA that he or she was given at conception, when the egg obtained fertilization by the sperm.  In his book, Randy Alcorn also points out:

“The newly fertilized egg contains a staggering amount of genetic information, sufficient to control the individual’s growth and development for his entire lifetime.”[7]

The term embryo is a developmental stage in a human being’s lifespan just as newborn, toddler, child, teen and adult are, and the only real difference between an embryo and an adult is the environment, which is in the womb vs outside of the womb.  Now, are we any less human inside of a house vs outside of a house? Of course not.  So why do we think that an unborn child, especially at her earliest stage of development, has less of a right to life than a born child?  Why do we create her like she is a manufactured good and later freeze her for later use as we would a popsicle?

This leads me to our next quandary, which is what does the future hold for these ‘leftover’ frozen embryos?  We already know the process of IVF and that it produces embryos which are either implanted immediately or frozen (cryopreserved) for later use.  But what if the couple does not want to have a later use for their embryos?  What if they received their quota of children and don’t want anymore, therefore, they won’t be using their ‘leftover’ embryos?  This was the dilemma that Matt and I struggled with after the twins were born, and I know it is the same dilemma that many people who’ve undergone IVF face today.

We were left with several choices.  We could destroy them (that was out of the question), give them up for scientific experimentation (also out of the question), donate them to another couple or person (the thought of our own flesh and blood being raised by someone else was unpleasant) or we could freeze them indefinitely and forget about them (that seemed just as dire as destroying them), which is the fate that most of these unwanted embryos are in at this moment.   In fact, according to the New York Times, the number of embryos frozen “in 2011 estimated 612,000. Now, many reproductive endocrinologists say, the total may be about a million.”[8]  Because of abortion and the rapid incline in the use of IVF most of society now views these embryos “as experimental animals destined for destruction.”[9]  Dr. Jose Simon Castellvi goes on to say:

“This use has led to a culture where (embryos) are regarded as commodities, rather than the precious human individuals which they are.”[10]

But we must stop this regard!  We live in a culture that puts animals on a higher pedestal that human beings.  People are intolerant of animal cruelty or even just recently, have become outraged over a lion being wrongly killed in Africa.  Where is the outrage and intolerance over the tiniest of human beings being wrongly killed right here in America?  Where is the outrage over all of these embryos that harbor the same treatment as manufactured food left frozen indefinitely or discarded with not the slightest remorse?

Today, we must begin to see an unborn baby, even at her earliest developmental stage, as “a human being [that] is the only creature on earth made by God for his or her own sake, and must never be treated as a means to an end. An embryo is not a “doggie in the window” … and is not “for sale.” An embryo is not a ‘product’ or an ‘asset’ that can be accepted or rejected, bought or sold. An embryo may not be ‘returned to the maker’ by abortion. An embryo may not be used for experimental purposes, however laudable.”[11]

Deep down Matt and I knew what the right choice was, but we couldn’t imagine having more children when they were already a lot to handle, and we were quite happy with just two.  Before I boomeranged back to Catholicism we spoke with our embryologist, the doctor who conceived our twins in a petri-dish, concerning the three embryos we had left to implant, and we were actually relieved to hear that based on statistics we would most likely only receive one child out of the three embryos.  Looking back on that day, I can hardly believe how we reacted so callously, so inhumanely, so cold about the lives of these three children we had left, suspended in time, waiting to grow in my womb, to be born and to be loved by us.  Jose Simon Castellvi also said:

“Although IVF has brought happiness to the many couples who have conceived through this process, it has done so at an enormous cost. That cost is the undermining of the dignity of the human person.”[12]

That is exactly what we were doing and what we had done to our children.  We were undermining the dignity of them.

Now, I am so grateful that Matt and I determined, that we must give all three of our children a chance at continuing their lives, which was also agreed upon with our Pastor.  We were the adults who created them unethically and it was of no fault of theirs, so we need to give them their ‘unalienable’ right to life.  They deserve it as much as we do, and probably even more after our behavior.  The possibility of five children on the horizon makes me (maybe not Matt) smile now because I know that God’s grace is infinitely more than all the complexity that he gives us.

In the end, the guilt of IVF dissipated, but it did not lift the burden of what I had done.  It will forever leave a stain no matter how hard I scrub to clean it up.  Matt and I acted like our own gods when we made the choice to go through IVF.  Then we treated our children that we created as commodities and nothing more than a piece of trash.  Now, our remaining three children currently endure the fate of limbo.  We hope to change that soon.  And what about the 9 out of the 14 children that we created and didn’t survive?  We have gone about our daily lives not thinking of them as our own, but they did in fact become our children the day of their conception.  I pray that I will meet them in Heaven.

Another struggle I am dealing with is how am I going to tell my children about this?  Do I tell them at all?  If I do, what will it do to them?  I don’t know the answer to that at this moment, but I am going to pray hard about it and I know God will show me the answer.  This is my cross to bear.  I am writing my story, so others will not have to carry this same cross, but mostly to decrease and hopefully one day stop the killing and freezing of our unborn children.

A question I hear rather frequently is ‘Why did God give you, or any couple who undergoes IVF, the gift of children if it is immoral?’  Well, why does God give the gift of children to victims of rape or incest or more commonly couples who partake in pre-marital sex?  These are all acts against God’s commandments, but yet children are still conceived by them.  Another question I ponder is ‘Why does God give children to those who don’t want them and then allows them to abort their babies?’  But the better question is ‘Why does God give any one of us reprehensible, shameful, imperfect people the gift of life?  Because He deeply loves us and He wants us to believe and love Him back with our own free will, without force or bribery.  Is the gift of children a bribe?  Of course not.  Not everyone who does IVF receives the blessing of children and those who do, most likely do not see it as wrong or against God’s law or they may not even believe in God.  What I do know is this.  God gave Matt and I our gift of children to wake me the heck up and to make good out of our IVF situation.  I thank Him every single day for giving us our children.  He knew my stubbornness and what it would take for me to come back to Him, to the Catholic Church, and to confession.  And confession is the most profound proof that God truly does have inconceivable mercy.

Today, begins our next chapter with IVF.  We start our third trial sometime this month and I plan to give updates along the way, while also writing more about Pro-Life topics, especially pertaining to IVF.  I’ll even go so far as to say that IVF does not truly cure infertility.  It’s merely a Band-Aid approach to the problem itself.  It skips over the complication without permanently finding a solution, meanwhile disregarding the sanctity of human life.  I will also speak of Natural Family Planning that is an alternative to contraception and NaProTechnology (Natural Procreative Technology), which “is a new women’s health science that monitors and maintains a woman’s reproductive and gynecological health. It provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system.”[13]  Additionally, it is safe, cost effective, morally sound and approved by the Catholic Church.  I’m very new to this discovery, so I am still researching the logistics behind NaProTechnology, but I pray this God-approved path gives the many couples who struggle with infertility peace of mind.

*Side Note:  I know that some people who read this may become upset or even furious, especially those who have been through IVF and feel that they have not taken part in an immoral action.  Please know that I’m not writing this to anger you.  I write this to save the lives of our children despite their development stage in life, to treat them with the dignity that they deserve as human beings, and to tell you what I recognize as right and wrong, which is so hard to decipher in the world we live in today, when what once was immoral is now accepted as moral.  In the eyes of God, what other people think does not matter and they will not be my judge when my life ends on earth.  Only God will and He has shown me that IVF is unethical and a mortal sin.  As a mere human being, I will not argue with Him on anything pertaining to ethics or the Catholic Church.  I’ve forsaken Him countless times in the past and I’m doing my best not to repeat it. If you take offense to what I have written then I suggest you pray about it, however, if I write something that is factually wrong then please let me know for I do not want to give you false information.


  1. Sheen, Monsignor Fulton J., Ph.D., D.D., L.L.D. Foreword. Radio Replies Vol. 1. Radio Replies. Web. 1938.
  1. Pacholczyk, Fr. Tadeusz, Ph.D. “Babies In Test Tubes.” – The National Catholic Bioethics Center. The National Catholic Bioethics Center, 1 Dec. 2005. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
  1. Pacholczyk, Fr. Tadeusz, Ph.D. “Babies In Test Tubes.” – The National Catholic Bioethics Center. The National Catholic Bioethics Center, 1 Dec. 2005. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
  1. Glatz/National Catholic News, Carol. “IVF Opened ‘wrong Door’ to Treat Infertility: Vatican Official.” National Catholic Reporter. The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company, 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Aug. 2015.
  1. Alcorn, Randy C., and Randy C. Alcorn. “Are the Unborn Really Human Beings?/Complex and Human.” Why Pro-life?: Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2012. 31. Print.
  1. Alcorn, Randy C., and Randy C. Alcorn. “Are the Unborn Really Human Beings?/Complex and Human.” Why Pro-life?: Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2012. 31. Print.
  1. Alcorn, Randy C., and Randy C. Alcorn. “Are the Unborn Really Human Beings?/Complex and Human.” Why Pro-life?: Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2012. 30. Print.
  1. Lewin, Tamar. “Industry’s Growth Leads to Leftover Embryos, and Painful Choices.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 June 2015. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
  1. Glatz/National Catholic News, Carol. “IVF Opened ‘wrong Door’ to Treat Infertility: Vatican Official.” National Catholic Reporter. The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company, 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Aug. 2015.
  1. Glatz/National Catholic News, Carol. “IVF Opened ‘wrong Door’ to Treat Infertility: Vatican Official.” National Catholic Reporter. The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company, 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Aug. 2015.
  1. Shea, John B., MD. “The Immorality of In Vitro Fertilization.” LifeTree. John B. Shea, MD, 29 Jan. 2007. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
  1. Glatz/National Catholic News, Carol. “IVF Opened ‘wrong Door’ to Treat Infertility: Vatican Official.” National Catholic Reporter. The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company, 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Aug. 2015.
  1. “NaProTECHNOLOGY — A Major Breakthrough In Monitoring and Maintaining a Woman’s Reproductive and Gynecological Health.” NaProTECHNOLOGY. Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, n.d. Web. 05 Aug. 2015. <http://www.naprotechnology.com/&gt;.