Monday, September 19, 2016

I don't deserve a baby.

I never would have thought it during the time that the grief was so bleeding raw and crippling. In the days and months after our miscarriage, I felt angry and sad and shocked and despairing.  Losing our baby ripped my world apart and it felt like it would never, ever be quite right again.  In the years since I've realized that while the grief lessened and the wound healed, the life - and loss - of that baby changed me forever.  Losing a baby taught me things that I would never have understood otherwise. Perhaps greater and more important than all of these lessons, though, is this: 


  1. Hi - Interesting post. But what about infertile couples seeking medical assistance to have a baby, assuming no embryos are destroyed in the process? It seems harsh to say that God doesn't want you to have a baby, when medical assistance might help make it happen. Interested in your thoughts.

    1. Thank you, that's a great question. My heart aches for couples who long for a child and I pray for them often. It doesn't seem fair, does it? There are so many struggling with infertility that would make great parents. The Church isn't at all opposed to medical intervention to assist in correcting and healing infertility. Anything that helps the body to work as it was originally designed is a great gift! So, as long as the intervention isn't something that takes the creation of life outside of the physical marital act and respects the dignity of the human person, it is okay and good. The problem is when we get into things that distort the design of the marital act or treat the baby as a commodity rather than a gift.

      When talking about the gift of a child, we believe that: "A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. the "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception." (CCC 2378)

      If you're interested, the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 2374-2379 are a great starting point for understanding more.

      I hope that helps! God bless you.

    2. There are a lot of church approved infertility treatments, most of which have higher success rates than IVF and often allow for treatment of the underlying medical issue for the husband or wife. It's just the creation of a human life outside of sex (ie in a lab via IVF, etc.) That is not approved of. It is totally fine for a Catholic couple to seek assistance via surgeries, various medicines, charting, etc. to help conceive. My husband and I have struggled through infertility as Catholics and have had to stop yo remind ourselves that nothing we do makes us deserve a child, which makes the gift of the few children we do have seem that much more precious. :)

    3. Thanks for your thoughtful reply Mary. While I can completely understand that IVF that leaves embryos in a refrigerator forever, or destroys them is immoral, I'm not convinced that IVF that doesn't do that is a moral wrong, especially having known more than a few Catholic families that went that route and are faithful loving parents to their children. We don't need to debate it - I don't intend to hijack your blog. :) Just wanted to express my opinion.

    4. It's a really sensitive and difficult subject, I know. And no worries, I think it's important to talk about it. I don't at all doubt that those parents love their children fiercely and it's important to remember the amount of desperation someone must feel to begin that process. However, I'm not sure it's ever possible with IVF to protect every baby that is created since in most offices, the embryos are tested and the "unfit" are discarded. And they always create at least several embryos either to implant all at once in the hopes that at least one "takes" or to save and freeze for another possible attempt. We can see that if we believe that life begins at conception why that might be a big problem. From a Christian perspective, sexual intimacy should always be both procreative and unitive, open to the gift but not demanding it. Whenever we split those two essential components of the act, we distort it and it turns into use. I think in the deepest parts of our hearts we know that creating a human life in a petri dish isn't okay, as well as the process to procure the sperm and egg and then implant the embryo. But it certainly is with compassion and mercy that we should treat anyone who is tempted toward or who has already tried to have a child this way. I haven't been in their shoes and their struggle and suffering is apparent in the lengths they are willing to go to have a family. I truly appreciate your comment and thoughts. These are certainly tricky and sensitive subjects but very important ones.

    5. Thanks Mary. Your compassion shines through this response. I will think about it some more and do some more research.

  2. As someone struggling with years of secondary infertility, I really struggled with deleting medical interventions personally, but in growing in my faith realized that the treatments I sought in line with the Church did as much to heal my body as treatment of any other illness.

    It's a hard, sad cross, but there are so many good doctors working in conjunction with our Church to heal and restore the fertility of women. It's a beautiful thing to see them working in concert with God's design.

    I had surgery with one of those doctors just last month and pray it will yield just such a blessing.


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