Wow. Nothing like being told to "relax" by your spiritual director - and agreeing with him! I will give him full credit, as he didn't actually use the word "relax" but as I was driving home, reflecting on our conversation, that was essentially what he told me to do. And as I said, I agree with him.

Our conversation led to him asking where we were at medically (remember he was a nurse before he was a priest, and he's familiar with NaPro, so it's nice to just be able to speak and not have to stop and define every other word). After I finished answering him, he asked me a question:

Do you trust your doctor?
Do you trust your doctor, totally?
Do you, really?

At this point, I was starting to wonder why he kept asking, why he was belaboring this point and if I'm totally honest, getting a little frustrated. (And in my head, I was thinking he might have a different doctor recommendation for me and I wasn't entirely thrilled with that prospect was very annoyed at that idea.) So I asked the question, "why?"

And it was then that he said:

Stop thinking about it. Stop worrying about it. Let your doctor be your doctor.

I'm pretty sure I was stunned into silence for at least 5 seconds (an eternity if you know me). And then our conversation continued, specifically onto the two ends of a sexual relationship between a husband and a wife - the procreative and the unitive. I shared how The Man and I have worked to preserve the unitive aspect and how we are both scared that we could go backwards and undo some of the healing that took place when we learned NFP. I also shared how many months, during the fertile days I either pick a stupid fight or end up crying in the bathroom after making love with The Man because of the pressure of it all. And that is when Fr. D pointed out that this is not exactly contributing to the unity between The Man and me. While we are not doing anything to deliberately separate the unitive and procreative aspects, we are still doing just that. The pressure that is placed on the fertile days has become intense and no matter how hard we've tried to prevent it, it is having an impact.
And this is why he wanted to know if I trusted my doctor. Because if I do, then I must stop worrying about every little detail. I must take my medication as prescribed and keep my chart as directed, but I have no more control than that. I must, of all things, relax. If I want to conceive, I must create fertile ground, and not just physically. I must find a way to spiritually and emotionally relax and be OK with not having control. And as I write this, I see he was talking about much more than just conceiving a child, if I want my marriage to bear fruit, to be life-giving in all ways, then I have to let it, I can't let the weeds of my stress stifle any beauty that wants to blossom. I have to find a way to let go and let God, to put it simply. I have to remind myself, even in the midst of the fertile days, that we will be OK.

It wasn't until I was reflecting on it on the way home that I realized it connected directly back to an evening in Adoration when I was on retreat in August. Remember? The retreat where I asked God to break my heart...and He did. I was taken back to a page of notes I had taken after spending almost an hour literally sobbing before Our Lord, begging Him to see me, to hear me, to help me. I didn't need to look at the notes I knew exactly what the top of the page looked like, and the words on it:

Physical Infertility and Spiritual Infertility

What followed was basically a listing of questions, of wondering if a physical infertility was leading to a spritual infertility or vice versa? Of how one area of infertile ground could be leading to another. I asked if the silence and distance I was feeling in my spiritual life was related to the emptiness in my womb...and if so, which one came first?

It was as if all of the questions I asked back in August started to have answers now. Yes, my hardened heart and my physical infertility are connected. Yes, they are contributing to one another. And yes, I have to do something about it. But not in the sense of grasping for control and dictating what the outcome must be, instead, I must allow the Lord to create an environment in me in which new life can grow - new spiritual life for myself and The Man, new life in the form of good health for me, new life to the world in a marriage that reflects the love of Christ, and maybe, just maybe, new physical life in the form of a baby. But one thing is for sure, if I keep grasping and trying to control everything, I may end up with nothing.

And suddenly, what Fr. Jon on my retreat told me to do, that I've been resisting and fighting and struggling with, made all the sense in the world.

Give your womb to Jesus and to Mary.

And that is how I shall relax. I shall truly let go, and let God. I will put my marriage and our relationship (emotionally, spiritually, and physically) first. I will honor our duty to hold the procreative and unitive ends of our sexual relationship in the proper tension. And I will accept the outcome.

I also understand the sadness I've been feeling a bit more. It is a result of fighting so hard to control everything and losing. Of course I am sad that we are not yet parents, and I don't expect that to go away anytime soon, if ever. I also expect to continue the roller coaster of emotions that happens every cycle. But, if I can somehow gain some control, ultimately by giving it up completely I know I will be better for it, in all aspects.

I've finally realized I can't control this. I can't force the outcome of this. I can continue to try and make it worse or I can surrender. So, as Christmas draws near, I give my Fiat! and I say Be it done unto me according to Thy will and I place every life-giving piece of me and The Man, body, heart, and soul, in the hands of Mary and her Son.

Our Lady of Peace, pray for us.


  1. I think you nailed it when you said "control"...we don't have control over IF. The thing is is that we can't let IF control us...which it often does. We have give the control to the Lord. It's up to HIM anyways...children are gifts from Him. We do our part and we have to leave the rest to Him. It's hard to give it to Him in a world where so many have control over their childbearing...or so they think...I guess. Anyways...praying for you as you discern what God is asking of you and your dh.

  2. so.much.truth.

    I wish I had learned more about letting go during IF, boy am I learning it noe!

  3. What an awesome spiritual director! Reading your post, what came to mind is that you are giving it all back to Him. He has said, "This is my body, given for you." And now you are saying it back to Him! Praying for you, and especially praying that this letting go will create a new place for your family to grow even stronger, first through your marriage growing stronger, regardless of what else may or may not come after!

  4. Oh my....fiat...so hard, but yet so beautiful. I love you. Thank you for allowing us to walk along side you on this journey. I am praying hard for you!!!

  5. This is a great post and you have a great spiritual director. :)

    This post spoke even to me, even though it's all about you!! (haha Imagine that!!!) Because for the first time, I did not control my fertility using NFP and control the timing of the next baby. It happened outside of my own timeline and I'll be honest with you, I'm working to accept it and understand it and process it.

    Anyway, thought I'd share that with you and let you know also, that I continue to pray for you and will have better direction now. I can pray for peace in your heart as you await in joyful hope whatever the Lord has in store for you.

  6. I am as always amazed by your honesty and commitment to walk this path wherever it is that God is leading you. Regardless of whether I ever work as a midwife again or you know pregnancy ~ we need to relax and trust in God's wisdom, thank you for the wonderful reminder.

  7. Wow! What an amazing post!

    Surrender is tough, but so necessary in order to stay sane in the world of IF. Your spiritual director sounds amazing!

    Continued prayers!

  8. This is a great post. I can't imagine what you're going through, but I'm definitely praying nightly for your family. Let go and let God.

  9. I wish you peace this Christmas. Let it all go and just be. Just enjoy.

    I've had some lessons in letting go of control recently, too. It is hard, but I'm learning that it is often necessary. The upside is, it is also incredibly freeing. You don't have to be in control of everything. Sometimes, you just have to step back and let things blossom on their own. Easier said than done, but worth it in the end.

  10. This is beautiful. You are beautiful. Prayers for you this Advent season!

  11. You are not the only one who has been upset after making love with your DH. So. Much. Pressure!!! In talking to my DH a week or so ago, he said he always felt "used" because I didn't want him, I wanted to use him to get a baby. Ouch. That stung. And that is what I was hoping to avoid. We are still trying to work on focusing on our marriage first. It is hard. IF makes things harder.
    I love CM's comment that "This is my body, given for You" and giving your body back to Jesus. That just blew me away. I will pray for you to continue to grow spiritually & in your marriage. And always, pray for you to become a mom.

  12. WOW. Powerful! What wonderful direction from Fr. D. I have never thought about how some of the verbal or emotional things we do can take the unitive out of marital relations, but that's so true. I used to always feel like it was a chore...like we were ONLY doing it for TTC. That takes out the unitive too! I always learn so much from your blog posts. You are very wise. :)

  13. While I don't struggle with IF, I do struggle currently with health issues and this post rang very true and really struck me as well in my situation. Thank you for sharing your wisdom so surrender contol... yikes! That is such a hard thing to give up, but with prayer and petition, give all things to God.

  14. I feel like I should reread this post about monthly to remind myself to stop obsessing! I do trust my doctor, I do trust my doctor...