Who does Mary like more, infertiles or mothers?

I wrote this first part when I was pregnant…and never got around to publishing it.  Finished it up with some more thoughts.

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The title is joke.  Sort of.  I was asked a question two weeks ago that stopped me dead in my tracks.  Mostly because it seemed like such a simple question but I hadn’t even considered it.  Which naturally, made me feel like a bad Catholic.  I was talking with a family member (on my husband’s side) about faith and getting through tough situations and how just like our fertility issues, “there would always be some difficulty to get past in life and if you have faith, you’ll see how it was always meant to be and for the best” (which always makes me grit my teeth a little because of course there is some truth to that but it’s not total truth and fertility issues are really unique, especially primary infertility, some situations will only make sense in Heaven and since you can only have a conversation like this after you know someone can get pregnant, right? WHEW.).  It was then that the question came

“When I was pregnant, I just felt so close to Mary.  Because, you know, she was pregnant with Jesus just like I was pregnant and having that commonalty was just so special.  Have you felt that this pregnancy?”

Short answer:  No.  Not at all.

Bad Catholic?

I’m still trying to figure that one out.  Maybe part of it is my Protestant background, maybe some of it is my relationship with my own mother, but I think a bigger part is that Mary and I had to come to an understanding when I was in the depths of it, and that experience is still pretty fresh.  I can’t remember if I’ve written this story here, but I’ll retell it anyway.

I will first say that my husband, like most Catholics, does have a special place in his heart for Mary.  He would encourage me to ask her to pray for us and appreciates the beauty of the statues of Mary and usually stops to say a prayer at whatever church we’re at.  I always struggled with this because almost every image of Mary has her holding a baby Jesus.  Depicted as the ultimate Mother, she was something I could only dream of and on the superficial level, it seemed we had nothing in common.  Why would she want to listen to me let alone ask the Creator of the Universe to answer my prayers?

It was after mass one time when the tears had been flowing and it had been a rough couple of weeks that my husband motioned that we should just go lay it all out to our Mother Mary and really ask for her prayers and comfort.  We were heading over to the corner of the church to pray, with the candles and kneelers, literally walking directly towards it down the aisle and were like 5 feet away from the kneelers when out of nowhere this pregnant girl literally cut us off and knelt down, taking up all the space.  I think I immediately had tears streaming down my cheeks.  It might seem melodramatic, but that really was how the situation happened.  It was as if my worst fears about Mary having no need to hear my pleas was confirmed true.  Of course, this pregnant woman’s requests were much more to her liking, I was just this penitential child upset by what I didn’t have and there was all the physical proof I needed.  Mary just said “let it be done to me”, she didn’t know and had no reason to know what it was like to beg for the gift of being a mother.  Getting a miracle pregnancy vs. trying really hard and it not happening aren’t exactly the same situation.  I left church almost hysterical and my poor husband didn’t have any clue what was going on until I could gather the emotions to tell him how that was the pinnacle act of what I had always feared in my heart which means my fears must be true.

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I don’t remember when it happened exactly, but probably somewhere in there due to my husband’s chiding of course (I don’t come to these things on my own usually) I knew I had to stop being mad at Mary for something that was clearly in my own head.  The Mother of God couldn’t, wouldn’t, DIDN’T love me less because of that pregnant girl I saw.  I don’t know why it took  me so long, but I had (finally) had a vision of Mary at the Passion.   I had even played this role in a Passion play several years before this, but I guess I just forget things quickly.  I realized that the image we see of Mary, possibly more often than her holding baby Jesus, is of her holding Jesus after the crucifixion:

Mary holding her son, her dead son.  Knowing grief is central to Mary.  I don’t know how I missed it before.   A very wise friend of mine told me once after her miscarriage that she realized she couldn’t protect her child from the one final thing in this world, death.  Infertility itself is like watching your child die every month …(miscarriage being that in reality)…Mary understands infertiles very, very well.  She knows the pain of being helpless and of grieving a child taken for reasons beyond your control.  I guess this is how I made peace with Mary.  And I realize that sounds absurd, “making peace with Mary”, but our experiences have a profound way of shaping us.

So its not a ‘competition’ as I have oft to make things.  Or an ‘either or’.  Mother Mary is there for us in different phases of our lives, we just have to ask for her help.

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Take 7…Summer Edition: Earthquakes, filming, and more MSL!

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I felt my first earthquake the other night!  That was officially my first earthquake (that I felt) and I can kind of see how I may have missed one before that as well.  It was late at night, everyone was sleeping and I had just watched Aly win the gold on the floor routine when our house started shaking like a giant truck drove by.  Only there was no truck.  It took me a minute to freak out once I realized what had happened, but once I did I got a little scared…we are so not ready for an earthquake!  I seriously need to get our emergency supplies together!!

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The earthquake was fairly small (4.4) and located at least 40 miles away, so it didn’t last long, just a few seconds.  It really reminded me of where we lived in Mexico City.  Apparently our apartment was built on top of water and was really old (although it had survived the earthquake in the 80’s!) and shook every time a truck past.  It took me a second the other night to realize wait, this house isn’t supposed to shake like that!

I’m glad that’s over with, because it really wasn’t that bad.  Maybe now I won’t be so terrified.

Although maybe that means the big one is coming….

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Speaking of being up late watching the Olympics, between  the time change with the Olympics being in London, social media, and THEN being on PST, watching the events this year has been really anti-climatic.  I’m trying to embrace it as just something entirely different but I have such great memories watching the Olympics in the past as it unfolds that I really hope the next games in Brazil are more real-time.

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Maybe they will be real-time because we’ll be watching them live from Brazil??  You never know!  We’ve been waiting for a family wedding in Brazil that was supposed to have “been happening” for the last 4 years, so maybe it will actually happen within the next four years?  If not, maybe we’ll be there for the World Cup or World Youth Day.  One can hope!

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For a little more LA feel, the park I walk up to almost daily was filming a movie a few weeks ago.  I went home and looked it up and apparently Ed Helms was in it.  Doh.  I should have looked closer and not tried to appear so nonchalant!

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And then on Wednesday, a guy knocked on our door to say that they would be filming a sitcom on our street and that we’d need to move our cars since it was a period piece.  He said they’d pay us and inconvenience fee ($100!) to move our cars (since we have no garage),  so I said “yeehaw!” and then he asked for my info and SSN#.  I immediately thought that was fishy, especially since we get so many shady people like that in our neighborhood, so I said no thanks, even though he gave me his business card and everything.

When I walked yesterday I saw the “tow away” zone cones set up and this morning I see them setting up.  Guess it wasn’t a gimmick after all!

Funny thing is they are filming “Its always sunny in Philadelphia.”  Isn’t that funny its filmed in LA?  Apparently they choose our street because it looks like the East coast!  Does anyone watch that show?  I think its on cable, but I’m going to try to watch this next season now!

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And finally, for your gratuitous piece of fashionably late pop culture, I give you, Curiosity, the Mars Science Lab, set to “Call Me Maybe”. 

Yeah, scientists are cool too, and only like, 10 weeks behind fads and with no musical composition whatsoever. Ha!

 

Please visit Jen for more Quick Takes!

The state of blogging

Its obviously no secret that blogging has taken a back seat for, well the past year.  I could lie and say its because I’ve just been so busy, which I guess isn’t too much of a lie these days (free time = exhausted and want to do something mindless that usually can’t involve making coherent sentences/thoughts), but as I’ve explored before, I seem best motivated to write when I have something negative/controversial just itching at my brain begging to get out.  And I remember a time that even though I was so busy, I felt like I could literally not rest until I got my thoughts and poured my heart out on this blog.  There’s no denying it.  Times have changed.

I am truly happy that we reached our ‘goal’, that we have this little baby staring up at us every morning and we’re finally on this journey of parenthood that truly feels like a new beginning.  But I can’t help but realize, through comments people have written and just by the memory of how I used to feel myself, that I have become the enemy.  I hesitate to write updates on Sam because, well I remember reading those updates on babies and thinking “wow, that baby is already X months old?  awesome.  what another way to mark my sub-fertility”.  I hesitate to write about other things since I don’t want people to think I’m not caring about/excited about my child. 

So I hesitate to write at all. 

And then nothing gets written.

I realize my skin is thin, I care too much about what people will think, how something will get misinterpreted, mostly because I know how I would twist things before and how they looked from my perspective.  In a way I guess I feel at odds with myself and who I used to be.  I have a hard time thinking “Oh, well maybe someone will just feel hope from this or that”, because I knew that it was temporal and totally depended on the moment and that usually, no things did not bring me hope, they brought a lot of bitterness.  So I think that’s why people leave blogging after they have a baby.  Its really difficult to balance both perspectives and its just easier to stop writing.  Which of course hurts as well.  I guess the bottom line is that when you share your thoughts with the world, you have to expect a backlash.  And since I’ve put my name and face on my blog (i.e., this is not an anonymous blog) I should not be careless about what I say.  Its good that I’m worried about how my writing should be received, but I shouldn’t let that silence me. Right?

We just had the anniversary of the conception date.  Yes, I think about things like that.  I still have the receipt from the night that we went out to dinner on our fridge (though I doubt anyone would know what its from).  Yes there was wine that night, we did go to a winery the night before as well :) I also took this picture of the crescent moon because I thought it was so beautiful that night. 

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Who else out there ovulates near a new moon?

What was crazy is this year we went to the same children’s concert we went to last year.   My sister was in town with my nephew and we went to this concert and had so much fun watching him and all the other kids dance.  And then it hit me, as I watched M. play with my husband, what we were missing out on.  And he is so good with kids.  Seriously.  

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And then I remember taking this picture.  Just a picture of us.  Our family! We are fine!  We are happy!  Look at all you have to be happy about! I remember thinking that sometimes its forced but you just have to make yourself feel it. 

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And then I remember this next picture.  I took it to hide the tears that kept coming to my eyes as I looked around and thought, will this happen for me?  All these laughing and dancing kids with their parents…is it just a dream that will never happen?  Laying down on the blanket and looking straight up I thought I was hiding tears, I remember trying to frame pictures of these trees to make the tears stop.  This was a nice day.  Why did I have to ruin it with thinking about my childlessness?  

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Because it wasn’t a choice.  It was always there. 

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Pictures like this remind of that. 

And then there’s the picture I took this year, as I recounted to my husband my thoughts and feelings from last year. 

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Who’d have thought we would be bringing our son to the same exact concert a year later?

Who’d have thought that when I set up this blog, that future ‘ matching moonheads’ would be so hard to come by?  Who knew that we would end up in Mexico or California, or that Sam, this specific baby would be here? 

I sure didn’t!  But I’m so glad that I have this blog to record all that has gone on surrounding it all.  And that’s why I think its important to blog/journal. 

To record our thoughts and experiences with all the things we never thought we’d face.

Today’s the day!

I interrupt this lack of blogging due to a family visit and then a trip out to Texas to tell you that tonight’s the night that we discover the fate of the MSL!  When it launched last October it was crazy to think that when it landed we’d have a baby.  Here we are watching mission control feed live and will soon find out if it landed!

My husband is laughing at me because I’m so nervous about if its going to land or explode.  But I can’t help it… I’m so excited!

Pass the peanuts!