Today we mark our 9th year wedding anniversary. The hubby and I really wanted the date, December 19th. While preparing for the wedding, we carefully selected the marriage rite and the mass readings, but we were oblivious to the readings of the day.
It took us some time to realize that the mass readings for December 19th will always be on the two barren women who were granted the special blessing by God to bear children: the mother of Samson in the Old Testament and the mother of John the Baptist. During the early years of our marriage, I was amused at the readings. Later on, I was alarmed. Oh gosh, I am not barren, am I? Then, much much later on, I was filled with hope. It took us eight years to conceive. In those eight years, my period was never delayed nor missed. There was no conception, no miscarriage, no nothing.
The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Twice, I attempted to consult with an ob gyn intending a full work up, but I never managed the work up. The tests were invasive and the costs were very expensive. We knew time was ticking. Medical experts consider us infertile for we had been trying to conceive for more than a year without success. I was concerned but was certain that I would conceive.
On the eighth year, the hubby and I asked John Paul II, who had passed, to pray for us by using this prayer card. I asked God to open my womb just as He did to Sarah the wife of Abraham and Elizabeth the mother of John. The next week, I went to a therapist who did foot reflexology to clean my fallopian tubes, ovaries, etc.
Six weeks later, I had difficulty getting out of bed. My migraine was horrendous. I was dead tired. I slept through the day. Office was calling but I was just zoned out. I forced hubby to take me to ER after his work because I hated missing work again after just taking a leave to go to the province to vote. :) At the Makati Medical Center ER, the interns checked me for neurological impairment, for flu, etc., eventually, I was asked to give a urine sample. After almost an eternity, I was called in by the intern who told me matter-of-factly that I was pregnant.
I was stumped.
Each day that my belly was growing, I could not believe that I was pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy and a more difficult delivery. I had to undergo regular ultrasound examinations, which allowed us to witness the growth of our daughter from a mere humping tadpole to a martian like creature, to a recognizable baby. Click here for a good view of life inside the womb.
Of course, the pregnancy was a ridiculously happy time but was punctuated by occasional anxiety when I would spot, or had preterm contractions at 6 months, with at least three false alarm emergency trips to the delivery room. It was particularly challenging for me because I am a bit of a control freak. You know, I have issues with ice skating because I cannot control the slippery ground. I am a first born. Yada, yada, yada. But I clung fiercely to the hand of God knowing that he would not pull the rug from under me.
It was, then, I realize that fertility is a fragile gift and that God is the lord of our fecundity. We delude ourselves into thinking otherwise, but He is and will always be the author of life. As Master Shifu was told in Kung Fu Panda, control is but an illusion.
I am writing this account in gratitude to God's gift for my baby and to holy intercessors Mother Mary, St. Elizabeth, St. Joseph, to John Paull II, as well as avid fans, i.e., my in-laws, relatives, and dear friends, for many were more impatient than us all those years of waiting. I thank the guardian angels and archangels for protecting my daughter in the womb, and to St. Nicholas of Bari for helping me make ends meet. Special thanks to St. Josemaria Escriva who until now inspires my day with real concern for others as I begin a new chapter of my life.
The hubby and the baby are featured in the December 2008 issue of the Baby Magazine, page 68. Hope you grab your copies!