by Liz Escoffery
Dear friends wanting to start or grow their family this Christmas,
I see you gazing at the empty manger at church. I see the mixed emotions in your gaze and so I stop to say a prayer for you.
I curated this resource list over the past few weeks with you in mind. Perhaps one of several of these resources will help you know you are not alone in your sadness and acknowledge the real suffering, a suffering that is real and relentless.
Allow yourself to feel anything you need to feel right now: disappointment, sadness, frustration, anger, jealousy, helplessness, vulnerability, or even peace and joy. There is no wrong way to feel. Honor where you are at.
The Christmas season can be especially difficult when you carry this unfulfilled desire on your heart. It can also be difficult for those who have lost a loved one (of any age!) recently—or a long time ago.
The due date of the baby we miscarried was December 23. I imagined what it would be like to have to cancel Christmas plans to head to the hospital to deliver my baby. Perfecta Marie, our first, made me a mother and my husband a father. I carry a piece of her in my heart, knowing that if my pregnancy had gone differently, we would be having a birthday party for a 4-year old right around Christmas time. That is a hard realization each and every year. I find hope in honoring this little one's life through my work and my work serving YOU is part of my story of how I found goodness in the midst of sadness and despair. In other words, I doubt Indy FertilityCare would exist if I had never carried my little Perfecta for 5 weeks in my womb.
If this is not a season where you need these resources, would you consider sharing this post with a friend who is going through these things right now?
And if you need someone to listen, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am here for you.
Resources for Infertility
Advent and Infertility: Rediscovering a Season of Hope – Catholic Standard, Archdiocese of Washington
Carrying the Cross of Infertility during Advent – Blessed is She
Childless at Christmas: A Survival Guide – Deseret News
Where to Get the Support You Need During the Holiday Season – Your Fertile Self
The Infertility Companion for Catholics: Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples by Carmen Santamaria and Angelique Ruhi-Lopez
The Organic Conceptions Program Holiday Message
More info on the Organic Conceptions Program
The Creighton Model FertilityCare System-- Indy FertilityCare
The Shared Journey Fertility Program™ -- yinRoot
Resources for Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss
A Release from Remembering- HOPE Mommies
Christmas Day Encouragement “I Miss Your Baby” – HOPE Mommies
Helping Families Heal during the Holiday Season- Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
Surviving the Holidays- Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope
Ways to Honor Your Baby in Heaven- Bridget’s Cradles
After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion to Healing & Hope by Karen Edmisten
Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg
Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage by Laura Kelly and Franco David Fanucci
Mothering Spirit by Laura Kelly Fanucci
Christmas Keepsake to Commemorate your Loved One
Request a Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tell me, what other resources have you found helpful during your journey (whether related to the Christmas season or not)?
Also, feel free to leave any prayer requests or intentions in the comments and I will hold them in my prayers, especially at Christmas Eve Mass.
I am honored to have been asked to contribute a blog post for Hail Marry, a ministry on Catholic marriage and family life. Coincidentally, my post was released today on the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae which is such a beautiful document that continues to inspire and motivate my husband and me to be faithful to God and His law and grow our marriage
I could not help but contribute my thoughts on the challenging postpartum time.
You can read it here at their website.
I'm working together with this ministry to feature one of their writers for an upcoming Indy FertilityCare blog posts, so stay tuned!
1/23/2018 1 Comment
Today, I wrote over at Spoken Bride, an organization committed that is bringing together resources, vendors, encouragement, and information for Catholic brides and newlyweds. I wish Spoken Bride had existed when I was engaged as the content they publish is absolutely breath-taking (think- photo shoots but all of Catholic weddings!) and relevant to every Catholic bride and newlywed out there.
I contributed a piece on how to use the ancient practice of Lectio Divina to pray over the wedding vows you will be making on your Wedding Day. If you are already married, you will still find benefit to praying over the vows you made that day and continue to make day after day through your life. Any time we choose spend with God in prayer enriches our relationship with Him and strengthens the relationship we have with our fiance or husband as well.
Photo Credit: Valerie Keinsley
Picture of Liz & Bill Escoffery, Oct. 6, 2012, St. Monica Catholic Church
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