Sunday, August 03, 2014

How We Found Out That We Were Expecting Our Second Child

Dear Reader, with tremendous joy, I am excited to announce that there is new life growing within me!  Please allow me to tell you the timeline of this momentous miracle that began in May 2014!

On May 18th, I did a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Padre Pio with our little Liam and my wonderful aunts, Tess and Maryann.  It was a beautiful, peaceful, prayerful day, and I asked St. Padre Pio to intercede for me, that Michael and I might conceive another child, if it be God’s will for our little family.

Two days later, on May 20th, I did a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa with my little Liam and my dear friend Angela.  It was my fourth pilgrimage to this beautiful place, and I placed the same prayer intention in the loving arms of Our Mother Mary.

Thanks to the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning, we’re pretty sure our precious child was conceived on or shortly after May 28, which means I was already blessed with the best birthday gift when I turned 35 on May 31st!  Thanks to a little research and 15 strong cramps from my right ovary in one day, we’re pretty sure our child then nestled into a cozy spot of my womb on June 3rd – a beautiful Marian feast day, which is the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Letter!

Things started feeling different for me just one day after conception, for my womb felt a new warmth on May 29th (which was confirmed the next morning with a high temperature reading upon waking) and my womb had a new but subtle feeling of quiet sturdiness.  It was as if my body sensed that there was a precious secret to be guarded.

Despite these hopeful feelings, we still experienced the disappointment of a negative pregnancy test on Cycle Day 29, which was June 7th.  Michael and I resolved to accept more willfully whatever is God’s will in the days and months to follow, and I remember buying iced tea and blue cheese dressing at the grocery store later that day, figuring that I might as well indulge in a little caffeine and soft cheese as a consolation prize!

But, Almighty God has His ways.  Our sweet child was veiled and hidden from us for the time being.  God was teaching us to pray, to rely on Him more, to rely on each other as husband and wife more, and to accept His will for us, trusting Him like the children that we are.

As the days continued, my period never came.  And the warm, quiet, solid feeling in my womb never disappeared.  I prayed and wondered and privately cried and opened my heart as wide as I could to accepting God’s will, whatever it might be.

Another eight days had now passed, and it was Cycle Day 36, the 16th day of a sustained high temperature, and June 14th.  This day was the feast day of St. Thecla, a saint who few people know about, but who is my special baptismal patroness, since a church named after her is where I was baptized on Father’s Day in 1979.

God was to reveal His plans for us only in His perfect timing, and He was not to be rushed.  But on this day, this beautiful Saturday where we woke up together and took another pregnancy test, God revealed a beautiful miracle!  There WAS new life growing within me!  It was now time for us to know.

“Congratulations!” were the first words out of Michael’s mouth when he saw the second blue line on the test strip.  My eyes had been glued to his because I wanted to learn the news from him and not the test strip. 

With joy, we hugged, my eyes wet with joyful tears and our bellies laughing with glee.  Liam was calling us from his bedroom now, and so we scooped him up to tell him the great news.  We then threw on clothes and ran over to daily mass to praise God for His generosity with us!  Father O’Blaney was wearing white because of St. Thecla’s happy feast day, and after mass, we asked him to bless our littlest one – which he joyfully did!

Our precious little one is expected to be born on St. Valentine’s Day in February 2015!  Please pray for the safe growth and delivery of both this child and me.  Michael and I have declared this to be a Pregnancy of Peace, for we have vowed no longer to worry but rather to trust more completely in God and to savor every moment of this special time of our lives.

How beautiful are God’s designs!  We are marveling at His generosity and blessed by His grace!  Thank you for your prayers for us, and thank you for allowing me to share with you how God has touched our lives!