My 14 years at home in my nest years - I call the best and the worst of my life as they encompass my years of childbearing. The call to respect LIFE was always strong in me. I decided in the first year of our marriage that I wanted to do more than just say I was prolife - I joined a group of mostly Catholic women that were a bit older than I in our local Birthright chapter. I was learning to do a pregnancy test - we offer free ones to girls as a way to get them to come in and discuss the options - and I discovered that I was pregnant with our first daughter! We had longed to get pregnant right away, but as it was I was only 5 months pregnant on our first anniversary. We had learned natural family planning after being married for a few months without a pregnancy... we wanted to use it to get pregnant! I have charted my cycles from that point until I went into menopause. I have every cycle written down and each of the 11 times I got pregnant are marked with JOYFUL exclamation points! And each time there was a loss... much gut-wrenching sadness. Sometimes I will look back and read some of my comments on the pages... I now see in my own daughters that they barely have a new baby in their arms and they are already thinking about the next one... that was so me!!! It is kind of humbling to see yourself in your kids like that. My work at Birthright has been to answer the phone in our home, when the girls call. I also have worked Monday night at the office and have had a few touching stories from that. One young girl is now a nurse, and her name is Amanda Hope! She was almost not here, as her mother was too terrified to tell her parents. She and the father are now married and I have received a most grateful Christmas greeting from them over the years. Knowing the LIGHT that Amanda has become makes me that much more sad to think of the millions of LIGHTS that have been extinguished through abortion!
One thing that has resulted from Pat's firm direction as our family Champion of LIFE... all of our children are totally to devoted to protecting and fighting for LIFE! Our oldest daughter, Ruth,is married to Paul and they live just 3 miles from us here in Marshall. All 3 of our girls got pregnant right away and celebrated their first anniversary with a 3 month old! I guess the Lord skipped a generation in answering Pat and my prayer for this... Ruth had a C-section to get Simon here alive, and ruptured trying to have her second. She was told no more children by our doctor here in town. Crushed she went to the Catholic woman doctor, who saved her uterus in emergency surgery. Paul and Ruth were told that they had a 90% chance of having another, if they allowed her uterus to heal for a year and then with careful monitoring and a C-section when the baby was ready... all would be well. Ruth then learned to use the Creighton Model method of natural planning, and even became an instructor! She has had two "miracle babies" since - David now 4 and Rose, who is 10 months! She helps other couples use natural means to prevent, or to look into infertility according to the wisdom of our glorious Church!