As you may remember, my grandmother promised me her statue of St. Anne with young Mary when she was sick in the hospital. She hadn't given it to me sooner because she was praying to it every night for me and Rob. I love the fact that my grandmother had such a strong devotion to St. Anne, and had that statue YEARS before she knew she'd be praying to it for a family member with infertility. I think I also really like the fact that I associate my grandmother with St. Anne, because St. Anne was the world's most important grandmother :)
Anyway, we checked into the Hotel Be.thlehem on Friday, and I asked the front desk where the closest Catholic Church was. She said, "That would be St. Anne's." DH and I looked at each other. It was a sign. (We'd even forgotten at that point that her feast day was today... hard to believe I'd forget, when it's the day after my birthday.)
So we went to Mass Saturday evening, and the church was having a special triduum celebration in honor of their patroness, St. Anne. They had a gorgeous statue on display, which looked JUST LIKE my grandmother's statue- only larger and cream/gold colored instead of brown. But it was St. Anne with Mary as a young girl. We closed Mass with special devotional prayers to St. Anne, and then they had veneration of a relic afterwards. They were also giving away St. Anne oil and St. Anne medals.
After we prayed at the statue and lit a candle, DH went to get the car and I stuck around to ask the priest what the relic was that we had venerated. He said it was a piece of her bone. I told him that my husband and I were there visiting from NJ, and found it very fitting to come to St. Anne's church since we have been trying to get pregnant for 3 years. His eyes lit up and he said, "St. Anne is a POWERFUL intercessor. But there's another Saint you should pray to... have you heard of St. Gianna?" I smiled and said that I prayed to her nightly. He said, "There are so many stories of couples who have prayed to her and conceived after many years of infertility." He then asked me my name and told me he would pray for me, as well.
I also ovulated on CD 13 this cycle, which was Friday!! I have never O'd before CD 14 in my life, but I had a feeling it would be earlier than expected when my Thur. u/s revealed a 20.3 cm follie. My Dr also ran b/w that day. Right before we left on Friday for the hotel, I felt some intense bloating/pelvic discomfort which usually is a sign of the fluid I get a lot of right after ovulation. My Dr. called shortly after that (her office is closed Fri-Sun), just to tell me that she came across my b/w and that I was probably going to O that day (Friday) rather than later in the weekend like I first thought. Wasn't that sweet of her?? She wanted to make sure I didn't miss my window of opportunity! Luckily, we had already used Thur night, and then we promptly went back to work Friday afternoon and evening :)
Simba is back home and doing well. Right before we left Friday (it was a crazy day, Friday!!) we got a call from the vet to say that he seemingly had re-blocked because he wasn't passing urine anymore. She said it could have been residual inflammation from the first blockage and catherization, but that if it didn't get better, she recommended surgery 1st thing Monday morning. It would have cost us about $4,000 total. I about lost it. We decided to let him stay there through the weekend, and go through with the surgery, but if somehow he got better on his own during the weekend, we'd re-assess. Well, God was good, and we got another call Saturday morning saying we could pick him up, that he was eliminating beautifully :) Thank goodness!!
We are keeping him on a grain-free wet food diet from now on, which is how we were able to manage our other male cat's struvite crystal formation. (**If you have a male cat and he forms crystals, do NOT put him on the prescription vet diets- - they are full of grains, low in natural tourine, and don't have enough liquid that these cats need. Wellness and Instinct are great canned wet food options, and you can also get some of the Solid Gold cranberry supplementation.)
So we're back home now and I'm officially post-Peak. St. Anne, please keep intercessing for us until our prayers have been answered!
*PS, I can't believe I almost forgot, but DH and I have been doing St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Mary, and Thursday night we had the most beautiful prayer (written by St. L d M) which brought me to tears it was SO PERFECTLY WORDED for how many of us have been feeling through this infertility struggle recently. I knew I had to share it with you. Here it is:
When a certain anxious person, who oftentimes wavered between hope and fear, once overcome with sadness, threw himself upon the ground in prayer, before one of the altars in the Church and thinking these things in his mind, said "Oh, if I only knew how to persevere," that very instant he heard within him, this heavenly answer: "And if thou didst know this, what would thou do? Do now what you would do, and thou shall be perfectly secure." And immediately being consoled, and comforted, he committed himself to the Divine Will, and his anxious thoughts ceased. He no longer wished for curious things; searching to find out what would happen to him, but studied rather to learn what was the acceptable and perfect will of God for the beginning and the perfection of every good work.
"Hope in the Lord," said the Prophet, "And do all good, and inhabit the land, and thou shall be fed of riches therof." There is one thing that keeps many back from spiritual progress, and from fervor in amendment, namely: the labor that is necessary for the struggle. And assuredly they especially advance beyond others in virtues, who strive the most manfully to overcome the very things which are the hardest and most contrary to them. For there a man does profit more and merit more abundant grace, when he does most to overcome himself and mortify his spirit. All have not, indeed, equal difficulties to overcome and mortify, but a diligent and zealous person will make a greater progress though he have more passions than another, who is well regulated but less fervent in the pursuit of virtues."
Isn't that just PERFECT?!!