Who am I
My name is Mark Anthony.  I am 30 years old. I am a Sr. Software Engineer and Lead at a Major US Financial Institution. I am the Youth Minister at my Parish. I am a life long Laker Fan.  I am a Nintendo fanboy.  I am a happy husband.  But I am also a husband struggling to have kids.

Why did I start this?
Abby and I were having a conversation on our drive home from our last appointment with Dr. Stigen and it occurred to me… she (Abby) really needs to understand me more.  I mean I know that this has been tough for her (taking several pills, receiving injections from me, and undergoing laparoscopic surgery), but at the same time I know she wants to know what is going on in my crazy mixed up head.  This journey has been a roller coaster of emotions and experiences for us, something I do not want to forget.  Then I got to thinking that I want more people to understand our situation and why we chose to start using the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTechnology. So I figured that a blog would be the best avenue to help others better understand us (so instead of people saying… “So when you going to have kids,” they will say “I am praying for you and Abby”) and that there are more options than the heavily promoted (and incredibly expensive) in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Needless to say, I feel that men need to know about this and how this type of experience can help turn a marriage (regardless of what shape it is in) into a closer and more intimate one… in which the inclination to understand outweighs that of judgment and presumptions.  In short… I think FertilityCare and NaPro are good … strike that…GREAT for a marriage. Whether you are struggling to have children or think you have too many (some of my friends say they are in this category… though I beg to differ)… NaPro has something to offer you and your wife.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert.. nor do I claim to be an expert on NaProTechnology.  I am merely sharing what I have learned from this experience… however I do hope in the near future to educate myself even more (whether that’s studying Theology of the Body, regular Biology, or becoming a Creighton Model Practitioner).  Oh yeah.. and my wife has no idea that I am doing this, though I will share this with her soon.

Why NaPro?
ProLife & Catholic Approved!  Actually when Abby and I got married in Feb 2009, we could not wait to have kids, but after a year of “trying”… we suspected something might be wrong.  We really didn’t know what to do.  A friend of ours, Marianne, was giving a talk on the Creighton Model for a Women’s Health seminar sponsored by the Young Adult Ministry at Holy Family.  One of the functions of Creighton Model is to achieve or avoid pregnancy according to the woman’s fertility cycle – known as natural family planning (NFP).  We really did want to attend, but we had our yearly Youth Ministry Retreat that same weekend.  But a few months later… April 4, 2010 to be exact… we setup a meeting with her to talk about this NFP stuff.  Now you may ask… “Hey didn’t you learn about NFP at your Engagement Encounter Retreat?”  Well the answer is yes and no… the only thing I knew about NFP is that it involved planning.  So I guess you can say it’s more No than Yes.

It took us a while to work up the courage to even email her because I think we were scared to find out that something would be wrong.  I mean, who wants to know that you aren’t exactly RIGHT and that something was WRONG with you?  I really did not want to find out that the woman I married and loved could not bear children.  I mean… I was the only son in my family…. I HAD to carry out the family name.  How was I ever going to run around with Mark Anthony Jr?   I think this is something all men can relate to.  It was something that ate me up inside, until we met with Marianne.  And if I could use one word to describe Marianne, it would be Hope… and Trust… ok that’s two words… but she’s definitely worth it :)

But actually to understand why we chose NaPro… you have to understand it.  So hopefully I do it justice.

One Response to About

  1. Jen says:

    Hi Mark – I thank and commend you for starting a blog that is geared toward NaPro husbands and am wondering if you might give some consideration to writing a post specific to the affect infertility can have on women and couples…and what husbands can do to help.

    I love my husband dearly, but I have been going through this journey of infertility on my own for the most part. Not to say that he doesn’t have hurt feelings over our lack of ability to conceive but after 2 years, 2 surgeries, ultrasound series, constant charting/monitoring, blood draws, hormonal series, injections, irregular cycles, CM issues and the overall heartbreak that comes along each cycle – he has been pretty MIA. He is clueless about my cycle, any of the treatments being administered and overall just turns a blind eye. Sure, some of that is b/c he’s a man, can’t fix it and feels like he doesn’t know what to do. But after a while, that excuse gets old. I am trying to stand up, carry this cross with strength and a humble spirit but its so hard to do without participation from my husband, the man I trusted to love and protect and help me. I feel isolated and all I want is his love and support. I know he’s not going to have the same experience as I am, I get that and can appreciate that. But if only he would show some small amount of interest, it would just mean so much to me.

    He’s not Catholic and frankly, I’m not sure how much of a Christian he would consider himself to be. He does support and agree with the NaPro approach but that’s sort of where it all ends. I want so badly for this experience to bring us closer, for it to be something that we go through together, as a team. I’ve tried everything from striking up loving conversations occassionally, asked him if he would be willing to chart (which would cause him to have to ask about what happened that day w/ my cycle AND to know when we might be fertile so he can maybe take the lead with things) and he’ll say yes, talk for a moment but then it just disappaits and after a day, its back to normal.

    I could go on but you catch my drift. Me saying all the things I go through goes in one ear and out the other and just makes it sound like I’m complaining and saying that “I have to do everything” which won’t go over well with him. He feels that he has to to go through things too…and he does, the pain of infertility and the desire to have children certainly affects both men and women and my heart breaks for his pain, and for my inability to give him a child. But if only he truly knew everything that is involved…the physical and emotional roller coaster can be so overwhelming but if you have a partner to go on that ride with you, it can be so comforting. I’ve seen it in other relationship and the brief moments that I’ve had it myself, the relief and comfort I felt was wonderful.

    I try not to complain. I try to be brave and get through it on my own with a smile on my face. But of course, I wish that I had him by my side to carry this cross with me.

    Sorry for the long comment. Hopefully you can write a post that I could then share with my husband and hopefully give him something to think about. Something that isn’t coming from me…but from another male who is in the same boat of wanting a child but also wanting to care for your wife while you go through this journey together. Thanks so much for considering and God bless you for your work!

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