“Not all of us are able to bring children into the world. In our marriage, we’ve found other ways to live in God’s love,” says Annie Wertz of her 35-year marriage to David.
“David and I worked through our infertility together without outside involvement. I think I struggled more than David. One of my sisters-in-law would let me hold and rock her babies whenever I was feeling blue. We’ve also been part of a prayer/faith-sharing group for about 20 years. We’ve supported and nurtured each other along life’s journey.
“David worked with many young people in his orthodontic practice, and his compassionate care created more than beautiful smiles. I am pastoral associate for a two-parish cluster in downtown Dubuque, Iowa.
“Because we didn’t have children, we were more available to care for family members with health concerns. Another avenue that opened for us was service. We began with chaperoning youth mission trips and progressed to weeklong dental service trips to Belize. These opened our hearts and minds in many ways.
“David and I both love English springer spaniels and have raised three litters (17 pups). Our goal in this adventure was to raise dogs that would enrich human and family life. Our neighbor kids love to help us care for the puppies. This has brought us many blessings.”
Jeanette and Edmund Gieske
“When Edmund and I married, we prayed for a ‘honeymoon baby.’ After a year of improving our nutrition and making other efforts to overcome cycle irregularities, we realized we were facing infertility that would require medical intervention,” says Jeanette Gieske of Austin, Texas.
“For me, each month passed with difficulty as we waited expectantly to see if we had conceived. As I read through Scripture, I identified with Hannah’s pain regarding her own infertility and was comforted by her faith.
“Edmund and I had accepted that, while we would do all we could to improve our fertility, a child is a gift from God and we had no right to one. In mid-2007, we consulted Dr. Jason Mattingly, who is trained in NaProTechnology. After five months, he recommended we contact the Pope Paul VI Institute for an infertility evaluation. In March 2009, Dr. Catherine Keefe performed surgery for endometriosis. Our daughter, Rose, was born in January 2010.
“Our advice to couples struggling with infertility: Pray and grow more deeply in love with God as a couple. Be grateful to God for each other and express that gratitude through acts of service and generosity. Learn what the Church teaches regarding marriage and family and be aware that there are many moral options for improving fertility, with and without medical intervention.”