Women who face fertility challenges need to know that they are not alone, and this is the comforting message they receive from two Catholic women who co-authored a book on the subject and are kicking off National Infertility Awareness Week with a virtual book tour that will introduce women to a variety of bloggers who share their unique struggles.
Carmen L. Santamaría and Angelique Ruhi-López, both from Miami, Florida, are best friends who have a lot in common – including their struggles with infertility. Their shared experiences helped them to see the need for a Catholic resource on infertility that would include prayer, devotions, the wisdom of the saints, Church teachings, reference materials and Catholic blogs about infertility.
The end result was The Infertility Companion for Catholics, published by Ave Maria Press.
“It’s the first book to address not only the medical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of infertility, but also the particular needs of Catholic couples who desire to understand and follow Church teaching on the use of assisted reproductive technology,” the authors write on their website.
The book describes the various options available to Catholic couples who are seeking to conceive, many of which are not ordinarily presented by the medical community. It also addresses both husbands and wives and helps them to recognize the emotional impact of infertility on their relationship.
Carmen, an attorney, has been married to her husband Alex since 2001 and has struggled to accept the secondary infertility that plagued them after the birth of their second child. The couple has two biological children, Monica and Antonio Javier, and two adopted children, Victoria and Daniel. Their infertility issues continue to this day.
Angelique, an award winning journalist and blogger, has been married to Richard since 2003. Their experience of infertility led to the adoption of their first child, Emmanuel, from Vietnam. They now have three biological children – Sebastian, Madeleine and Anabella.
“Our infertility journeys motivated us to write this book as a resource to provide answers on the Church’s view on acceptable treatments but also to provide encouragement and hope for the rocky road of infertility,” they write.
Marie Meaney, author of Embracing the Cross of Infertility, calls the book “A guiding light to infertile couples wishing to learn more about treatment options in light of the Church’s teaching, and how to address this suffering emotionally and spiritually. Offers great inner consolation, as it addresses the difficult topics of infertility, discernment, miscarriage, and adoption. A must-read for infertile couples!”
The Rev. Alfred Cioffi, Senior Fellow at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, says the book is solidly Catholic. “For a couple desiring children, discovering their infertility can be devastating. This personal witness of two couples’ faith journey struggling with infertility is uplifting and refreshing. This labor of love is also extremely well researched and solidly within the teaching of the Catholic Church. Highly recommended!”
As we kick off National Infertility Awareness Week, Carmen and Angelique are inviting anyone who struggles with these issues to come along with them on a virtual book tour that will introduce them to a world of bloggers who are experiencing the same pitfalls and triumphs of infertility. May they never again feel alone!
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In our program, Blessed and Barren, our guests discuss the causes of infertility, Church approved medical opportunities available to achieve pregnancy, and how a couple can find healing and hope while carrying the Cross they have been asked to bear.