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The Nativity of Mary: The Gift of Just One Child

My oldest daughter was about one and a half years old at the time. She was my only child, and I relied fully on playdates to preserve my sanity (and hers). She was a lovely, social toddler who needed her friends, and I was a tired mom who needed hers, too.

At this time, my husband and I had been trying to get pregnant again for about a year. My first pregnancy had been incredibly hard, working full time with undiagnosed hyperemesis gravidarum. But…we were delighted with the beautiful child who had resulted from that pregnancy. And we desperately wanted a brother or sister for her.

Besides, we had enough other young Catholic friends at that point to know that having a million babies was just what good Catholic couples do. We wanted to sport a full pew, to get to be one of those big Catholic families that we so admired.

But then, we found ourselves (not unexpectedly, given our difficulty getting pregnant the first time) facing a prolonged bout of secondary infertility. I had recently confided this to one of my good friends. She had two children already, and she had recently told me that they were ready to try for a third.

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