Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Prayers in the night

I went to church with my grandma until about 12 or 13 years old. Then, entering teenage land, I lost interest, and realized I didn't agree with a lot of what they taught. I had issues with the role of women, and the whole sin issue. I could never figure out how if Jesus/God was supposed to be so forgiving, he was always casting you out for various infractions, including the seemingly narcissistic one (at least to me) of not accepting him.

As the years went by, however, I started coming back to the concept of faith. By the time I was in my last year of high school, I had come up with my own beliefs. I decided I wasn't into worshipping Jesus, but merely God only. I just couldn't see worshipping someone who literally walked the earth. My faith was that because I couldn't prove that God was truly around. In my mind, God was also extremely forgiving, and didn't need formal worship. One should just have some kind of relationship with God. And like all relationships, well, no, it wasn't always going to be pretty. God was related to Mother Nature for me, after all, how can you see the beautiful things nature has, and the destruction it can cause and not believe in some higher power? I believed in heaven, but not hell. And the big one-I believed in balance of the universe, that though bad things happened, there was some cosmic reason that we often could not understand. Now, don't get me wrong, it isn't as though I would hear bad news, and just blindly go, "God works in mysterious ways" no, I argued with him, asked why many times. But in the end, I believed a balance in the universe would occur and that God did have a hand in many events.

Then, M died. And my beliefs just didn't fit into that anymore. I was so angry with God. Then, I would stop being angry, and just decide maybe the whole faith thing was a crock. Because, if God did have a hand in M's death, well, I couldn't believe in him anymore, I just couldn't. And as I became exposed to so many grieving parents, and on the flip side, the parents who don't care for their children, yet have healthy, thriving, living children, I would rage at him, and watch my belief in balance of the universe shatter and crumble to pieces.

Almost 2 years, and I haven't gotten it figured out yet. I have been trying to change my beliefs. To believe that God isn't that involved in the day to day, but is there for us. To guide, to comfort, to give us something bigger than this earth to believe in, to watch over our loved ones until we are reunited. But, I haven't been able to fully integrate these new beliefs into my life yet. I still struggle. I haven't prayed in almost a full two years. Oh, I tried to talk to God a few times, but became so angry, that I never finished. I always ended up saying to him, "what am I asking you for? you don't have control!! the world is crap!" End of conversation. I now must believe that God didn't take my son, cause me to miscarry. I have to. If I don't, I will never have true faith again. But, the urge is still there, when I feel scared, uncertain, when I want something so badly, that urge to pray, to ask him for it, to ask him to help me get what I need.

I had a tough day yesterday. I have some decisions to make regarding baby girl. She is breech, should I attempt external version or go right for a c-section? My doctor wants me to wait to 39 weeks. Am I able to do that, or will my anxiety be too much, and I should insist on earlier? Decisons, decisions. And I think many of you who read this know why these decisions trouble me. What if I pick the wrong one, and she dies? What if I do the version, and she dies? What if I decide I can wait till 39 weeks, and she dies at 38? It isn't rational, but there it is. I felt so overwhelmed yesterday with these thoughts, I almost couldn't believe it, but I felt the urge to talk with God. Not in the way I have been struggling, not in order to ask him outright to keep her alive, but just to find peace. I started to feel that I wanted that peace that faith can give you. So, in the middle of the night, last night, I prayed. It was clumsy, and I kept forgetting to focus, but I did it. I guess I did ask God for something, I asked him for guidance, for peace, for the ability to make a decision and be okay with it, to not question myself, to accept whatever comes next. But in the asking, I was trying hard not to make him responsible for what happens next, just to know that I could feel that faith, that I could still have a safe place to fall if things did go horribly wrong.

I won't pretend it was great, it wasn't. I don't know that I felt better at all, afterwards. But it did ground me a bit, even just for the moment.


Julia said...

My path to faith was very different. I didn't grow up with it, and so came to it gradually as an adolescent and young adult, after moving to this country. And I never believed in the daily intervention type of G-d. Which is why, I guess, I was never really angry after A died.
That aside, however, I can tell you what my doctor (the best ever OB, as far as I am concerned) told me about the plan for a sub pregnancy. If you had one dead baby, your risk of another one is greater than in the general population, and increases in the last three weeks (37-40). He said that we will see how it goes, but in the absence of any other information, he would be inclined to do a lung maturity amnio and stimulate delivery if it proves ok. I am generally not one for trying to eject undercooked babies, even slightly so, but the risk going up is scary to me, so from where I sit now, not pregnant or anything close, that 37 week plan seems nice to me. I don't know how I will feel if/when I get there, and I am not pretending to know or advise you on how you feel, but I thought I would throw this out here. Hope this helps, and doesn't just confuse you further.
I am thinking of you and wishing you peace.

Beruriah said...

My story of coming to faith is too long. I'm glad you found some grounding though. I have the urge to pray, too, even though I'm conflicted.

Wow. I wish I had something like advice or perspective on what you should choose. I do not want choices - I want directions, now. Rationality isn't in control here. If it were, we would have actual answers for what happened in our previous pregnancies.

I know, for me, personally, I am too scared of a breech delivery. But I don't know the actual risk comparison between a version and a c section. Can you get that information.

Thinking of you. Wishing that in someway, somehow, this could be easier.

Monica H said...

"Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe." -Augustine

I, too grew up in a church, and believed to a point but as I've gotten older and have lost 2 babies, my faith has dwindled at times. It seems everything I believed in was contradicted by what happened to me. Hang in there and make the decisions that are best for you and baby.

Lisa b said...

I think you should insist on whatever will make you feel better. In the end only you have to live with the decision.

Based on my experience, friends who have lost babies close to term as well friends with preemie babies it is my understanding that the babies are cooked at 36 weeks.