First, I want to preface this by saying what I’m about to write are my own personal feelings and are reflective of what I’m feeling right now. I realize that I might alienate some people, but mile + my shoes should = no judgment. I respect the opinions of others so please respect mine.
Ever since Dave and I lost our little girl, we’ve heard everything one can hear when they are grieving. Some have been helpful while others infuriate us. What pisses me off to no end is when people say what happened was God’s will and that God has a plan. I used to believe this when confronting setbacks in my own life and learning about the suffering of people I love. But like everything else in my world, that belief has been shot to hell. What kind of God kills little babies? Or for that matter, sits by while millions die and suffer through war, famine, pestilence, natural catastrophes? Or watches from above while people get raped, abused, shanked, tortured, waste away? I’ve believed in something greater than all of us for all my life, even when I eschewed religion for personal spirituality. I’ve meditated, prayed and was faithful. When I saw that + pregnancy test, I talked to God every day, thanking Him for the gift He gave me. I prayed with David (he is SO not into that) and went out of my way to light candles in churches. I even believed that if I were to miscarry in the first trimester, it would have been his will.
But then I went into labour. For no apparent reason. I was in agony where I leaked and writhed and bled and sobbed for naught. I prayed and prayed. Dave prayed and prayed. They obviously weren’t answered.
Since that day, I’ve felt abandoned. I couldn’t pray anymore. When family members spoke of God or prayer, I snorted and told them I couldn’t abide by such dogmatic mores. It was a confusing time for me. When I break down, I sometimes want to call out to Him, begging Him for strength to continue and to diminish my pain. Then I stop myself. I steady myself. I tell myself that I am strong and that I can continue and that I can lessen my pain. He wasn’t there for me when I most needed Him so from now on it’s just Me, Myself and I.
I’ve been speaking to a friend of a friend who suffered terribly when her baby boy was born stillborn. She lives on a farm and told me “You know, not every baby makes it.” And it hit me like a lightening bolt: we’re just animals, surviving in nature and we have no control over anything. Babies die, every day. For some reason or another, those little creatures so many of us want to have to teach, love and watch grow, are fragile. Pregnancy is a delicate process, one that is fraught with disasters waiting to happen at every corner. What happened to me wasn’t karma or the will of God. I now believe that our baby, and millions of babies around the world, died because of Nature. And that comforts me greatly. I can now walk down the street and step on cracks without fear of my mother’s back being broken. I can walk under a ladder, while breaking a mirror with a black cat under my arm on Friday the 13th.*
We’ve found out that Isla’ cause of death was simply prematurity while the cause of my premature labour will never be known. We also learned that I had contracted something called chorioamnionitis that threatened my life and would have led to me being induced in a nightmarish me vs. the baby scenario had I not gone into labour naturally. There was nothing wrong with me and there was nothing wrong with Isla. As the doctor said, there is nothing wrong with our ability to make life – we made a good baby.
So here I am. Thinking about the next time. Dealing with the fact that not only was I one of the 1% of pregnancies that end in the second trimester, but I was part of the 2% the catches that infection. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that my chances of going into pre-term labour again is increased. Believing in the power and mystery of nature – a phenomenon that is real and has no altar to beg on. It’s rather freeing, actually.
These days I feel stronger. I feel this way thanks in part to people who I’d previously been friendly with and had known about my pregnancy going out of their way not to meet my eye or change directions when I walk towards them. It makes me realize that they don’t matter and are not helpful in my life anyway. I’m finding that I take immense pleasure in that unexpected phone call or text or hug. I’m in love with the way my basil and mint plants are growing. I adore the taste of champagne and the feel of lingerie on my skin when I’m in bed. I believe in love, family, laughing, movies, sex, books, blogs, good food, good friends, the sun, the moon and the stars. I believe in me.
*Such superstitions are steeped in Christian ideology.