Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category


My conversations with God lately

August 15, 2009

Squeaky wheels get the grease right? Can’t say I’m not tempted to give this a whirl 😉


Ten weeks post miscarriage. Finding my way.

June 28, 2009

If you get hit by a paintball you won’t die but at the time of impact you feel you just might. The bruise aches for days to come.  Last night I went to dinner with some friends and Tricia (who I wrote about here). All the women were either pregnant or new mothers. I knew this was coming and had tried preparing for the onslaught to come. The onslaught came. Sitting at the center of the table the conversations swirled around me like swarming bees threatening to sting. The talks about labor, feeling a child kick inside you, motherhood’s triumphs and burdens and the joy a child brings to your world.

I was fine. I prepared for these conversations. I felt like a soldier standing on the front line. Until. Until, Maria said with a smile the time that you hold your child within your womb is the most magical time . It’s so amazing to know you are sustaining them and that you both share a unique connection. Sting.

I felt in an alternate universe as the conversations continued around me. I held Maria’s ten week old baby and all I could think as I looked at her cherubic face was ten weeks. Ten weeks since I lost you Speck. I lost you for as long as I held you.  I must sit with this smile plastered on my face while my heart crumbles inside my chest as I remember you. I saw you on the ultrasound. I felt the exhaustion and the nausea. You were real but you didn’t make it. You will never know these babies. I will never hold you. Maybe other babies, but not Speck, not my first.

Our friends followed us to our house for dessert and I cried the entire way home. I felt empty. Luckily dessert went much better. We ate chocolate cake and laughed and conversed until three in the morning. She made me smile when she said,  Sometimes I just sit and watch her sleep. Then she said with a dreamy look Labor was amazing. I felt pain but I couldn’t help but think, wow I’m bringing a being into this world. I turned to her, and with a raised eyebrow said, labor was amazing? She laughed and said, Kate, I thought I would never be a mother. I wanted to be one so badly that every minute of pregnancy and now every minute of motherhood is a complete and utter blessing. I love hearing her cry. I love waking up at 2am to feed her. I don’t take a minute for granted. Wow- I got goosebumps.

As they were leaving Maria said to our husbands, Give us a second I need to talk to Kate privately.

Turning to me, she said Are you considering IVF. I did a double take. Was I that obvious? The huge IF stamped on my forehead? Or maybe IF sisters can recognize one another better? They notice the subtle clenching of cheeks or imperceptible sighs. I’m not sure. As we walked to the car she said Kate, consider this time a test from God. Consider yourself singled out to be drawn closer to Him. You have a good life, you met the guy of your dreams young, you went to law school, you have a house and great families, we can get stagnant spiritually when life is going well. Consider this struggle a blessing. It’s a time for you to grow stronger and learn a lot about yourself. Just remember if He wants it to happen, it will. I got pregnant naturally after four failed IVF cycles. He just has to say BE and it is. Consider yourself blessed and grow from your pain.

For the past few years I felt so conflicted about God and spiritual matters that though I believed, I kind of packaged it all away, observing some rituals but not really letting it enter and settle into my heart. But when moments like the one I shared with Maria occur. Those out of the blue moments where someone tells you exactly what you needed to hear . . . seeing Maria after two years and her opening up to me and sharing her infertility struggles and then, just when I reached my emptiest moment to pull me aside and advise me…. I can’t help but wonder if perhaps she came into my life when she did for a purpose.


Meeting hope incarnate

June 27, 2009

I had not seen my friend Maria since 2007. She just had a baby. Her baby was born the day after my miscarriage. She was in Atlanta with her husband to attend a mutual friend’s wedding. We hugged and chatted and in my most nonchalant voice I said, I hope I’m not prying but I remember you told me in ’07 that you’d been trying for a year. What did you end up doing?

She smiled, I had four failed IVF cycles since we last met. The day after my fourth failed cycle, we began filling out the paperwork to adopt a baby from Morrocco. We were in Paris, en route to Morocco to interview with the agency and I got pregnant naturally.

You must have been so stressed I said shaking my head Four failed IVF cycles, I don’t want to imagine. She shook her head, I promise you, I didn’t stress about it. I trusted this was God’s will. He tests those he wants to draw closer to him.

Infertility as a test from God to be borne with absolute strength and trust. I read a book recently in with the author, Steven Luxenberg said fear destroys trust. I am so afraid of the path ahead I have no room to trust. I look at Maria and I think, for 2.5 years she endured what I am enduring, and she took it easy and relaxed. The cynic in me shakes my head and wonders if she is looking back with rose colored glasses, I mean who can endure four failed IVF cycles and say Coolios no big deal? Granted she is filthy rich so affording treatment isn’t the issue . . . but regardless, I am sure she remained faithful during her struggles to conceive. I look at her gorgeous little girl. She is ten weeks old. I did not need to ask, because I know, I will always see her and know. She is hope incarnate. She is proof that I can wringe my hands and give up entirely, but its not up to me what the end result will be. I must move my feet and keep on doing what I must, but I do need to accept that despite my best plans, that I must accept when it comes to TTC, I am not behind the wheel. I want to be where she says she was, that good place where you trust completely and as a result remain stress free. I’m trying to get there. It’s an upward climb but hopefully it will get easier the more I climb.

Tomorrow we’re going out to dinner with a group of friends. One of those friends is my ex-friend who is loud and vivacious and quite pregnant. [I wrote about it here] I know it will be an evening of all about Tricia and I feel very uncomfortable about it. What makes it more awkward is we’re having the dinner folks over to our house for dessert after, and I’ve heard Tricia and her hubby may come TO OUR HOUSE. I hope she doesn’t have the nerve but knowing Tricia she just might. I’ll try to adopt Maria’s philosophy. These difficult times are there to make me stronger. I will sit and smile tomorrow, I will make it through, I will look at Maria’s miracle and remember that I am looking at hope incarnate.


This and that

June 19, 2009

Thanks to advice I received from my blogging community I talked to Jack and we’re seriously considering seeing an RE. I know a good one who worked wonders (i.e. two babies) for a friend of mine with PCOS, so I know he’s good. The only problem has been insurance doesn’t cover it and its a helluva pricey bill to foot. I felt if my OBGYN is giving me Metformin and I got pregnant under her watch, shouldn’t I just stick with her? I tell myself this but then I also feel she isn’t moving me along as fast as I would like. I have an appointment with her on Tuesday so we’ll see what she has to say. Jack said he supports me seeing an RE if I’m not pregnant this cycle, so we may do that depending on Tuesdays meeting.  Thank you so much for giving me advice guys. It’s thanks to this blog that I went to a new doctor when all this began. People told me to ditch a doctor who insisted I didn’t have anything wrong with me and be my own best advocate. Thanks to that I got diagnosed. So I appreciate it so much.

I went to see my therapist today and it helped me deal with how I’m feeling. I want to share some of it because I know many reading are dealing with IF and surely have felt as I do, and maybe some of this might help you. The first thing is I need to stop taking a HPT every day. The new rule for me is twice a cycle, one week apart, and I can only buy off the internet to prevent myself from going to CVS and buying a three pack. The effect of BFN every single morning can single handedly ruin my day. I should also limit my internet “researching” to 30 minutes a day and try to make weekends “research free” days. By research I mean googling for signs and symptoms, and scary stories and hopeful stories. To a certain point its good to know, but once you pass that point, you are not helping yourself, you are stuck. The most important one was not to talk about this incessantly with your spouse because if you stop and just fixate on one thing you are harming your marriage. A marriage is multifaceted and to make this the entire center of your life is unhealthy. He also said to find some peace through prayer, meditation, etc. I’m struggling hard to find my way back to spirituality. I once was strong but lately I am weak, this makes it harder to accept this as meant to be, a test, happening for a reason. I know I need to find a way to center myself. He also said exercise helps burn adrenaline and should be incorporated on the daily. I was exercising regularly but when you get depressed, you don’t want to do anything. I plan to resume again tomorrow.

I’m reading a book called “Get Off Your ‘But'” and this quote really struck me: Pain is inevitable. Eventually, it touches us all. Suffering, however, is optional. Lately, I’ve been suffering a lot. I accept that infertility is a pain that is my reality, but the suffering, I need to get a handle on it. I’m not sure how to do this yet, but I am starting to actively try.


Starting the healing process, maybe

April 28, 2009

This miscarriage did not simply take away the future I imagined for the child who resided within me for those brief months. My miscarriage was an earthquake shattering my preconceived notions of God and faith. It was these two things that took me to what feels like the lowest reaches of hell. I lost a dream and I lost the framework with which I saw my world.

I’m beginning to analyze my grief and pain within the context of a God. Faith is about a belief in what one cannot tangibly witness. Love, trust, hope, God.

Something wretched has happened to me, like someone stripped away my skin and threw alcohol on the bloody wounds. This makes me question God, it makes me question His existence. Would a kind loving God hurt me this way?

But- when did he promise me an easy life? When did He promise to pave my path with flowers? Yes, I thought after my hardship of infertility, God gave me ease with the pregnancy… but no one guarunteed I would not lose it. That life would not grow difficult again.

Life is difficult for everyone in their own individual ways. Lost jobs. Death of loved ones [a difficulty we must all someday endure]. Illness. Heart break. Theft. Cruelty. No one save those who may lack capacity to understand are spared from life’s heartaches.

Life is beautiful, yes. But life is very very difficult too.  Sometimes we begin to think that we are entitled to a loving partner, or a healthy baby, or a job we like. When we don’t get it we are angry at God for not making life work as we wanted.

This miscarriage has stripped me from the spiritual daze I’ve lived in for three years. It’s forced me to question God, and my life, and how I feel about faith. Questions that I have avoided because they are too complicated to contemplate. This miscarriage caused me to instinctively turn to God and then confront how lost I feel lately. I’m a hamster on a wheel that stopped spinning and this miscarriage has given me a kick start.

I’m not sure what this means for me. Will this contemplation lead me closer to God or further away? Can I once again believe as I once did that there is a purpose in our lives and a reason things happen, good or bad?

I don’t know. But I can’t help but be taken aback by this one thing: A dear friend flew in last night. I’ve known of her arrival for months. I looked forward to her visit and my chance to share my good news with her. Ofcourse by the time she came, there was no longer that good news. However, talking to her is slowly leading me out of the darkness I’ve been in for weeks now. I had no idea I would miscarry or that I would tell her or or that she would be the  impetus of me considering finding my faith again. I cannot help but wonder, if perhaps someone else did know I would miscarry and knew that she would be someone who would give me the strength I needed at this time an the assistance to reevaluate my relationship with God. I look at the timing of it all and I wonder: Is He watching over me? Did he arrange events to happen just so?

I don’t know. But the thought of this, the mere possibility, gives me a strand of peace.


Planning for the future

April 28, 2009

I submitted a book to a writing contest. They said it was good but I did not win.

I got pregnant. They said I would be fine since my heart beat was 162. I miscarried.

I plan a trip to yes, MEXICO, in ten days. One of those free vouchers from credit card companies. Well, swine flu. Now we’re likely going to have to lose our free airline tickets and the $300+ we spent for our hotel stay.

If you want to give God a good laugh, tell Him your plans for the future.

I hope someone somewhere is having a huge laugh.


God and the certainty of mountains

April 26, 2009

I am sitting at a writing table in a chalet on Beaucroft Mountain in Asheville, NC. It is late at night and I am looking out the large window. This morning, during the day, I looked out and saw beautiful green mountains framing the window in every direction. I saw clearly the firm etching they made into the horizon. The Smoky Mountains as concerete and real as the fingers that type these words. Tonight at two o’clock in the morning I stare out in the darkness and see nothing. No sillohuette. No etching of mountain side. In this darkness, if I cannot see the mountains do the mountains still exist? As I consider this darkness while I struggle with a different darkness like a blanket over my soul I cannot tell you the truth with 100% conviction.


Ray Lamontagne and tears

April 25, 2009

If you have never heard of Ray you should, he is the best kept secret of art in the US. I went to his concert last night. I sang along and smiled and danced until he finally sang “Let it Be Me”….

There may come a time, a time in everyones life
where nothin seems to go your way
where nothing seems to turn out right
there may come a time, you just cant seem to find your way
for every door you walk on to, seems like they get slammed in your face
thats when you need someone, someone that you can call.
and when all your faith is gone
feels like you cant go on
let it be me
if its a friend that you need
let it be me
feels like your always commin on home
pockets full of nothin and you got no cash
no matter where you turn you aint got no place to stand
reach out for something and they slap your hand
now i remember all to well
just how it feels to be all alone
you feel like youd give anything
for just a little place you can call your own
thats when you need someone, someone that you can call
and when all your faith is gone let it be me.

I used to listen to this song and feel inspired. I thought of God and of hope. I thought of how when your chips are down, when things are tough  at least you always have God….  This time when I heard it, and heard him sing it live and raw with passion every wall I kept up to make it through this concert collapsed and I fell back in my seat shuddering with sobs. I felt so alone, so empty. Yet in the strangest sense, those tears felt healing…

The song is here.


“It Happened For A Reason”

April 23, 2009

Today I pulled my shit together and went to get my blood work done. Tomorrow I get a call to learn if my HCG levels are going down. I keep going for blood tests until my HCG levels are zero.

I’m proud of myself. I cried just a little when the receptionist greeted me and asked if I was coming for a pregnancy appointment, since this was once upon a time the day it was supposed to be just that. I took deep breaths and stared at my hands in the waiting room, trying not to focus on the swelling bellies, and nervous happy flat stomached women holding their husband’s hands and clutching the same “Newly Pregnant” paperwork I had just held weeks earlier. I tell you, I kept my shit together. Until. Yes, there is an until.

Sitting there, my arm stretched out for the pinpricks I no longer feel, the tech says, “I’m sure this happened for a good reason.” I didn’t scream. I didn’t commit aggravated assault. I just looked at her. She glanced and adjusted her statement, “Well, that’s what they say anyway.”

What is this bullshit answer people giving me, “this happened for a reason?” What’s the reason? Don’t know? Then stop telling me its for a reason. And GOOD reason? Fine, tell me its God’s will for me to be infertile, for me to finally with tears in my eyes sigh a breath of relief that I will be a mother, and it’s God’s will for me to lose a baby before I ever got to hold him. FINE. I guess he has his reasons. I have to believe this if I believe in Him.

Yet- when people say “well if its a chromosomal abnormality, its good that God stopped it.” But for me I can’t reconcile this- Why did God let me get pregnant then? Why didn’t he just give me a healthy baby? He knows all right?

So what’s the good reason? The only one that makes sense are these a) I am being punished for a wrong I’ve committed. This is penance. b) I am being tested and this is the arc of my life- my struggle to conceive and God is watching me like a scientist wondering how I will react.

When I got pregnant my mom sounded triumphant. “I prayed so hard this month and I just knew.” I felt rewarded by God since I had thrown a baby shower for a friend and trust me baby showers are hard to attend for me much less host, but I did it with charm and grace and thought the pregnancy was God telling me I’d evolved into a better person. I prayed EVERY night for a happy healthy baby. I thanked God for blessing me.

The night my womb contracted pushing my child out of me and taking with him my dreams- I bargained hard with God. I begged Him. I promised to do all my prayers on time forever. I offered large sums of money to charity. I promised I would be a better person.

So what is the power of my prayer? Does he answer prayers or just provide strength to people to work through their struggles? Or does He just not like me anymore?

I used to have such a strong connection to God. I felt at peace with Him at all times.  I was the boat, he was my sail.

Now I am unmoored. I am floundering.

In conclusion, please don’t ever tell me this happened for a reason.