Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dreary Sunday and Random Questions

I really don't like waking up to rain and thunder on a Sunday. It's depressing. I spent about an hour lying in bed cuddled up to J who was up all night watching the NFL draft and playing video games. While lying there I kept thinking about some of the same things I often think about, but haven't posted on my blog. I've been avoiding the topics for fear of offending, hurting, and/or losing some of my blog readers. However, as I thought about it this morning I decided that this is my safe place. The place where I am supposed to be able to say anything that I want, so I've decided that I'll go there today.

The first topic that I repeatedly mull over has to do with religious beliefs. I know that it's not socially-acceptable to question people's religious beliefs and that is not the intention of this post. I feel the need to preface my statements with the disclaimer that I understand and appreciate differences in beliefs. I am putting this out there to find some enlightenment and insights only! I am not putting this out there to have people feel as though they need to defend their beliefs. So, with that said here goes ... Over the course of my 4.5 year battle with IF I've heard many people IRL and in the blogosphere mention that my struggle, their struggle, or someone else's struggle is part of "God's plan". Or they say that our struggles are "meant to be". Typically this is said to me in some effort to comfort me or to make me feel better. I can only presume that people who subscribe to this belief system find peace and comfort in those ideas, but I do not. I actually find it to be quite hurtful and offensive. To me this belief implies that God sets a plan for our life prior to our birth. This would mean that God would micromanage the lives of the 6+billion people on Earth not to mention all of the other billions of creatures that inhabit this planet. I have a hard time with that. It just doesn't make sense to me, but I want to try to understand it. So, if you subscribe to the belief that there is a set plan for our lives determined by a higher power and that all that we experience in our lives are a part of this plan (i.e., "meant to be"), please help me understand this.

The other thing that I struggle with is disingenious people who pretend to care about my struggles. I DO NOT think that anyone who regularly reads and comments on my blog falls into this category, but I do find many of these people on the TTC message boards that I've frequented for the past 4 years (and sadly a few IRL). I understand that we are all self-involved by nature and I accept that, but pretending to care just pisses me off! Do these people honestly think that I need their faux support? Maybe they actually think that I find their support to be sincere? I wonder if they think I will find comfort in their trite platitudes? In reality it actually makes me laugh out loud when some newbie who's been TTC for a year and miraculously gets pregnant on her own tells me that I "shouldn't worry because it will happen for me too". These people don't take any time to really examine what I've been through or what anyone else has been through, but rather just use the same blanket statements of faux encouragment to everyone. It's annoying and laughable to me. Yes, I am bitter and I don't make excuses for it. I just don't want people to pretend to care when it's clear they don't. I'd rather they didn't say anything! I'd like to know if I'm alone with these thoughts or if any of you have experienced this too.


Al said...


I've been reading your blog for sometime now but haven't commented, but I'm compelled to do so today. My situation is very different from yours and I can't even begin to understand how it would feel to lose a child, but over the last months I've pondered both of your questions with the same thoughts extensively -- due to my unresolved health issues which have lead to me not being able to carry a baby on my own. I don't have any advice but just wanted to let you know I totally agree.

I don't believe that God would make some of us suffer so much because either it's his way, or it's meant to be, or because God gives us what we can handle. That hurts me because just because I may be able to handle it does that mean I deserve it? And why would any of this crap be meant to be? I find it very hard to believe this could be God's way.

And as for mindless platitudes they make me want to vomit. Oh this will all be over in time, at least you don't have so and so, at least you have answers. And my most recent favorite after a dear friend gave birth to her first baby last week and me expressing that it makes me jealous that their experience was so perfect and normal -- "Your time will come and when it does it will be so special and you won't remember this time." Really, do you think that makes me feel any better.

Anyway, sorry for hijacking your post. I don't know if this helps you at all, but I don't believe you are being cynical or negative by pondering these questions and I commend you for putting them out there in the world. It's brave!

Thinking of you, wishing you moments of peace.

my3sons said...

I also have been reading and haven't commented before. I wanted to add that I suffered a miscarriage 2 years ago. I then had my son. I had to keep telling myself that had I not had that miscarriage I wouldn't have my son that I have. We weren't going to have another so that would have been it. When I look at him I think that I can't imagine not having him. I hope this makes sense. I in now way can compare my situation to yours, and don't want to make it sound like it. I just had to also think it was the "plan" for us. I wish you luck with all that you wish for!

Heather said...

Hi Niki,

I haven't had the same infertility struggle as you, but I share the same feelings that you have about these topics.

Before Charlotte died, I was definitely one of those "everything happens for a reason", "God has a plan" people. I really, truly felt that was true. I had never really dealt with any tragedy in my life, and I felt that negative people were missing the boat, that they missed the wonder around them everyday.

EVERYTHING changed after our daughter died.

I no longer believe the whole "God has a plan" thing. If I did, I'd have to believe that my daughter's plan was to live for two hours in a hospital delivery room. That's it. Why should she, like Myles, get to experience so little when other babies have entire lives? What makes the baby down the street more deserving than Charlotte or Myles? It's incomprehensible.

While I do still believe in God, my views have changed. I don't believe that God is micromanaging my life. I do believe that horrible horrible things happen everyday, and God's role is not to distribute them or cause them, but just to help you get through them. That's the only thing that makes sense to me.

Mary said...

Hi Niki,

I am a very religious person, but I can't stand the whole "part of God's plan" thing that so many people say whenever someone has suffered something terrible. It's like you're supposed to say, "Oh, ok, well thanks! Now I don't hurt since this was God's idea and all!" It makes me cringe. 1 - God does NOT micromanage our lives and 2 - Who is anyone to say they know the mind of God? Losing children is a senseless and horrible thing that happens sometimes, but God didn't "make" it happen. He loves us, but we are not robots or puppets - we all make our own choices in life, and sometimes things in life happen that weren't our choice - but it still wasn't because God was a puppetmaster; it's just because death exists, illness exists, and precisely because He ISN'T a puppetmaster, pulling all the strings behind every single little thing.

It's not limited to just religious people - I once read on a board, an non-religious person telling someone who just had a m/c that clearly this baby wasn't meant to be. I was horrified, but the person who m/c agreed with her, so who knows.

I winced a little at the last part of your post, since I have commented on your posts on SC at times, and hope I wasn't the one who seemed "faux". Sometimes you can feel a lot of compassion, but still it's hard to always know the perfect thing to say. Even the people who say stupid things like "It was meant to be" are trying to help in their own (mistaken) way.

I wish you peace, and also lots of success in this upcoming cycle with K!

G & H said...

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps" Proverbs 16:9
I honestly I can't interpret that verse fully for you but my husband I were just talking about it...that its like an adventure book you have 2 choices choice A will take you one path and choice B will take you a different path. the CHOICE is YOURS yet God knew before you were created in your mother's womb what choice you would make because HE is all knowing and a sovergn God. I like to think that God gives us choices so we do go to HIM...if God had a mega phone and every time a decision came in our life ( for example should we do IVF or adopt in my situation) if God just megaphoned down a message and said " Alright do IVf this is what I am telling you" I would probably be annoyed with him after a lifetime of HIM telling me what to do instead he gives us CHOICES and DECISIONS to make so that we can learn to fully NEED HIM and attain to listen to HIM speak to us . God obviously doesn't shout down directions to everyone from heaven , he wants us to shout UP for guidance and peace and patience and hope and love and all those other things...this is the best way I can remotely think of it so while in our hearts we think ok i'll gte married at 25 have our firsy kid around 26 then have twins at 28 ...move onto a ranch in texas raise a fmaily and life happily ever after the Lord is the one with the ultimate plans in hand and HE determines our steps....

Jacinta said...

Niki, I can't comment on the first half of your post. Although when you are talking about the fake platitudes, I wonder whether people feel guilty that it has been 'easier' for them. Either way, it hurts. I hope good things are coming your way.

Anonymous said...

N - I definitely agree with you on our own personal nightmares being part of "God's Plan". I am not a religious person - I was raised with religion in my life but I am not convinced there is a god. That being said, I think that people can use religion and "God's Plan" for different purposes, and not all of them are in my set of beliefs. I try not to judge them - I just want them to respect my beliefs and not try to push that mindset my way - it is annoying. My SIL is convinced that God has told her to save a child - i.e. adoption - but that God may be putting roadblocks in the way and that is his way of telling her she heard him wrong. Umm, adoption is really fucking hard and the definition should include roadblocks. Sorry, I digress.

I have a hard time with people telling me to stay positive, etc. etc. etc. - unfortunately I seem to find that I only really relate to others that have been in my situation and most other people annoy me. I try not to be like that - it is very hard - and some insensitive, puppy and sunshine assholes make it harder.


Anonymous said...

I, too, have issues with the "It was G-d's will" viewpoint of deaths, illnesses and tragedies. Sadly, I still have friends IRL who continually say this to me about Aaron. Ugh! My response is usually, "Really? G-d WANTS innocent babies to die?! I thought He's all loving!"

I agree with you 100% on this. Sounds like a blanket excuse, and it's certainly not anywhere near encouraging to me either.

I've also had friends say, "G-d will be with you and help you through this tough time." THAT I understand and know it to be true, according to my beliefs.

I know that when Aaron passed, I did feel G-d with me, even though I was angry with Him for a very long time.

I'm still hearing, "It was G-d's will," as though it's okay to say that now that over a year has passed. Yeah, right! I still hurt a LOT from losing Aaron and cry, and will for the rest of my life.

Please take care.


Duck said...

Hi Niki,
Sounds like the thunderstorms are making your contemplate life a little. I have no advise or anything really except to say that you;re not alone. I'm not a G-O_d person, and like i said before the fact that you and all the dead baby mamas get up in the morning and face the universe leaves me in awe, no one no one no one will understand that kind of loss unless the experience, not even me, and infertile who has lost via miscaraige can know that pain.

As for the boards, I tend to avoid them, some times i go to the surrogacy area of that board that we both frequent, but, not often and I can't stand the other ttc areas and all the ra-ra-ra go this time you will get pg stuff, I think it's not good for us, so I avoid them.

Caba said...

Niki, I'm sorry for how you are feeling today. I can't offer any guidance, as I'm one of those *gasp* atheists, who doesn't believe in some higher power that is ruling our lives, holding our hands, or who has known us before birth.

I actually believe in friends, family, my husband, my parents, and all the actual people that really help me through my life. That's where I personally find my strength. I will not and can not understand how someone can say to a person "this is God's plan" and think for a second that that is a positive thing to say. And after seeing some of the things that people have dealt with, if this is his plan, I would want no part of it. Hugs to you!

Jaymee said...

as an agnostic, the whole god has a plan thing drives me nuts. the whole it will happen for you too thing makes me want to slap people. both are just ways of dismissing what has been the center of my life for over 10 years.

at the same time, i understand that the majority of people just have a hard time dealing with other peoples' problems. in some way we are all guilty of doing this to others, but it still does not make it any easier when it is done to us. for me, this is one of the biggest lessons i have learned through this whole process. everyone has problems, and while those problems may seem trivial or uncomfortable, to the people living with them they are huge. dismissing the problem does not heal, saying something trite does not heal, being there in the moment with them and taking the time to listen and being compassionate could save their life.

Jess said...

As a very religous person, I can tell you that I fight with the idea of "God's plan" because I don't understand how taking away a child's life is God's plan regardless if the baby was born (like yours) or like mine (ending in a miscarriage). I hate when people tell me this and like you the words "be patient, it will happen" drives me up the wall...I've waited 4 flippin years! Now here is a uncle is a Monk and I feel at times he tells me things to make my heart feel better but I still think about it...My uncle told me that some woman are better at making Angels than other woman. He said babies that God takes very early go straight to heaven and become his Angels. The selfish part of me hates what he said but the religous/softer side of me thinks its a sweet concept. My brother is dating a girl who is married (not to him) and they are expecting a baby and she told me one day that it was her time and I would have mine too. I about slaped her ass and decided that day that I didn't care for her! Her time...please!

I'm a newbie, and I love your blogs, but I tried reading most of it before commenting and saying something stupid and if I did, sorry! :)

Bluebird said...

Hey dear friend. . . I don't have any answers for you, but thought I'd lend my support by saying that I've had similar thoughts, too.

I'll tell you the little I have figured out. . . I absolutely DO NOT believe that "everything happens for a reason" or that this horrible reality is "God's plan," because that suggests that God wanted and willed this to happen like its a good thing or something. I hate that suggestion. I hate the suggestion that it happend for some greater good, like B and I and the rest of us - more than any other people in the whole world! - needed to learn some lesson that only losing our babies would teach us. Nope, not buying it.

I've really lost sight of God, but some people do tell me some things that I think I might believe, such as - God did know that this was going to happen. That doesn't mean he wanted it to or he's happy about it, but he knew he would. I guess then the question is why he didn't stop it - but I don't really allow myself to go down that path. . . I don't think God "sets" what is going to happen to us, but I think he knows it . . . but, really - I might change my mind on that tomorrow :)

MyLifeMyWorld-SharingADream said...

I wrote a post about that one time, about the religious things and my beliefs when it came to infertility. It's in this post if you care to read....

Because I believe God doesn't choose this for you.

In this post I'm talking about a number of things, as a surrogate, but if you scroll down I do go over my beliefs on faith, I hope it helps.

If the link doesn't work, you can go to November 11, 2008 on the Sharing a Dream site.