Monday, January 16, 2012

Post Pregnancy Appointment and Questioning Faith

A small disclaimer for me
This post is honest and true. Specifically when I'm talking about religion. I'm including this blog because its been a huge topic this week for us, and its a very real part of the grieving process. I've confident that this is also a normal part of the grieving process, its not uncommon to question your faith and where you stand on related topics. I'm not seeking religious advise, I'm not seeking religious pity. I'm simply laying all my thoughts and feelings out there for the world. Please do not batter us for how we feel and our thoughts, we can't stop our brains from running its course.  Trust that we will get the pieces back together, hopefully soon.

Post Pregnancy Appointment
This last week, I had my post pregnancy follow up appointment. It went well, we talked a lot about our experience and did the normal post pregnancy check up stuff.  I had to laugh though when they asked me to fill out the typical post partum depression survey.  I asked them before they had me fill it out if they really wanted me to fill it out honestly - because it was going to make me look like I belonged in the looney bin. They said yes because of course they take into account our situation and what we are going through, so I did, and actually surprised myself. I didn't seem as bad off as I imagined it would appear.

A hard topic to talk about was birth control and future pregnancys. As I explained to my doctor, there is a desperate want to fill our empty arms as soon as possible - thats to be expected. How would a person, who is supposed to have a tiny baby right now, not feel a need for that. They say its "empty arms", I've learned that is a literal explanation. It really feels like you have empty arms. I made a point that apparently, pills don't work for me. We've had 3 babies conceived while taking the pill, a miscarraige, Evelyn and now Gabriel. So we disgussed IUDs as an option, but neither of us are really comfortable with that. My biggest fear is that if putting hormones into my system through pills doesn't work, what if the IUD doesn't work. Usually if you get pregnant with an IUD, they have to remove the device and the baby generally comes with it - as sad as that is. Do I want to risk going through that???  But her biggest concern was that we don't give into the feeling of want for another baby too soon. She warned that we'll have to make sure we are healed enough to handle the stress of a pregnancy after a loss. Dealing with the stress and paranoia of that pregnancy is going to be hard enough, it'll be even harder if we are still in the deep dark depths of the grieving process. In my experience, I don't get a choice in when we will reproduce - it just seems to happen regardless of our attempts to control it.

Before I left, she gave me some dates and times for a support group thats fairly nearby. She gave me a list of times and the name of the main contact. Her name is Dawn, she's a midwife at Woodwinds, she lost a son to Potters Syndrome 15 years ago. Derrick knows her, I talked to her and she seems like an amazing person.  Derrick and I talked about it, we're going to try to go to the first one in February. We don't know if its going to help us, if its going to benefit us, but we know we want to at least try. We won't know if its going to help unless we experience it.  Dawn said that if a support group doesn't suite us, she'd be willing to do "one on one" sessions if that'd be better.

Then they stabbed me with a big long needle because they had no record of my last Tetinus shot... nice. I don't do needles, I'm petrified of them. Yes I realize I've given natural birth twice and therefore a needle should seem like nothing - but that doesn't change my irrational fear of them.

Questioning Faith (open and honest  - I realize this is a sensitive subject - see above disclaimer)
In the greiving process its bound to happen for some people, and I am one of those people. Twice in the last week I have found myself questioning where I stand instead of finding strength in my religious beliefs, and I find I'm not alone. Derrick has also questioned what happens to us when we die, he was born and raised Catholic and even attended Catholic school his entire life, his faith has always been rock solid.

Neither of us want to think of the possibility that we as humans are just that, human, we die and nothing comes of it.

Today, I don't know where I stand. In some ways I want to believe there is an afterlife:  Heaven, Summerland, Deva loca, Eden or whatever it is. (But if there is such a place, is it super crowded with so many people that have passed on?)  In otherways I find it possible that we'll reincarnate, or - do our spirits just wonder the earth aimlessly?

This week, while texting with my mom about "sky dandruff" (snow) and how crazy it is that we have had so little of it so far this winter, she commented "Maybe God needs dandruff shampoo" and followed it with:  "I hope God isn't listening". Thats where my questioning began,  I said ""God doesn't hear me so I don't particularly care what he thinks if he does hear me." I may have been feeling a bit hostile at this moment of my grief.  In this journey, I prayed. Mostly it was to "God" and when that went unanswered it became "God or whatever God hears me". But since my prayers continued unanswered, I started to wonder if any "God" really exists, which throws a huge query in the equation when thinking about what happens when we die.

Then Derrick and I began talking about "afterlife". Of course, all of the forementioned topics came up. We've both agreed that there is something after this life. We've both had experiences of the "supernatural" kind, things that can't be explained in a physical sense. So we have both ruled out the option that nothing happens when we die, based on our experience, there has to be something after this - we just can't prove what it is.

If we reincarnate, does that mean Gabriel will have reincarnated and I won't see him when I die? Is it unreasonable to hope that this isn't the case? If we don't see Gabriel when we die we'll both be upset (or will we be able to be upset?)  This is the only thing right now keeping me from being afraid to die, the thought that I'll be able to see and hold my son again.

 I want to believe that someday I will see my Gabriel again, hold him, hug him, kiss him. I want to believe that he is watching me and guiding me. and that he's there (wherever there is) waiting for me.

I know I'll get back to having strength in my faith. I know that all of this is just part of the journey and I have to work through every aspect of it. Its just not easy to do...

Why TV, Why?
Why does it seem like everywhere I turn there are pregnancys and new babys? For example: Saturday night, Derrick and I were watching a few of our typical Netflix shows, Cake Boss and Bones. The final episode we had to watch of Cake Boss, Buddy has his fourth baby - a boy. Of course his wife found out she was pregnant on an episode we watched shortly after Gabriel was born... 

On the show Bones, one of the characters found out she was pregnant on an episode we watched shortly after Gabriel was born again and on the episode we had left to watch, that woman has her baby. Then  "Bones" finds out she's pregnant too. In both shows, the parents experienced that "glory moment", you know what I'm talking about. The moment (whether you've experienced it or seen it on TV) when the parents see the baby for the first time and they are so excited to be welcoming such an adorable and perfect bundle of joy into their lives...The moment when they are so joyous they are crying and smiling and staring at their new baby... The moment with Gabriel that lacked so much normalcy... Yes, there was an incredible amount of love and instant attachment with him, yes we stared and cryed, but it wasn't the same. Its incredibly hard to explain and I've done the best I can. I see these moments on TV and it feels like its constantly throwing in my face that I was pregnant for 9 months and don't have a baby to show for it...  I guess its just bad timing. Maybe thats the universes way of helping me threw the grieving process. 

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Gabriel. I have a friend I met through my grief group who lost her daughter to Potters Syndrome in September of 2010.
    And I know just what you mean about tv shows. Why does it seem that after you loss a baby every channel or show you watch invovles a baby and happiness, etc. Ugh!
    Thinking about you.