Sunday, August 21, 2011

What Came to Me This Week - or - What Never Happened

     I was driving along in my car - I always do my best thinking in my car - when on the radio came a preacher talking about God's will. Specifically, are you willing to submit to God's will no matter what he asks of you. So my brain started thinking and I began to ponder what I have faith in. I'm not talking about a crisis of faith here. But more specific..... Let me back up.
     Earlier this week Nolan was laying beside me in bed and I was telling him how this week I've felt like I was experiencing the first few days after loosing Asher all over again. He hugged, and stroked my hair and just held me for a long time. And then we talked some more and somewhere in the conversation he said
     "I just don't know anything else to do, BUT trust God."
Then there was more talking and hugging. And then I finally had the courage to say out loud the burning question inside me.
     "What if this baby dies too??", I said in the tiniest voice I own.
     "I don't know." Came the reply. It was so humble, and so honest, and so perfect. Because I now know that I am not the only one saying over and over "I don't know."
     Now fast-forward again to the car. I thought about what Nolan said about trusting God AND about what the radio preacher said about God's will. And I started to wonder what does it mean to trust God?? Because I know that He - in his divine wisdom and perfection - may allow this baby to die also. So what am I trusting in exactly?? I'm not trusting that everything will be perfect. It might. I pray it will. It is even likely. But.... there's always a 'but'. I'm still not entirely sure what it means to trust. To trust God in the midst of difficulty. To know that if He wanted to, he could make my path easy. But he didn't. He hasn't.    
     But God has loved me through it all. God has never left me in this mess by myself. So maybe that is what I am trusting.... that God will NEVER leave me. Will always catch my tears. But, somehow....... this doesn't seem enough. I want God to ride in on a white horse and save the day. Save me. And slaughter the enemy. And I know He has also promised to do this..... but vengeance of the Lord comes in his own time. So....maybe I'm being impatient???? Like I said, I still don't know yet. I only know I do trust God to be God. It still feels confusing.

While I was in the car another thought came to me. The Lord was not surprised by Asher's death. He's never surprised by our circumstances. And a funny scene played itself out in my head while I drove. Its funny to me because it DID NOT happen. Nothing catches God of guard. I'll leave you with it tonight.

God (sitting on his throne, smiling and enjoying the chorus of His angles, looks down and sees Asher.) "Dude! Asher! What are you doing here, man??!! I totally just finished knitting you together in your mother's womb!" What happened?? Listen, I don't have you scheduled to be here for another (looks at watch) 87 years, 43 days, 9 minutes and 12 seconds. Seriously, your parents are gonna freak if they find out I let this happen! You have to get ba....... see! That's them now!!! I hear 'em praying, they are really upset. Oh, man, I have to make a plan FAST!!!....................

No. This truly did not happen. I am thankful that NOTHING surprises God.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Grieving My Birth

A good birth experience. What does this mean?? To some women it is when a healthy, live baby is placed in their arms, with no regard to how it got there. Just the healthy baby. Isn't that enough to ask for?? Isn't that what we say?? "I don't care.... I just want my baby to be healthy." But to some mothers a good birth experience is something very different. It is a life altering experience. A strength and 'knowing' that transcends thought and bubbles up from a place long hidden until this moment. There becomes a depth to the contractions, surges that beckon to your innermost womanhood. Calling to that courage held deep in your soul. Your body responds to the call with a call of its own. The swaying of hips like the ocean tides and the deep guttural moaning which gives voice to the change taking place inside your soul. The change from a child to a woman. And, more often, the change from a wounded woman to one healed. There is pain, but there is also wondrous beauty. This is the birth I wanted. Still want. But I also want that healthy, live child.
I have spent almost 9 months grieving over loosing Asher, but I have spent no time grieving over my birth. I wanted a birth filled with joy. Instead a sonographer told me she needed to make an official record of my dead baby inside me. Instead a smiling Dr. shoved his non-dominant hand into my vagina. Twice. Once to check my cervix, and once to place the cervidil under it. After saying "Ow! Ow! Ow!" I looked up and he was smiling, telling me I was alright. I want to punch that man. Instead of laboring with my husband and my wonderful midwives in my warm home in a warm tub, I was at the hospital. Grabbing hold of the sink in a cold hard bathroom. With my lost-in-grief parents and in-laws. I didn't birth my child squatting or standing up, I was on my back, again. And two men who I had not met before that night lifted my dead baby up onto my chest and then one taught the other how to properly stitch up my vaginal tears. I wanted to scream "Don't touch me!" but I was too lost in my grief to stand up for myself. I can't believe a Dr. used the birth of my baby for a teaching moment. I can't believe how unfeeling they were during such a horrible moment. How can you possibly lift a dead baby out of a mother and not shed a tear. Not need a moment to compose yourself and ask to be excused.
To this day my throat closes up and I start to sweat when I have to go to Ball Hospital. The thought of going back there to birth this child sends chills up my spine and puts me in bad mood for days. I feel sick over it. I will not NOT go in the event of an emergency but it will seriously crush a part of me should I or the baby need to be there.
Part of me wants to have this baby alone. I want to birth so fast that there won't be time for anyone to get here. I want to hunker down in my own secret area and emerge triumphant with a glistening, newborn. I know that is probably not going to happen. And another part of me wants certain people there to share in the moment. I need to know that I can carry to term and birth a healthy, live child. I need to know this.
To some it probably seems shocking, even selfish, to want more than a crying infant in my arms. However I need to know. Labor pains dig down and build a new place for themselves inside your being, your core. They store themselves up, giving you the strength to move through the worst times in life. They say, "If you can handle us, you can handle the world."