Prayer Buddy Advent 2011

Updating on the 6th day of Christmas doesn’t count as late, does it?  I’m traveling without my personal laptop so its been difficult to check in, plus I’ve had to work while seeing my family over Christmas, but enough excuses…

I had the pleasure of praying for Emily, which was great to “meet” a new blogger I hadn’t been following before.  I’ve been offering up my daily stressors and moments of uncomfortableness, ironically, particularly during mass, for your prayer intentions and for the impending birth of your new child.  I will keep you in my prayers, especially over this next month!  I hope you had a Merry Christmas and it was great to get to know your through your blog!

 

Also, special thanks to Karen for the prayers this advent!  Thanks again! 

Expounding on those thoughts

I think this is what I get for trying to post something quickly.  I appreciate your comments on yesterday’s post and through them I realized how incomplete the thought was I wrote about.  I realized it was when I wrote it, but hoped maybe it could stand on its own still just to get me pressing “publish” again.  But I guess this way works too, as it speeds up my follow-up post :)

I can’t find the right word to describe my feelings yesterday, but I settled on guilt.  Really, I doubt that’s the right word and I know its far more complicated, so I’ll try to delve into it here.  Please preemptively forgive my rambling.  And if you do read, please try to stick through to the end, I promise I don’t gush the whole time.

All I knew in those first few weeks was I was using words like surreal, unbelievable, and shocked to describe what it was like to find out about this pregnancy.  While I still look down and feel a tiny kick and wonder, how did this amazing thing happen?, I felt like I had been the poorest person in the world and just won the largest lottery pool ever, with no strings attached.  As stupid as that sounds, that’s literally no exaggeration.  Sure, I was worried about miscarriage,  but it was like all I could do was stand there with my hands shaking in front of my face and my eyes bugged out, just shocked for a good, oh, until just a few weeks ago when I realized this baby is sticking around so we should probably start planning things.  But this huge burden that has been dragging me down for these years?  Completely lifted.  My life would change forever by this abstract baby growing in my belly (abstract in the sense that it was still 9 months away and unknown to the outside world).

It already changed everything.  Literally, everything.

This was not like I got a new job, this was a new life, a new purpose, a new everything.  Our financial situation hasn’t been an issue, but my mood?  Instantaneously better.  My husband is shocked at who I am now and how, despite my fears that HCG make me crazy, I really think it was just not conceiving with HCG.  As in, not conceiving was making me crazy.  He says I’m more calm than ever.  Our disagreements have dramatically reduced and its like we’re joyful newlyweds again, all the time.

I wish I could lie to those of you still waiting and say, Oh, its not really that great.  Its overrated and you’re just being impatient.  It won’t really fix everything.  But I’d be lying through my teeth*.  Even despite these moments of worry, this is better than I ever thought it could be.  I know, this is probably not what you want to hear, but it just hammered home how not conceiving is such suffering precisely because it is such an absence of an innate good.  While not every pregnancy is an ideal situation, every child is still a miracle.  And that is was every woman and couple struggling to conceieve knows with every fiber of her being and that’s precisely why it hurts so much to get passed over.  I don’t need to tell you this.

What I am surprised about is how much just that thought makes me crumble when I think about those still waiting. How something so seemingly simple and unearned can literally change my whole outlook on life.  How big of an impact it had on all aspects of my life…but that I did nothing to deserve and was  never in the position to choose this.  There have literally been nights when my husband has come home to find me bawling on the couch just thinking about women that can never have children, never have this joy I feel just at the potential and the life growing inside my womb.  Not in a pity way but in a profound, this would be horrible to miss out on way.  An everyone who desires this should have this way.   Now that I’ve felt this joy, that pain feels so, so much deeper.  What’s more is I feel that all pregnant women know this in their hearts but its so powerful and sad that they literally cannot think about it without loosing it.  I’ve had pregnant women tell me that before “Oh, I just can’t even think about sad things or I’ll start crying.”  Maybe its the ability to feel the world’s pain more precisely, since you start to care for someone else so deeply, but it is so real. [And it makes all those women who don’t sympathize with women who don’t conceieve seem like such a foreign thing…it makes me conclude they are the people who just don’t think deeply about things.]  And I remember how I was there, I was just there, just moments before this.  The emotions so perfectly juxtaposed made it an even more emotional time.  Suffering alongside for so long and it was like I just got plucked out of the abyss for absolutely no earthly reason to experience such a glorious thing.  But that others weren’t.  The fact that others may never get this literally breaks my heart. And I know from being there that there is so little I can do to help them, that although I can try to help them carry a little bit of their cross, it ultimately rests on their shoulders.  It’s heartbreaking.

We talk of an island but in my mind its more like an arcade game in Toy Story, where the claw chooses the little toys out of the game machine.  One little guy at random.  “The claw has choosen.  Farewell my friends, I go onto a better place.”

I think those tears look like guilt.  Those tears in Mass when I hear that song and those tears that my husband has unfortunately not escaped, despite this miracle pregnancy.  Maybe they seem like guilt, in the “Why me and not them?” way or “Why did I behave so poorly”.  But I think its different than that.  Maybe more like, how did I possibly make it through that?  How could it really be that this was the only thing that could have had this result, that could have brought this incredible joy that was so pointedly missing?**  I realize how profound this life event is, this pregnancy.  That it was the answer to many prayers, only a few of which were my own.  And I know now with a real sense of urgency how important those prayers are that come from others and how I feel so indebted to remember that always and pay it forward.  I’m almost positive it was those that lifted me up and helped me go on and dare I say, followed this baby into fruition.

I was concerned to write this for fear of only adding to your pain. But please know I have committed to praying by name for every couple trying to conceive that I know, in person and through the internet ever since this last week in August.  Prayers for peace and comfort and God’s presence and most of all, a child to love and raise in faith.  If you’ve left a comment or even if you haven’t and I just read your blog, I pray for you.

 

*(except for financial situations…no matter how longed for babies will not fix that…)
**While we did not adopt and I can’t be certain, I imagine the feelings after adoption are very, very similar although still different.  They are like two possible solutions that have the ability to wipe away all the pain of longing for a child, but I’ll leave that to someone who has been there.
***If you’d ever like to email me your real name, sometimes I feel funny asking God to pray for “FMTP” or “misfit”…just saying.   I’m sure He knows you anyway :)

And to this rock I’m clinging

How can a song make you cry and sing at the same time?

There have been many moments in my life when lyrics in songs speak to me when I have no other way of expressing myself.  A few months ago, the Sunday after we found out about our miracle to be exact, this song was sung as the closing hymn.  It was a different version, a little more upbeat with a gospel flair a la our parish, but the words remain the same.

The juxtaposition of the desolate lyrics filled with pain and strife combined with the refrain, How can I keep from singing? is almost haunting in this version.  It feels like a will of the heart almost, one of those rhetorical questions that you say to make yourself believe, rather than saying it because you believe.  I cried that whole exit procession that day at mass.  How can I keep from singing?  Oh, I’ll tell how you how I’ve kept and been darn good at keeping from singing.  I was getting really good at keeping from singing, for in my immediate scope, nothing was worth singing about.  But then that day, that amazing day I had the best news in the world and everything horrible in the world equally melted around me the day I could sing and sing and sing, I realized my fickleness.  I cried as I tried to sing about how all I wanted to do was sing.  Oh the irony.  Because even then, it wasn’t true, I felt so guilty that I couldn’t sing before and it was only then in my moment I’d waited for for so long.

How I wish I could be simple and faithful and true and really live the words of this song.

 

No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I’m clinging

Its sounds an echo in my soul, how can I keep from singing?

 

Thankful for power!

I had brilliant things to say and write last week.  I promise I really did.  And then these crazy wind storms hit and we were without power for a week.  A WEEK PEOPLE.  I admit I am a spoiled, first world citizen, but I think that if you can see downtown Los Angeles from your backyard there is something drastically wrong if you don’t have power for seven nights :(  Found out from the radio today that we were part of the last 3,000 to have their power restored, out of the initial 340,000 that lost it last Wednesday.  So, we are the 1% :)  And I have to say, the best thing that ever happened to those occupiers is that they were miraculously removed from harm’s way the day before the storms hit last week.  That could have been so bad.

I even didn’t have work for two days, since they were out of power too.  Without internet or TV, you’d have thought that I would have gotten more done on that sweater, but it turns out its really hard to knit in the dark.  So we basically just stared at each other.  That part was nice.  The freezing part was not nice. Did you know it got down to 50 degrees in our house?  At least our ice chest didn’t melt for the entire week!  The hot, humid lovin’ Texas girl in me has all but been beat out.

Here’s a few pictures as evidence of the chaos, there are all just taken on my street.

 

House next door...and the reason our power was out right here.

Thought this was funny more than anything...poor cactus.

I wasn't lying when I said we can see downtown LA from our house! Although you might have to zoom in.