Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fate/Destiny/Master Plan?

I’m going to get a little religious/spiritual in this post. It might be offensive to some and it might make others laugh at me. I do not mean to offend anyone and the thoughts posted here are just that, my thoughts/opinions/feelings. I’ve wanted to write this post for a very long time but haven’t quite been able to put it all together. I still don’t know if it will come across as well thought out or not but I need to get it out of my head.

I’m a Christian. I believe in God and in Jesus as my Savior. I pray for others, myself and for forgiveness. I don’t go to church anymore and I don’t like that about myself but obviously not enough to change it. I try to lead a “good” life. I have pretty high standards for myself. I try to treat others in a way that I want to be treated. Pretty standard stuff.

In my journey of TTC there have been so many prayers to God. I’m sure you can relate to what those prayers entailed. I’ve tried bargaining, begging, desperation...none of it has worked. I never thought I’d try IVF. I didn’t think it was *natural* to create life like that. When the time came and we had the money I really felt that I was ready, both spiritually and mentally. I really thought it would work. I thought that God would see how much it really meant to me/us and He’d let it happen. I thought that He’d see that I was willing to give myself shots and put myself through the emotional wringer and He’d reward me/us. We were in the process of selling our house and trying to find a new place. The market was not good and we feared that we’d be stuck. We got an offer pretty quickly and then we found out that we could get a really great interest rate to allow us to build a brand new house in a great neighborhood in the town we really wanted to live in. Not only that, but our realtor had a house that we could rent for just a few months while we waited for our house to be built. Things were really falling into place. It must be God’s plan, right? To finally get a baby, and a new house and a new life with my new husband and must be my master plan/destiny, right? Wrong.

Let me add that over the years with my previous husband, each and every time I wasn’t pregnant when something significant happened in our lives I always used the line, “well I guess that’s why God hasn’t let me get pregnant yet.” It always made sense. And then I would tell myself that I didn’t get pregnant because God knew that we would divorce. However, if we’d had a child I don’t know that our marriage would have dissolved. It’s one of the biggest questions I have. He now has 3 children so it must have been his plan, right? To learn from our marriage and then to move on and have kids with someone that is fertile must have been his destiny, right? I don’t know.

Do we have a destiny? Is there a master plan? I always thought so. I am guilty of using the phrases, “what is meant to be will be” and “everything happens for a reason”. I don’t know what to believe now. God might have a plan for all of us but we, as humans, have plans of our own. We were given free will, the ability to make choices. We make wrong choices throughout our lives. Sometimes no matter how hard we pray and ask for guidance, we make a wrong choice. Did God know we would make a wrong choice? Was that wrong choice in our plan all along? If so, then it really wasn’t wrong was it? God told Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit. And pardon my ignorance...did He know she would anyway? She made the choice to go against God’s wishes and because of that, all of humanity was punished...sin was introduced into the perfect world.

Back to me...I’ve often wondered what my plan in life is/was. I wonder if I have made too many choices that have completely altered the way things were supposed to be. I made the choice of staying with my mom when I was 16 and my dad made the choice of letting me. Things would have been very different if I had not made the request or if he had said no. It’s things like that that have led me here today.

I started thinking about those sorts of things after our loss from our IVF in April. I chose to do IVF. I want a baby so badly that I chose to try again. Aren’t we supposed to learn from past mistakes as to not repeat them in the future? Since the first one failed I wonder why I though God would let the second one work. I had to try, though. I felt it was the right thing to do. And when I think back to how calm and serene I was through most of the process, I wonder why I was so calm. I think it was because I knew it would work. Somewhere deep inside, I had come to terms with the fact that it would work. I was ready for whatever emotions came my way. I had learned how to deal with it from our past attempt. I felt confident that it would turn out differently than last time. I was right, to a degree.

God allowed me to get pregnant. And then He allowed me lose that baby very early. I think it was a form of punishment. Before anyone tells me that God doesn’t punish people like that, hear me out. I used to think that way, too, until my loss. When women are born they are born with as many eggs as they will ever have. I was born with fewer than average eggs. I was also born with bad eggs. I have been TTC since I was 24 years old. My eggs were just as bad then as they are now. So obviously, God’s plan/my destiny/my fate has always been for me not to get pregnant. God created me and he created my eggs. He never intended for me to get pregnant. And what do I do? I keep going to doctors to try and rectify the situation instead of just learning from my past. If we had not tried again I would not have this heavy hurt of a lost baby in my heart. I would not sit here in sadness every day thinking about how far along I should be and what milestone I should be reaching each week.

When I think about how desperately I wish we had money for donor eggs I have to stop myself. What makes me think that donor eggs are “in my plan”? Why would God want me to go ahead and seek more medical intervention? He has already proven to me that He never intended for me to have a child. Why would I choose to try something like that? Honestly, if we had the money, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I’m driven by something else that I can’t put into words (maybe it’s greed or selfishness?). If I did donor eggs and God decided that he was angry enough at me for going through with more treatments, what would my next punishment be? I shudder at the thought of His power. I am, after all, a God fearing woman.

It’s all so confusing. And don’t get me wrong...I do not think that donor eggs are against God’s wishes. In my opinion, God creates all life and it’s up to Him if that life turns into a baby. And if a woman uses donor eggs and has a baby...I’m very happy for (and a bit jealous of) them. I’m just in spiritual turmoil right now. I’m questioning all my decisions with regards to reproduction lately. I’m also still trying to figure out if there is any way possible to pay for the donor egg program. I’m a walking contradiction. It’s not easy living in my head these days.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this post. I'm struggling with some of the same thoughts and certainly don't know God's plan. But I do know that God LOVES you and will wipe every tear from your eyes one day. Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Christian too, and I believe everything you do. However, we simply can not know what God's plan is. There's no way. It's the same thinking that causes us to want to write off a miscarriage by saying, "Maybe that baby would have been the next Hitler." We just can't understand or explain everything, and we never will. God is merciful. He uses situations to draw us closer to him, but that is the most we can know. Please be merciful to yourself.

A said...

Really thought-provoking post. I struggled with a similar thing after our first IVF was cancelled- was I going to try it again just out of my own selfishness, even though God had shown me once that He wasn't going to use IVF to bring us our baby? I prayed very hard for guidance as we contemplated trying IVF again, and I just felt like we needed to try it again. Obviously, the second time didn't work either... but I don't think I ever considered it to be a "punishment" for trying something which I felt was what we were supposed to do.

But I will say that I struggled for years with the guilt/worry that our infertility was a punishment for mistakes I have made in the past. It weighed very heavily on my mind and heart. I tried to read as much Scripture and reflection I could on the topic, and the one idea that made the most healing impression on me is that Christ is our Ultimate Advocate. If we picture the Father as a judge in a courtroom, picture Christ as our attorney, and Satan as the one prosecuting us. Satan is trying to tell the Father, look at all her imperfections. Christ is our Ultimate Advocate because He has taken all our imperfections and died for them, and He presents us as whiter/purer than snow to the Father. The imperfections that Satan wishes to dwell on don't even exist anymore because Christ's sacrifice washes them away.

Anyway, all of this to say that you are not alone with wondering if your infertility is a punishment. But I have come to be sure that infertility, or any hardship for that matter, is not a punishment (other than in general life's hardships are because of original sin). I fully believe that God uses all circumstances for good if we let Him, and the last part of that was the hardest part for me to do. It was hard to LET HIM make good out of our infertility because I was convinced that nothing good would ever come out of our infertility because I hadn't figured it out. But it wasn't for me to figure out- I just had to trust that God loved me so much He had something better than I could figure out.

I know this is super long, and it might be cliche since we became pregnant in January, but I just want you to know that you're not alone- we are here for you, but more importantly, God loves you so much and will never leave you, either. I fully believe He wants to show you the good that is going to come from this heartache- will you let Him?

Jenn said...

I also struggle with this, but don't have a good (or even semi good answer). I have come to the understanding that I'm not in control, but my desire to be a mother is God given. He made that desire burn in me from when I was very young. Did I go against that in trying to get pregnant over and over... maybe. But we honestly didn't feel called to adopt by Him until we had suffered those losses. I'm not sure why. People have told me so that someday in the future, I can help a couple who is grieving a loss. Who knows, I try not to obsess about it, because I know I will never, ever find an answer that will satisfy it.
That said, I did find a scripture (I'll try to look for it again), but it talked about God fighting a war, and he determined His needs, and at that moment, though He knew my desire to have each of my babies, He needed them more. And that brings me a bit of peace. Not that it necessary makes it all better, but does bring some peace.

Esperanza said...

I do not believe in God so I don't feel qualified to respond much to this post. I just wanted to say that I think all your questions are valid and if I were Christian I would probably be asking them too. I don't really understand how people reconcile the fact that God creates everything and that really horrible things happen. It's one thing if a person perpetrates a heinous act (since God gave us free will, or we took it when Eve ate the apple?) but when a natural disaster kills thousands? Or sickness ravages people? I don't really get that. I think if I did believe in God he would be a God that couldn't actually change things, but was more like a mother figure who loved unconditionally. That is the part about God that I understand, the unconditional love part. I don't get the "does everything for a reason that you don't get to understand" part. It just doesn't make sense to me, but then that is the argument that everyone makes, that we can't understand God's plan and faith should carry us through despite that.

Sorry to go into a weird, rambling jaunt on my ideas about God. I guess I'll end by reiterating that I think you're questions are valid and I hope that some day you find answers in your faith that feel right for you.

Rebecca said...

It is understandable how you feel. I was married before and I lost two babies at age 26 after conceiving on clomid. My eggs have never been good. Married now, a second time, and my bad eggs are still giving us issues. Clomid only gives me cysts no babies this time. Next step is IVF and I'm not so sure at my age of 41 that it will work. Why does this happen to us? What is our purpose? I want to raise a baby more than anything.

Anonymous said...

Hey hon,
Catching up after a few days away. I'm going to speak from a heathen's point of view here: It pains me to know that you think you are being punished. You are such a good and loving person, and no one deserves to go through what we go through. I have no spiritual insight, I just hope you find the strength to love yourself enough so that you never have to think these thoughts again. You are an amazing woman. Please try to embrace that.