I've started this post and set it aside many times.
My wish is that we all can have an honest discussion about how having a child born premature (or the loss of a preemie) has changed our views on prayer/religion and spirituality.
My fear is that the discussion is going to turn nasty and unproductive.
I'm willing to give it a try.
I was raised Catholic, even going to Catholic school for bit. I began to question organized religion very early on. I can recall a conversation that I initiated when I was 10 and was told that I was too intelligent and, "you just have to have faith." If someone had actually sat me down and had an educated discussion, I may not have strayed.
As I got older (teens) I started to feel guilty for the feelings I was having. Oh that Catholic guilt! Again I approached people who should have been able to help and again was told to have faith.
In my early 20's I did some honest soul searching. Now on my own, I no longer was forced to attend church. I started reading about other religions but nothing seemed to fit. I really felt lost. It's hard to explain but others who have been there will understand.
Then my water broke at 23 weeks. I was 30. I immediately reverted back to prayer and a whole lotta begging to God. People were calling me in the hospital and telling me that they were praying too. Prayers chains were linking all over the country, all for my child.
Some told me, "if you pray hard enough, everything will be ok."
When Paige was born I immediately felt that I must not have prayed enough. And, I surely must not be worthy. What a horrible feeling to have as I was laying on the operating table!
The next day, while my precious baby (whom I still had not seen) was fighting for her life in the NICU, one of our dogs died. He was my first baby. I had been separated from him for almost 3 weeks due to being on hospital bed rest after my water broke. My MIL called the nurses station and the nurse pulled hubby out of my room to tell him. He was crying when he came back in. I thought for sure we had lost our child. When he told me that it was our dog, I swore, out loud-at the top of my lungs, at God. That guilt was too much to bear. What a cruel chain of events.
During her NICU stay, people prayed over her. When she would pass a hurdle, they would claim that God was at hand and had spared her. What was the excuse when she would have a setback? Where was God then?
Why is it that God gets the credit for good things but is spared the credit for the bad?
Over the years I have struggled with my feelings regarding "God". It has not been easy to feel this way. I've tried searching for something that will bring me back, but just keep on coming back to the same place....
Was the theory of "God" just created by humans? Why would a person who has the ability to stop pain, actually allow our children to suffer?
I do hope we can all have a civil discussion. So many are passionate about their beliefs that sometimes that passion came come across as rude.
Before you type a comment, do so from this perspective... The comment you leave could help someone who needs help/direction. If you are nasty, you will only drive people away. Instead of simply quoting the bible, please talk about YOUR own personal feelings.
Lastly, if this discussion gets out of control, I will shut it down. Many parents are very vulnerable right now, struggling with all facets of prematurity. They surely do not need to feel attacked for how they are feeling or what they may have gone through.