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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, this was going to be a reply to another thread, but as I started to go off on a tangent I realized that really, it deserved it's own thread.<br><br>
Has anyone else had family members push them toward a religion after their baby's death? I have lots of friends of many religions, so this isn't meant as a slight toward anyone - but, recently I've become more and more irritated with this. Probably a combination of other people's panic over Isobella's upcoming birth, and my pregnancy hormones, but it's getting to me in a major way.<br><br>
Now first of all, it started as a hint from MIL that perhaps our non-marital situation had something to do with our baby's death ("ooh..you'd better get married then, before this new one comes" - after we fell pregnant with Isobella). Of course before that, an idiotic co-worker of DP's actually used the phrase "Bad ju ju" about us not being married when Josie died. As if that had anything to do with it. Personally I think it's the most idiotic thing ever.<br><br>
Recently though it's become pretty annoying. MIL right now has DSD going to church several time a week. She's in the Christmas play and all of this, and seems to be enjoying it, which is lovely for her. The kids know I'm not Christian: it's not my religion, and they are fine with it as far as I know. Harry also knows - has done since before we got together. We talked about it and we're going to have a kind of "welcome to the world" ceremony after Bella is born, rather than a baptism because in my view, a newborn doesn't have original sin to erase - which is indeed the purpose of a baptism. See I was brought up first of all as a Christian and then changed my beliefs in my teens and to me, the issue of baptism to erase sin in a baby is not something I agree with. No offense to anyone, obviously.<br><br>
The problem is now, MIL - apart from the constant advice not to life ANYTHING and never to raise my arms above my head for fear of tangling the baby's cord around her head (she stated that Harry got <i>his</i> cord tangled around <i>his</i> neck and this is why she knows it's true advice...I mean seriously, we had to have a ten minute debate about this yesterday because she didn't want me to paint!) - is saying that we need to start going to church on Sundays.<br><br>
I'm not a Christian. I have no desire to go to church. This constant bugging is really starting to p!ss me off. I'm certainly not a Catholic and don't plan on converting religions simply so I can get married in a Catholic church. Why the h$ll should I do that?<br><br>
So anyway now the constant implication is that we're bad parents and we need to go to church in order to rectify the situation. The implication is also that any grief or bad stuff either one of us has been feeling would be rectified by going to church. I mean for the past year, intermittently, I've also had to deal with a very pushy couple who feel that our going to their Unitarian church would "heal" us and that we need to go, blah blah blah - I mean seriously pushy.<br><br>
The whole "if you'd been in hospital" thing was bad enough when that was going on. Honestly whenever someone raises that as a reason for Josie's death (yeah right) and says what a <i>good</i> or what a <i>wise</i> idea it is for me to birth in hospital this time around, I feel like punching them in the head. Certain members of DP's family were actually going down that road quite openly - I had to have a debate in the middle of the kitchen about it at one point.<br><br>
But now this, all the time, obviously bred from paranoia and panic, is driving me frikken <i>crazy</i>! It's bad enough to be almost 35 weeks pregnant and worried about the baby every day, but to be told that if I convert to Catholicism and go to church, or accept Jesus, etc etc - everything will be fine and that in essence, <i>this</i> baby will be spared when the last one was killed for our not being Christian enough: is making me nuts.<br><br>
I honestly feel like I'm gonna end up shouting at someone if this goes on. She's very fixed in her ways and wraps the other two up in cotton wool as it is - I really don't think I can stand this. And after the baby comes, I really will blow my top if this kind of mindless advice continues. I can just imagine the reaction to not having a baptism - and I'm not having a baptism to appease someone. This kid is not a plaything; or something that can be treated one way to appease someone, when really the spiritual aspect is not appropriate.<br><br>
I'm just really peed off. Along with certain other controlling things it's just...getting under my skin. I don't throw my earth-religion at anyone: why the heck does she feel the need to insinuate this BS?<br><br>
Anyway hopefully I did not offend anyone! I have nothing against anyone of any religion but just think, if you were Christian for example, and were told that you weren't Buddhist and that was why your baby died; or that you ought to convert to Islam or your new baby would be at much greater risk of passing on <i>as well</i>?<br><br>
I know my angry reaction is, in part, caused by hormonal influences but really, I think the hormones are simply allowing me to express my anger over the comments and insinuations being made, rather than holding them in and playing nice like I'd normally do. In our society, it seems the norm is for women to be told anger is not an appropriate emotion to express - too male. But right now I don't even care. I'm so mad I could burst!<br><br>
Input, please! And thank you for letting me vent...hopefully it all made sense... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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If insufficient Christianity was enough to kill a baby, how is the world population level what it is today?<br><br>
It's a dumb thing to say, and I'm sorry that people are saying it to you.<br><br>
I think the big way that church is healing for many people is that it surrounds them with a caring community. But it can take years to build a place in that community in such a way that, when you reach a crisis in your life, your first thought is to reach out to the congregation. It's not like you can just show up on Sunday right after your life goes to pieces and walk out feeling all better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Exactly! But you know it really offends me that someone would have the guts to insinuate that <i>not</i> being Christian had something to do with the death of Josie and that we're putting Isobella at risk by not going to church. I know it's ludicrous but right now I can't take it and laugh at it like I normally would, you know?<br><br>
I have a <i>wonderful</i> community of friends, all of whom are really supportive and great: they're all sorts of colors, creeds, religions - you name it. I <i>love</i> them all. And I know that I try each and every day to behave like a good person to other people because it's the right thing to do - not because of any particular religious belief.<br><br>
I dunno, I guess this whole thing has me on edge. Thanks Meepy for your reply <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Xxx
 

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uggg mama im so sorry. people are so rude sometimes...I find this true with esp family members. My dh (at the time) and I were married AND going to church as christians and our daughter died... so what does you family say about that? they will use anything to convert people, I swear.<br><br>
As for the talk about putting your arms above your head and having the chord wrapped around the babies neck... once again an old wives tale. People can believe what they want to, including you. With DS I never lifted my arms above my head (that I can recall) and he had the chord wrapped 2 times around his neck and was fine... once again what does your family say to that? Its all chance...<br><br>
When it comes to standing up for what I believe in and stopping the insanity of the opinions of family members I let them say what they wanted to say. If I dont agree I will state my beliefs. If they continue to bring it up Ill say thats nice. If they keep persisting I will either ignore them or remind them I dont care and walk away. Honestly there is no need to get stressed out about it. Dont let them get to you hun. And I agree that it is insulting to suggest for any reason that you may have contributed to the death of a child because of any of your life choices like being or not being christian. So rude. I would def tell that person off for that reason alone.
 

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I have posted at various times through the year about my struggles (ongoing) with my faith and how I process it, practise it and live with it in the light of my daughter's death. My perspective is Christian - evangelical, Protestant Christianity. I have truly struggled with the "why didn't God intervene?" question for a lot of the past year. I haven't ever doubted the existence of a divine presence - my beliefs are too deeply ingrained in me to be so easily set aside - but I have struggled so much this year. I suppose I say this because your family's arguments just seem nonsensical to me. They seem to imply that sharing their faith will somehow imbue you with some supernatural immunity to pain. I know there are a lot of us on this board who would profess faith/spirtual direction (of many varieties) and yet, here we are, dealing with the some of the most painful life events possible.<br><br>
Even coming from a different spiritual perspective to you, I would be angry in your shoes. The idea that our babies died because of some flaw or failing in us - whether it be a spiritual, moral, physical, social one - is utterly abhorent to me. They died because, unfortunately, sometimes that is what happens. This world is not perfect and so imperfect, painful, horrible things sometimes happen.<br><br>
I am sorry that you are facing this right now, so near to Isobella's birth. I thnk you are entitled to be angry at being forced to deal with this.
 

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Oh Jay. *hugs* I am so sorry that you are dealing with this BS. I don't know exactly what your family situation is, but here is what I would do if it were me. I'd tell Garrin that his parents keep telling em things that are wrong and piss me off. It sounds like you and H have already talked about these things and both of you are okay with it - that you both agreed to the welcome baby party, etc. He needs to talk to his mother and take a stand for you. he needs her to understand you are both making these decisions as a couple and she is not part of that decision making process.<br><br>
As for the friends... maybe just ignore them for a while? I don't know how often you see them, so I can't give specific advice, but let them know that you are not interested in their offer, but thank you. I often explain to people that their comment or offer is not something that brings me comfort but I understand it would to them and thank them for trying to offer that to me. Their caring is the important thing. They usually get the hint and back off a bit.<br><br>
Overall, many *hugs* for you. This is not the time you should need to be listening to their comments, whether they are born of concern or stress or not. You have your own stress. Explain to them that the stress they are causing is having much more negative effect on Isobella than your physical location on Sunday mornings. Ugh. *hugs*
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lol thank you gals! I love you all!<br><br>
I have a deep rooted spiritual belief that this Earth we live on sustains us. That nothing is black and white - that it's all rolled into one, and you have to accept life, and death, and the whole works as part of being here. I don't believe in the Devil/God thing and I don't agree that going to Mass will stop the Devil taking my child...which I think is where she's coming from.<br><br>
Harry is religiously confused. Has been for years. He jokes he's a typical Catholic and just takes what he wants from his religion. Which I think is a bit silly really - surely it's more or less all or nothing in <i>organized</i> religion? So he has been really struggling with God "taking" his babies. Alauna, and then Josie. He's not really finding any peace with it at all. I can't help him find peace with his religion because I can't explain it like that - I can only explain it in terms of my own beliefs, which don't include blaming anything higher than just life itself. I think sure, we're imbued with life, and spirit, and spirituality - but I don't think the Earth, or any deity had any dealing in the death of my child.<br><br>
I'd better get the kids from school - be back in a few... Thank you all. Gosh I am SO glad I vented here. You guys are the most amazing people. Xxxxx
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JayJay</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14748478"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The implication is also that any grief or bad stuff either one of us has been feeling would be rectified by going to church.<br><br>
...but to be told that if I convert to Catholicism and go to church, or accept Jesus, etc etc - everything will be fine and that in essence, <i>this</i> baby will be spared when the last one was killed for our not being Christian enough: is making me nuts.</div>
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Hmm...Well, I'm Catholic, and that certainly hasn't f***ing prevented my pain, suffering, grief, or loss. And it sure as hell doesn't have the power to prevent my babies from dying...<br><br>
I like certain aspects of Catholicism, so I ascribe to <i>those</i> aspects. I firmly believe in God, although I do NOT believe that God micromanages our lives. I believe that God helps sustain us through hardship, pain, grief, and tremendous loss...that God helps us be more resiliant and strong than we feel we can be. That God helps us breathe when that's about all we feel capable of doing, when the grief is too much to bear.<br><br>
I do NOT believe that God caused my husband to be in a life-threatening accident last July, nor do I believe that God "saved" his life. Because if I believe that, then I have to start to question why God doesn't intervene and save my babies, or any of our babies for that matter. I believe that God helped me cope with the horribly painful, agonizing experiences that life has handed me...and I'm still here. Still breathing.<br><br>
The thing that drives me crazy about pushy "religious" types is their refusal to acknowledge the total and utter randomness of life. Bad things happen to good people, great and wonderful things happen for the undeserving, and things aren't fair and they never will be. That is fact. It's a hard fact to swallow, and people want to believe that they are safe from tragedy...acknowledging the randomness of life is akin to acknowledging that <b>it could, indeed, happen to you too.</b> Something people cannot or will not comprehend.<br><br>
I am so sorry that people are pushing these things on you, Jay. You are one of the strongest most resiliant women I have ever known and I draw so much strength from you.<br><br>
Claire
 

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No advice, just <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s and good thoughts.<br><br>
You should not have to deal with this kind of drama in the last weeks of your pregnancy... IMO, it's not very Christ like to cause someone else stress like this, people need to lay off.
 

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My sisters are sure ALL of the ills in my life are because I have not accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour... I'm sure William's stillbirth is just another to add to the list, for them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
Sorry you're having to deal with it. I'm a duck anymore... rolls right off... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Just to agree with everyone here. Really bad things happen to all people. I know many committed Christian families who have lost children & it shakes their faith to the core. Your MIL has bad theology, plain and simple. God doesn't promise bad things won't happen. He promises to be with us in our pain. That is the best sense I've been able to make of it all thus far.<br><br>
I know when our friends & acquaintances have tried to make sense of our loss, they've said stupid things which ultimately are their way of trying to protect themselves from the potential for the same deep loss. Bad things can't just happen. Bad things can't happen to people for no reason. Bad things must be deserved in some way. When something truly bad happens for no apparent reason, it is earth shattering and people desperately try to distance themselves from it or control it in some way.<br><br>
I think Harry needs to tell his mom to stop. Point blank.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Oh man, my MIL is baptist, but I've gotten the same type of stuff from her. When she was leaving me with 6 daycare children at my home THREE DAYS after Fiona was born still (to go to a luncheon for support) when she had agreed to be my daycare backup for my maternity leave prior and I was crying she told me "You're not alone Lisa, you have Jesus!" .... I highly doubt he's gonna come on down to change diapers lady.<br><br>
And people have come out of the woodwork to ask us to go to church. To tell us it will help with the pain and grief.<br><br>
I certainly hope that Harry will go to bat for you, I'd be totally bats*it crazy so close to a rainbow baby's birth you don't need anything else adding to it!
 

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I really hate it when people project their own fears onto you...or don't understand something and therefore feel they need to blame or suggest.<br><br>
I have had a couple of miscarriages (two that I know of and one that I suspect but wasn't far enough along to register on a pregnancy test. I have to tell you tho, if that was just a normal period, it was the single most painful period I've ever had in my life.) I have one living child who is the joy of my life. Neither me nor my DH are Christian. The in-laws are Southern Baptist but have learned not to interfere (too much.) And I have already told my husband that if the inlaws suggest that my DD gets baptised as a preteen or teen, there will be a fight. Southern Baptists don't baptize babies..you have to reach the "age of reckoning". My daughter will be free to choose whatever religion she wishes...but preteens and teenagers are not old enough to be making that sort of decision! My point, tho...we aren't Christian, and I got pregnant before DH and I got married, and we didn't get married because I was pregnant. By your in-laws reasoning, DD should not be here.<br><br>
Anyway, I digress. I am sorry you are going through this, and I am sorry that people are not allowing you to grieve in the way that you need to. Grief is a very, very personal thing and you deserve more support than this.<br><br>
Love and light, my dear.<br>
Arlene
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I just had a mini breakdown - see, MIL calls MANY many many times a day about all sorts of things. Well I just couldn't answer the phone any more - I could NOT do it. I went outside to the garage where he was working and handed him the phone. Course, he thought there was someone on it and said "hello?" lol - but then I explained that I just did NOT want to answer it any more and I could NOT deal with the whole Christian thing on top of the "don't raise your arms over your head; don't walk; don't stand up; don't life ANYTHING (but at the same time, "why isn't your house clean? Don't you have a better system for X and Y?").<br><br>
I go and blub out in tears and say to him, "...look, I am NOT Christian, I never will be, and I just don't want to hear that we're not Christian enough to have a living baby. I like my self the way I am - I'm alright, just the way I am. You take the phone. I just don't want to answer it any more, okay?"<br><br>
*bawls* Xxx
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JayJay</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14750146"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I just had a mini breakdown - see, MIL calls MANY many many times a day about all sorts of things. Well I just couldn't answer the phone any more - I could NOT do it. I went outside to the garage where he was working and handed him the phone. Course, he thought there was someone on it and said "hello?" lol - but then I explained that I just did NOT want to answer it any more and I could NOT deal with the whole Christian thing on top of the "don't raise your arms over your head; don't walk; don't stand up; don't life ANYTHING (but at the same time, "why isn't your house clean? Don't you have a better system for X and Y?").<br><br>
I go and blub out in tears and say to him, "...look, I am NOT Christian, I never will be, and I just don't want to hear that we're not Christian enough to have a living baby. I like my self the way I am - I'm alright, just the way I am. You take the phone. I just don't want to answer it any more, okay?"<br><br>
*bawls* Xxx</div>
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Ugh. I've got one of those kinds of MIL's, too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I imagine pg hormones don't make it any easier to deal with. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
I hope your DH steps up and starts buffering it for you... you definitely don't need any more pressure. Insulate yourself as much as you can.
 

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JayJay, this is so interesting to me because even without religion, you are one of the more 'spiritual' people that I know. You have such a positive, loving (I hate to use the word again now) spirit. It's amazing to me that someone could think you are lacking in anything!<br><br>
But I do get it too. I'm Catholic and I love some parts of it but definitely don't practice the way my family would like... so I get a LOT of hints and advice that everything would just be better if I would go to church weekly, confession, blah blah blah, and I hate it.<br><br>
I hope there's some way around this woman as you get nearer to holding little Isobella in your arms. YOu definitely don't need this! (((hugs)))
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Jay <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
My in-laws are a different religion to my family, and it was really upsetting when they wanted our wedding to have more (than DH and I wanted) of their religion in it. I can't even imagine how upsetting it must be to hear your MIL say those things about your precious babies Josie and Isobella. You and Harry are Isobella's parents, not your MIL, and you're doing just what you need to do to make her as safe as possible. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>claireb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14748962"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I do NOT believe that God caused my husband to be in a life-threatening accident last July, nor do I believe that God "saved" his life. Because if I believe that, then I have to start to question why God doesn't intervene and save my babies, or any of our babies for that matter. I believe that God helped me cope with the horribly painful, agonizing experiences that life has handed me...and I'm still here. Still breathing.<br></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> I feel the same. I would actually be more livid than you are. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I would be handing the phone to my DH and telling him he can break the news kindly or not, but it needs to be broken and it's not my issue to deal with. I just don't get the nerve that some people have.<br>
I would most definitely be distancing myself from other at least until Isobella comes home...maybe even after that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> You certainly don't need or deserve extra stress. You are doing a wonderful job all on your own, with you OWN wonderful religion.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s mama!
 

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That's horrible! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> JayJay.<br><br>
I've had a few experiences like this as well, and I can't imagine them coming from a MIL. I mean, I can, MY MIL is like that too, but it just SHOULDN'T be that way. My own Grandma actually told me, "Maybe this is the Lord's way of telling you that you should stop having kids." Which is so very strange, seeing as she had seven children, and two miscarriages in between her 6th and 7th. I am Christian, we follow the faith to the bottom line, and I refuse to believe that the Lord would kill my child because He thinks I've had enough. It just doesn't work that way.<br><br>
I hate that it's this way, but I haven't spoken to my MIL since the day Lily was born. She said and did some absolutely horrible things and I refuse to converse with her. I just can't emotionally handle her anymore. It's really rough because I still want her to have a good relationship with my DH and my kids, but sheesh, woman!<br><br>
Anyway, I'm so sorry that people are adding unneccessary stress right now. Just tell them to take a hike and blame it on the hormones or something. And remember that all the mamas here are backing you up!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I'm married AND Catholic and my son still died. Everyone else responded to all of this much more beautifully than I ever could. I would suggest that your MIL speak to her priest about why your situation bothers her so much rather than shoving her notions onto you. I think what really bothers me is the idea that God would punish an innocent baby because of the perceived "sins" of the parents. If that's really what she thinks, who would want to join THAT church? Seriously! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 
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