Happy two year blogaversary to me!

It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing in this blog for two years. I am often shocked at how freely I publish my deepest thoughts on growing our family. I had no idea when I started that the love and support of fellow bloggers would be so essential in helping us get through the darkest times our journey. I am keenly aware that we are one of the lucky ones who after much heartache are now gleefully awaiting the arrival of our child. While my blog has moved from sometimes bitterly trying to conceive to the ups and downs of pregnancy, I remember, just like it was yesterday, how devastating it was to experience negative cycle after negative cycle for nearly two years. I am pretty sure that with out this blog and all of you, this experience would have been far lonelier. Thanks to everyone for all your support over the last two years.

A. and I just returned home from a trip North for her aunt’s funeral. Her family lives about five hours from us. I am five months pregnant. I pee a lot. Let me be clearer, I pee very little, but very often. Our traveling has changed dramatically. We used to get in the car and go. Make one stop. Maybe. Now we stop every hour or two. Not only do I need to stop to use a rest room but also to move my body and keep the baby moving. On the way up I drove, and Moon lodged into me in the most uncomfortable way. Being a passenger on the way home seemed to help because I could move a lot, but we still stopped a lot.

Our time there was as good as it could be considering we went to attend a funeral. And I had a new experience. I was raised Catholic but haven’t really been practicing anything for most of my life. I’ve attended UU churches on and off but never joined any. A.’s father’s side of the family is Baptist. I’ve heard all sorts of things about being born again and saved and all that. But I really had not experienced a service. Until her aunt’s funeral. First, I must say the tribute in the shear number of people, more than 500, speaks to the many lives she touched. And the celebration of her life was quite nice, but there was this one part where the pastor, after paying tribute to her aunt, began down the road of offering his services to anyone who wanted to know more about accepting Jesus Christ into their heart. He let everyone know he’d be available at the reception to talk more to anyone who is ready to accept Jesus. I don’t remember the exact words but it went on for a bit too long and in my opinion, felt incredibly disrespectful to the family. This was a funeral after all. Sitting in the front row, I was trying to behave, but A. turned to me and whispered, seriously? I nodded in agreement. It certainly was an interesting and different experience for me.

Later on, after A. and I returned to our hotel and began talking about religion and spirituality. We were both still pretty blown away at the pastor’s remarks – me more than A. though because she was at one time ‘saved.’ I’ve always struggled with this concept of God. I always rejected my parent’s religion. My mother dragged me to church but I was never happy there and got nothing from it – other than a community, but I didn’t really understand that at the time.

My experience was such that I pushed all religion away. My father only went along with my mother because she wanted to raise us in the church. But as I got older it became apparent that he was not really into it and now I have come to understand that he does not believe in God. He points to certain unfortunate events in his life that he believes would not have happened if there was a God. So for him, the very things that deepen other’s faith have driven him further from faith.

I must admit, I am more closely aligned with my father’s beliefs than my mother’s. I don’t point to tragic events as a reason not to believe, but more of a how do people really believe this stuff. On an intellectual level it does not make sense to me. I think I’ve always wanted to believe in a “higher power” and I am pretty sure that from time to time I’ve even said that I do. But at this point I’ve come to realize I don’t believe in God and I don’t feel spiritual. When I try to understand what people get from their beliefs I really am confused. And please excuse my brutal honesty here, but I think I’ve always kind of felt like believing in God is a display of weakness. Maybe that’s the point. You are surrendering yourself to faith. I am glad to have figured out that I really don’t believe in all this stuff. I think it took all this time removed from the Catholic church for me to really let go of all the baggage and realize I don’t have to believe in anything. And yet, I am still very open to A.’s wishes that we raise our child in the UU tradition. It’s the most open and challenging house of worship I’ve been to. And if nothing else, I think our kids would grow up knowledgeable about world religions, and maybe find some faith along the way. And who knows, maybe I will too, but for now, that fact that I don’t have to believe and that I don’t think I do, is settling in and I am enjoying the clarity.