Early in my pregnancy with Eli (honestly probably before I even got pregnant) I remember praying, chanting almost, for a healthy baby. It was my one and only request. I have always prayed for a healthy baby but it felt especially important with Eli. He would be my fifth and what I believed to be my last c-section. Also, to be honest, he was to be my last child. I felt it in my heart and my body. Five pregnancies was enough for me. Five pregnancies in nine years of marriage, five c-sections. I was ready to be done. I was so sure of it. And then I became very sure of something else. Before I ever laid eyes on the ultrasound screen, before I saw that awful grayness where there should be beautiful black amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, before my doctor had to deliver those words to me for the second time. I knew something was wrong. I just never imagined how wrong it would be. I believed that Potter's could not happen to us again, that it was what it had been called, a fluke. But it wasn't.
So now I struggle. I prayed so very hard for just a healthy baby with Eli, just healthy. What should I pray for now? To have a baby with kidneys? Do I need to be that specific in my request? Or is it just a waste of time, effort and emotion? Clearly prayers cannot save my children. Been there, done that, didn't work. Prayer didn't save Wyatt and it didn't save Eli and I had people of all denominations and locations praying for those sweet little babies. I've learned to adjust prayers. When Eli's Potter's was diagnosed I just began praying for him to grow and be born alive. He did, but was that because I prayed? I don't know. I'm really lost here. Prayer has never felt more useless to me. Probably because the things I usually pray for are spiritual and emotional in nature and cannot be measured or quantified so I never know if they are answered. This was a huge letdown. I still go to church. I still believe. I still pray. But it still bothers me.
To pray or not to pray?