Sunday, August 3, 2008

On Rosh Hashanah it is Written, and on Yom Kippur it is Sealed...

This isn't easy to think about, or write about. I had two miscarriages last year; one was right before my birthday and the other was on Yom Kippur. It's been a very difficult time for my husband and I, but I think we're finally getting to a good place. The second one, on Yom Kippur, was especially difficult to cope with. It was the night of Kol Nidre, and for whatever reason (or lack thereof) I chose to stay at temple rather than go to the hospital. I figured it would just take some time to pass, and I wasn't in any pain. Just uncomfortable. And going to the bathroom every 20 minutes. But the U'netanneh Tokef (a prayer-poem recited during the Yom Kippur service) still haunts me. I've posted the version I found online that's closest to what my congregation reads from the Gates of Repentance.

On Rosh Hashanah it is written,

And on Yom Kippur it is sealed.

How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,

Who shall live and who shall die,

Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not,

Who shall perish by water and who by fire,

Who by sword and who by wild beast,

Who by famine and who by thirst,

Who by earthquake and who by plague,

Who by strangulation and who by stoning,

Who shall have rest and who shall wander,

Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,

Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,

Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low,

Who shall become rich and who shall be impoverished.

But repentance, prayer and charity temper judgement's severe decree.

I felt so torn and broken afterwards, not as much for the baby that would never be, but because I felt I was being punished for something. I still can't shake that feeling. I've tried to take stock of my choices this year to see if I've done something wrong, or wronged someone. I've tried to be conscious of how I treat others. And I know (intellectually at least) that 1/4 of all pregnancies end in miscarriage in my age group, and the percent rises as I get older, but that doesn't mean I don't feel like I'm a horrible person. I want so badly to be a mother, but I'm so scared to try again. I don't know if I can handle losing another pregnancy. And as Yom Kippur draws closer, I feel desperate to solve the puzzle of what I did wrong so that I can go on. Maybe I need a therapist more than I need a blog, but this is what I have for now.