Saturday, January 9, 2010

Grateful.

Before you read this post please understand it's going to be different from the others.  It's a little "deeper" and, well, I guess you could say more serious than previous posts.

I was very naive when I got pregnant with Gavin.  He was not a planned baby.. Steven and I were engaged and planning a lovely wedding and were completely shocked when there were 2 lines on that stick instead on 1.  I say I was naive because I didn't understand what so many women go through to become pregnant.  I didn't understand how many women suffer loss after loss after loss.  I didn't understand how many families spend thousands of dollars on fertility treatments to hopefully conceive a child, never knowing for sure if the treatments will actually work.  I didn't understand how many families decide to proceed with adoption as a way to build their family and the magnitude of that process.  These things never crossed my mind during my pregnancy with Gavin, and therefore I don't think I embraced or appreciated that pregnancy as much as I should have.  Don't get me wrong, after the brief, "oh crap, this was not the plan, oh crap, what do we tell our families, oh crap, I'm going to be a mom, oh crap, oh crap oh crap" Steven and I were extremely excited but looking back I was not nearly as grateful or as thankful as I should have been.

When Steven and I were trying for baby #2 I was becoming discouraged because I thought it was taking forever and I was scared it was never going to happen.  [looking back, it only took 10 months for us to become pregnant, which is really not a long time at all] I decided to reach out on-line for support so I joined a discussion board on babycenter.com.  I stumbled across a woman's profile with a link to her blog so I decided to sneak a peak (yes, I am nosey!)  This blogged changed me.. it was about a young couple who's son was born still at 22 weeks.  After a very healthy and normal pregnancy their son had no heartbeat at their 22 week ultrasound.  This blog took me on a journey to many other blogs that detailed the lives of families who had lost their babies, either while still in the womb or shortly after delivery.  These and other blogs also detailed some of the couples journeys to get pregnant.. several months of  lab work, injections, egg retrievals, IUI procedures, IVF procedures, such difficult procedures with no guaranteed end result.  It may sound strange that I wanted, almost needed, to read about these families and their tragedies but they were so very inspiring to me.  The strength, faith and love these families shared through their blogs were so powerful (and yes, these were complete strangers to me). 

In April when I became pregnant with Gummy Bear I couldn't help but feel scared because I was so much more aware of miscarriages and stillbirths - I would never be able to handle the loss of this baby as gracefully as some of these other families have - but I also felt incredibly thankful and blessed and lucky.  This feeling was so different than anything I felt when I became pregnant with Gavin.  As I said before, I was naive back then, but now it's safe to say that 3 years, a new job in the field of adoption and a brave families and their blogs can certainly change a person.

When Gabrielle cries and wants a bottle at 3 a.m. and I really struggle to get out of bed I think of the thousands of families that would love to stumble out of bed and reach for their infant to feed them.  When I have to clean up Gavin's yucky vomit on the kitchen floor I again think of these families who would love to have a son's vomit to clean.

Every single time I look at Gabrielle and Gavin I simply say, thank You.  Thank You that we were able to conceive without any interventions, thank You that both pregnancies were without any major complications, thank You that both children were born healthy, thank You that both children have continued on that healthy path, simply, thank You.  I wonder sometimes why we are the lucky ones, blessed with 2 healthy children, a boy and a girl.. what some call "the million dollar family."  I try not to question His plan but when some wonderful families are faced with such terrible losses and others are so abundantly blessed I sometimes get confused.

I guess to sum things up, I feel like the luckiest momma to have these 2 amazing, loving, beautiful children and I am so grateful to those brave families who share their stories of loss and grief and hope, you all have inspired me and changed me in many many ways and I am a much better mother because of it.

 
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!"

2 comments:

Lindsay said...

I understand exactly what you're saying. We got pregnant with Grace on our honeymoon and I didn't savor it as much as I could have. A blog that I've read recently that has forever changed me is Emily (Carrick) Felix - I'm not sure if you know her or know her story but in case you don't, she was due right around the same time you were with Gabrielle and when she was 36-38 weeks they discovered her baby had no heart beat. I read her blog and looked at her pictures and my heart just broke. I don't know how she is still walking around and just 'living'.

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