Monday, November 21, 2011

A Real Thanksgiving

Two years ago this week, I found out I was pregnant.  I woke up for work, like always, peed on a little stick and my life would be changed forever.   I was in shock.  I was elated.  I was nervous and overwhelmed.  I was happy and excited.  Above all else, I was thankful.  We had been trying to get pregnant for nine months and it felt like forever.  I'd started to feel like I was broken, defective.  Each month had brought hope and then, ultimately, a glum acceptance.  Each month felt like the passing of another birthday.  But on the day before Thanksgiving, 2009, I found out I was going to be a mom.  My prayers were answered.

 That baby was not meant to be.

We found out shortly before Christmas that it probably wasn't a good pregnancy, but I tried to focus all of my positive energy and all the love that was ever given to me on the tiny little being in my belly.  Dave put his hand on my stomach every night and whispered to our baby, willing it to be ok.  It wasn't.  I miscarried shortly after the new year.  I had plenty of support from family and friends, from people who had experienced it and from people who couldn't imagine it.  It helped and it didn't.   I cried until my body felt empty of liquid.  I curled into a ball and was lost.  I felt ruined and hollow.  I felt punished (though for what, I'm not sure).  I felt so many things, all of them painful.   I didn't think I would ever be able to get over it.  I had been given a glimpse of an amazing little miracle, and then it was abruptly taken away from me.  Now, two years later, I understand a little bit more that everything has its place and its purpose in the Universe.  Losing that baby was not a punishment, or even a tragedy.  I could say that it was a blessing, although truthfully that feels like a stretch.  The memory of it still stings, but I am finally able to accept it as something that was meant to be.  In an indirect way, losing that baby brought Benjamin into my life.  His big gummy smile and sparkling eyes bring so much happiness to me that my heart almost can't contain it.  He is everything I've ever dreamed of, packed neatly into a squirmy little body.

I know in my heart that if Benjamin weren't here, I would have something else to be grateful and thankful for.  That's what the Universe does.  She provides.  And I have been provided to, over and over.  I have been given a family of wonderfully crazy people who have always supported me.  I have been given hilarious and truly trustworthy friends.  I have been given a great husband who loves me to my bones, and who also has a family of wonderfully crazy people that I love like my own.  I have a house, a job, good health.  I have enough.  
I would love to think that I will always be this at peace with things.  Life is difficult sometimes, and it's often hard to find the good in the bad, the purpose in the challenging, the joy in the sorrow.  I know there are hard times in store, as there are for everyone, but it does help me to try to look at life big-picture style.  As long as I am able to open my eyes and realize that there are bouquets of blessings all around me, I will be just fine.  This Thanksgiving, sometime between stuffing and pie, I will take a moment and offer up a silent high-five to the Universe.  She's done good.  This Thanksgiving I am acutely aware of how lucky I am, to be here in this place at this time.  I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and in my whole life I have never been more thankful.