Infertility, Personal

What I’m Thankful For

November 17, 2010

I decided to write about what I’m thankful for, as it’s this month’s topic for Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope‘s monthly writing challenge.  Specifically they ask,

It’s easy to focus on all the negative things that come from losing a baby, but have you discovered any ‘blessings in disguise’ throughout your journey? What can you find to be thankful for related to your loss?

I don’t know if I would call them blessings in disguise, but here are some things I have learned because of this journey:

  • Perspective – Luckily, I have been able to maintain some amount of perspective about our situation.  Sometimes I am completely wrapped up in my own ordeal and start to lose perspective.  But, then I hear about something awful that’s going on in the world, or that’s happened to a particular family and my feet become firmly planted back in reality once again.   Because, while dealing with infertility and miscarriage is hard, there are lots of things that could be worse and are worse for many people.  What about the parents to be who have a stillborn?  It’s so heartbreaking.  What about people who lose a loved one, from an accident or illness?  I can’t even imagine their grief.   What about the person who’s just been diagnosed with cancer?  So, who am I to complain?  I really have it pretty good.  I’m thankful for that.  I’m thankful that God reminds me that the world doesn’t revolve around me when I become entrenched in my own sorrow.
  • Ability to sympathize – I feel like I am better able to sympathize with others going through their own struggles that I know nothing about.   Whether it’s addiction, weight loss, grief, etc.  I have learned that infertility is something that people don’t know very much about.  So, it’s hard for them to understand.   This has magically opened my eyes to the fact that there’s tons of other things out there that I know nothing about and that I need to be more open and understanding, especially when I do not have firsthand knowledge of the particular situation.   It’s also a pet peeve of mine for people to say, “I know exactly what you’re going through.” if they truly haven’t been exactly through whatever it is.  I am much more careful of saying hurtful things like this.

What I’m thankful for:

  • My husband – I am extraordinarily lucky to have such a wonderful, loving, smart, funny and handsome partner in life.  He would do anything for me.  I love him so much and I thank my lucky stars every day for him.
  • My family – Erick and I both have an amazing, supportive family that loves us dearly.  And, we love them back.  People say you can’t choose your family, but I choose them.
  • My dogs – I am an animal person and especially a dog lover.  We’ve had Mollie since we were married.  She’s always been a part of our family and I can’t imagine it any other way.  And, now we are lucky to have Kali, too!  I love my dogs so much and they love me fiercely and unconditionally.  And since we don’t and so far can’t have children, they truly are my babies.  When people ask if we have children, I always reply, “We have two beautiful dogs.”  Mollie and Kali bring joy into our lives on a daily basis.
  • My friends – I have many great friends and consider some of them family.  I’m very thankful for their presence in my life.  I also have many new friends because of infertility and/or miscarriage.  And, I have made deeper connections with existing friends because of the shared bond of this ordeal.
  • My job – I’m thankful to have a stable job I enjoy and that’s close to home.

Because of all of this, my life is richly blessed.  I am more fortunate than many others.  I realize this.  I am thankful for it.  While we desperately want children, we’ve already got a good life.  I should count my blessings and be happy.  I will do that, but for now I will keep trying, too.

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  • Wonderful things to be thankful for indeed! I agree perspective is such a huge part of coping with loss & infertility. So glad you have such an awesome support system too!

  • Whitney Anderson

    Rebecca, unfortunately you’re one of those people that’s helped to give me perspective, too. I’m so sorry about your Lily.

  • AFM

    Hi i’m here from icomleavwe, We all need to be thankful the good things in our lives. and mabey one day our hearts desires will be fulfilled.
    Take care

  • It is definitely a good idea to write down the things that do make us happy and that we are thankful for when we spend so much of our time dwelling on the things that we do not have… like a baby. This is my first visit. I look forward to following along!

    Happy ICLW!

  • This is such a wonderful post! I just featured your blog! Happy ICLW! And happy Thanksgiving!

  • Pingback: Lovin’ Whitney, Lisa, and nh! – Stress Free Infertility()

  • I think very often we all forget just how blessed we are in this life: Great post!

    Happy ICLW

  • Here from ICLW 🙂 Awesome post! I practice seeing “blessing in disguises” everyday. It’s part of what keeps me grateful and happy. Doing it for every day stuff like getting stuck in traffic, or some other mundane thing, makes it easier when I hit a rough path. Best wishes to you and your loved ones.

  • I’m with you on the sympathising thing – I think its made me more understanding (well, apart from with people who whinge about pregnancy!).

    Happy ICLW!

  • Annissa

    I have had 14 miscarriages over the past 15 years….it isn’t easy…but all you can do is pick yourself up…..it has made me extremely thankful for the kids I have had between all the loss and grief ….Hugs on your loss…..
    ICLW