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.
- 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.