As recently as 5 weeks ago I was considering boycotting the holidays. My world was dark, occasionally dimly lit by a cynical attitude towards life. This year has taught me that even when you think things couldn’t possibly get worse, oh yes they can…
But that’s not exactly comforting is it? So I’ve determined to come up with a list of things I am thankful for. Turns out, it was so much easier than I thought. In fact, the list is so very long I am sure I have forgotten at least 3 people! (Forgive me!)
When I count my blessings, I start with DH. You are my rock, my best friend, my partner in crime, my mischief-maker. This year has brought us closer than I could have thought possible and I am so thankful for that. I am so, so fucking lucky.
Ma, even though the subject of my miscarriage and infertility makes you uncomfortable, I know it’s only because you wish you could do more to help me. But I am thankful that we can bond over other things, like food, oil painting, music. And together we laugh and laugh, and that is a wonderful thing indeed.
Pa, this year has brought us even closer together. I appreciate your thoughts, your wisdom, your intuition so much. Above all, I am thankful that you are willing to listen, to try to understand, and that you get it.
Brudder, you are so sensitive to me, and anxious to know how I’m doing. Thank you for asking, when so many don’t.
Bubs, there is so much to say… most importantly, thank you for opening my heart to the possibility of donor eggs.
Steppy, we have become so much closer this year and for all sorts of reasons. Your eyes and ears, your wisdom, your encouraging messages and inspirational sayings have been a ray of sunshine on some dark days.
Nanny, I don’t know if there is an afterlife, but sometimes I think I can feel your presence. If it’s not your ghost, it’s the memory of you love, and that is amazing to me, that I can still feel it 22 years after your death.
My grandparents, D&R: you couldn’t have known just how generously and timely your gift would be. You couldn’t have known how inheritance would be earmarked. D, I am so grateful to you for having the foresight to provide for your grandchildren. I know you would be so happy to see how your gift will be used. R, I wonder if you knew, during those three days hovering between life and death, that your death would be so symbolic. I hope your death means you were choosing to make way for a new life. I hope you know that the timing of your death has meant DH and I have the funds to pay for building our family. Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it.
My parents-in-law, there is so much to say I’ve written you a card instead. I’ve been a difficult person to live with this year, but I couldn’t have asked for a better set of second parents than you two.
P-SIL, I needed to be angry with someone this year and you were my scapegoat. Since the birth of Little K, we have become closer. Thank you for not bearing a grudge and allowing things to fall back into place, but this time stronger than before. Thank you for remembering when we have appointments and checking in to see how we’re doing.
NP-SIL, thank you for understanding it was difficult for me to be around your sister when she was pregnant. Thank you for treating to me to a massage instead of expecting me to come to your farewell party. Thank you, thank you, thank you for remembering my undue date.
My Friends Who Are Family
Thank you, Boo, for your eternal wisdom and patience. I feel your love always. You are my sister, and I can’t wait for you to become an aunt hopefully around this time next year!!
Thank you, Momsicle, for your many uplifting text messages, blog comments, and the prayer shawl that is the best hug by mail anyone could think of. When I think of what parenthood can be like at its finest, you are my shining example.
Thank you, Sweetie. I know you don’t often read my blog, but on the off chance you’re reading this I want you to know you have made me laugh so much this year, and I’ve needed that.
D., that you read my blog when you barely have time to spend with your own family, has been so meaningful to me. I am so grateful to know you’ve been following our journey and wishing us well. You always know what to say — including having the foresight to let me know it was okay not to come to your kids’ birthday party. It feels good to be so understood. (And, by the way, respect for being man enough to take all the gory aspects of womanhood in your stride.)
My IRL Friends
K. it has meant so much that you periodically check in to see how I’m doing. It was particularly thoughtful of you to remember me on Mother’s Day — a kindness I won’t forget.
S., thank you for opening up about your own struggles and checking in on me.
M., your pregnancy is a win for us all. Thanks for holding on to your leftover meds to save us a few bucks! Mostly, thank you for your friendship. Our struggles have brought us closer and for that I am glad.
E., your grace, courage, and hope buoys me. It’s wonderful to be in the company of someone who gets it, with whom I can be belly laughing one minute, and weeping the next. Who’d have thought a true friendship could spring from a pregnancy loss support group? But it has, and I am so glad to have you in my life.
K., thank you for always checking in on me. I so enjoy our Words with Friends games and the little messages we share. It amazes me that we are still friends even 25 years later!
L., as I said to you on Skype recently, I may not know what your favourite colour is, but I feel like I know you so well. I am so grateful for your friendship, and can’t wait to hug you in a month’s time! And oh the fun you, your little one, and I (hopefully with a tiny one in tow) will have next summer! Your courage and determination is a joy to behold.
J., it was wonderful to meet up with you in London after all these years and share stories. Thank you for reading, but thank you even more for that wonderful walk, bacon sarnie in hand.
S., thank you for always checking in and sharing your own kind of grief too. I treasure your daughter’s fun beads. The clay dog sits above my bedside table and reminds me of her kindness and yours. I have yet to figure out what would be an appropriate gift for her, but I’m working on it :) (Ideas welcome!)
E., my first e-friend, the first person whose Facebook request I accepted — and with good reason. Your cuddles, your birthday card brought me comfort. Your ability to keep going through your own shitty year never fails to amaze me. Most of all, the delight you take in your little boy is just lovely to see because I know you treasure every moment and each milestone.
My Friends in the Computer
Valerie, were it not for you, I wouldn’t have found Jizo when I did. The concept of Jizo and the Mizuko Kuyo has been a tremendous source of courage for me this year. The work you do is so important and I will support you however I can. I hope one day we can sit and have tea together. Gassho, friend.
Ms. O, my first comrade, the first person I thought of to give my bonus Jizo to. Always a special place in my heart.
Celeste, so much to say and yet I think you know it already. One day we will meet and I am sure it will feel like we’ve known each other a long time. You are courageous and loving, funny and incisive, and you’ve really had my back this year. Your thoughts and feelings are real and beautiful, and your writing is perfection. I hope to one day see you published!
Sadie, my fellow globe-trotter, it was so great to meet you in London after our wonderful email exchanges. It’s also special to me to know that you were pregnant then, even though you may not have yet known it yourself. I think about you and your little pilgrim and am cheering you on from afar!
Jenni, how I have enjoyed our email exchanges this year. Thank you for accepting my feelings and giving me the space to express them. I’ll always think of you and your little ones when I fly over Ireland.
Jessica, you and your little one are proof that miracles happen. May he grow from strength to strength!
Annie, my “famous” Annie, whose words ring on the same frequency as my soul. This sad chapter of your life will have the happy ending it deserves, I know it. I will be thinking of you today and over Christmas. I know there are tough times ahead, but I also know you can get through them. I think 2014 is going to bring great things for you. Call me any time you need xo
Lisette, we’d barely exchanged a few tweets when you suggested we meet when I was in London. I am so glad we did! That afternoon was one of the funniest, most raw, most meaningful of the year. I hope next time we meet there will be little ones scampering around. I know there will be, may 2014 be our year.
Catwoman, my most faithful commenter. You are wise, aware, determined. When I think of a woman who juggles motherhood with having a career, hobbies, and a solid marriage, I think of you.
Denise, your expertise in genetics was so helpful in those early days to have someone who was able to help me parse complicated medical information.
Jessydoodah, your open-heartedness in the midst of your own agony has been inspiring. That you are able to cheer others on has been humbling. I am trying to learn from you.
Della, my IFBFF, I know I haven’t been equipped to support you these past 14 weeks, but I count your progress and cheer you on. Always tightly holding your hand, comrade.
Josey, I always look forward to your comments, but I think of you as my BBT charting guru!
To my fellow comrades with wonky chromosomes (you know who you are — if it’s okay to mention you by name / link to you, let me know), I am so glad we have connected. It’s been a strange road, but knowing I’m not walking it alone has been a tremendous source of comfort. Thank you for reaching out.
I am so very grateful to everyone on my Community page. I wish time allowed me to individually thank you all. But if we have ever exchanged a tweet or left a comment on each other’s blogs, I have read your words gratefully.
To the women who have travelled the DEIVF path before me… thank you for passing along your wisdom. You have given me the courage to proceed.
To anyone who has ever emailed me, thank you for trusting me with your stories. Together we have helped fill the void that miscarriage and infertility creates. May all our chapters have happy endings.
To my readers, thank you for reading my words and for keeping me company on my journey. Even if you have never commented or emailed me, it feels good to know that you care enough to read my story and/or that I am somehow able to help you on yours.
A Very Special Mention
Aunt Flo, thank you for finally making an appearance in time for Thanksgiving! I don’t know why you were three days late–perhaps you are the ending of a chemical pregnancy, perhaps you played nicely with the acupuncture–but I’m just glad you showed up. Because of you, we can begin our mock cycle tomorrow morning. Because of you, we can move ahead with retaining a lawyer. Because of you, we are one step closer to cycling with Nellie in January.
Last, But Definitely Not Least
Nellie… There are and will be so many things I want to say. I think of you out there in this world and you out a smile on my face and bring tears to my eyes. It sounds strange to say this, but I love you in a way I’ve never loved anyone before. I am so grateful to you for your willingness to try to help us expand our family. If we succeed, it will be a debt I can never repay, but I vow to somehow pay it forward for the rest of my life. I’ll begin by promising to be the best mother I can be. I hope we meet. I hope we like each other. I hope we can have a comfortable friendship, unusual though it might be. I trust we can figure everything out.
Whether or not you are celebrating Thanksgiving,
I hope you are able to easily count your blessings today.