Tag Archive | gratitude

Three Weeks, Revisited

** You can read my first ever blog post, the sad version of this one, the one that inspired this post’s title, here. And please be warned…today’s post will be full of baby photos.**

Do you know what can happen in the span of three weeks? Let me tell you…

In three weeks’ time, you can wrap up all the baby preparations that you have spent nearly nine months toiling away at. Review the maternity photos you had taken and marvel at how beautiful they are. Watch the rise and fall of your blood pressure as though it is an Olympic sport that you have bet your life savings upon.  You can endure non-stress tests and blood tests and ultrasounds. You can worry about hypertension and preeclampsia and big babies and breech babies. You can relax during a prenatal massage and stock  your freezer with waffles and casseroles and homemade bread that one day you will hopefully enjoy while holding your newborn in your arms. You can celebrate making it to full term and yet know that even that milestone is no guarantee. Your baby could still leave at any time, with no warning. It only takes a second for a dream to end. You learned that a long time ago, but this time, in this three weeks, you have reason to hope for a different ending.

"For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him." -- 1 Samuel 1:27

“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him.” — 1 Samuel 1:27

My girls

My two beautiful girls, each a miracle in their own right


In the span of three weeks, you can hope that any day now will be The Day. The day your water breaks. The day labor starts. The day your baby comes. You can start doing nipple massage and acupressure and drinking red raspberry leaf tea three times each day to get things going. You can hope each Braxton Hicks is the start of the real thing. You can see your doctor twice a week and suffer through more non-stress tests and feel the sting of disappointment each time you are told your cervix is not making much progress. You can worry your baby is not moving enough and have a panic attack one morning when she doesn’t move at all. You can see your baby on ultrasound multiple times and be told she is getting very big and that she’s head-down each time…until one time, four days after your due date, she is not. She is breech. And you can panic and you can cry and then you prepare for a c-section. And four hours before they cut you open, you can discover your baby has flipped once again and prepare for an induction instead. And then, finally, after hours of intense labor, after a call for an epidural that comes too late, you can push your baby into this world, hear her first cry, and hold her against you. You can feel her flesh and warmth, know she is finally real, and say these words over and over: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, God. Thank you. It is the only prayer you can — or will — say for days and days. And you can weep just at the sight of your baby, so thankful are you for her existence and her health and her perfection.

Daddy's little girl

one of Daddy’s little girls

I had lots of fun playing with my fancy camera for these shots!

I had lots of fun playing with my fancy camera for these shots!


In just three short weeks, your child can be born in the middle of the night before the doctor arrives and into the hands of your nurses and you can once again be reminded that there is such a thing as love at first sight. Your husband can cry on your shoulder and you can sob in relief and gratitude. You can introduce your baby to her big sister who keeps saying, “Baby come out of mommy’s tummy!” and then introduce her to friends, her grandparents, your sister, and the world. You can leave the hospital in your new minivan and sit in the backseat so you can watch your baby breathing. You can spend the first two nights at home holding your child because she won’t sleep in the bassinet. You can watch your older daughter blossom as a big sister, exhibiting gentleness, understanding, and tenderness that you never knew she had. You can have your newborn baptized and take her to the park and the mall and Halloween celebrations and out to eat just so everyone can see how beautiful she is. You can get weepy at the thought of SIDS and still be so thankful for all the time she spends sleeping. You can take over a thousand photos in those three little weeks and, every day, you can just feel the total power and weight of your blessing. And you can promise her, over and over, that you will love her and protect her forevermore.

Dressed for her baptism on 10/20/13.

Dressed for her baptism on 10/20/13.

Call me creepy...but I love to watch her sleep. :)

Call me creepy…but I love to watch her sleep. 🙂

It was on this day, three weeks ago, that one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received was placed into my arms. Even though my husband’s new job is turning out not to be all that we hoped for, it’s possible that these have still been the best three weeks of my life. In some ways, it is hard to fathom that it’s only been three measly weeks because it feels as if Skittle has been making her way to us for much longer. That she has been a part of this family, a part of my life, since the beginning of time. And in other ways…it still feels unreal. It is so hard to believe when I wake up in the middle of the night that I need not pause to wait for a kick within my womb. That I only must roll over and reach into the bassinet to know my baby is breathing, that she is alive and well.

Every day, even on the ones when I am so sleep deprived that I can’t form a coherent sentence and I call my baby by the wrong name, I am just so thankful for what I have. Two daughters. I am humbled by it. I don’t know why I get to have them and so many other deserving women don’t. I think of you who are in the trenches every day. And I will never take for granted the miracles that my babies truly are.

And one last photo, just because today is Halloween…

Wishing you all a safe and sweet Halloween!

Wishing you all a safe and sweet Halloween!

100 & 6 Months

Well, I have my all-important RE appointment to tell all of you lovely ladies about, but that will wait for another day. Because today, I am writing my 100th post. And in just one week, on November 9, it will mark 6 months since the birth of this blog. Wow! I am amazed and humbled by that.

When I began this blog on May 9, just three weeks after my miscarriage, I did not know where it would take me. But I can tell you this: never did I think I would have enough to say that there would be, just six months later, one-hundred posts typed out and published for all of you to read. Never did I think I would have sixty WordPress followers (and how many on Blogspot?) who were actually interested in what I have to say. Never did I think that I would meet and make friends whom I truly care for, whom I pray for and hope for just as much as I do for myself. Never did I think this blog would be my saving grace over the course of the hardest six months of my life.

And certainly, never did I think that, a long six months later, I would still essentially be in the same place that I was on the day this blog was born.

Nope, never imagined that.

Life is full of (ugly) surprises, isn’t it?

One of my cousins, whom I will call Lily, has struggled with infertility herself. Over the course of ten years, she endured countless procedures and treatments, including two rounds of IVF. Everything failed and all she ever got from any of them was a BFN. She gave up trying, and she and her husband decided to live child-free. Do you know where this story is going? Well, a year or more down the road, she got the greatest of all surprises: a positive pregnancy test. Yes, she is one of those classic, annoying, miraculous cases of “Just relax and it will happen.” Her beautiful daughter was born just three weeks after mine and will turn two this December. And yet, I know Lily wants more and I know she lacks any great hope that it will ever happen again. Ten years of trying to get this one? Another ten years will give her nothing but the onset of menopause.

After my miscarriage, I posted a couple quotes about strength on Facebook and, somehow, Lily understood my cryptic message and sent me an e-mail to lend her support. She told me that, while she faces holidays and reunions with her three siblings and their brood of children (they have two, three, and four kiddos respectively), she is having to learn to be thankful for her one. “Being grateful for what I already have is the hardest thing I do,” she told me.

And she’s right. It is hard to be grateful for what you’ve got when there’s more that you want. You may live a charmed life, but if something is missing, nothing feels quite right. And yet…maybe it’s all about perspective. Maybe being thankful is the best thing we can each do for ourselves. And so with that in mind, and in honor of my cousin and all she’s taught me, and to celebrate this great 100-post milestone, I present to you a list of 100 things for which I am grateful:


1. My daughter, our Cupcake, my miracle

2. My Honey, who is also my best friend, and who is willing to go out to buy me a milkshake at 10:00 at night

3. Our small home and big, fenced yard

4. My husband’s job

5. More food in the cupboards and fridge than we can possibly eat

6. A (mostly) good car

7. Our little dog, Junebug, who has been with us from the beginning

8. My good health (excluding the pesky thing we call “infertility”)

9. The tiny little babe, our Teddy Graham, whom we loved and lost

10. God and my faith, one of the few things that enables me to go on


11. My mom and my fantastic relationship with her

12. My sister, who I never thought I’d know

13. My niece/nephew-to-be, who is hard to welcome but loved anyways

14. My cousin Jae, who is expecting her first child

15. My cousin Lily, who may never have more than one and who is, sadly, one of “us”

16. My new friend Lillian, who knows the pain of RPL and has held my hand through all of this

17. My new friend Leigh, who has given tremendous support even though she understands nothing of what I’m going through

18. My old friend Kat, who is another member of this club

19. My lifelong friend Linn, who forgave me for never asking her to join our wedding party

20. My mommy group, which has made me feel less lonely in a new hometown where I know no one

21. All other friends and family not mentioned here, for they have each changed me and made me in one way or another


22. A beautiful wedding that was almost everything I wanted it to be

23. Graduating from high school and college with good grades and good friends

24. A nearly perfect birthing experience that gave me a healthy baby girl


25. Being born into a First World country, where we have the gift of pooping in a place separate from where we bathe

26. The liberties we have here, like the right to vote, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion

27. Easy access to vaccines

28. Clean water

29. The World Wildlife Fund, who is working to protect and save so many endangered species


30. No debt, other than a mortgage

31. A decent income that allows me to stay home with our daughter

32. Growing up comfortably in a middle-class family

33. My husband’s quarterly bonuses that are AWESOME

34. All the little “extras” that my mom gives to us, even when I tell her not to

35. The savings account my mom has started for her granddaughter


36. All the times I have traveled to London, the place that feels like home to me

37. Our extraordinary Australian honeymoon

38. The many times that my parents took me to Walt Disney World

39. Our trip to New York City during the 10th anniversary of 9/11

40. Our unforgettable Alaskan cruise

41. Time spent with my late grandparents in Mexico, more than once

42. Spending my 8th birthday on a plane returning from Hawaii

43. Cross-country road trip from Florida to California, then up to Idaho

44. The memorable road trips in my grandparent’s motor home during my childhood

45. My class trip to Washington D.C.

46. Traveling around Europe with my mom for an entire month

47. All the other getaways I have taken, which are too numbered to mention here


48. Holidays spent at the home of my maternal grandparents, where the house was full of family, noise, laughter, games, and food

49. A menagerie of kitty cats and puppy dogs, which surely cemented my love for animals

50. Going to the zoo every Memorial Day

51. A neighborhood full of kids to play with

52. Lots of friends, of both genders, and one best friend who was my sidekick and has remained so ever since

53. The big, impressive birthdays my parents used to throw for me


54. Chocolate of every kind in every form

55. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

56. Crispy French fries (because mushy = gross)

57. Pizza and the crusts that my husband doesn’t eat so that I can

58. Leftover Halloween candy

59. Cherry Coke Zero

60. The gingerbread cookie milkshake I am about to enjoy

61. Panera Bread and Starbucks, my favorite chains

62. Every other good, tasty thing in the whole world


63. A storage shed filled to the top with boxes of holiday decorations

64. My sparkly ballet flats that I bought while in NYC

65. My collection of Harry Potter books…and every other book on my bookshelves

66. Favorite TV shows like Friends, Brothers & Sisters, Parenthood, and Downton Abbey

67. Favorite movies like Titanic, Notting Hill, He’s Just Not That Into You, P.S. I Love You, and The Breakup

68. My wedding ring, which isn’t large but is perfect for me and my finger

69. All of my pretty lace tops hanging in my closet (because I do so, so love lace)

70. The new brown suede coat I bought for our recent trip to London

71. All the pretty jewelry neatly arranged in my armoire

72. My cameras, both the point-and-shoot and the fancy SLR

73. My breasts, about the only thing I like on my body

74. That my acne has cleared up over the last couple years

75. Dimples, on whoever has them

76. Handsome men to look at, like Gerard Butler and Robert Pattison

77. The Today show, which almost feels like family


78. That I have the willpower not to enjoy all the good things listed in the “Food” section above for every meal of every day

79. Our new hometown, which doesn’t feel quite like home yet but is still a perfect fit nonetheless

80. Scrapbooking, which keeps my mind busy when nothing else will

81. My talent for fiction writing, one of the few things I feel I’m really good at

82. Every critter on this good earth, big or small (even spiders — eek!), all of whom I think make this planet one worth protecting and saving

83. Being able to love and trust, even though I have been deeply hurt and betrayed in many ways before

84. Having the determination to get up each morning to work out on the treadmill

85. Having enough room in our house to own a treadmill, so that I don’t have to purchase a gym membership

86. The maternity photos I had taken when 8 months pregnant

87. The thousands of photos I took and had taken when Cupcake was a tiny baby because it was gone so fast

88. Getting my act together when I was 19 to lose 50 pounds…and never gaining it back

89. My husband’s hair (He made me write that.)

90. The internet and all the useless information it can provide

91. The two years that I studied nursing and my degree in English

92. Attending my freshman year of college at USF in Tampa

93. That I had the guts to walk away from a bad job six years ago, when it was doing nothing for my life


94. That I’m still ovulating while on Clomid

95. No Clomid side effects…at all

96. Finally having the courage to go see an RE

97. Living in a town where I actually have access to a fertility clinic

98. Finding an RE who I think is right for me

99. The strength, compassion, faith, and gratitude (for my daughter and all the other blessings that I do have in my life) that only infertility could have given me

100. And most importantly, you…every one of you…for you have saved me and supported me during my darkest days. I love you all very much. Thank you for walking beside me on this long and hard road.