This month, as Thanksgiving approached I had set a personal goal of cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” and to notice each day what I was thankful for, be it my husband or comfy pair of socks. The one thing that I am truly grateful for this year is to be pregnant again, no matter how challenging being expecting again after a loss might be. I’m so appreciative to be caring life inside me once more and the more I think about it, the more I realize there are things about pregnancy that I’m SO grateful to experience that I think I might have took for granted in my last pregnancy. So, today in celebrating the holiday of giving thanks, here are five reasons I’m thankful during pregnancy.
Ultrasounds and Dopplers: Our next ultrasound is next week! I’m so scared and anxious, but very grateful for the medical technology that helps me connect and create memories of my baby before he or she is even born. Ultrasounds and the Doppler allow me (and daddy too) to bond with the little one through all the stages of pregnancy, from hearing the heartbeat for the first time to seeing the little one grow from a bean into a tiny person inside me, all the while creating memories along the way. I also get PICTURES!!! I love pictures.
Movement: Oh, how I LOVE movement! But the little pokes, jabs, and rolls are complicated experience for me as I remember back to my last pregnancy and how I could always feel my daughter move every day, until one day, I didn’t anymore. Feeling this little bean’s movement is scary because for me it means that one day it might stop, but to stay sane I just focus on how every day this baby’s kicks get stronger and with each new kick I smile as I am SO grateful for the life these movements signify. I felt this baby move for the first time while sitting in a meeting at work. The bonk, bonk, from the inside brought tears to my eyes as I was over joyed and thankful to feel life inside my womb once again.
Being able to get pregnant: The ability to get pregnant has been fairly easy (so far) for my husband and I and I realize this isn’t always the case for some people. I’ve met many beautiful, deserving, and caring woman in the loss community who have tried for years to get pregnant and then when they finally get the “plus sign” only down the road, experience the loss of their precious child. My heartaches for those who struggle for years to get pregnant only to experience loss, so today I am grateful for being able to get pregnant.
A beautiful belly: A pregnant woman’s silhouette is so stunning. It’s a powerful site if you really think about it. Your body is making room for life, budding and expanding as needed to bring your precious baby into this world. This pregnancy, more than the last, I have learned to embrace my emergent belly as a sign that existence is taking form within me. There is so much beauty in this and where there is beauty I find gratitude for it.
A chance at parenting again: Even after the loss of a child you still parent your baby you are missing only now you must parent their memory. Wanting to parent a living child is not a desire to replace my daughter, as she is irreplaceable and I will always miss her and wonder who she might have been. However, with being pregnant again I hold hope for one day parenting a child that I can hold in my arms and not only in my heart. I’m grateful for that hope, and that chance.