May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

The first thing that came to mind on the topic of giving thanks is being thankful that I lived through the last year. Last year Thanksgiving was very different from this year. Just weeks before Thanksgiving last year we received Eli's Potter's Syndrome diagnosis. Though my mind rattled off one thing after another that I had to be thankful for my heart always quickly chimed in the one I would not be giving thanks for, the baby in my womb. Instead of giving thanks for a healthy baby and adding another member to our family I would be again preparing to give birth to, say goodbye to and bury another child. I cooked and baked but all of my dishes were missing the most important ingredient, love. My heart just wasn't in it. But I was determined to have "the show go on" for the sake of our three beautiful girls. I figured the disappointment of hearing that the baby brother or sister they had been so excitedly expecting would die was enough and that we needed to maintain some normalcy in the midst of our grief.

This year first and foremost, I am thankful that last year is behind me and that we all came through mostly intact. I am thankful for sunrises like this morning's.

I am thankful for my husband and our daughters who have distracted, frustrated, supported, loved and encouraged me over the last year as I fought many demons to bring our sweet Eli into this world and then as gracefully as possible send him to the one beyond and find a way to live afterwards. I am thankful to have again be blessed enough to have found a wonderfully supportive community of people who understand such profound loss and who are willing to share their words and love even in the midst of indescribable pain. I am thankful for the very brief but timeless moments in which our entire family gathered to celebrate our precious Eli and I am appreciative of the sacrifices that were made to make that happen.

This year I am also thankful for this

little turkey in my stomach. I am currently about 17 1/2 weeks and just a few weeks ago we saw a wonderfully normal amount of amniotic fluid, a baby that measured a week ahead and what appeared to be tiny kidneys, bladder and stomach. It has taken this long for me to accept that she is whole and that I am not reliving my worst nightmare for a third time. I am so thankful that I have been able to tell my daughters that we expect to bring a baby sister home to them at the end of April and to see all of the wonderful drawings and writings they have done because they are so excited. I am thankful that my husband just this week got to feel her move already since he was so excited and rarely ever got to feel little Eli move. I am thankful that this year I feel like cooking and I know that a little love will go into every bite of our food tomorrow, I missed it so last year.

I am thankful and hopeful and cautious but mostly thankful.


  1. It looks like she's waving at you. :-)

    Congratulations. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers.

  2. You've made my Thanksgiving! I am so happy for you!!!!!

  3. Wow! Congrats! Glad to hear she looks well.

  4. I am so excited for you!!! Praise God everything is okay!!! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

  5. Oh, wow... it does look like she's waving! I'm sending prayers for a continued healthy, happy pregnancy.

  6. SO SO SO SO happy for you. As I read through your posts, and noticed there was absolutely no talk of baby, I wondered if you were pregnant. I was the same way...didn't talk about it much. I'm so glad you have a healthy bean on the way!

  7. Mandy. I sit here completely filled with joy for you with tears in my eyes. I am so overjoyed with happiness for you and so eager for you to hold your beautiful baby in your arms. What a wonderful and joyous day that will be. I look forward to hearing about each day you share about your new love. With warm hugs, Valerie

  8. I too cannot wait to hold this baby in my arms and to be able to put her in her sisters' arms and finally feel as if my earthly family is complete. It cannot come too soon which we all understand :)



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