10 Things: Thankful

| November 07, 2014

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I took this photo at Sunset Cliffs in the middle of May, during the week my husband and I hoped we might finally be pregnant.

Over the past six years, there were many days when we’d hold our breath and gingerly let our hearts hope, “Maybe it happened this time,” only to know a few days later that it didn’t. Slowly, I began to believe my body was broken. Dark thoughts followed, then tears. Sometimes, I was anchored in bed by the sadness of not experiencing what many other women were clearly equipped to go through.

Then, nine days after this photo, my doctor’s office called to tell me the best news of my life. Since then, I’ve savored every day, making sure not to take any moment for granted. A part of me still guards against the worst. But most of me is full of a quiet, sublime joy, one that’s made it easier to be grateful for many things in my life right now.

1. My pear shape. Are you kidding? I love my current figure, especially my profile, and the inner kicks, punches, elbows, jolts, writhes, and wiggles that come with it.

2. My husband. He has graciously made room in our bed for my four pillows. He tolerates (and monitors) my newfound snoring. He remembers to fill and pack a water bottle for me when we’ve got a long day of errands ahead of us. He’s attentive and patient without asking. I’m too lucky.

3. My family and friends. Their excitement for us runneth over.

4. Kind strangers. From one cashier at Michael’s who was concerned at the prospect of me carrying two light but bulky bushels of hay–part of our fall decor for our patio–to my car, to the owner of a Hillcrest boutique recognizing me and congratulating me on my wonderful new condition.

5. Advances in reproductive science. We wouldn’t have been able to conceive without them. We wouldn’t be 99% sure that our baby isn’t suffering from certain chromosomal aneuploidies or spinal bifida without the blood tests I’ve taken. We wouldn’t be positive that I don’t have gestational diabetes. Science may not have been able to explain why my husband and I couldn’t conceive on our own, but it’s been really helpful lately.

6. Hand-me-downs. Thanks to generous cousins who’ve saved their sons’ baby things, we’ve already got a bassinet, plenty of onesies in the 0-6 month sizes, a Boppy nursing pillow, and a baby swing.

7. My pregnancy discomforts. Slightly swollen ankles when I’ve been standing too long. The constant tingling of the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger of my right hand. Occasional upper back pain. Hip pain throughout the night. Forehead acne! They all mean that I’m still pregnant and that my pregnancy is healthy, so I don’t mind that I’m experiencing them.

8. Hapa Yoga. Classes like Prenatal Yoga and Yoga Basics have helped me realign, strengthen, stretch, and relax. I also appreciate how family-oriented the studio is and look forward to the time when I can take Mommy & Me Yoga, a class in which mamas can practice yoga with their newborns!

9. Our home. It’s no McMansion, but with four rooms, we have plenty of space. We live on a quiet street that’s beginning to bloom with more young families. And there’s a clean, safe park two blocks away for walks with my husband and eventual outings with my baby boy.

10. My appetite. I’ve heard that there are some women who never shake the forever hangover feeling that is pregnancy nausea. So, I’m especially happy that mine went away after my 12th week. I love to eat.

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