Thankful for what I have not endured

problemsFor my Monday’s Many Thanksgivings series, I had planned for an upbeat post, getting things started over the weekend to write about one of my favorite topics. That will come in due time. It is with a heavy heart I write this today instead.

A month ago, someone close to me announced her pregnancy privately to me, wanting to keep it quiet until she reached the end of the first trimester. For the first time, I was greeted with an unexpected void. Normally, I have to push away my feelings of envy in order to get to a place of offering congratulations. This time there was no jealousy to contend with.

I have spent the last month trying to figure out why this pregnancy has not knocked me off my feet like usual. Maybe it is because I am securely a mother of two and am finally moving beyond my years of growing a family in to focusing on raising the family I have been blessed with. But, for reasons I cannot explain, I have been hyperaware of all of the hurdles that any pregnant woman must overcome before a healthy baby is brought home. Call it intuition, but I have been troubled by a sense that I should not get jealous because she has a long road of possible problems before a celebration would be occurring.

It has led to being haunted by a morbid gratitude of all of the things I did not have to endure. It is a bizarre feeling, one I am not sure I can fully put into words. It is certainly not born of a sense of being grateful that it was someone else instead of me that had to suffer. It is more like an acute awareness of the multitude of tragedies that occur in the pursuit of parenthood and thankfulness that our grief was limited compared to what others go through.

My conscious awareness of the tragedies of pregnancy came to fruition this morning. My dear friend had her 8 week ultrasound this morning only to find out that this pregnancy was not meant to result in a healthy, happy ending. She returns next week for confirmation ultrasound of no heartbeat and the doctor will make plans from there.

We went through a miscarriage, but we only knew I was pregnant for 36 hours before finding out that it would not last. I am grateful God spared me from an extended amount of time to bond and dream of a life not meant to last. She has had a month to visualize what their future was about to become, only to find out that her hopes are going to end in heartache.

If you would, keep her in your prayers as she and her husband work through their grief. And, pray for those of us who support them to have the right words and actions to guide them along the way. Thank you in advance!

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