In retrospect, comparatively speaking (or perhaps not at all), are you at all, remotely, even a teeny bit thankful for anything that happened surrounding the death of your baby/-ies? And believe me, it's fine if you say "No. Not a fucking thing. Are you crazy?"
This is a subject I've been thinking about lately.
I AM thankful but I just haven't been able to say it.
The words are stuck in my throat like a big piece of soggy half-chewed bread and I just can not choke them out. I tried once or twice to no avail...ripping up multiple thank you cards...deleting more than one thank you email...nearly hyperventilating at the thought of saying thank you in person.
I can't get over the tail end of the thank you...Thank you for (insert kindness here) after my baby died.
I can't help but feel like I shouldn't HAVE TO be thankful and therefore I resent that I AM thankful. Everytime I think about being thankful to anyone, I can't help but finish it with, "But I hate it...every bit of it." It doesn't make sense outside of my head, I'm sure.
Lately, though, it has felt like now is the time to let the qualifiers go and just be thankful. So let's see what I can do here...
I am thankful for my husband for a million different reasons.
I am thankful that my pregnancies with both boys were easy (some might say perfect). I am thankful for the time I got to know and share space with them.
I am thankful for the nurses who talked with us and not AT us. They made us feel normal when this big horrible abnormal thing was happening to us. I am thankful they took the time to anticipate that we would want footprints and photographs.
I am thankful that giving birth to Alex and Travis did not require surgery. It was hard enough leaving the hospital without my babies. I do not think I could have survived if I had to recover from a c-section as well.
I am thankful for the doctor who delivered Travis and his understanding that I could not cope with milk production. I do not remember the name of the drug, but it is my opinion that it should be prescribed to every loss mama.
I am thankful for the funeral director and his assistant (whose son's name is Alex) for their kindness. I am thankful they gave me a lock of Alex's hair to keep and placed a few treasured possessions from his family with him.
I am thankful for my family who stood by me and offered me their love, knowing I wasn't capable of returning it at the time. They loved me when I was at my worst and I know my worst was pretty bad. I am thankful they remembered who I was and saw me through to who I am.
I am thankful for those who stood beside us as we buried our sweet baby boys.
I am thankful for our friends in real life and online who called or emailed or sent us snail mail. They surrounded us with love and support and kind words. We weren't nice to be around and yet they remained tenacious in their belief that we were worth it.
I am thankful for my job and my many volunteer distractions. It kept my mind from sinking into the deepest darkest pit that ever existed for me.
I am thankful for the answers as to the biologic reasons Alex and Travis died. They are scary and horrible and bring a lot of complicated guilt feelings with them. But having these answers is better than only having questions for the rest of my life.
I am thankful for a beautiful cemetery where I can go and experience peaceful moments thinking of our boys.
I am thankful Alex isn't alone.
I am thankful for my new perspective. Before this happened, I tended to think in terms of black and white...right and wrong...cause and effect. This has taught me that I don't have all the answers and I shouldn't be so quick to judge. It has softened me and made me a more empathetic human being.
I am thankful that I live in a place where this will most likely be the worst thing to ever happen to me.
I am thankful for Dr. A. and his kindness all last year while I was pregnant again.
I am thankful that this wasn't the end. I am thankful for our sweet Myles.