I wasn't going to do one of the "I'm Thankful For" posts that are happening all over the place right now because as a rule I am a practical, anti-sappy person. It's not that I'm not grateful for everything in my life. It's just that I don't usually feel comfortable expressing such emotions to the world at large.
But this has been an emotional week for me. Possibly it will help me to deal with the various conflicting emotions I've been experiencing by writing about them. Possibly I'll regret it. Only time will tell.
You see, some weeks back I became aware that I was pregnant... again. Now, some of you may recall that all the way back in April, during the A to Z challenge, I had a brand new baby boy. Born March 30th and now approaching 8 months old. So getting pregnant again so soon wasn't really something I wanted to happen. No, definitely not. The last pregnancy, my fourth, was pretty hard on me. So once it became clear that I was going to have to go through that again I was pretty upset. And I spent some weeks mentally and emotionally trying to deal with the situation.
On Tuesday of this week I had an appointment with my OB/GYN and learned that I had lost the baby.
It's hard to describe the warring emotions that go along with something like this. On one hand there's relief. Knowing that I don't have to be uncomfortable for 6 straight months, sleepless for 2 or 3 (if I'm lucky) more, and frazzled for years from raising two babies so close together. (I've already done this once and it's hard.) On the other hand, I had a baby and now I don't. A baby who will never smile and laugh at me, never have Daddy sing a lullaby, never find its place in the weird cosmos of our family.
It was still early enough in the pregnancy (only about 10 weeks) that nothing had really changed. We hadn't told anyone. I hadn't yet formed that unique bond. So on one hand, it's a good thing that it happened early when my body can take care of it without a procedure and we can just return to live as usual. On the other hand, I don't know how I'm supposed to feel.
But today, during our little Thanksgiving at home (with just my sister-in-law and family with us), I felt distinctly thankful for and in love with my children. They aren't perfect. They're little hellions most of the time. But they are so very alive, brimming with vitality and personality and unconditional love.
Luthien Tinuviel our intellectual 8 year old who has debated for some time whether she wants to be a geologist or a zoologist when she grows up. She has finally decided that geology is more boring. Right now she is sitting on the couch writing a Thundercats/He-Man crossover story starring her cousin to be a Christmas present in a month.
Maedhros James our intrepid 4 year old. He who never saw a problem he couldn't solve or an obstacle he couldn't overcome. Perhaps if we directed his ingenuity at cancer or peace in the Middle East his tired parents could stop fighting this war of attrition over whether or not he's going to manage to destroy our house by age 5.
Fiona Rose our 3 year old fairy changeling. Fiona is a combination of ethereal beauty and an attitude that says "your mortal rules hold no sway over me" that has us convinced that she's really one of The Fair Folk. She can switch between sweet and loving and spiteful and fiery faster than you can say sidhe.
Corwin Benedict who will be 8 months in less than a week. He seems to instinctively know that my sanity wouldn't survive having four children if he wasn't as sweet and good and perfect as he is. Somehow he came into our house of noise and chaos and fit right in without a fuss. He truly is a blessing.
I am so thankful for all these wonderful children I share my life with. And for their father, the only man I could imagine raising a family with. For now, there will be no fifth. But perhaps in time (hopefully when the middle two are safely at school for much of the day) we will find find ourselves making room for more.