I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
It’s true: I am both grateful and thankful for my infertility. Not exactly something you’d expect to hear just two days before Thanksgiving, but there it is.
For all the pain, the mental and physical anguish of the past three and a half years, I wouldn’t take it back. My life has been changed in such remarkable ways that, without our infertility battle, without the deep wounds of my infertility diagnosis – I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I truly believe that these last few, long years have inspired more growth and compassion within me than through any other trial in my life.
And for that, I’m grateful.
Would my life have been easier without my infertility? Probably. It would probably be a heck of a lot more affordable, too. But without my infertility, Larry and I wouldn’t have this amazing origin story we hope to share with our child in a few years from now. We wouldn’t have had this child, who in my mind, embodies so much love it’s set to burst my own heart when I think about it for more than a few minutes.
I am deeply, deeply grateful and thankful for this moment in time, for the love of our family and friends that surround us.
I know how hard it is to be thankful and grateful when you’re hurting all the time. When you’re not only convinced that life is unfair, but bitterly jaded by it. Thanksgiving has been a holiday that for me, for the last twelve years, has always been tinged by loss when in 2000, my left ovary was removed over Thanksgiving weekend. I was a college freshmen and so wide-eyed and bushy tailed, then. For 11 years, that loss (an event which I believe began the downward spiral of my own dwindling fertility) has haunted me as we pass the gravy and turkey.
Except this year.
This year was the first year until this weekend that I remembered: “Oh yeah. I had my surgery 12 years ago.” I’m not sure if it’s because of the pregnancy or simply because I’ve reached a point in my personal growth where I’ve made peace with this part of my past. But it’s a nice place to be in. And thanks to this blog, I can see that growth, too:
And I remind myself: I live a life of abundance. I have to be the one to stop and recognize the grace given to me rather than feeling sorry for myself. My life is full. My womb may not be. But I have a life of abundance and grace. I do. And today, I remind myself of this. We all have to remind ourselves of this once in a while. (Written November 2011.)
I am grateful for the growing.
And I hope you know, that through all the pain, the heartache and the stress – you’re growing too. Infertility changes us, for better and for worse. My glasses aren’t so rosy anymore but at the same time: I discovered the woman at my core. I found a passion, purpose and drive that I honestly never knew existed within me.
In that same post from last year, you can read my pain of facing another Thanksgiving table with an empty womb. Reading that post now, I wish I could reach through my screen and time and tell November 2011 Keiko: “It’ll be different next year, I promise. Just hang on to that gratitude of abundance because abundance IS coming.”
Whatever your moments of gratitude as you pass the turkey and stuffing on Thursday: hang on to them. Let them fill your heart and wash over your soul with grace and peace.
Tell me: what are you grateful for this year? What fills your life with abundance in this moment?