Giving Thanks for Painful Things

In honor of Thanksgiving, I did a post the other day on giving thanks. 

I mentioned my good health, my wonderful children and my loving husband.

Then I read a post by another blogger who just launched her new book, The Golden Sky, a memoir that tells about her painful loss of a son.  I noticed that she was calling for other parents to contribute their stories about the death of a child and it touched a chord in my heart.

Thirty-seven years ago, I was pregnant with our second child.  Our son was a year and a half old and my husband and I were very excited!  Everything was going so smoothly…every check-up at the doctor’s office was a blue-ribbon one.

Something woke me in the middle of the night…not a pain…not even a feeling of discomfort.  I guess I would call it a feeling of disquiet.  Getting out of bed because of some cramping, I thought I would take a warm bath.  I was six months pregnant and we had attended the Lamaze classes two years before…I assumed this was some type of false labor.  As I reclined in the bath, I suddenly felt as if I had to go to the bathroom…really badly…and that’s when the nightmare started!  Sitting on the toilet, I had an overwhelming sense of urgency to PUSH…my water broke…and I hobbled to the bedroom, calling for my husband to wake up.

The rest of the night was a blur.  The ambulance got me to the hospital quickly…my husband had brought our son next door to our neighbor’s house to stay till he got home…my doctor was at the hospital waiting for me and he comforted me, telling me they would do everything they could.

Jeremy weighed one and a half pounds…a very tiny preemie, especially for 1974.  The doctors were not able to save him and my husband and I mourned the loss of this precious life.

I can’t tell you how much I wanted to get pregnant again…as quickly as possible.  I’m sure if this has happened to you, you understand.  Of course we had our son…but there was still an empty space in our hearts.  And, even though I did get pregnant again a year later and, thanks to my wonderful doctor (it turned out I had an incompetent cervix which means that at any time during a pregnancy, the cervix can start dilating, with no pain and no warning), had a healthy pregnancy and birth, that painful loss will never be totally erased.

So why do I say that we need to give thanks for painful things?  I think for two reasons: we grow stronger and more able to cope with life’s challenges and we also learn to cherish more what we do have.

I hope you will all go and visit Elisabeth’s blog, http://ecwrites.blogspot.com/p/golden-sky-my-journal-about-zeke_02.html  and find out about the wonderful prizes that will be awarded to celebrate the launch of her new book.  She shares her painful journey and will certainly help others who face similar tragedies.

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on November 21, 2011, in coping with grief and anger, families and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I had an incompetent cervix as well, and so I’m thankful we’re done having kids. Pregnancy can be scary at times.

    This post has such an amazing message. So true–it’s good to be strong and cherish the moments we have.

    Thanks for your support.

    Like

    • That is amazing…I had never heard of it before it happened to me.  I was lucky because my doc was a specialist from India in that area…he taught other docs how to suture the cervix…When I got pregnant again, he told me that he would check VERY carefully after the third month…a couple of nights before my appt with him, I woke in the middle of the night..again with a feeling that something was opening…but no discomfort.  We went to the ER, the docs there examined me and told me to get dressed, that everything was ok.  As I buttoned up my coat, they came back to say that my doc had called and told them he was coming down to examine me.  He did and said I WAS dilating…he took me in immediately and sutured the cervix and 6 months later, Peter was born (I opted to have him take the sutures out the morning they induced me.  I thought we wouldn’t have any more kids…surprise…4 years later I was pregnant again…and this time I made him do the sutures right away…to much stress even for a month or two.  And 9 months later our daughter was born…I was very fortunate and blessed.  But that loss did make me stronger. 🙂    

      Like

  2. When we accept what we cannot change, we begin to heal.

    Peace.

    Like

  3. WoW! I’m so sorry to read about your loss and your willingness to share it in an open forum. My heart and hugs go to you and every mom who has lost a baby… It is never easy. Thank you for sharing… 😦

    Like

  4. God blessed you with two more children after your incredible loss, and he blessed me with the most amazing, warm, generous and supportive mom.Thank God for your doctor. He then blessed us both with your grandson, and my son, Jeremy! I’m so glad we named him that, as a way to honor you and your life, filled with love and loss, too…

    I love you, Mom!

    Like

  5. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. Continued blessings to you and your family.

    Like

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing.

    I had my cervix removed but later was lucky to go full term with my daughter.

    Like

  7. Thank you for sharing this. And you’re right, we should be grateful for all of our lessons…painful or not.

    Like

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