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.