I count my blessings every day, all three of them, because they made me a mom. They gave me a role that is so unforgiving and yet so wonderful at the same time. I could not imagine my life any other way than as a parent to my two daughters and rambunctious son.
I count my blessings because I was never able to get pregnant on my terms. I suffered some losses, and then hit a stride of fertility, only to enter this recent home stretch the same way I began it—with loss. I would love my family planning years to end on a high, but that may not be in the cards for me and my husband.
But it's okay. I am lucky to have three kids and am more than fortunate when it comes to my everyday life. Despite the dull ache of loss that comes with habitual miscarriages, I get to be happy. I know too many wonderful women who only see the sad side of pregnancy.
Even though my miscarriages outnumber my live births, I count my blessings because I still got to experience it all. Labor, delivery, gestational diabetes, and even an emergency C-section would all make it onto my mothering curriculum vitae. I wear breastfeeding, jaundice, mustard-seed poops, thrush, multiple ear infections, and too many nights of falling asleep in a recliner like badges of honor.
I count my blessings because the hardships and the successes that come from creating little humans make me a better person. I take less for granted. I know that things are not meant to be perfect. Without the heartache, how would I feel the true happiness that comes with raising kids? The hurt puts life into perspective—especially a mothering life full of temper tantrums, bathroom accidents, and frowny faces from teachers.
I count my blessings because I worked hard for my kids. I went through seven nauseous first trimesters, and more, to get them and raise them. But what I went through is a casual sprint race compared to the marathon event that can be infertility. I did not face down years of doctors and multiple procedures to come out at a loss or with no answers. I had a few misfortunes that became book ends to the greatest moments in my life.
I count my blessings because there are so many would-be parents who can't enjoy a success story, men and women who have tried everything, yet never get to hold that newborn against their bare chests. They don't get to fail or succeed at strapping a wailing infant into a car seat. They won't wake up five times in one night to peek into a crib and see their miracle son or daughter.
I count my blessings because, even though the losses hurt, life continues on for my family. It is going by at such a fast pace that my kids have me spinning in circles. I don't have time to dwell on the “what ifs" of it all. The moving forward is wonderful. It doesn't mean I don't hurt, but it does mean there is always a reason to be grateful.
I count my blessings because every single person on the planet has a sad story. The sad stories make us stronger and give us character. But I choose to not make them the defining moments of my life.
I count my blessings because I can. I get the happy endings along with the occasional melancholy plot. When it comes to the story of my life, I am not indentured in tragedy. I have had hiccups and roadblocks, but no mountainous pitfalls.
Motherhood is hard work, but it is great work. I feel privileged to experience it. I count my blessings because I am blessed.