Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Counting My Blessings

Yesterday, I told more people about the pregnancy. I announced it to my Toastmaster group (its a public speakers group, I attend twice a month and we practice our public speaking skills by taking turns giving speeches and evaluating them). Later in the evening, I went blueberry picking with the kids and told my long time friend, LaDonna. The responses from both the group and LaDonna brought me to tears. All the ladies from my speaking group gathered around and gave me hugs and wished me well and promised me a group shower. I was so touched, not that I didn't think the response would be positive. Even so, being bathed in love and good wishes just feels so good, especially after a period of feeling so bad. The best part about telling people about this pregnancy, (I'm always forthright about it not being a planned pregnancy and that I'm 43 and that our youngest is almost 8) is that people tell me the most wonderful stories. I've heard the best stories about late in life pregnancies. After the meeting, one of the women told me about her baby brother, born when she was 16 during the early summer, and how she spent the entire summer helping care for him. She spoke of the time with such tenderness and delight that it moved me to tears. She must have been in her early 50s and I could tell it was a cherished memory for her. Another woman told me about her 8 year struggle with infertility and how she envied me (now thats a perspective I would have never thought of). I had to laugh out loud when she said it, I couldn't imagine anyone thinking my position was enviable- until I thought about it from her perspective. I asked her if she is continuing to try and wished her well. Infertility is such an invisible form of suffering and loss. The look in her eyes and the sound of her voice made me stop and count my blessings. Later, when I told LaDonna, who has 7 children of her own, and for whom mothering is her primary occupation, she smothered me in hugs right in the middle of the blueberry patch. We laughed and cried and hugged some more. She told me how she had gone earlier that day for her mammogram, but had to postpone it because she couldn't say with any certainty that she was pregnant or not. They asked her to simply return for the test during the time in her cycle when nonpregnancy was a certainty. I admired with what ease LaDonna and her husband accept pregnancy and new children as just a part of the life they have chosen for themselves. The love that radiated from her about the pregnancy was so pure that it was cleansing for me. Of course I should be pregnant, what better thing to be? And as LaDonna reminded me, so what if I'm pregnant and 43 and my youngest is 8? I'm married! We had a great laugh over that. It was more therapeutic than a trip to the shrink.

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