With American Thanksgiving this past weekend, I noticed a lot of my American friends reflecting on what they’re thankful for this year. Many people posted about their partners, children, other family members, and their health. When other people reflect, I tend to do the same. That, along with some of the conversations I’ve had with C lately, have made me realize some things I need to do better at over the next year, especially if I end up pregnant.
- When my body starts changing again, remind myself of the amazing reason why it’s changing. I have the ability to grow people. When I start to think about the extra weight I will be left with, instead think about the people who desperately wish they could gain that weight to sustain life growing inside.
- When I want to complain about the medications I have to take for IVF, remind myself that there are women who have gone several cycles on these meds, often without success. Also, think about the daily medications that C now has to take to stay healthy.
- When I have morning sickness, remind myself that it pales in comparison to the sickness felt during chemo.
- When I am hormonal and want to yell or cry at the drop of a hat, remind myself of the hormonal imbalance C has been forced to endure now for the rest of her life. Cancer, chemo, and radiation put her into menopause at age 28. I can handle some pregnancy hormones.
- When I really want that glass of wine (and if you know me well, you’ll know how much I love wine), remind myself that while going through cancer and chemotherapy, C couldn’t drink. Even if she could, it probably would have tasted awful. This is a much easier reason to give up alcohol for a short time.
- When I am left with extra marks on my skin, remind myself of the radiation tattoos and scars C has on her body. Stretch marks aren’t pretty, but they are a reminder of something good. Something beautiful.
Yes, I know that there’s no such thing as the pain Olympics and everyone has the right to complain about things when they need to. It’s all about perspective. And if I gain anything from this journey, I hope it’s to stop taking all the amazing things I have been blessed with for granted, and to look at things from a different perspective. I am so lucky and so very thankful.