As today marks the thirty week mark with Baby Sprout, the gratitude for each day that passes intensifies. Sometimes it is allusive, hiding behind the anxiety and deceptively deep fears that have been carefully conditioned into my every thought. Digging, searching, yearning for this solace, I always find it. Gratitude preserves my sanity. Gratitude stops the apprehensive tears. Gratitude buoys the positivity needed to make it through.
Thirty weeks gestation signifies twenty-five weeks of worries, one flowing behind the next as a river through a canyon. Moments of stillness follow sharp splashes against razor-like rocks. Never a moment to slow down, the journey thus far has been like trying to hold onto the water: tangible, ever-changing, shapeshifting.
Bolstering us through the winding–and often jarring ride–is the arrival of baby gifts, children’s books, knitted blankets. A crib in the corner, longing to be filled with a mattress (and baby) knows nothing of the struggle to this point. Kind words, “likes” on Facebook pictures, and concerned questions of how Baby Sprout is doing reminds us daily, and sometimes hourly, that the circle of love for her extends beyond what we can comprehend. Lighting the bashful gratitude, the spotlight on it reveals the affirmation we seek in remaining hopeful.
This journey has been markedly filled with struggles. This journey has been a test of endurance, as we have faced more uncertainty, doctors’ appointments, and bad news (in which accuracy is a luxury) than for which any rational person would willingly sign up. Yet, as much as we have endured, this is not about me. This is not about my husband. This is not about our health. Infertility and pregnancy loss, and the struggle that ensues, is not about the cognizant parties. It is about all the babies, potential children, and hopeful dreams. It is about an innocent being. Our journey is about our child–for whom we are one-hundred percent responsible. It is about the ones who are unaware, incapable of knowing their potential fate. It is about the ones who do their best to grow, move, thrive, and develop the way they should.
While have survived thirty weeks of PTSD-like responses to doctors and tests, countless tears and sobbing sessions, a multitude of countless hours waiting to feel just one assuring kick, and the fights against negativity, the real struggle lies within Baby Sprout. There is consolation in knowing she fights this battle blindly. As we carry her burden, her struggle continues for two more months. Even when all strength has left every fiber of my body, fortitude takes root when there is nothing left to which it can cling. Remembering why we are racing this test of endurance, remembering who needs us to do so, there is no choice of bowing out. There is no option to quit. There is too much love for her to let my steam run out. We owe her everything, no matter how rough the water gets. Our gratitude for her life carries on by surviving each day. Her gratitude for us shines through in each movement, each heartbeat, each stretch of my stomach girth. We survived thirty weeks, and will continue on, for her.