Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everybody! I hope that you are enjoying family and friends, and good food on this special day. I always love Thanksgiving. Growing up, we always had a full house; my parents invited anybody and everybody that wanted to come. These days, it’s even more fun with at least 7 kids(!) running around (this year, there will be 11, including my cousin’s cuties) and it’s just a good indicator of how fun Christmas is going to be.
My favorite uncle Kermit and aunt Cheryl from France (who really is another mother to Simon and I – she saved our lives one time in France, but that’s another story for another day) arrived with my cousin Cynthia on Monday, and how good it is to see them. They’re here for quite awhile, and I am just SO glad. We hope that they will be able to come over for dinner next week. It was the first time that they’ve seen Jude in the flesh, and it was fun to introduce them all.
But more than anything, my thoughts this year are on how thankful I am for this year that has passed, and all that has come and gone with it. This year, I greet Thanksgiving and the Christmas season with such joy because we are in such a different place than we were last year. My Christmas tree is up, and my heart is filled with joy because I am not the same as I was last year.
A year ago this time, we had just come home from the hospital with a very tiny 4 lb baby. He was released from the hospital NICU 3 weeks to the day after his birth, and just a few days shy of Thanksgiving. Because he was so tiny, we were not “allowed” to take him around any people (especially children) because of the extremely high risk of infection and germs. We were sleep-deprived, scared, and emotional. I was coming off of postpartum bedrest due to the toxemia/preeclampsia and still recovering from high blood pressure. So we spent our first Thanksgiving as a family of 3, holed up in our little house, and we were entirely alone. I was heartbroken to not be able to be with our entire family. Family would quickly drop off food to us, and head on their way, so we did get to see everyone briefly, thankfully. But it was so hard to call home to my parents’ and hear the voices of everyone in the background and know that we were not there. I remember wanting to get in my car and just escape our house, even for a little while, just to see that life was normal somewhere. We were up every three hours with Jude, struggling to get a single ounce of milk into him. It would take him an hour just to drink an ounce, and most of that hour we were trying to get him to wake up, or to breastfeed (a total failure). Those days were just hard.
It was about this point that I started to spiral downwards in a terrible struggle with postpartum depression. Shortly after Thanksgiving, we received the go-ahead from the pediatrician to go see our families, and so we basically moved in with my parents until the New Year. I just couldn’t function, much less take care of Jude. My body had been through so much, and I really just didn’t want to go on. I was pretty much suicidal, to be totally frank. That was the low point, around mid-December.
So, thanks to our amazing families plus big help from my OB, we made it. And we are stronger for it. So this is what I am thankful for this year:
I thank God for our precious families who helped us so much.
I thank God for my wonderful mom specifically, who took care of me and Jude. She even sat up at nights with our little Bean, rocking him, and getting that ounce of formula down him, and took care of him in a way that I just couldn’t. I will never be able to say how much that meant to me. There is no other mother like her.
I thank God for my precious husband, who has been through so much with me this year, and he loves me despite all the hardship. I love you, Simon.
I thank God for our darling baby boy who is alive and thriving and brings so much joy to so many people.
I thank God for our friends, who have loved us and prayed for us over the past year.
I thank God for a beautiful new house and a new start. We are only here because He has brought us here and provides for us.
I thank God for His plan for our lives, and the way He reveals Himself to us. Specifically, He has shown Himself to be great to our family this year by reuniting me with my biological mother, Kim. Someday I’ll have to write out the whole story, because let me tell you, it’s a showstopper. God is good!
Ok, I’m sitting here boohooing, and Jude is honking the horn on his truck. Time to get off the computer. I hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. I really enjoy hearing everyone’s thoughts and I appreciate everyone who reads.
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