I've been reading a lot lately on Facebook about a lot of people being thankful. It's been really neat to read, and I'm sure it's a good exercise in grattitude to give thanks everyday(publicly) for a month. I haven't done that. And it's not that I'm not thankful, I think it's more that I'm TOO thankful that I have a hard time putting it into words.
Thanksgivings in the past have been nice and fun and a special time with family. I've always liked Thanksgiving for the smell of food and hanging out after stuffing our bellies, but I don't think I've actually stopped to think of how thankful I am. Maybe that's because up until this year, I didn't understand what it really meant to be thankful.
Sometimes I complain and grieve over what my life is...and what it's not. But when it comes down to it, I am thankful for what I have more than sad about what I don't. Someone recently told me that I am amazing for what I've gone through and what I do on a daily basis. I told her I'm not really that amazing, I just do what I have to do. Everybody has their crap, right? My crap is just more public and noticable.
So, here's what I'm thankful for as we enter into this holiday season (my attempt to put it into words). I am thankful for friends and family who supported me through my pregnancy, who were all there for my homebirth, and then didn't leave my side when we were spending long days at the hospital. I am thankful for people who I don't even know who cried with me and prayed for my family in the darkest days of my life. And I am thankful for the people closest to me who cried with me and prayed for my family and held me and hugged me in the darkest days of my life.
I am thankful for the wisdom of my husband, who can see through his emotions (and mine) and make good decisions. I am thankful that Brian loves me and loves Sadie more than he could ever express through words (or drunk texts). I am thankful that he is helpful when I need him to be, even if it's the middle of the night, or in the middle of a football game. And I am thankful that he has a job that can support us, that is good to him, that he enjoys.
I am thankful for grandparents and how much they love Sadie. Through the screaming car rides to the hospital stays, my dad has always been willing to just be around and contribute. Mary Jo is friends with (what sound like) the most amazing special education teachers at her school who have passed on valuable information to us about Sadie. Plus I think everytime we've seen her, she gives us/Sadie a present. Pam, even though she's been away traveling the world all summer, has kept up with Sadie via skype, and is eager to be here for the winter so that she can babysit! And my mom, who said early on to someone, "we don't know what she'll be, but we'll just love her!" has stayed true to her word on that.
I am thankful for Michelle and her new foundation offering movement therapy to so many kids in Arizona and around the country. She has helped Sadie to see. She has helped Sadie to be aware of her body. She has helped Sadie calm down and not scream all day. She believes in Sadie and doesn't put any limits on her abilities. And she has helped me with her wisdom that can only come from experience and parenting a special needs child.
I am thankful for Dr. Carballo, the neonatologist that cried with us in the NICU, both sad and happy tears. I love seeing her now and showing off my big girl, who may not be "normal" but who is alive, which is WAY more than she ever guaranteed us when we left the hospital.
I am thankful for Mary and Nedra, my midwives, who I tell everyone saved Sadie's life. They got her breathing, they got her to the right hospital, and then they stayed and didn't forget to take care of me too. I am thankful for every hug and hand-squeeze they gave in the NICU. And I'm thankful for their silence and tears when they knew there were no words that could make me feel better.
I am thankful for Sundays and that they no longer hurt as much as they used to.
I am thankful for kitties, who still love me even though I've neglected them for pretty much the last 10 months.
And finally I am thankful for my baby. She is the most amazing, most screamtastic, cutest, most squeezable little person in my life. I have never wanted to squeeze nakey cheeks more than I do with her. I have never kissed a living being so much in my life and still felt like I haven't kissed her enough. I have never just wanted to watch someone sleep or wanted to squeeze a little body so tight. When I look at her I am flabbergasted that this little being grew inside me and now weighs almost 20 lbs. And I can't even comprehend that she loves me even more than I love her...and she probably doesn't even know what love is. She looks for me when I walk in the room and she hears my voice. She falls asleep against my body at night. She knows to nurse from my breasts. She is amazing and wonderful and so full of more life than we ever thought possible.
I could go on forever and ever being thankful, but that would probably get boring...so I'll stop. What it comes down to is that this family has had an amazing year, one full of ups and downs, but mostly ups. And we are ALL thankful for all of it.