Seven months ago today seemed so far away. Seven months ago I lost my precious baby. She should have been born today. (Or next week if she was anything like her big brother.) But regardless, we should have her room all ready for her to come join our family any time. My belly should be huge and uncomfortable. We should have gifts for her waiting to be wrapped alongside those we have for Jackson. But we don't. Sure, life has gone on. But that doesn't mean that I don't think about Elizabeth Every. Single. Day.
When we started trying again I was so sure that I would be pregnant again by her due date. Why wouldn't I be? With Jackson and Elizabeth, we got pregnant our first cycle trying. Why should this time around be any different? (I realize that I was extremely lucky and in the minority there. And I will never boast about that, especially not now that I know the struggle it can be waiting to have a baby that you want so desperately.) Well, fast forward 6 months from when we started trying again and we're still trying. But we're not just trying to have another baby. We're trying to get my cycles regulated so we can even try to try for a baby. It's been frustrating. It's been lonely. I know more about my body than I ever wanted to know. I have spent so much time on my knees, pleading for understanding. But I don't feel that it has come. Not yet anyway. And that is hard. I know that I need to move forward in faith, but sometimes it's really hard to have faith. Sometimes it is really hard to move past this. I know that having another baby will never fully heal the pain that losing Elizabeth has brought, but it will help.
There have been so many times when I have considered deleting my social media accounts because seeing pregnancy announcements is painful. But I don't. I just hide those people from my feed so I don't see any more. It's not because I'm not happy for them. It's that I hurt for me.
One thing I do know. Losing Elizabeth has opened my eyes to a different world. It's made me consider how I will do things in the future, because I know how it is to be on the other side of things. And it's not a place anyone deserves to be in.
I do have a lot to be grateful for, however. Losing Elizabeth has opened my eyes to the beauty and blessing of my temple sealing. Without that, I wouldn't see her again. But I know that I will, and that gives me something to work toward every day. I am grateful for Jackson and his sweet spirit. Yes, he's 2 and won't let us forget it, but he is the most amazing little boy. He is so smart and learns things so quickly. I'm grateful for his health--which should drastically improve now that he's had his tonsils removed. I'm grateful for modern medicine that allowed us to be able to do that for him to improve his quality of life. I'm grateful for our home and the comforts we have here. I'm grateful for our neighbors and friends. We haven't been in our neighborhood or ward long, but we fit in. We feel comfortable. People know us and love us. I'm grateful for our jobs that allow us to have the things that we do. We don't have a lot of wiggle room in our budget, but we have heat, food, shelter, clothing. That's what really matters. I'm grateful for the scriptures and the time that I am able to spend in them daily, learning from the teachings of prophets. I'm grateful that I can read. This year my goal was to read the entire standard works, and I'm almost there. I'll easily have it done by the end of the year. Next year I plan to do my scripture study in Spanish, and I'm excited to see what I can learn from that. I'm grateful that we have music in our home. I love being able to sit down at my piano and play. I'm grateful that that also can bring in a little extra money as I teach lessons. I'm grateful for the family I grew up in and the way my family shaped me into who I am. I'm grateful for Jeff's family and the person they helped him become. I'm grateful for the sweet (and the not so sweet too) children I get to see at work every week as I teach music. I'm Im grateful that I am able to work just part time and for the fun that I have doing so.I am grateful for my good husband who works hard for us and tries every day to be better. He has been a great strength to me. I'm grateful for the Atonement that allows me to be forgiven of my wrongdoings and become perfect again. And I grateful that it's not a one-and-done deal, but that I can use it every day if I need to. I am grateful for temples. With our temple closed right now, it takes a little extra planning to go to the temple, but even then, we only have to drive 30 minutes, unlike so many people in the world. I am grateful for the peace I feel when I go to the temple and for the blessing it is to have in my life. I am grateful for the sacrament that allows me to renew all of the covenants I have made with my Father in Heaven each week and become clean from my sins. I'm grateful that I was able to serve a mission and for the love I have for the people I met while serving. I'm grateful for the way that they all influenced my life.
Yes, this year has been difficult. But I have leaned some important lessons along the way. The biggest of which being to be grateful for the day to day. Be grateful for the gifts we receive from Heavenly Father. Because you never know when it might be taken away. I wish every day that Elizabeth had been allowed to stay. But I have to remind myself that there is a reason that she wasn't. Heavenly Father needed her. She taught me all she needed to in the few short weeks we had her...but at the same time continues to teach me daily. I'll never stop missing her or wondering what she would have been like. But I will also never stop being grateful for the things she has taught me...which I feel is so much more than she could have taught me being here with us.