Like many people I know, I have been spending the month of November attempting to be deliberately more aware of my blessings. I’ve written before about keeping a journal in which I have been listing the blessings in my life, which is a great way to keep a good perspective on things and remain grateful. Oddly enough, one thing that keeps popping up to the top of the list this month is my doctor.
This past summer, my husband and I were…well, surprised (which might be a slight understatement) to find out we are expecting our fifth little bundle of joy. Having had four kids in five years, we were really hoping to take a little breather before adding number five. As I like to tell people, “I’m 33. Obviously, we didn’t think we were ‘done,’ or were going to be extremely careful for the next 120+ cycles.” But honestly…what is the good Lord thinking! In addition to charting, we were using a fertility monitor to try to have a better handle on my extremely fertile self. I am very aware of what a blessing an unexpected baby would be to many people, and we know in our heart of hearts that this child is meant to be ours now, not our planned four-years-from-now (we now laugh to think we were so hopeful of spacing our kids four years apart…we’ll shoot for two years in the future!). However, this didn’t lessen the shock of having our so carefully thought-out plans, which included many legitimate reasons for postponing a pregnancy, completely thrown out the window.
Five months in, we are of course excited to meet this little one in a few months, though still a little nervous about adding an infant to our chaos. It has also been a very difficult pregnancy wrought with medical mysteries that have landed me in the ER multiple times. Saying I have been on an emotional rollercoaster would be an accurate assessment of the last five months. And yet, here we are.
I think frequently of my first trip to the doctor to both confirm the pregnancy and receive a shot of progesterone, something my body is unable to produce enough of during the first trimester. We had known about the pregnancy for roughly 48 hours, and while I tried my hardest, I couldn’t help but tear up when my doctor, who we know quite well, offered his hearty congratulations. His immediate response went as follows, “Oh, Amanda, you know it will be okay! No matter how many kids you have, at the end of the day, you’re always going to wish you had more. If you have four, you’re going to wish you had five. If you have ten, you’re going to wish you had eleven. And they’re going to need each other. There aren’t many people you can trust in this world, and they’re going to need their siblings and their cousins. You’re a great mom!” etc. The nurses were very affirming as well, also acknowledging my very real feelings but assuring me of everything I knew deep down, that it would be okay.
On the drive home from the clinic, I was struck with such a deep sense of gratitude for my doctor. It occurred to me that had I been at a different clinic, I likely would have not only been shamed for being pregnant with our fifth child in the first place, but I would have been given the option of aborting my “problem.” I couldn’t help but wonder how many babies are missing in our world because of vulnerable and scared women not being given the support of their doctor, the “you can do it!” pep talk when the result could quite literally be life or death. At a time when the idea of being pregnant again seemed so completely absurd to me, rather than agreeing, my doctor was able to remind me of all of the joys of a new baby and help me to see the big picture rather than just my scared emotions. This is why we need pro-life doctors. This is why we need Guiding Star Centers. I am forever grateful for the treasure I have in a pro-life clinic and doctor and hope that someday soon this will be the norm for all women.
photo credit: a.drian via photopin cc
Note: Please use caution if you are sensitive to pictures of babies who have been delivered too early. This post contains such photos. Three years ago, this May, I experienced a second trimester loss of my monoamniotic (MoMo) twin sons. Before this, simply contemplating that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends