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Waiting Room Gratitude: A Lesson Learned Between Two Pink Lines

 

I took the clipboard and pen from the receptionist, and made my way back to the waiting room. I filled out the endless sheets of paperwork. Checked countless boxes for which I knew the information by heart. Rolled my eyes at the length and detail it was asking for. The specific dates, and the depth of information it wanted. This was my fourth time filling out the same type of paperwork, and I argued in my head that none of this information has changed, so this was pointless and a huge waste of time. When they asked for chief “complaint,” or reason for coming in? I sarcastically wrote: pregnant… again.

I laughed to myself at the pregnancy test that is still sitting on my bookshelf at home. Then, at just the moment when I felt I had had enough, I got to the section where it was time to fill out the information about my previous pregnancies. The history of how my family came to be.

It hit me like a freight train.

I no longer was complaining in my head. I was overwhelmed with grief and gratefulness all at the same time. Realizing that this enormous stack of paperwork was a bit taxing, but this section was relatively easy for me.

Where they asked how many pregnancies I have had, I wrote three. And when they asked how many births I had, I wrote three, and then again when they asked how many children I have I wrote three. And tears began to well up in the corner of my eyes as I continued. I wrote zero next to miscarriages, and still births.

The women in my life that I am blessed to know, and the countless women I don’t know have come to these sections and been reminded of the trials and hard things in life they have been handed. They are sitting in this waiting room with pure joy for a positive pregnancy test. Or maybe they are coming asking for answers of why their family isn’t coming together as easily as they thought. Coming with unsure hearts, because they know nothing has a guarantee, no matter how many times you pee on that stick, and read “pregnant.”

Finding Gratitude in Being Pregnant Again

I began to think of the women who have come and gone in this waiting room. The different stories they all represent, and have to tell. I by no means walk through life unaware of the hardships others face. At the same time, I certainly can spin my own good news into a burden. Every time I do, I’m so thankful that a reminder that smacks me in the face—I should count all things joy.

I sat in the waiting room until they called my name and I could only be filled with gratefulness that I’m on this journey again of growing another human in my womb. I counted it all joy. The pap smear that is always uncomfortable, leaving a urine sample, the blood draw—all of it a gift. And absolutely counted hearing the heartbeat of baby number four going strong, JOY!

My heart aches for the moms who aren’t pregnant or holding their babies in their arms. I weep with you. I have nothing else to offer you, except a hug and a head nod that assures you this motherhood journey isn’t easy, no matter where you are on it.

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