I’ve written many times in the last four weeks about how this pregnancy feels like a gift. My pregnancy with my daughter did not feel like a gift, it felt like something I was owed, something that I had worked hard for, had toiled to achieve. I had lost something precious and that pregnancy was my consolation. It had to, just HAD to, happen, to restore some semblance of balance in the universe.
But this time around, I don’t feel that way, and I’m not quite sure why. We did work hard for this, we did toil. And yet, I don’t feel like I DESERVE this pregnancy. I don’t feel like it has to happen to right some horrible wrong. It feels like it was entrusted to me. Like it was placed into my unexpecting arms. I don’t know why exactly I feel this way, but I cherish it.
I have noticed, since this pregnancy, a shift in the way I view other wonderful parts of my life as well. For the first time I recognize them as the incredible gifts they are. I always used to feel like they were owed me, like I deserved a loving partner and a healthy child and a happy home. I guess because everyone around me had those things–and I wasn’t a pedophile or an ax murderer–so therefore I deserved them too. Like all well-bred Americans, I took my right to life, liberty and happiness very seriously. I felt ENTITLED to all that was good in my life. Everyone expected it and most people achieved it, so why shouldn’t I?
Now I feel differently. Something inside me has just, shifted. I no longer feel I deserve the amazing things in my life. I know longer feel they are, or ever were, owed to me. Each positive presence in my life is an incredible gift. Sure I worked hard to achieve much of what I have, but the important things, the really VITAL pieces of my life, I was just really fucking lucky to end up with.
It’s kind of ridiculous that I ever felt entitled to my partner. At 25 I’d never been with ANYONE in ANYWAY and I was pretty sure I was unloveable. When I found the love of my life I was definitely thankful, but I don’t think I appreciated just how lucky I was to have discovered him. The long, protracted wait made it feel like it was my turn, like I just ended up with what I always should have had, but I think never having been a part of a failed relationship made me take for granted just how lucky I was to find the man who was right for me. How lucky I was that he loved me in the same way I loved him. Is he perfect? No. Is our relationship pristine? No. But we are best friends and great partners and he makes my life better than it would be–so, so, SO much better. He is truly a gift, one I will never take for granted again.
And then there is my daughter. When she came into the world I realized how incredible it was, how insanely lucky I was that she was here. But I think, over time, I took her presence for granted too. Our diagnoses made me realize once again what an incredible gift she is and now every moment that I’m with her, I’m reminded of just how much I have been entrusted with when it comes to guiding this incredible soul through life. She brings so much light to every moment of my day. I am so incredibly lucky to have her.
Even my home feels like this incredible gift, one we were given despite so many reasons it shouldn’t have worked. And now we have this house, this perfect place for our family to grow into, a perfect place to encapsulate our children’s childhoods.
I have been given so many incredible gifts. My partner, my daughter, my home, and now my second child. None of them were owed me. They were given to me by–who knows? the universe?– and I know that I will never take them for granted again. This pregnancy will always be a gift, the gift of a child growing inside me, the gift of the realization that the good in my life is precious in ways I somehow didn’t realize.