It’s possible I’ve gotten a little spoiled in that I’ve yet to go to an OB appointment alone. Jon’s got a flexible schedule, and he’s been willing and able to go with me every time. Until today, when some very important disaster training coincided with my appointment, and he couldn’t make it. Because I’m spoiled, my stepmom came with me instead. It was an uneventful appointment, and for that I am very thankful. Just a quick check in, a chat with my doctor, and off on my way, with a pat on the back because I’m still gaining the weight I need to for the babies. No bad news in the ultrasound room. No difficulty finding two little heartbeats on the Doppler. No real problems to report except that I’m still insanely insanely tired, and the constant heartburn is a little annoying, but overall I’m pretty happy for 6 months pregnant, which still feels insane to say.
I am so thankful for this uneventful appointment. I’m thankful to have a great team of doctors and nurses and genetic counselors and care coordinators. I’m thankful that, even though Claire will have to be transferred to another hospital right after birth for surgery and care, it’s the hospital where my husband works, right by our house, and one of the best in the country. I’m thankful to have family nearby to take care of all of us.
In short, I guess I’m just feeling really thankful. Possibly because I’m reading One Thousand Gifts, which is a book all about the practice of gratitude as the central practice of the Christian faith, which is a really great read so far, even though I don’t agree with all of it. The author seems to suggest that God causes all things that happen to us, be they joyful or painful, and I just can’t get on board with the idea that God causes things that are bad. That isn’t to say that I don’t believe that God works all things for the good, or that we can’t be drawn nearer to God in all things, or that we can’t learn and grow from every experience that happens to us. But I just can’t agree, though it has been suggested to me by well-meaning people, that God caused, for example, my Claire’s spina bifida. I am sure it will be an opportunity for learning and growth and drawing nearer to God, but I don’t believe God gives anything but good gifts to his children. I can’t believe God would cause disease or suffering and pain and still maintain faith in God. Spina bifida just happens sometimes. Even if you take your vitamins. Even if you say your prayers. Because that’s the way this world works. And God’s heart is broken along with mamas’ and daddies’ when they find out something’s wrong with their baby. And God rejoices when the defect isn’t as bad as it could be. That’s what I believe.
And so, I’m thankful for uneventful appointments, and for hope for the future, and for days when we don’t get any bad news. And I’m thankful for arms that hold me when the bad news comes too.