My Left to Write book club book this month was Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor. In short, the book is memoir about a young women whose husband dies tragically when she is 5 months pregnant. It is about her journey through grief and being a single mom.
There are several moments throughout the book that Natalie talks about being in the moment and being happy with what you have. So many of us get caught up in life and forget about the important things and how lucky we are. Before Natalie gives birth she has a moment, "As I go through my hospital bag over and over again, I think about how not every woman in this world gets to pack her hospital bag in preparation for childbirth. Not every woman gets to watch her body transform over the course of forty weeks an create new life. I remind myself not to overlook that fact."
Those lines really stuck out for me. I've had 6 miscarriages over the past 10 years. It's fair to say that E is truly my miracle baby. As much as I wish I relished this fact and felt like the luckiest mom ever, the past year (or 3) has been really hard since she was diagnosed with PDD. It seems her meltdowns have gotten worse when things don't go the way she has them in her mind. Which usually leads to me melting down with her. We've been going to therapy to work on how to cope, but it's hard because she's so bright and gets it... until she's in the moment of a meltdown.
But over the past several weeks, since I began reading Signs of Life, I've been reminded she is all that I have ever wanted. I need to cherish every second of her life, every good and bad moment of parenthood because there are so many out there who don't get to experience this. Sure, she's not perfect and has quirks and loud fits which can be embarrassing- especially in stores or at restaurants- but I love every bit of her. Maybe I shouldn't say embarrassing- but the stares from other people who don't understand what is going on always shakes me up.
Being in the moment and thinking about how lucky I am has helped me work through the meltdowns instead of getting tense. Sometimes, we just need that reminder that everyone has something and we should be lucky for what we have.
*During the fifth month of pregnancy with her first child, Natalie Taylor was devastated by the sudden death of her husband. Her journey with grief is chronicled in the memoir Signs of Life. Join From Left to Write on March 29 as we discuss Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.