Finding the Gift of Gratitude

Finding the Gift of GratitudeBy Holly Reisem Hanna

Gratitude is what gets me through the day when I feel sad about not being able to get pregnant.

My journey with secondary infertility began three years. It was at my 11 week checkup, that my husband and I found out that our pregnancy was no longer viable. It was such a shock — we had just seen our baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound two weeks prior. No bleeding, no pain, no signs that anything was wrong. But there it was on the ultrasound, our baby devoid of any signs of life.

I waited two sorrowful weeks for my body to miscarry naturally, but nothing happened. It was at this point that I decided to get a D&C. Even though I was heartbroken over the loss, I was excited to move forward and try again. But after the surgery, my cycle never returned. I took numerous rounds of progesterone to kick-start my cycle, but nothing. It wasn’t until I started poking around on the Internet for answers, that I prodded my OB/GYN to test me for Asherman’s Syndrome.

As it turns out, my uterus had scarring from the D&C that I had received for my miscarriage, and in order for me to get pregnant again, I needed to have it removed. As a couple we decided to get the surgery done, and after a subsequent lab test to ensure that all the scar tissue was gone, we were given the green light to start trying again.

Fast forward to today… and my daughter is still an only child.

While we’ve decided to close this chapter in our lives, it periodically breaks my heart. Sometimes I even throw pity parties for myself… “Why not me, it’s not fair!?” But the truth of the matter is we’re so fortunate. We have been blessed with a daughter that is truly remarkable and perfect in every way. We have careers that we love. We have good health. We are surrounded by amazing family and friends. The list of blessings in our life is countless.

But how do you find the gift of gratitude in your life, when you’re in the grips of turmoil? Developing a gratitude attitude is not always easy, but there are simple ways to find it and integrate it into your life.

Reading:

Sometimes all you need is a little distraction, a fresh new perspective, or some new advice, and reading does just that. It is small action that you can take that will gently propel you forward. Reading books like the Happiness Project, The Law of Divine Compensation, or 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute are great for uplifting your spirit and cultivating a gracious attitude.

Connect with Others:

Opening up and talking to others brings people closer together, and it makes them feel less alone. It provides emotional support and sheds a new light on the situation. It’s an opportunity for individuals to vent and to be heard, as well as an opportunity to focus their attention on something else.

Develop a Gratitude Attitude:

“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate or value into your life.” ~ Christiane Northrup

Taking inventory of all the good thing in your life is a great way to start changing your mood and mindset. By developing a daily routine of writing down what you’re thankful for, you can start to develop new habits of optimism and appreciation.

In fact, this month Heather Von St. James came up with the 30 Days of Thankfulness campaign, where she acknowledges something in her life that she is thankful for everyday throughout the month.

Eight years ago Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. When Heather was diagnosed, she not only was a new mom to her three month old daughter Lily, but she was only given 15 months to live. Unwilling to give in, Heather chose to fight the disease head on, all while maintaining an attitude of gratitude. To this day Heather continues to share her story and raise awareness for the disease, so that better treatments and a cure can be found.

I invite you to take part in this campaign, as well to spread the word about Heather’s inspiring story. To help Heather raise awareness for this worthy cause, I’ll be sharing daily notes of gratitude on this post, and I invite you to do the same.

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