Grateful for: Completeness

Photo by Erin Holland

I always wondered how people knew when their family was complete. Researching and asking everyone didn’t yield anything helpful because nobody can tell you a calculation or way to measure when your family is whole. Ok, that’s not true. Finances should play a key role in that decision but I have a feeling many people don’t agree with that.

Anyways, we talked about our family size a lot, especially after Gwyneth was born. Jake comes from a large family with 4 brothers and sisters. I have one sister. Each of our families have their own benefits that seem to have little to do with the size of them.

Jake held steadfastly to the just-wait-and-see-how-we-feel concept. I always wanted an answer, a plan, a boundary. I needed to know if this was my last pregnancy because then maybe I’d enjoy it and cherish it more (ha!).

But as I have learned time and time again, parenting is one giant slice of humble pie. Any opinion or knowledge you think you have when it comes to it goes right out the window as each new day presents yet another epiphany.

On July 22 as I lay on an operating table, excited to meet my daughter and end the misery of pregnancy I was horrified at just how awful round two of a c-section could be. It wasn’t even the pain but the anticipation that came with it. The knowing of what to expect, the understanding that the recovery and newborn stage is hard. Knowing full well that the next three days in the hospital would be miserable. It wasn’t a situation I ever cared to be put in again. And Jake agreed. It was then and there that we knew, Norah is our last baby.

And for that I am thankful. Thankful for knowing, thankful for her, for her sister and for Jake. Our family has come together from a fateful night in college when a shaggy-haired Jake gave me a note with his number, to a beautiful day in April gathered with our friends and family as we said our vows, to the day we first laid eyes on Gwyneth followed by the day, a few years later, when we first heard Norah’s sweet cries. It has all been a blessing. Our story is still just beginning with unwritten pages we have yet to fill and I am excited to know that nobody is missing from them.

We are complete. And I am grateful for that. Very grateful, in fact.

Here is to a day filled with family and friends with the added bonus of delicious food. I can hear the cheese ball calling my name.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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