A year ago, Thanksgiving was the date that I had circled as my goal. I'd been told that if I reached my 28th week of pregnancy and our baby's lung mass was stable and not growing, we were in the clear, I could slow the weekly ultrasounds, and we could all breath a little easier. I practiced positive thinking and knew that come Thanksgiving, I would be with all my family and feeling lighter with the most critical threshold behind us... instead I found myself laying in an ultrasound room, hearing that the mass had grown, squeezing in three consecutive days of steroid shots before Thanksgiving, and booking months of twice weekly ultrasounds.
This year, celebrating with a slow holiday at home, our baby fresh from surgery and thriving, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and basically just a sappy mess of emotions. I never use the word 'blessed', but it does seem the most accurate description of how I'm feeling. So blessed.
This year Thanksgiving looked like drinks and appetizers with our neighbors, a veggie feast all to ourselves, a well behaved (if slightly dazed) baby straight from her nap, a giant jar of 'thankful notes', the children's first brush with The Wizard of OZ, and store bought pumpkin pie.
Roo earned her star as the official best kitchen helper, she legitimately prepared cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and squash and stuffing... and also the official pickiest eater, as she consumed nothing but cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Smith loved demonstrating his budding reading skills by picking through the jar of thankful notes- a new favorite tradition that I find reminiscent of fortune cookies (no one makes fortune cookies anymore, and I miss them sorely, however culturally inappropriate), Lo was amazed by the candles, James refilled his plate so many times that he singlehandedly justified all our the cooking efforts, and I was just so damn happy- snapping pictures and pinching myself that these beautiful people all belong to me.
It feels so good to take pictures with my 'real' camera again, and looking at them I am reminded that even the oldest and most janky camera is somehow better than an iPhone- at least I think so. It also feels good to cobble together a few thoughts, and to just be myself. Lo's follow up appointment is tomorrow, and I don't think the weight will lift until she finally has a perfectly clear sign off... but the load is certainly lighter. So much lighter. That critical threshold is finally behind us, a year late, but certainly no less appreciated.