As we just celebrated Thanksgiving, I thought it was appropriate to share what I’m thankful for – I promise not to keep you from your loved ones or shopping for too long!

Elizabeth's family - Week 26: Thankful

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

First off, I’m thankful to be a mama of an angel.

I was thankful the moment I saw two lines on my very first positive pregnancy test. That day I became a mama. It didn’t matter if I’d been pregnant for three weeks, or if I’d made it to 40. On June 1st, 2018, I became a mama, and that has changed my world forever.

I’m thankful for my rainbow – and my pot of gold.

My babies after loss have shown me that anything is possible. We know dreams don’t always come true, unfortunately, but it’s possible that they do. Nathan gave me the experience I never got to have with Teddy, and will soon have again with Delilah. The joy of bringing a child home, and getting to watch them grow, everything I missed out on with our sweet angel. Nathan and Delilah have taught me I’m stronger than I ever thought possible.

Elizabeth's 26-week bump: Thankful

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

I’m thankful for my loving spouse.

Somehow, I ended up with a wonderful husband who may drive me crazy sometimes but has literally been my “for better or worse.” We lost our first child, together. We grieved, together. We leaned on each other throughout the darkest days, and we pushed through to see the light. It hasn’t been easy, but the journey has been beautiful. He remembers Teddy with me and is such a loving father to Nathan. I know Delilah will have him wrapped around her finger.

I’m thankful for my incredible support system.

I have the best, best friend in the world. Our wonderful parents. You never ever imagine losing your child, but I especially cannot imagine how different our story would be if we didn’t have such beautiful loved ones holding us up, reminding us to keep going, and loving not only our babies on Earth (or in belly) but also our sweet son in heaven.

I’m thankful for Pregnancy After Loss Support.

During my darkest days, I stumbled upon PALS. I didn’t realize not only is there such a tragically beautiful community for loss families, but support for mothers in every stage of their grief. The technology, the outreach, none of that was around when I was younger, at least not to my knowledge, because this is a club I never knew I’d join. Pregnancy loss wasn’t discussed, it was kept away, like a sad secret, and mothers were suffering in silence. But today, PALS has given not only myself but moms everywhere a voice. A place to speak freely about their angels. Even if they don’t speak, they’re given that community where they can know they aren’t alone.

And last but certainly not least, I’m thankful for my journey.

My husband and I knew we wanted children very soon after we were married. With my fertility issues (thanks, PCOS) we ended up with a specialist (or two), and long story short, I had thyroid cancer I never knew I had. Which I may have not discovered if I wasn’t having trouble getting pregnant. After Teddy passed away, we found out there was another small spot of cancer, which meant another surgery. My bestie once said, which I will never forget, that maybe Teddy knew something was still wrong with me. Thankfully surgery did the trick for my very treatable case, and I’ve been cancer-free for almost three years now, but I’ll still hear her saying that in the back of my mind, which gives me a little comfort.

As much as I wish I could change the past and have my angel in my arms, I’m thankful for getting the opportunity to be a mama to three babies. No matter how long I held them or will hold them, my love for them will never change.

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