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Advent Gratefulness and Emptiness

I would have had a newborn this week. I could be curled up on my couch with a beautiful new baby in my arms and a coffee table covered in diapers, receiving blankets, and mugs of Mother’s Milk tea. I should be happily exhausted with a bigger family.

But this past April, I had a day of dizziness and GI distress that ended with an ambulance ride and emergency surgery. What I thought had been middle-aged tummy weight creeping up for a few weeks had been an abdomen slowly filling with blood. What I thought had been lightheadedness due to dieting had been dangerously low blood pressure. What I thought had been a stomach bug had been broken parts of myself and an unborn baby. My fallopian tube burst, due to a (unbeknownst to me) six week pregnancy. gratefulness

I am grateful for a sharp nurse and doctor at the urgent care clinic whose quick thinking got me into an ambulance. 

I am grateful for skilled emergency room staff who ordered and clarified my tests, who validated and calmed my fears, and who questioned and remedied my comfort.

I am grateful for the obstetrician whose casual greeting and explanation belied capable hands and intense focus (She was sipping an espresso while leaning against the door frame of my room, telling me how she would, “get in there, get me cleaned out, and put me back together, good as new.”). I hung onto her words. She was excellent. And correct, for I was safe in her care. 

I am grateful for our Holy Faith full of mystery, consolation, suffering, redemption, and love. 

I am grateful that this tiny one’s perfect soul is with our Lord and I have peace in the knowledge that he or she knows me.

And while I am grateful for all these things, I still want my baby. 

Oh, Advent, lead me closer to the Infant Christ and his Blessed Mother.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:12-12).”


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About Allison H.

Allison is a 40-something mother of seven, living in Alaska, accepted into the Church (together with her husband, thank God) in 2004. She spends her days homeschooling and packaging meat that her menfolk hunt and bring home. She cannot garden to save her life but picks wild blueberries like a champ. She has been published in an edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul and keeps a blog at, writing about living out the Faith with children with cystic fibrosis.

  • RyAnne Carr - Praying for you. We lost our first child 5 years ago. He was stillborn. I still miss him and the holidays always seem to make things more raw. Mary understands and she walks with us always. You are in my prayers.December 12, 2016 – 8:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison - RyAnne, and you’re in mine as well. Love and thanks, AllisonDecember 13, 2016 – 11:03 amReplyCancel

  • Karen - Allison – my heart is breaking for you. May God give you solace in your grief. I know your pain all too well. I had due dates of December 24, 2011 and December 25, 2012 that never came to pass. I mourn my babies in heaven (4 total) but have been comforted by the arms of my Savior wrapped around me and the vision of our Blessed Mother in heaven cradling my lovelies. Your Advent prayer of gratitude amidst your grief is a beautiful inspiration. May God richly bless you.December 14, 2016 – 8:48 amReplyCancel

  • Allison - Dear Karen, thank you with all my heart. Love to you and yours.December 16, 2016 – 5:41 pmReplyCancel

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