52 Lists: Life’s Trials that Made Me Better

Many of the blogs on the list of blogs that I read (fairly) regularly are other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. One blog in particular, Mom’s Heart, has been writing along with the 52 Lists linkup created and hosted by Chasing Slow. I didn’t realize until recently that it was a “public” linkup, but now that I know, I’m going to work on including one of these posts each week. (I don’t know exactly what I thought it was. Some sort of by-invitation-only thing, I guess.)

52 lists with Chasing Slow

This week is quite an emotional one to start with; maybe that’s a good thing. This is an especially difficult list for a couple of reasons. First of all, most of the time, I feel like I live a pretty charmed life. There’s not that much that’s “bad enough” to be considered one of life’s trials. The other reason that makes this such a hard list for me is that one of the things I want to talk about is incredibly sensitive. This item is extremely personal – something I haven’t really talked to anyone about outside of one friend via email. This item in particular might even be considered “controversial,” especially if it’s something you’ve never experienced. Knowing that there are some people I know in real life (including my husband) who read these pages makes it all the harder. Part of me is concerned over potential backlash for some of my feelings. But as hard as it will be to get it all out there, I’m confident it’ll be okay in the long run.

So, here are my Life’s Trials that Made Me Better.

Many Broke Years

We spent many of the early years in our marriage completely broke. For about four or five years, we lived in government subsidized housing, and for one of those years we were literally so poor that our landlord paid us each month. It wasn’t fun at the time, but now I can look back on those days and understand that going through it made me appreciate the more comfortable lifestyle we now lead.

My First C-Section

When I was in the hospital for Munchkin’s birth, I expected nothing less than to have a fairly uncomplicated, medicated, vaginal birth like I’d had with Seahawk. Things fell apart about 8 hours into my (induced) labor, though, and I ended up with an emergency c-section. This event nearly 10 years ago has set the stage for all of my successive births to follow suit. I’ve had two c-sections since this one, and I embrace the idea of them a little more each time.

Gender Disappointment During Pregnancy

This is the one that I mentioned might be controversial. It’s a difficult thing to bring up, but it’s something I’ve been living for quite some time (despite the fact that my most recent pregnancy ended nearly 8 months ago). First, please understand that my feelings and emotions regarding this particular “trial” have absolutely no bearing on my children; I love them more than I can even express. But the fact remains that I never in a million years envisioned or expected to have children of only one gender. For the first half of my pregnancies with both Small Fry and Dragonfly, I’d convinced myself that after two (and then three) boys, I was finally going to have a girl. At the same time, I told myself over and over again that I’d be okay with another boy, but then when the doctor said the “magic” words, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion (not in a good way). I don’t despair over my children, but sometimes I do despair over the daughter I may never have.

So. Maybe that last one isn’t something that “makes me better,” especially since it’s not something I’ve allowed myself to get over, but it is a pretty huge trial. If you’ve never experienced it, you’re lucky. If you have, then you understand where I’m coming from…

Thanks again to Chasing Slow for hosting this linkup.


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  1. Welcome to the 52 lists! I’m so happy to have you join us and invite you to continue to join us each wee. It is open!

    I can relate to some of your trials. We have 5 daughters and one of my trials with the stillbirth of our only son. I ached so badly for my husband and had to endure a very emotional recovery…not only my own grief but also the grief that my husband would never have a boy to carry on his name, go hunting with, etc.

    Yes, I agree this was a difficult list, but I my hope was that it brought about the pondering of the blessings that come from some of the hardest moments in our lives.

  2. My c-section story is wrapped up in the story of an abrupt premature birth of a critically ill child, and I still wish that things could’ve been different.

    This was a hard a list to come up with and to share. Thank you for hoping your heart in such a vulnerable way.

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