I Had a Beautiful Baby, and Immediately Started Complaining

Why is gratitude sometimes so hard to grasp in moments of great blessing?

Amy Colleen

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Shortly after midnight on a May day which I cannot describe in any further detail (being inside the hospital for its duration; it may have been cloudy, or rainy, or blazing hot and I simply do not know) my second son entered this world. He was neither early, nor, I suppose (though I am quite tempted to classify him as such), late. He arrived precisely when he meant to. He was large and in charge (nearly nine pounds), an immediately-proficient nurser and sleeper, and all around a very satisfactory (if somewhat jaundiced) baby.

That is he, himself, at the opening of this story, not a stock photo. (In general I am very cautious about sharing photos of my children on the internet, but it is a cold fact of nature that most newborns look alike, and at this tender & oblivious age I feel fairly comfortable letting you have a peep at squishy cheeks and smushed-up noses.)

He is now nearly three months old, but when he had been in this world for just a few weeks, I wrote the following. Since then, life has gotten easier in some ways (less illness, more sleep) and harder in others (my husband went back to work, the baby developed some intense reflux, and my postpartum anxiety cropped up again). So in a way it is just as true now as it was before, and revisiting it today is helping to ground me in feeling thankful for what I’ve been given.

I’m writing this with two thumbs, on my phone, while the child in question slumbers in the crook of my arm. My husband took our 2-year-old to the post office to give me a little bit of peace and quiet. He’s off work for the next few weeks, and I’m grateful, because I truly don’t know how I’d be surviving without him right now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude over the last few days. I have a lot to be grateful for. My baby was born safely with much less trouble than my first (despite his late appearance). A very minor complication kept us at the hospital a little longer than we preferred, but he is healthy and thriving now. My two-year-old is also thriving, and the fact that we now have two children who have entered this world without darkening the door of a NICU is not…

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Amy Colleen

I read a lot of books & sometimes I’m funny. I aspire to be a novelist, practice at humor & human interest writing, and am very fond of the Oxford comma.