Attitude of Gratitude from Because Nice Matters

Today is the tenth post in the Attitude of Gratitude series. Click here for the complete list of posts.

Join us Monday through Friday through Thanksgiving, and feel welcome to share your own stories as well in the comments sections of each post.

It’s my pleasure to welcome Noelle from Because Nice Matters. I have “known” Noelle for I guess more than three years now. I found her blog on a whim and I have been hooked ever since. Her sense of humor, her amazing writing style, her candidness…I hope you will please take a few moments to stop by and read her stories. She’s one of the strongest people I know.

It was last fall that I walked out of a store, pushing my baby in her stroller. She was in her car seat and was covered with a blanket. Another mom walked out at the same time that I did, and her daughter was sitting in the cart, screaming at the top of her lungs.
The frustrated mom looked to me and said, “Just wait. It won’t be long before your baby acts like this,” and then she rolled her eyes.
I smiled at the woman and answered her, “I’ll love every minute of it.”
The mom rolled her eyes again and walked away, pushing her still screaming baby.
If the woman had paused for just a moment, and watched as I took my baby from her stroller, she would have seen this:
My sweet girl, who has a congenital heart defect, was born fighting for her life.
I was just 20 weeks pregnant when they told me that my baby girl might not survive childbirth.
I spent my entire pregnancy praying for my daughter Emily, and hoping that those prayers would be answered.
Three of the first four months of Emily’s life were spent in the hospital.
In her first year of life she had four heart surgeries, three of which were open heart, and two non-heart related surgeries.
The first year of my little girl’s life was hell, to put it simply.
Today, at nearly 15 months old, Emily is pure joy.
Her fight isn’t over.
She will have her next open heart surgery sometime within the next two years…and during that time she will continue to need therapists who will teach her how to walk, how to talk, and even how to eat…because she doesn’t eat – not by mouth.
The day my Emily was born I became a heart mom.
And with that title comes sincere gratitude.
Gratitude for things like a baby who cries in the grocery store, because she’s alive to cry.
Gratitude for the nights Emily can’t sleep, because it means I can cuddle her close.
Gratitude for every achievement: a smile, a laugh, a first word, the first time she crawled …
Gratitude for each day she’s with us, because we really don’t know how many we’ll get.
The doctor who first diagnosed Emily’s heart defect told my husband and me that we should consider terminating the pregnancy.
“There is no way of knowing what kind of life your daughter will have, if she survives at all, and you might want to consider all of your options,” she said.
More than anything else?
I’m grateful that my husband and I didn’t listen to the doctor, but rather took a blind step into the dark, because with Emily in our lives we will always have light.
You can follow Emily’s story at Because Nice Matters
Do you have a story of gratitude to share? Please feel free to share your story in the comments below.



Owner at Yellow Bliss Road
Hi! I'm Kristin, the creative mind behind Yellow Bliss Road where you will be inspired by tons of easy to follow recipes, lots of free printables, and a little sprinkling of life thrown in for good measure.
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  1. says

    After 10 years of infertility I was pretty clingy when Josiah was little. I wanted to enjoy every moment! So on Mother’s Day, when he was 4 months old, I carried him into church with me rather than leave him in the nursery. He became a little fussy part way through the sermon and the pastor stopped, looked at me, and asked me to please take my baby out of the auditorium. I left and sat with him in the lobby. After the service an older couple who had experienced the grief of a stillborn child came up to me and told me to never regret my noisy child because it meant he was alive. Grief came with silence! Not sure I’ve been grateful for every squeal and squawk but I have loved every moment of being my noisy boy’s mama! Love you, Noelle!

  2. says

    Dear Noelle
    What a beautiful story and of your miracle Emily. She is a doll. My prayers for you and your family as travel the roads ahead to her wellness. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding so many of us how precious life is!

    Much love to you

  3. says

    What a precious, wonderful, beautiful gift your daughter is. You chose life and for that, you will be forever rewarded!!!

    What a blessed little girl she is to have you as her mommy.

    Blessings to you all.

  4. says

    Although I have known your and Emily’s story for almost her entire life, I couldn’t help but get all misty reading this.
    I love to soak in the words that you write.
    I admire the strength, grace and class that you radiate from your very soul.
    I cherish my friendship with you.

    I love you my heart sister.

  5. says

    Oh wow. That is so powerful and I can only imagine your perspective on gratitude is one we all can learn from. I certainly did. I look forward to checking out your blog! Thank you for sharing.

  6. says

    What a gift she is! What joy she is bringing to you and your husband. It is a reminder to all of us parents to hold our kids close and not take them for granted, even when they are being fussy and cranky. I will be praying for your daughters health. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  7. says

    I am so glade you did not abort your baby girl! I wish that mom would have seen your sweet Emily because it could have helped her become grateful like you are. There is so much we can learn from you

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