Cheers to a Challenging Year

A guest post by my friend Katka:
I have been thinking about this post for a while.

I am honored that Meredith asked me to write a guest post again; I had written one a while back when we climbed Whitney together with Strand. And I thought about what to write when we celebrated after the ING New York City Marathon that Meredith and her brother ran together. What a great experience for all of us from near and far who had the opportunity to cheer them.

What am I grateful for?  Family and Friends. That is what I am most grateful for — I am grateful for the ones who are close as well as the ones who are oceans apart. They are what have gotten me and my husband, Matthew, through the tough times; helped us take big and little steps forward; and they are the ones with whom we have celebrated with along the way.

This year has been a challenging one for us.

We experienced a terrible tragedy in January, losing our son at 23 weeks of my pregnancy. I went into preterm labor for no explained reason and we found that we had to make extremely difficult decisions that would impact us for the rest of our lives. But I truly believe that every tragic moment goes hand in hand with a moment of joy and happiness. Our son was delivered and we got to hold him — then he peacefully passed in our hands, pain-free, and surrounded by love.

It was a very sad moment but it was also a new beginning.  We dug deep to continue our journey forward to another day. Matthew and I are committed to each other and we are getting stronger day by day while we have grieved, cried and laughed together. I am thankful that in the times of sadness, we rely on each other even more and it has made our partnership stronger.

I am thankful for the medical care that we have received from our doctors and nurses that helped us to deal with the infertility battle and conceive our son, along with the care that we received at Columbia hospital during those tragic days in January. There has been a lot of negativity in the news related to vaccinations, ultrasounds, medication and prenatal care. Everyone should spend some time to educate themselves about both pros and cons of any medical procedure at any stage of life, but I am thankful for the science, medical advancement and care that has allowed Matthew and I to have a family one day.

So what is it that keeps me pushing forward throughout this challenging year? The immediate support of my family and friends when the worst hit, but also, as the time passed, the days when it was tough to go forward and I was able to send out a text to ask for help. My mom and dad flew from Slovakia for 10 days and we would take hikes, cook, bake, play Angry Birds on iPad – pretty much anything that would make us smile and laugh. Matthew and I took a quick getaway to Disney World in Orlando before I went back to work after my maternity leave. We would make plans with our friends during weekends, apple picking, wine tasting, doggie snuggles, long walks on the beach and in the woods; BBQs on our deck or just spending time reading. I studied over the summer and we both kept pretty busy despite some additional life roll coaster events.

A positive attitude, a smile on my face and the constant reminder that we are lucky to be surrounded by all of you is what I am grateful for. Cheers to that!


Katka is my hero; one of my best friends; a finance gal; a climber of mountains; a woman who cannot be deterred from any goal once her mind is set.  Katka is someone who is incredibly important not only to me, but to my entire family.  She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband, Matthew, and is kind enough to let Roo bunk in with them when I travel.  She was a part of the inaugural Women of Winesday Mount Whitney Expedition 2011.

Throughout the month of November, I will be posting stories of change, gratitude, forgiveness, and grace — both my own words, and the tales of carefully selected guest voices.

1 Comment

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  1. I love to hear your positivity and gratitude despite all the challenges you’ve faced in the past year. I, too, suffered a late pregnancy loss and though it’s been many years now, I will never forget. Here’s to hope and better days to come.

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