Christmas is one of those hard holidays for me, and most infertile people, actually. I know there is so much to think about at Christmastime, and it's such a lovely and charitable holiday, which is why I try my best to really think about all of my blessings at this time of year.
But it's still impossible to ignore all of the parts of Christmas that I wish I had. Taking my children to meet Santa, watching Rudolph, Elf and Scrooge with them, watching them sing at the school's holiday music program, seeing their faces light up Christmas morning when they wake me up at 4 AM to open presents, Christmas family photos, playing Santa, teaching my children about baby Jesus and the Nativity story, the kids waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to come over... Christmas has so much focus on families, and a large part of it is dedicated to the children. On the RESOLVE.org page I linked above, a quote says, "One RESOLVE member describes Christmas as 'Santa Claus and rosy-cheeked children in every store, buying toys and gifts for other people's children, hanging only two stockings on your mantel, seeing the Nativity scene on display everywhere.' The everyday reminders of infertility are magnified a hundredfold. The joy of seeing children sitting on Santa's knee, lighting a menorah or ripping open a present is destroyed when every child reminds you of the one you don't have yet." Last year on Christmas day, I cried while I thought to myself, Maybe next year... I have to hope that it will happen next year. Will I tell myself the same thing again this year? This year is going to be much harder, too, because I am going to be together with my siblings and their kids. And it might be a selfish feeling, but I really can't help but feel that I will be out of place and left out. It's hard when everyone else who will be there has moved onto the next stage of life.
I have had to work on and resolve a lot of feelings when it comes to infertility. I can handle so much more now than I ever dreamed I thought possible. But, maybe because holidays like this come around so infrequently, or because I always imagine that Christmas will be so important once I do have children, or because I think of what my Christmas would be like if I hadn't lost my babies that I'm just not sure what to do with these feelings yet. This is going to be a huge trial and a big time of growth for me. I'm going in blind because I'm not sure exactly what to expect. My first instinct is to run away and just avoid all of it. But, I'll just have to jump into my aunt role and try to make this an amazing Christmas for my nephews, enjoy eating family dinner, and hope that the Lord will help solve the heartache I feel this time of year.
We will also take a quick escape for a few hours on Christmas morning while we go see Les Misérables at the cinema. We have to treat and help ourselves, too, don't we? I think we'll need that time together at Christmas, just our tiny family of two.