Or should I say, a LACK of conception around Christmas?
My first pregnancy was amazing. I got pregnant in early November of 2009, experienced my first Thanksgiving as a newly (& secret) preggo, and more than anything I looked forward to announcing it to our family at Christmas when we traveled the 800 miles home. I had photo cards made up with my digitial pregnancy test on it & a nice caption to give to our immediate family members.
That excitement, unfortunately, didn’t last long. On Dec 22nd I found out the baby didn’t have a heartbeat & that it appeared to have stopped growing 2 weeks earlier. I had no sign of miscarriage at all, except my hcg levels just stopped rising properly. So on Dec 23rd, I had a D&C performed. I ripped up the cards & threw them away the morning after the procedure. I couldn’t stand the reminder.
It was the most awful Christmas I have ever had in my life. And my life has never been the same since then.
Since then I’ve had 2 more losses, but none of them can touch the pain of the first one.
Since then, Christmas has always been a very bittersweet time for me. Christmas is a magical time (for us Christians). A time to remember miracles & the birth of our Savior, giving to others selflessly, being joyful.
So, how do I cope? I know I can’t speak on behalf of all the TTCers out there who are going through the same thing, but I can offer up some personal advice & what has helped me. As always, I don’t know if it helps, but if one person benefits, it was worth writing this blog. Getting my feelings out also helps me.
I think its best to self-protect during vulerable times. For me, I tend to withdraw a bit from the social hussle & bussle. I also accept fewer party invitations or large social gatherings. a) because I am not drinking now because of TTC, people like to assume. And assuming someone is pregnant when they suffered a loss on the same day 3 years ago is beyond painful for me to deal with. b) putting on a happy face & acting as if there isn't a care in the world is not my style. I try to keep it real, no mattter where I am. So if I am sad or down, I don't particularly like to bottle up those emotions for the sake of others. That has never served me.
Take some personal, quiet time for just you. I like to reflect on what has happened in the past, how its changed the person I am today & pay homage to the love I once felt. Sometimes reading a special poem, lighting a candle, or even saying a prayer is a good way I commemerate that which I’ve lost. I always remember how thankful I am that I was able to be a mother, if only for a short time. That can never be taken away from me, even though the memory is becoming more distant.
Sometimes the holidays = giant family gatherings. That may include nosey aunts, drunk in-laws, new babies & pregnant cousins. This is never pleasant. Seeing glowing pregnant ladies or new babies in their Holiday garb around Christmas time is frustrating & painful at times. It all depends on my mood though, honestly. I’m sure for anyone who has been trying to concieve for years or those who have suffered multiple losses, seeing what you’ve always dreamed of for yourself (ie Baby’s First Christmas) is pretty gut wrenching & depressing. Somehow I try to drag myself out of the “why is that not me?” mind frame. This is NOT easy. Getting sloshed drunk may be a perk to not being pregnant at this point 😉 Or a more mature answer would be to lean on your spouse for emotional support. Have a “code word” when you’re out & about for when things get TOO real & its time to go. I am able to whisper something to my spouse or just give him a look when its time to leave.
This actually just happened Friday night @ a work function. I was being casually introduced to some of my husband’s work friends (one of whom had a very cute & very pregnant wife). The belly was slightly annoying, but I was able to handle it fine. As we were all filing out though, I heard the other women swooning over her, talking about how soon she won’t be sleeping at all when the baby comes, yadda yadda… It was time to get our of ear shot & go.
There are perks to not being hugely pregnant around the holiday season though. My hub & I are actually going on vacation & I intend to enjoy it, worryfree. Well, as worryfree as an OCD like myself can be. Cute party clothes, heels, a glass of wine, sushi, deli platters, egg nog, vacation nookie, etc. Remind yourself of the few benefits.
One day, if its in God’s plans, I will be enjoying a Very Pregnant Christmas. I will buy a baby’s first christmas ornament for my tree. When it happens, it will be extra special.
Til next time.