Truth be told, infertility is hard 365 days of the year. But for me anyway, Christmas is probably the hardest time of the whole year, where it is brought home to us even more just how much we want a child of our own. Almost everything about Christmas is geared towards children, from Christmas films to TV adverts showing the latest toys, from writing letters to Santa to setting up the Christmas tree and decorating the house. There are so many moments where I think about doing things with a child of our own and how much more exciting it would make this time of year.
This year will be the hardest of all as by the time Christmas day arrives we would have been approximately half way through our pregnancy. It would have been our last childless Christmas and although I try to block it out of my mind as much as I can, recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how different things would be. From the minute I found out I was pregnant I had been thinking about a future with a baby of our own. Although you know the situation is still very precarious at that stage (as we found out to our devastation), it’s so difficult not to think about these things. Being an avid Pinterest lover, I had saved so many pins on pregnancy, pregnancy announcements, nursery themes, nursery furniture, baby names, how to prepare your dog for a baby, baby clothes etc. I love crafting and had been so excited about making things myself for the nursery such as a beautiful mobile idea I had saved and stencilling our theme of choice on the walls. I had even begun to look at Christmas gift ideas for Dave to celebrate the fact that next Christmas he would be a daddy.
But now all that is gone, and it just makes me feel incredibly sad. I’ve had a really hard time sleeping recently and find whenever I do fall asleep I end up dreaming about our little one who is no longer with us. I wake up and for a split second I think it’s real and he’s still in my tummy. And then reality sets in and I feel the ever-constant ache in my heart once again.
As I always say however, I do appreciate how very lucky I am and grateful for everything I do have. And don’t get me wrong, there are many moments where I feel lucky to be able to come home from a day of Christmas shopping, light the fire, open a bottle of wine and settle down to a Christmas film. I sometimes feel relieved that I don’t have the stress of getting kids home, fed, bathed and bedded all whilst they’re hyped up on E numbers and asking when Santa is coming for the 20th time that day. But isn’t that all part of the fun? Yes I’m sure there are plenty of parents out there who would swap places with me just to have 5 minutes to themselves and be able to eat a meal without constant interruption. However I guarantee after an hour or so they would begin wondering what their kids were up to and pine to have them near again. It’s like the saying “For every woman who hates her stretch marks is another who wishes she could have them”.
I recently had a conversation with one of my good friends that really made me think about the reasons why I want a child of my own. She is unsure whether she wants to have a baby or not and explained her reasoning as “I love my life the way it is”. That really struck a chord with me as you know what? So do I. Aside from the infertility there is really nothing I would change about my life. I love it the way it is and feel so incredibly blessed. I can definitely say I am not one of those people who says; “My life will be better when I have a baby” or “I’ll be happy when I have a baby”. Apart from anything else I think that is a dangerous game to play. If you’re always waiting for one specific thing to happen that you think will make your life complete, the chances are it’s not going to. One of the things I’ve learned from our infertility journey is instead of focussing on what we don’t have, I try to focus on all the amazing things we do have. Yes we desperately want a child and yes we will do everything in our power to achieve that, but we try really hard to not sit about and moan about our struggles (despite my many negative blog posts!) After all, there are thousands upon thousands of people out there who are in far worse situations than us. For the moment we still enjoy life as much as we can. So after thinking about it I came to the conclusion that I want to have a baby not because I think it will make us happier or our life better, but because it will enhance our life so much more. It will bring a new dimension to our life and yes, will throw us in at the deep end of something we have no clue how to do, but what a fantastic challenge it will be. I truly admire all my friends who have kids as I think being a parent must be one of the most amazing things you can do. The thought of having a baby, made from me and Dave, that we can love and cherish throughout our whole lives has to be one of the greatest gifts life can give. We know there are times when it will be hard but we are so ready for it and want it more than anything.
So if you are reading this and you have kids please do me a favour? On Christmas Day squeeze your little ones tight and kiss their faces until they tell you to stop. I would give anything to be in your shoes so please know how lucky you are. I will be enjoying my Christmas with my amazing family and friends and a very large glass of wine, but with an empty womb and a hole in my heart.