You know that song, right? The one from “The Grinch”? I’ve always loved it, but it didn’t really resonate much with me until this year.
Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?
That’s kind of how I felt this year. We knew going into our IVF cycle that it could either be the best Christmas or one of the hardest. But I was so focused on the cycle itself during all of it that I didn’t think too far in advance or think about how I’d feel this holiday.
It was hard. But also wonderful. I genuinely enjoyed every moment with our families. I enjoyed our annual Christmas Eve party with family and opening gifts on Christmas Day with Jordan’s family, but it was also hard. I can’t fully explain it other than I just felt very unsettled. I think that’s normal, however; I’m not used to feeling that way around Christmas.
I normally love Christmas Eve service. I think it’s beautiful. Everyone singing “Silent Night” with candles lighting up the entire church. So I asked Jordan to come with me. And it was the hardest service I have ever sat through. It wasn’t what was said, or what the pastor preached. His message was perfect.
It was that if our first IUI had worked, we probably would have had a December baby. It was that if our IVF had worked, we would have been pregnant. We would have started the Christmas Eve service with our new baby, or soon-to-be baby. They started to sing “Hallelujah” and a family walked in with their baby carrier. I lost it. And I thought, “It’s happened. I’ve become the sad girl in church crying because she’s not pregnant. Ugh.” It wasn’t because I was jealous. I wouldn’t wish infertility on my worst enemy. But it was the thought, “Will we ever be able to create those memories? Will I dress our kids up in their Christmas clothes and take a family photo by the tree?”
Jordan silently took my hand. I squeezed it as tightly as I could. That’s all I needed, really.
I loved watching all the kids in our family open gifts, but things like that make you question your entire future. Will this ever be us? Will we get to tell our kids about Santa? And I get it. I understand that’s not what Christmas is about, but it is still hard.
In the infertility world, we call these triggers. I didn’t think I had any, really, but I think a failed IVF and pushing into another year of the unknown changes you more than you’d like to admit.
Don’t worry. Please don’t feel bad. We still had a blessed Chrismas. We have a wonderful family to visit, and I know not everyone has that. I did enjoy my time; I just felt off this year and I think that’s okay sometimes.
I know this sounds crazy, but I am already looking forward to next Christmas. To me, this is good. It means I still have hope.
I am hopeful that next year we will have our miracle baby and if not, that our path will be at least more defined.
I am hopeful that instead of just hanging that extra stocking, I can also fill it.