It’s Christmas. Possibly the worst time of the year for infertiles. Certainly around here it’s a very child-centric time. For weeks now the conversations at work have revolved around the presents the kids are getting and what everyone is doing with the kids these holidays. Everywhere you look is a reminder of the one thing you don’t have yet desire so desperately. I wish I could say I was a bigger person and could let it all wash over me, but I can’t. This year especially it’s really getting to me. Perhaps it’s because we’re ever closer to having to give up our dream of a child, as failing donor egg IVF the only option is adoption, and to be honest adopting here is rarer than winning the lottery.
It’s awful feeling sad through what should be a happy time. It’s not like I’m having a bad Christmas outside of missing a child. My family are hanging out together, it’s sunny and warm, we’ve got good food and drinks, we’re having fun. There’s just this hole in my heart and an ache in my tummy of something missing. Had everything gone to plan we’d have a two (nearly three) year old now. Heck, even if our first IVF had worked we’d have a near one year old. It hurts.
There are posts all over Facebook of happy family holidays, kids making sandcastles, running around the beach, opening their stockings and other Christmas presents, and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll be able to ever do the same. Even on our walk today there was a sign outside someone’s house announcing the birth of their child. Oh yeah, and my cousin announces he’s going to be a grandfather, his 17 year old daughter is pregnant. Fuck. My. Life. And Merry Christmas.
I haven no idea why people think Christmas is a great time to announce pregnancies. Even if I was fertile I think I’d feel this way, Christmas is already a time of excitement and celebration, why get all the thrill out of the way at once, to drown the pregnancy in the standard buzz of Christmas. If it were me I’d want to spread the hype out over the year, to celebrate Christmas then create a new buzz a month or two down the track. There’s not enough excitement in adult life as it is (not like when you’re a kid and the world is an exhilarating and mysterious place), doesn’t it make sense to extend what excitement there is as much as possible?
Hopefully one day we’ll have a Christmas where we’re creating excitement for our own kids, planning treats and watching their joy as they open their presents. Hopefully this won’t always be a time tinged with sadness and longing, but as we edge ever closer to a childless life, it’s hard to believe that will ever be the case. So we struggle through another Christmas, slap on a smile, hide the tears, and try our best to have a good time. A life split in two and put on hold, living in hope of one day mending our bruised and broken hearts.