I had originally planned to write a post about what I’m thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving, and I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but honestly, I just didn’t feel up to it. My Instagram feed has been bombarded with so many people celebrating that they’re expecting after struggling with infertility, and I am so happy for them, I really am, but it also makes me feel more alone and hopeless. I can’t help thinking, where is my miracle baby? Where is my happy ending? Haven’t we been struggling with this long enough? What did I do to deserve this? All I wanted for the holidays was to be a family of four. Then I settled for the idea that I would be pregnant at the holidays this year, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. And as much as I am trying to live in the moment and be grateful for what I have (including one beautiful, healthy, amazing baby!), I’m finding the holidays are an especially hard time to be struggling with infertility and it makes me very aware of how long we’ve been trying/hoping/waiting. I would do anything to be that happy couple announcing our pregnancy. I would do anything to have another baby, and it’s hard to remember all that I do have when everyone around me seems to be growing their family while we sit and wait. Dealing with infertility and the holidays is a lot, and another one of those things no one really talks about.
I’ve always loved the holidays, but this year, I’m not super excited to see family and friends, or to celebrate. I know that seems like an awful thing to say, but these days, I honestly, can’t handle much more than focusing on James and work and trying not to think of the family we don’t have. The holidays and being around other people and celebrating reminds me of that. It also makes me feel like a failure and ashamed — its a reminder that while all our friends and family have been able to have the kids they want, we have not. And that’s so incredibly painful regardless of what I know in my head to be true. The holidays also bring us together with people we haven’t seen in a long time, which often means getting asked a million times if we’re going to have another kid, and the continuous painful reminder of our infertility struggles.
I’m trying hard to focus on the positive this year though and to believe that this time next year, we’ll have our family of four (or five!) and this nightmare will be over and it will have all been worth it. I want to believe that looking back, I’ll know there was a reason for all this and I’ll be able to know that things happen for a reason and the family I’ve always dreamed of will be mine. But I think it’s okay to admit that I’m not feeling the holidays this year, and that dealing with infertility and the holidays is a lot.
But regardless of what happens, something I am eternally grateful for is all of you. So many of you have reached out to share your own fertility struggles and have given me hope and reminded me I’m not alone. You’ve allowed me to pursue my passion and share a corner of my life with you and to have a community that constantly reminds me that I’m not alone. This year, through sharing our struggles, I’ve reconnected with so many friends, bonded with colleagues and readers, who have gone through this or are going through this, and maybe that is why we’re experiencing this. Before, I had felt lonely as friends moved away and to the suburbs and became busy with work and kids (and we did too0, and like I didn’t have many friends, but all the support and love I’ve gotten these past months has made me realize how lucky I am to have so many amazing friends (old and new) and such an amazing community that I’ve built around this blog. Thank you for your support, love, stories, and for following along. You don’t know how much it means to me.
PS: That photo is of James and I last Thanksgiving. It’s crazy how much he’s grown!