The holidays are a bit stressful for us infertiles. All the pressure about family. The focus on kids. The revolving door of relatives, well meaning but insensitively joking about not waiting too long to have kids. Not wanting to explain over and over that you want a child more than anything but you can’t.
Luckily the holidays were low stress for us. No family came into town. We sent our gifts to family early. We video chatted with our friends in Colorado, as they are the only people in our lives who actually exchanged gifts with us (what I mean is our family takes gifts from us, but doesn’t send anything back). We don’t do gifts for each other. We did Christmas Angels instead. It was just us and the furkids. Playing board games until midnight and relaxing.
New Year’s was much of the same. We stayed home with the dogs. Which turned out to be a good thing since they opened a fireworks tent about a mile away and we could hear people popping off fireworks all night (from like 9 pm) and our rescue furkid was very unhappy about that.
But deep in the back of my mind, despite all the smiles and fun and low stress and low pressure, I am still hurting. I tried to glaze over Christmas Eve, our missed due date, only to cry when packing up the Christmas decorations.
I tried to ignore the hurt when I scroll through my Facebook feed of all my friends and their kids. The baby’s first pictures. The two women who just had babies last year were both in my IVF support group. I am so happy for them, but it hurts so much. It seems like most people I befriend in my group end up with their miracle baby, while we sit and wait.
The more I try to avoid thinking about the pain, the worse my sleep has been getting. I have stress dreams about tornados. Usually I spend all night running from tornados. This weekend I tried to hide in a “safe” place but the tornado “got” me. I woke up immediately as I was being swept into the tornado (yikes). Last night’s dream was one of the worst ever.
In the dream my hubby and I were watching his sister’s baby (full disclosure his sister passed away about 6 years ago so I don’t know why she was in this dream). We were in our master bedroom bottle feeding her (a little girl) with our beagles around us. It seemed very much like when we had foster babies. A little later in the dream, his sister walked up to me took the baby from me and put her in the stroller. She waited at an elevator (no idea why we were now in a building with an elevator). As she is about to get in the elevator she says ‘I shouldn’t be trusted to watch her baby since I had lost my own’ (referring to my miscarriage). In my dream I slink down and cry and say ‘why would you say that?’
Ouch. That one hurts. His sister, when she was alive, was the nicest person I know, so it was extra hurtful to have the nicest person I know say that about me. I know the miscarriage was not my fault, but now I wonder if I am ignoring those feelings. I am a master avoider, according to my therapist. I don’t even notice I am doing that sometimes.
With the pressure of the holidays gone, I hope that my anxiety will die down and I can actually get some sleep. Night after night of nightmares is exhausting and getting old.
I hope your holidays were less stressful than mine and here’s to a better year than the one before! Happy New Year!