Thursday, December 20, 2012

Not a Joyful Christmas

As each day we get closer to Christmas I feel myself hating it more and more, and I hate that.  Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I remember the few years I got with my mother.  My first Christmas with my family was when I was 5, just a month short of being 6.  This really was my first real Christmas.

My mother's joy at this time of the year was so catchy.  I had been in foster homes and had so much sadness and abuse that I really didn't understand Christmas.  All I knew is that sometimes it meant getting to go to church with my current foster family and maybe a few candy canes.

It all started on Thanksgiving day.  It was the day we started the Christmas songs.  I remember helping my mom.  Each of us kids (I had 3 brothers) had a job to do to help with the dinner, mine was the gravy (I really just stirred it at this stage).  I stood on my stool over the stove stirring my gravy, while Nat King Cole and Bing Cosby sang Christmas songs in the background, and watched my mother shine with joy while she scurried around the kitchen singing along with the wonderful music.  She filled our home and our lives with Joy.  Even when all kids were old enough to to believe in Santa (which sadly I never got to) she still took time to put foot prints on the hearth of our fireplace, she would drop glitter and the carrots were always nibbled, and the milk and cookies always eaten.

My last Christmas with my mother was when I was 11 and she was stuck in the hospital until Christmas Eve that year, yet even with that little set back her joy was still contagious.  The staff all lit up when they were around her.  The Christmases that followed were hard, but I was always determined to get the Joy of Christmas alive and to let the memories give me joy.

Despite some tough years I've managed to keep that joy, but this year I'm failing.  For the first time ever I am totally and completely dreading Christmas.  No matter where I go it's going to be filled with pregnant bellies and babies.  Not a soul will remember our struggle or our babies.  I feel myself fearing that I'm going to have an outburst.  Since my SIL announced her pregnancy I've hated being around my MIL, the family as well, but mostly just my MIL.  I am not sure how much longer I can pretend that what she is doing doesn't hurt.  I just don't understand how a women who dealt with infertility herself can so easily forget about us.  I'm at a point where I don't give a damn if I say something to upset them.  I've been holding my tongue for the benefit of my husband, who is much better at assuming the best in people.  While he knows and is hurt by what his MIL is doing to us, but he also is assuming that it is not done on purpose.  I can even believe that, but shouldn't she be aware of what she is doing?  Am I wrong for being hurt that she doesn't acknowledge our lost children.  Am I wrong and being over sensitive that the whole family seems to have forgotten out long battle with IF?

I want to celebrate that baby, don't get me wrong.  I already love that niece/nephew.  Is it really necessary though to only carry conversation about the baby?  Is it really important that most of the Christmas gifts are for the baby that isn't even born yet?  I can understand my MIL's desire to get gifts for her grandchild, but does it have to be while we are all there at Christmas time? Isn't that what a shower is for, or just take them to her daughter's house.  I think it is very insensitive to expect my husband and me to sit and watch while these gifts are opened.  How can she so easily forget the pain of infertility.  It's completely f***ed up and I'm tired of pretending it isn't.

I'm not sure how I'll make through this Christmas.  I'm trying with all my might to remember the joy of Christmas, but I don't know how I can when I feel that our battle and our children are blatantly ignored, forgotten, and uncared about.

Emotions Running Rampant

I've tried to start this post many times and never could find the words.  I couldn't hold myself together long enough to try to find them.  I still don't think I can truly express what has gone on, or what I'm feeling.  I ask that you bare with me while I make an attempt to tell you.

I thought that I was done with the medical problems for awhile.  I was taking a break from running test while my drs. did more research and we were done TTC.  I had pain meds and I really thought that for the rest of the year I could just slide by and be semi alright with no new surprises   Well I was wrong, which I should have known better that my body has it's own mind, not connected to mine, and will do whatever it feels like for absolutely no reason.

One night a few weeks ago while spending quality time with my husband my back started to spasm.  I had never felt this before.  It wasn't like my normal back cramping I get with AF or even what I've had in labor during m/c.  It wasn't a pulled muscle either.  It felt like a charlie horse in my back.  For the few seconds it lasted (maybe about 10 seconds) I couldn't move, could barely catch my breath from the pain I was in.  It quickly past and didn't come back, or so I thought.

A few days later I was hit with the spasm again.  This wasn't a one time things this time.  In about 5 minutes I had numerous spasms come and go, and throughout the next few days I had it all again.  It kept getting worse and more frequent so I finally broke down and went to the doctor.  Was told it could be kidney issues, low electrolyte issues, a new endo symptom, or I had hurt my back and didn't realize it.  Since I was currently on AF (which made them even worse) we couldn't test to see if I had any blood in my urine.  My dr. decided to do the easiest thing and prescribed me with a muscle relaxer and pain medicine.  If it didn't get better with in a few days I would need to head back and do more testing.  It seemed to be working and I was finally getting some sleep, but like all medicines my body got used to my meds and they no longer worked and my spasms came back with a vengeance.  Wednesday I spent having a bunch of test done and now I wait with more powerful meds.

Now during all this time my emotions have been haywire.  I was feeling so many things I couldn't get control of them.  I have 1 pregnant friend whose due date is just a week before my twins due date, my sister-in-law has a due date just 3 weeks behind my twins.  My sister-in-law got married at the end of June and she is already 14 weeks pregnant.  I just don't understand at all.  I know I should be happy, that is going to my niece/nephew.  Instead I'm hurting, I'm jealous, and I'm angry.  I hate visiting with my in-laws now, even when my SIL and her family are not there.  This is their first grand baby so it's all they talk about.  I'm surrounded by pregnant people and people with babies and I can't function anymore.  I don't know how to look past my pain and be happy, which just makes me feel even worse.

One evening after having dinner with my IL's I came home and broke down.  Sadly my husband got the brunt end of it.  I blew up at him at that moment because I thought I was just sad that we were not pregnant and that our dream was gone, but in yelling I realized it was so much more than that.  I realized it isn't just sadness that I'm not pregnant and that I hurt to be around it, but that I have felt ever since we shared we were done TTC with our close friends and family that we are expected to no longer feel any sadness about our lost children or our infertility. I feel completely forgotten.  My MIL talks about the upcoming baby and being so happy for her first grandbaby.  She tells us we better ask for something big for Christmas this year because after Christmas everything is going to the baby.  I see all their gifts under the tree and 90% of them are to the baby.  I am mad that our babies have been forgotten.  This isn't her first grandbaby, just the first one that will make it home.  Other than the day we shared of our losses (which we have only told them about 2) nothing has been said.  When we told them we had decided to stop TTC (which MIL tried to tell us what to do to keep trying) they have ignored us, written us off.  We won't be providing grandchildren, it's my fault, so they don't bother with us.

I don't feel it's anything I can bring up and share though because I feel that they would just think I was over dramatic/emotional,  going into depression and need to be medicated.  If I was completely honest with my feelings it would not go over well.  I would be looked at as unable to move forward, as not being able to handle my grief or to be able to heal.  That also frustrates me because part of healing is expressing.  Holding it in will actually create more problems.  Those that I do share; that I think about my babies, that I don't want them forgotten, think it's weird.  They tell me it's time to move on.

Don't get me wrong, I know I need to move forward.  I know that I have many wonderful things to be thankful about, and I have a hope that one day we will adopt and I will be a mother, but I will never ever forget about my babies.

I'm dreading Christmas this year.  I'm so tired of being forgotten, of my babies being ignored.  I'm mad that our IF is not taken seriously and that my IL's are mad that I'm not going to ever be able to provide a bio child for their son.  I know that I need to focus on my husband and how he feels.  He is sad and hurting for the children we lost and for the children we will never have, but he never holds it against me.  He has never once viewed this as my problem (even though it is my body).  He has always shared this burden and we've taken the journey together with IF as our problem to face as one.

I know that as time moves one I'll be able to get past this hurt and this anger, but it's going to make this Christmas season very difficult.  I am just hoping and praying to make it through without any breakdown, or at least not until I'm home.