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.