Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas cards...

At the beginning of this year, we thought Christmas 2009 was our "last" Christmas to do as we liked: Next Christmas would be so different, buying presents for a baby, getting up early, probably still sleep deprived. Last year, as I addressed and sent out cards, I knew it would be our last Christmas without a real child (not a dog or cat) on the front. 

So when it came time for Christmas cards this year, I was a) hurt and b) torn: I shouldn't include Noah on it, but how do I not? To not have included him would mean, to me, that we didn't value the time we had with him. Dave and I talked it over. We decided we would include him on the card. We would not send cards to anyone who didn't already 100% know. (I never made Noah's disorder public on Facebook.) 

So this card is what we came up with. I'm very happy with it. But also sad. Because I wanted to be buying "baby's first Christmas" ornaments and onesies. 

Lord willing, maybe next year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Holidays

In our church bulletin a few weeks ago, there was a blurb about a grief support group stating that the holidays are hardest after you've lost a loved one. I didn't really think much about it. I'm not sure why I thought "that won't be me" but it is.

Thanksgiving wasn't too bad; I am thankful for Noah. He has brought so much joy to our lives - but also much sadness. But I am still thankful for him, I couldn't see myself any other way. So I quietly passed through thanksgiving. (I'm sure it helped that we were very busy.)

But December is different. Nine months ago, we thought we'd be having baby's first Christmas, and what traditions to start, and a Christmas card without our pets on it. The obvious is that we don't have that. But what surprised me most was this past week: This past week was the week that we conceived Noah - maybe too much information for you, but it was. In the coming weeks, I will look back to this time last year - how I thought it was weird I was late, but chalked it up to the overseas move and the stress that involved - stress takes a toll on your body, right? I'll remember the first pregnancy test we took and how it was negative and Dave said "See, it's fine" and how I was highly skeptical.

Christmas will be hard. I can already see it coming. We took our positive pregnancy test on December 24. Christmas will be so hard. I'm glad we will be with family, and busy, but I know I'll cry. Probably more than once.

Recently, I attended a church sponsored women's Christmas gathering. We were singing some Christmas carols, I don't remember which one it was, but something about the lyrics just hit me and I had to leave and have a two-minute cry. (I'm lucky that I have my church-family to support me.)

I think the hardest part right now is not knowing when it will hit me. "It" being my missing Noah; being sad for myself, for Dave, for my family; that gaping hole of hurt. Now that I've recognized that December will be hard, I'm better at just letting myself feel it, instead of attempting to be strong and block the emotions.