Folks, I am not a runner, let me just put that out there right now. And yet, it’s that time of year where I need to throw on my pair of running shoes and lace them up tight, because we have a 64-day dash from Halloween to January 2nd.
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Oh, hi. It’s been, um, over a week. NaBloPoMo & NaNoWriMo – I appeared to have dropped the ball on both. Words Empowered has been full steam ahead (winners of the giveaway are here). I’ve been working for my first two clients on my first three projects, with more in the pipeline. There is plaster that’s curing on the eave in my home office and this week and I’ll finally get to paint it a lovely shade of plummy purple.
Ever since Thanksgiving, I’ve been running full steam ahead and have been putting off posting here. Mostly because with everything going on, I’m dealing some crappy headspace about my infertility. It’s hard when the last thing I wrote was “I should be more grateful for what I have” when genuinely, I am struggling with what I lack when it comes to building our family.
Let’s get more into this, shall we?
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Is it just me, or do the holidays get a little tougher the farther out you get from your diagnosis?
This will be our third set of winter holidays post-diagnosis. And for whatever, reason, it’s harder this year. The first year wasn’t so bad, at least from what I can remember. My sister had just announced to my parents at that point that she was pregnant, but I had already known in sworn secrecy for some time by that point, so I had a lot more time to work on coping.
Last year, I was just totally stuck in a holiday funk.
This year: it’s like running through a baby gauntlet.
There have been pregnancy announcements. And birth stories. And belly photos. And “Baby’s First [insert holiday milestone here]” like whoa this year. And as it dawned on me that this is not only our third set of holidays where a baby just isn’t in the cards, I’m also dealing with the realization that Larry will turn 30 on December 21st… and he’s still not a dad yet.
It’s been a lot to process and frankly, with dwindling daylight hours, it weighs on me and my heart.
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Is it just me, or does it feel like the holidays started a whole month earlier than normal this year?
I say this because I noticed my holiday infertility blues started as early as Halloween this year. Lots of “Baby’s First Halloween Costume” pictures on Facebook this year. Adorable photos, yes (and fantastic ideas to rip off for my own children one day) and then realizing the most I have to contribute to the conversation is the fact that I checked in to a sushi place on FourSquare.
I mean, sure, I can comment and say, “Awww, how cute!” and then have no equally adorable children’s costume picture with which to counter.
The kid conversation just kind of grinds to a halt around me.
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I got lucky this year at Halloween. Larry said we had about 20 trick-or-treaters. I had to work Halloween night (because my former boss was one of the most unreasonable women I’ve ever worked with) so I didn’t get to hand out candy. Last year we only had like, 3 kids come by. This year, we went all out: full-sized candy bars and everything. I bet Salem parents were texting each other as they left our house: “Come down this side street! Totes worth it.”
Even though I wasn’t handing out candy, I don’t know if I could have handled it well. I’m glad in some ways that I did have to work, to remove myself from the situation entirely.
Infertile Holiday Tip #1: It’s okay not to go to that holiday gathering. Or any of them. Off-season travel is wonderful this time of year, especially the Caribbean.
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Once we clear the Halloween hurdle, it’s like a race to January 2nd for the infertile.It’s just a few short weeks until Thanksgiving and then before you know it, Christmas is here, followed by the New Year nipping at its heels. Seriously, it’s like, “how fast can these winter holidays fly by already?” we’re saying to ourselves as we dodge the friend who forgoes the glass of cranberry wine because she’s eating for two now, or as we plow through “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments while trying to pick up a birthday card for your husband who’s birthday is forever overshadowed by the Little Baby Jesus.
A whole holiday centered around birth.
For the Jews: the miracle of lights. A season just full of miracles and yet… for us infertiles, that one miracle that evades us so.
Infertile Holiday Tip #2: This Christmas, skip the Baby Jesus-centered creche and go for a Yule log. (Let’s stop dancing around all the references to Saturnalia anyway.) For Hanukkah, celebrate each night by doing something you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do with children: movie night, fancy dinner, sex on the living room couch during Thursday prime time, etc.
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We have a long way yet to go until 2012.
How are you making it through the holidays as you cope with infertility?