I know this might seem like an odd title for someone with four kids but, as some of you may know, my journey to becoming a mother was not exactly easy. While I was struggling with infertility, I often wrote down some of my thoughts. It felt like it was one of the only ways to get them all out. I really thought people wouldn’t want to talk about it with me. If I complained out loud, I worried I might offend one of the many pregnant women (including my sister) in my life. I wrote this before Christmas 2007. It was just shy of a year before I became a mother.
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Here come the holidays again. The past couple of years this time of year has been tough. Last year we had been trying for six months and I really thought by now, a whole year later, this would be in the past and I would be a mother. Each month is a struggle, but Christmas seems even harder. A holiday that is meant to share with family and children just seems like a cruel reminder of what I want more than anything and yet can’t have. Let’s face it — the whole holiday is about the birth of a baby. And then New Years comes and the year changes over to the next. One more slap in the face to remind me that time is passing without building my family.
I am the type of girl who loves Christmas. I swear, to my very core, I live for sharing holiday joy with those around me and I am just having trouble this year. It is killing me. My sister is due in a few months with her third child. I am so excited to meet my new niece, but I can’t help but look at her and wish it was me. I want to be a stronger person who doesn’t have those jealous feelings, but when I see her with her kids, I can’t help but want my own to cherish the holidays with. There are so many traditions I want to pass onto my own kids, but I don’t know when or if it will happen.
Well with all that being said, I have been listening to one particular Christmas song that has just one line in it that I play over and over again. It’s called Christmas Pipes by Celtic Woman. It goes through different instruments, bands and choirs and talks about how they bring the Christmas spirit with them. The one line I hear over and over again in my head is, “Christmas strings, Christmas strings, Playing the peace that Christmas brings.” I long for that Christmas peace. I used to feel this calm in my soul while we celebrated with family and friends. I am going to find that peace again. I have to.
I know that I am not going to be perfect. There will be more tears, there will be more heartache, but I am going to try my best to fill my heart with hope and peace instead of jealousy and anger. I gave up my fertility treatments two months ago. I can’t do it anymore. I hate the medications, the shots, the mood swings, and especially the disappointments. I am a fertility treatment drop out. I have turned my heart and soul to another direction. I don’t know where we will be next year. I don’t know what journey we will take, but we have gone to an adoption agency that we liked. The next step is to fill out some applications that we are working on (I have never had to answer so many questions in my life). The room in our house that will be our nursery is still empty. There is no perfect little baby in my arms but I finally feel like we might be getting closer.
So come on Christmas. I am ready for you. I am filling myself with peace and joy and the hope for the coming year. I am not going to let that idea of an empty crib haunt me. I am not going to distance myself from those that I love. Next year I could be a mom or pregnant and if I am not, I will be reminding myself that I am not always the one in control. I have to have faith and I am trying to focus on the fact that this journey I am on is the path I am meant to take. That is the peace that Christmas brings and fills my heart with hope.
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I can’t read this without tearing up. This was six years ago and I have four beautiful children that I am sharing all of my holiday traditions with, but the pain that I felt is still very real. I still very much relate to other women who are struggling to build their families. I just wanted to share these words that I wrote before becoming a mother, because I know so many who are in the same place as I was. I think whether you are trying for your first, second or third child, the wait can become unbearable at times and Christmas can often be a huge reminder of that. My wish for those who are waiting is that you find your peace. Take time to center yourself and your heart and then let yourself experience the joy that comes with the holidays.