Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Infertility- A Massive Holiday Ouchie

I often feel I have no business writing about infertility, because my struggle has been secondary infertility, and I have two sons from my first marriage. I'm fighting my fears, though, because today I have witnessed such pain amongst friends on my social media sites. Friends feeling empty and lonely. Friends who have no children to wrap presents for. Friends who have been pregnant but lost the babies they should be spoiling on their first holiday. Friends who have exited their initial infertility battle with a babe in arms, but who still feel traumatized by the journey they've been on. Friends who may never have the opportunity to grow their families they way they long to.

It matters not how long your infertility struggle has been, or what your journey has been like; if you haven't been able to build your family the way you want, it is completely understandable that today hurts. Even if you have a child running around the tree, you may ache for the other ones you lost, or the ones you can never have. I have longed for a large family since I was a young girl. I dreamed of having baby after baby. I wished for twins more than anything. These dreams have not come true. Though I do have my boys, it will never stop hurting that S and I cannot have a baby together in the way we wanted. It will always hurt that we lost our one pregnancy after four years of trying. We will always look around on Christmas, and wish we had more children. Such is our lot.

I have no words of wisdom and I can't heal hearts. I sat down to write tonight with one mission only- to tell those who are hurting this holiday that you are are not alone. Your pain is valid. Your struggle is not unseen. I know you're crying in your bathroom after your sister-in-law announced another pregnancy. I recognize your jealousy of the beautiful big bellies you see at church. I share your pangs when you gaze upon My First Christmas onesies.

Please know you are cared for. Please allow yourself the full range of emotions coursing through you. You needn't suffer alone. There are so many of us. If we all reach out, there are surely enough arms to catch everyone. XO

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Very Special Solstice

On the longest night of the year, our family settled in to experience Winter Solstice. This was our first time to mark the event as a holiday. In our search for specialness, and with our lack of tradition, we latched onto this night as a tangible, natural celebration.

Dark night, bright tree

Lately in Denver, the sun disappears over the Rocky Mountains not long after four thirty in the afternoon. So for us, what better event to invest in, than the returning of longer days? We're lucky to live in a place where the sun shines intensely, and the cloudy days are few, but oh how we've felt the shortness of that warm light these last few months! Yes, Winter Solstice is a logical place for us to begin building a sense of sacredness in our holiday season.

A beautiful, yet early backyard sunset

We live in a newly developed area, so the trees are tiny and sparse, but we still have flocks of birds visit daily. We made them some treats to help them through the cold season. Popcorn garland making is sort of a two in the mouth, one on the string activity, fyi.

Popcorn garland for the feathered friends

Instead of planning an ornate holiday meal, we just made our favorites. Pizza and hamburgers, fried potatoes, and cookies. Lots of cookies!

Peanut butter cookies for the young people

As the night wore on (and on) we watched our current favorite Netflix show, Merlin, and consumed copious amounts of root beer and wine. Merlin is a retelling of the old King Arthur legends! Fabulous family series!

Bubbly spirits for the old people 

All in all, our first time celebrating Solstice was one of the most special nights I can remember. There was a depth to all our activities, as we conversed about nature, and just spent time doing what we love. We exchanged gifts and played with new toys by the tree. We ate and laughed by candlelight. We stayed up into the wee hours and slept in the next day. It was nearly perfect, and I'm so grateful we've found a meaningful tradition to continue year after year.

A celebration of the returning light, special for us all

Wishing you all a very special holiday season. XO