Christmas and New Years used to be my favorite holidays growing up. I loved being surrounded by family. The loudness when I walked into my grandparent’s house. The arguing and fighting over the games we competed on. The dinner with so much food that we would visit my grandma for days after to eat lunch. By the time New Year’s rolled around it was a time to start a new year with a new plan. To really start on the goals you planned for the following year. Then to look back on the prior year and see how far you have come in life. I look back at my life 5 years ago and wish I could get back to the attitude and happiness.
Four years ago, we found out that our son was having severe complications. Four years ago I spent Christmas in fear for the death of my son. Four years ago I went to the hospital and stayed there until I came home no longer pregnant, healing from an emergency c-section, a dead son and daughter that were born on New Year’s Day, and knowing that I had to forever live with the decision we made for our daughter to continue or discontinue a life in a blind and comatose state. This year, I am on my 3rd pregnancy with another boy, 1 living rainbow daughter at home, a son and daughter resting in urns on our shelf and my step-son visiting us for Christmas.
If it was up to me, I would pretend that Christmas and New Year’s were just regular days. I wouldn’t need to watch all the happy people around me celebrating the happiness of everything. A holiday based around celebrating that birth of a child. All of the pregnancy announcements to come out at Christmas. Then to sit here and watch everyone celebrate a “new beginning” in the coming year where they look at all the great new possibilities comings. Anticipating all those impersonal mass text messages coming in telling me Happy New Year’s because people just don’t realize how hard this day is for me. On top of all this, the anticipated arrival of my son is less than 2 week after the birth of my twins. So I will be spending much of these coming holidays in fear wondering if history is going to repeat itself.
I guess it is a good thing that these next few weeks aren’t about me. As much as I want to crawl into my bed and wallow in my own self pity, sadness, anger, resentment of others, jealousy and fear, I can’t. I don’t want my children to grow up thinking that you handle things that way. That it is okay to be selfish all the time and make other people around you suffer because you are. I want them to be able to learn to be respectful for other people’s happiness even if your own is not so near. Yes, we will be acknowledging Devyn and Jaxton. Yes, I will be sad, resentful, and so many other mixed emotions. But I will also have some happiness. I will be spending time with families that love us, and most importantly, love all of our children. That acknowledge it will be a hard time for me and won’t make me feel bad for it. That I can take a step away to take a break and recollect myself and come back with a new face on. Those that know that my sudden distance in my eyes doesn’t mean I’m a grinch or hate Christmas but that I got a wave of grief and sadness that took over for a few minutes. That being pregnant right now doesn’t mean that I’m okay and Christmas/New Year’s is going to be a grand ole time for me.
3 days. I can make it through 3 days. I’m not saying I’m going to pretend to be okay 24 hours each of these coming days. That would just be completely impossible. What I know that I can do is be a mom to all of our children. Celebrate with the ones still living on this earth, celebrate the one growing in my stomach, and celebrate the life of Devyn and Jaxton. I can still take the time to grieve and allow myself the sadness enter and express itself. As much as I don’t want our children to wallow in self pity for everything, I also want them to know it is okay to let yourself feel and express the emotions that consume you. I also want them to learn that there are other people in the world than just our family that have their own sadness and heartache for the holidays. For them to learn Empathy for others as well as celebrating their happiness or grieving their own sadness.