Now that Halloween has come and gone, we are rapidly approaching the holiday season. Christmas music is on the radio and decorations are up at stores. Usually, I love the Holidays. I love Thanksgiving. I enjoy the planning and preparation of the feast as well as eating it. I enjoy spending special time with my family and taking a moment to remember what we are thankful for. I enjoy the four day weekend and knowing that the day after Thanksgiving I can wear my pajamas all day while Micah works a half day but gets paid for a full day. I love the leftovers, I love the online shopping.
Last year's Thanksgiving was special to us. We were expecting our second child at 9 weeks pregnant. Our families knew our good news and although they were a little surprised, they were happy for us. I enjoyed Thankgiving sober, as I did the previous year when I was 38 weeks pregnant with Gwenevere. Just 3 short days later I found out in the emergency room that our baby no longer had a hearbeat. The next day I was scheduling my D & C.
Christmas came one month later, as it always does. It felt empty. Not many people knew that I had just lost a pregnancy. I felt ashamed and self indulgent to talk about it. Not many people even knew that I was pregnant, and it seemed awkward to explain. Micah and I went on planning a fun Christmas for our daughter. We hung the stockings, bought presents and participated in all of the usual celebrations. On Christmas day we celebrated with Micah's family. One of his family members was pregnant and due the same time that we were. I couldn't even bring myself to make eye contact with them. It just hurt to know that they were going to meet their little June bug, and ours was gone. I remember thinking at the time that hopefully we would have a new baby by Christmas of next year.
Fast forward to now. Christmas is coming and there will be no new baby in our home. Thanksgiving is less than a month away and I am having a hard time of thinking what I am thankful for this year. Of course I am thankful for my wonderful network of family and friends, but without James & Penelope it seems incomplete. I am thankful for my daughter, but sometimes her milestones serve as a painful reminder of what her brother and sister will never do. Once again I face the holidays knowing that something is missing. This time, so much more. With my first loss I was 10 weeks pregnant. I know that some people consider any stage of pregnancy to be a baby, but to me it was the idea of a baby. I never met that baby, never held that baby. However, I mourned the loss of the potential child that it could have been. With my more recent loss it is so much more real. I carried Penelope and James for almost 23 weeks. I felt them moving inside of me, I saw their kicks. When they were born they were just as real as any baby. They each had 10 fingers and 10 toes, eyes, ears a mouth and James even had a full head of hair. I labored through contractions and delivered them the same way I brought Gwenevere into this world. They are my children, but they aren't here with me.
This Christmas will come and go like all holidays do. I will wrap presents, decorate our tree, drink hot chocolate, and revel in the joy of my daughter. I will do this all while knowing that two of my children can't be with me. I will cry, I will take a Xanax, I will miss the crap out of those two sweet babies. I know I will get through it, but I also know that it won't be a joyous occasion. The Holidays will be over before I know it and I will be starting a new year. May this next year be a little less painful and a little more peaceful.