I am a HUGE holiday-season fan. I love everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas: the food, the family, the movies, the decor, the shopping, and just the spirit! It’s always the happiest 2 months of the year for me. This year, however, has been a little different…a little off.
It was nearly 4 years ago when Kyle and I bought our house together and moved in. That very first Christmas in our house we took a cute family photo (us and our dog- see below) and printed Christmas cards to send out to all of our family and friends. Ever since then, we have done the same thing and really look forward to receiving Christmas cards from our friends and family, too. It never even crossed my mind that designing Christmas cards this year would lead me to an emotional breakdown.
I had been telling myself that I really needed to get a cute family photo of us for our Christmas card this year, but life just simply got in the way. We ran out of time to coordinate outfits and recruit someone to be our photographer. In the back of my mind, I think this happened on purpose. I think I tried everything in my power to avoid a family photo. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the life I live and the little family I do have, but I knew something was missing and I didn’t want to deal with it head-on. Instead, I decided to deck out the dog and make him the focus of our Christmas card since it was so last minute.
I took some super cute photos of Max laying on a Christmas blanket using our newly purchased wreath as a prop! The photos were great and I was excited about them (head to my Instagram for some “blooper” photos that will make you cry because you’ll laugh so hard)!
I began looking for the best online deal for Christmas cards and when I landed on a site, I started scrolling through the options. I couldn’t help but get angry, stressed, uncomfortable, and frustrated. Every single example had a happy little family (husband, wife, dog AND baby). It made me feel like a failure because I couldn’t “live up” to my own expectations. At the least, I thought I would have been able to include an ultrasound photo, or a bump photo, or baby snow boots….OR SOMETHING. But all I had was my dog (who is my ONLY baby). I wanted my husband and I to be a part of the card, too, but I haven’t felt photogenic since June and feel like I can’t take a good picture to save my life at the moment, so this was all I had.
Seriously…who would have ever thought designing/choosing a Christmas card template could be THIS emotionally straining?
I broke down. I kept going back and forth between not even wanting to do a card and to just highlight the baby that we DO have today (Max). It may sound silly, but I feel like Max “talks” a lot of sense into me when I have these emotional breakdowns. He is always licking my tears away, snuggling up to me to show love, and he was there every minute of every day through my recovery. OF COURSE I love him and needed him to be the center of our Christmas card this year. But, let me tell you, this simple decision took several weeks to make, some internal battles, and an emotional breakdown.
The holidays are supposed to be magical; the holidays ARE magical. They are filled with family, friends, love, and hot cocoa…who doesn’t love that?!
However, the holidays are hard when you’ve experienced pregnancy loss or a TTC struggle. When you want something (a human baby) so badly to share the holidays with, and expect that to come so easily, then get disappointed (maybe even more than once), there is pain and disappointment to trudge through before you get to all the magic. All you can do is picture how your baby bump would look in the cute Christmas jammies, or what an amazing picture opportunity you would have with your little one and dog in front of the Christmas tree, or the excitement of using your Christmas card as a pregnancy announcement, or even imagining your angel baby at their current age hanging ornaments on the tree. There is so much that goes through your mind during the holidays that really make it hard.
Just know that you aren’t alone in this. When you imagine those moments, do it- don’t stop yourself. It’s okay to keep your angel baby in your thoughts, they deserve that spot. One day that imagination/dream will become reality for us and just like Christmas, we just have to believe.