putting it to bed

For a number of years, I ached for a child at the holidays.

One year, many years ago, finding out we had no sperm for our eggs on December 23. Another, finding out none of the embryos survived the thaw just a week ahead of the holiday. More than once, grieving a failed cycle or an early loss while we were supposed to be jolly.

In 2019, we embarked on the journey again. So, last Christmas for the first time in a long time, I let my brain think about the possibility of a Christmas with an addition. Should the cycles have worked, I’d have been pregnant last year, maybe making an announcement on the visit home.

But, they didn’t. 2019 came with failed cycles, and ushered itself out with a chemical pregnancy.

2020 would have been our first Christmas with that baby. 2020 isn’t the year *any* of us predicted, but there is a part of me that lets my mind go there for a quick moment, even if only as a break from the reality that is this year.

If I had been pregnant, I wouldn’t have traveled home in March. I probably would have had a much harder time making it up to Buffalo and may have even missed Dad’s funeral. There are a million reasons this would not have been a great year to have a baby, and yet…

This year, I turned 40. My struggles with all things gynecological may have left a small window of a chance, but taking advantage of that chance didn’t get us anywhere. Tonight, as I grieve my dad and miss my family, I say a little prayer for the baby that might have been.

Adam and I have always acknowledged our life will likely be childless. We took advantage of treatment last year to be able to say we tried. This year, there are some new babies to celebrate in our life, they’re just not ours. And that’s ok.

Acceptance isn’t easy or quick but I’ve been working on it. For the first time in a long time, there’s a peace about it. I can’t be a mother but I can continue trying to be a really good aunt. I can be a special part of the lives of the children I care about or I can get lost in the what might have beens of my own motherhood.

Lenox angel ornament

My LDS friends back in Utah used to tell me that my babies were in heaven waiting. This Christmas, I hung my angel ornaments in honor of them; and I’ll hope that my Dad has them near, maybe rocking one in the crook of his knee, telling them all about me.

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