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Thanks for Nothing, Santa

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a blog by S.I.F., December 21, 2010

Christmas has a way of bringing out all of the most painful aspects of infertility.

After all, it is a holiday that really seems so wholly focused on children. On family.

And when you find yourself heading into yet another holiday season without those children you so desperately yearn for (without a family that you believe is complete), it’s difficult not to look at the joy of others and feel only your own pain over infertility.

The Reminders of What You Don't Have

First, the Christmas cards start to roll in. You are bombarded by pictures of other people’s children. Other people’s families. There are updates on little Suzie’s first steps and Derrick's first year at school. Images of cherubic cheeks engulfing your mailbox. Tormenting you day after day and reminding you that you are the only one who doesn’t have this.

Then, the Facebook updates start. Friends waxing poetic over their own little blessings. Letting the world know about the enchantment in their children’s eyes as the Christmas tree reaches completion. Sharing the sound bites from their little ones' mouths regarding Santa and presents and reindeer. Reminding you once and for all that the magic of Christmas really is better when seen through the eyes of a child. And that you’re missing out because your nest is still empty.

When the big day rolls around, you know that nothing under that tree is going to soothe the hole in your heart. You know that the only thing you really want isn’t there. Another year has passed without you getting your wish.
And all you can think is:

“Thanks for nothing Santa!”

Another holiday spent without your baby in your arms. Or growing under your heart. Another holiday where your family simply doesn’t feel complete.

Making the Holidays Your Own

This time of year can be heart wrenching when you’re infertile. The days serve only as a painful reminder of everything you don’t have. Of all the dreams that have still yet to come true. And in many ways, there is no escaping that.

But there is something to be said for making the holidays your own again. For reclaiming this time of year and turning it into whatever you need to in order to be able to enjoy it.

If that means bailing on the big family traditions, and staying curled up in bed with your significant other as you watch movies and eat Chinese, so be it. The holidays are painful enough without trying to keep up with everyone else’s expectations of you. This is a difficult time of year for all of us struggling with infertility, and it’s fair to acknowledge that.

It’s also fair to do whatever you need to do in order to make it through. With a smile on your face if at all possible.

Don’t rely on Santa to give you your heart’s desire this holiday season. Because unless he’s bringing you two pink lines, whatever he’s got in that bag of tricks of his is probably going to be a letdown. But don’t be afraid to treat yourself. To take care of you. To take a break from the outside world and indulge in whatever it is you need.

Because you deserve it. You deserve to enjoy the holidays.

Even if it does feel like Santa keeps skipping your house.

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