Friday, December 11, 2009

Ghosts of Christmases past

The grief of pregnancy loss can be devastating any time of the year, but it is particularly amplified at Christmas. Christmas is a time for families, particularly those of young children. A number of times this week on various fora I have read the comment "Christmas is really all about the children in your life". Well the only children in our life are our nieces and nephews, whom we don't get to see all that often, and whom we won't be spending Christmas with. So if you have no kids near you, who is it all about?

This year I am opting out of Christmas as much as I can. I have spent the last three Christmases putting on a brave face, cooking dinner and entertaining parents or in laws. Three years ago we were reeling from the loss of our first baby, the following year we had chalked up three more pregnancy losses, one of which had an unfulfilled due date of December 21st, and last year my period arrived on Christmas Eve. Spectacular timing. This year, I can't quite believe that we have once again been side swiped by the bereavement that is pregnancy loss.

So this year, as far as Christmas is concerned, enough is enough. The in laws are going to John's brother's house and we are having Christmas day to ourselves. Us and the cats and nobody else. I have decided not to send Christmas cards. I don't know if it is etiquette elsewhere in the world, but in Ireland in the Christmas following a family bereavement one is not expected to send Christmas cards. So I'm opting out. And I'm hoping any family and friends with babies will think before they address the obligitary cutesy baby photo card to us.

I have done almost all of my gift buying over the internet. A little voice in my head told me two weeks ago to do this just in case things went wrong and I couldn't face the shops nearer the time. Well yay for pessimism, the negative thinking fairy got it in one. Because I'm not at work at the moment I haven't had to listen to the non stop Santa talk from my work colleagues. And I've had no work parties to attend. So really the only things I have done towards Christmas so far are a little internet shopping and the baking of a Christmas cake for my mother in law. Tonight we are putting up the tree, and apart from a bit of gift wrapping, that will be it from me.

Christmas has never felt so surreal. It's like it has been cancelled but the rest of the world haven't copped on to the fact yet.


Edith van said...

I've been there and I think you are doing the best thing. Just do whatever it is what you want to do, even if that means doing nothing and feeling down and depressed.

My thoughts are with you.

Twangypearl the Elastic Girl said...

Sounds very sensible, Jane. Looking after yourselves is the only thing to do, sometimes.
I wish you both all the best with it.

Feebee said...

Oh hun, it is a horrible feeling and an awful time of year for so many. I too think you are doing the right thing, you need to put yourself first.

thewombchronicles said...

Your post pretty much sums up the last few years of my life as well. So very sorry about your loss. I too had an ectopic in October and 4 other losses and it's just not right. I think this is a good time to be selfish because we need to do what we have to, to get through it.

Take good care,
♥ ♥ ♥

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Look after yourselves, that the most important thing by a mile.

Thinking of you two.

womb for improvement said...

I'm so sorry its such a rough time of year. (Again). We're shunning the families this year too.

Lisa DG said...

After having gone through 5 years of christmas in similar shoes, I know how hard this can be. You don't need to do anything else other than take care of yourself and your marriage. My thoughts are with you during this time.

diaryofamiracle said...

I can't say it any better Jane, than all the other comments, but just want to add my love and support here too...thinking of you..and indeed all of us at this time...see you soon for coffee when you are feeling up to it - we will have a big fat cream bun to go with it too and drown our sorrows in confectionary..mind yourself pet x

Mick said...

It's a very difficult time of the year.

Especially for you two. Hope you have a peaceful, if not merry, few days.

Dan said...

I'm writing this as you commented over on Xbox4NappyRashes site congratulating him on the birth of his daughter.

I am writing it here because this post is down the page a bit and i don't want him to see it :)

A while ago, before Martin's (xbox4nappyrash) wife got pregnant I promised I would post a youtube video of me singing "Yes" by Mcalomont & Butler whilst accompanying myself on the ukulele to celebrate the birth of their child.

This will not be a pretty sight as I can neither sing, nor really play the ukulele (this isn't false modesty - I really can't).

However what I thought might make it really cool would be instead of just a straight video I put together a montage of videos shot by readers of his blog all celebrating - i.e. dancing, sticking thumbs up, cheering, holding up signs, that sort of thing. It would have to be something that would work without sound as I would put my (awful) soundtrack over the top of it.

It would be great if you could participate. If you send me a short 5-15 second video clip (or at a push a photo, but a video would be much better) along with your name and blog then I'll put it together with other submissions and get something ready for the end of the week. I think it would be a really nice thing to do for martin to show him and E how pleased we are for him. and Martin has been incredibly supportive of me and my various projects in the past.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. My email address is

Thanks again.


Dan said...

I'm really sortry. I only just realized what post I commented on above. It was very insensitive of me.

I should have read it first.