I know I am not alone this Christmas; I am not the only woman who's heart is filled with joy yet sorrow. I know I have millions of fellow warriors in my club; the club of infertility.
And, yet a significant part of me feels very alone.
I didn't get to play Santa into the wee hours of the morning doing last-minute wrapping and assembly. I wasn't woken up by excited children at the crack of dawn to see what Santa brought.
I feel sorrow.
On Christmas Eve I did get to attend a beautiful Christmas service without being distracted by a child on my lap. After service, I got to eat out at my favorite nice restaurant, share a bottle of wine with my husband and have adult conversation and connection.
I feel joy.
I scroll through social media to see all the matching pajamas, the smiles in front of the tree surrounded by wrapping paper everywhere and pure Christmas joy. I Skype all of my chosen children to see what Santa brought them and to see them open the gifts we sent.
I feel sorrow.
The dogs play with their new toys and make a us laugh as they do every single day. I cook for the family Christmas we have this afternoon and for our own Christmas dinner tonight. And, I know tonight we will get to play games, have some more wine and have this Christmas to continue to figure out what our Christmases will look and feel like without children for the rest of our lives.
I feel joy, I feel sorrow, I feel it all.
I am struggling with how convoluted it all feels. I feel the freedom and less stress, perhaps, without children of my own at Christmastime. And yet, I feel so sad and maybe even a little empty without them. I can feel the miracles that are Christmas, including my three little ones looking down on me. And yet, I feel the ever upward clarity that I am okay.
I guess, I just feel it all. I am not sure what to do with it. I am not sure how to communicate it. And, I am not sure what it all means.
Our second Christmas without our should have been babies, and yet our second Christmas defining our family traditions and finding our ever upward; parts just us and parts childfull.
And, the permission to embrace it as it is, to practice my recovery more than ever today and to own it; sorrow, joy and all.