One of the hardest things that I dealt with while my husband and I were going through our battle with infertility was facing the holidays. Holidays are for families and when you are wondering if you will ever get to be a family, it can make them pretty hard. We also lost one of our longest pregnancies right before Christmas in 2006, so the past two Christmases have been tinged with sadness as we remember that awful time.
I can't say that I have forgotten the babies that we lost. I had a few rough days around the anniversary of our pregnancy loss and shed more than a few tears when I hung the special angel ornaments that we have for each lost baby on our tree. But I wouldn't want to forget my babies. They are part of me and I carry them in my heart. No matter how many living children we might be blessed with, I never want to forget those that I never got to hold in my arms.
But despite our past sadness, having Will does ease the pain and for the first time in a few years, I felt the magic of the holiday season in its full form. I love Christmas, so it was good to feel happy again. I have hated feeling so sad around this special time of year. One of the best things about having a baby is that it's like experiencing everything for the first time all over again. Seeing things through the eyes of your children makes them magical. This Christmas was one of my best ever and it wasn't because of any gift under the tree, but rather the gift of having our son with us.
The weeks leading up to Christmas were a little crazier than usual, what with my neck and then record snowfalls in our area. The Pacific Northwest is not used to snow, let alone accumulations of over a foot! It kind of shut down the areas for a few days. Although I have a decent vehicle for snow driving, I didn't want to chance it with Will, so I lost over two weeks of shopping time between my neck pain and the inclement weather.
That lead to doing our shopping on Tuesday, the 23rd. I have never enjoyed last minute Christmas shopping. I hate the desperate feeling of having to buy something just to have a gift under the tree, rather than because I think the person will truly like it. The crowds, the lines, the parking, ugh. It all combines to put a little bah humbug in even the happiest of holiday hearts. The fact that I had to manage a four month old added to the mix, and I was sure it was a recipe for disaster. However, the stores that we went to didn't seem as crowded as usual and Will napped through most of the shopping. He did wake up and need a quick feeding, but he was all smiles after that and I got everything done.
On Christmas Eve, we packed up what seemed like our whole house. My husband and I have never been light packers to begin with, but packing for Will adds a whole new dimension, plus all of the Christmas presents! We barely managed to pack everything in, but we did and finally took off for my in-laws. It was snowing great huge snowballs of snow as we made the drive, but the freeway was clear and there were only a couple of times when I thought we might be kind of crazy to make the trip.
We arrived in one piece in time for the huge spread of snacks my mother-in-law always puts out for the holidays. I think I might have gained five pounds in just one night. Luckily, I have made getting off the last ten pounds of baby weight my New Year's Resolution!
My mother-in-law was almost like a child herself, she was so excited for Will to open all of his presents. He actually did pretty well with all of the commotion, helping to rip open the packages (well, kind of) and sporting a few bows. He got a lot of very nice things and Mike and I did rather well ourselves, getting a new GPS device for our car and a webcam so Will can keep in touch with his Grandma.
It was nice for Will to spend some time with his Grandma and Nana. Unfortunately, Mike's sister was sick with bronchitis, so she and her family couldn't make it over and Mike's great-aunt was in the hospital with a kidney infection. It made for a very quiet holiday, which was nice for Will, since he was pretty overdone by the time we got to more present opening on Christmas day. He still took naps in the pack-n-play, and slept fairly well at night, but his cold and the excitement and travel of the holidays have combined for some pretty rough nights in the sleep department for the past few weeks. I am longingly looking back to those few weeks of twelve hour stretches, because they are most definitely a thing of the past. Last night, he was up FOUR times.
We did start solids yesterday, and I wonder if his tummy was a bit upset from the new food. Each time he got up, I tried to soothe him back to sleep, but he wanted to nurse. He hasn't had a night like that for a couple of months. Even when he was sick, he just wanted some rocking, more than eating. I am hoping that last night was just a random occurrence. It makes me wonder how I went so many nights in a row with so little sleep, I am exhausted today!
We are heading to my parents' this weekend and luckily, the snow is almost completely gone and the roads are back to normal. I hope you all had wonderful holidays and are looking forward to many blessings in 2009!