Christmas has been concerning me for most of the year. I am dreading the time the festive adverts and decorations start to appear. The emphasis for Christmas is about being with family and loved ones, the magic of childhood, it is about “joy”, “merriment” and “cheer”. It is a reminder of what we should have and all we have lost with James. Christmas adverts force this message on us, and the thought of this being rammed down my throat incessantly makes me shudder and recoil in fear.
Not only this, but last year the run up to Christmas coincided with the last few weeks of my pregnancy and I remember the events and feelings so well. We wondered whether we were going to have a baby on 25th December, and each day we were on tenterhooks in case my labour started.
We didn’t have a “proper” Christmas last year. I didn’t decorate the house much, because I have always been superstitious about taking the decorations down by 12th Night, and I thought we’d be too busy with a new baby to do that; we did very little entertaining; we completed our gift shopping weeks before we usually do and I missed my usual last minute panic buys in the shops; we missed out on some of the fun with my family who were staying an hour away and we couldn’t plan to stay with them overnight because I may have gone into labour at any time; in fact we weren’t with our families very much because it was going to be the last time Mark and I would have to ourselves, unless I went overdue, and so we wanted to spend as much time as a couple as possible. It didn’t matter that it didn’t feel like a proper Christmas though, because we were more focused and excited about becoming parents and meeting our baby. Christmas would come around again. I remember how happy we were that after years of waiting we felt we were going to have a family of our own very soon, at last. I had never known anyone to lose their baby after 6 months’ gestation and we were told everything looked good for us, so I thought we’d be fine too.
As we spent time alone over Christmas last year we pictured how different our next Christmas could be, and I thought we would have a proper Christmas. We’d have a 1 year old and our lives would be completely different. We’d be used to being parents by then and our families would probably be fighting to spend our baby’s first Christmas with them. We’d probably be at home so both sets of grandparents could spend time with us, we’d decorate the house beautifully and it would be perfect…
But this is far from how it will be this year.