I believe Christmas is about one thing, celebrating the birth of Christ. Sure, there are a lot of other wonderful things about Christmas... family, friends, traditions... but when it comes down to it, it is all about a tiny baby who came to earth to save the world.
Even so, it is hard not to get caught up in the game of "might have been" or "should have been".
Where are my kids to tuck in on Christmas eve? Is this really Ryan's and my 15th Christmas as a couple with no children to share in the magic? Probably the most painful thought is that today I should be coming up on month 5 of my pregnancy and instead my body is the same size it's been for years.
I had images of posing for a picture by the Christmas tree with Ryan, my hand tucked under my growing belly. But that's all gone now.
These thoughts are a shadow hanging over Christmas this year. It takes an enormous amount of effort and strength not to let them take over everything. It is a constant battle, sometimes one that is fought minute by minute.
In our first years of trying to start a family, I would tell myself each Christmas that the next year I would be a mother. I would think, "Hopefully, this Christmas will be the last one just Ryan and I".
Then as the years ticked by, I stopped doing that. It was too heartbreaking as I saw that dream come and go with every passing year.
This year, I am again telling myself that next Christmas things will be different, that next year will be *our* year. This constant promise to myself (as out of my control and as potentially deviating as it is) is sometimes the only thing that holds me together.