To the girl with baby on her Christmas list,
I bet you feel like me this Christmas. You wish people would stop asking what you want this year. What you want can't be neatly wrapped in some beautifully bowed package under the tree. Despite your husband's best efforts and your friends' sincerest prayers, the present you so deeply long for isn't coming this year. As much as your mom would love to, there's no amount of money she can take to the store that will bring home the gift you'd be oh-so-giddy about. Not this year.
This gift is far too precious to be found in a shopping mall or on a huge Cyber Monday sale.
It can only be given by One. Not Santa. Not Husband. Not Parent, Friend, or Sister.
I wonder if you have a stash like mine....
In the corner tucked away there are boy and girl Christmas outfits. There are also ornaments for my mom and grams. They didn't get used in the big reveal I had planned last year. We thought we were pregnant with a "honeymoon baby" at the end of November. But we were quickly let down and left in the aftermath with our giddy purchases.
I didn't have the heart to take them back. "No big deal," I thought. "By next year we'll have a baby to put in those." I can remember saying to Husband, "Surely, we'll get pregnant within the next four months."
Thirteen months later and I'm still saying the same phrase.
Maybe this is your first Christmas longing for a sweet, little baby. Maybe like me, it's only your second.
Maybe you're convincing yourself that by next year those stored up outfits will clothe a child. Maybe you, too, find yourself lingering too long while shopping for the babies on your list... staring at the "Baby's First Christmas" overflow and wishing those were in your cart as well. Maybe you see your mantel with 2... 3... 4 stockings but know you'd give your arm to have 1 more. Maybe you pass by the Santa in the mall and wonder what it will feel like to stand in that line with a crying baby or a bouncing kiddo.
Or maybe you've been at this for too many years to talk about.
Maybe you've grown numb and hopeless and you don't fool yourself with thoughts of next year being any different. Maybe you gifted your stored up outfits a few Christmases back because that seemed easier that year. Maybe you know all the routes to miss the baby section and you've found ordering online is a better solution for the infants on your list. Maybe you hang your stockings and try to not to ponder how many could fit. Maybe you plan your mall trips during hours not likely to be filled with Santa-seeking children.
Regardless of how many years you've had BABY at the top of your list, I can suspect a few things. You are nervous about parties and gatherings filled with new babies and pregnant women. You wonder whether you can bear it... if you can keep out your smile and hold back your tears. You don't want to be fake but you don't want to be the mood-killer of the moment either. You know you'll wear waterproof mascara and have a hiding spot planned in case you need to get away and have a cry. But snuggle those new babies, even if they make you cry. Next year they'll be running around and you'll wish you hadn't missed out on their tiny times.
You are tired of people telling you to just not think about it. To just enjoy this season. To just soak up what you have. To let the hustle and bustle distract you.
I know it's hard but give them grace. They can't possibly see the malls and the parties through our eyes of yearning. They can't see that it's not so black and white... that you CAN cherish your current family, enjoy the season AND long to be pregnant at the same time. They don't get that it's impossible to just "stop thinking about it."
You are scared that this longing may linger far longer than this year. There was once a Christmas when you counted on a baby by the next... but this year, you're not so sure. While one year family and friends said, "There'll be another here next year," this year they'll use words like "maybe" or decide to avoid the conversation altogether.
Please don't stop hoping, praying, dreaming and trying.
I'm not writing this to give advice or have some nice, perfect conclusion at the end. I write this because I want you to know you're not the only one begging Jesus for a Christmas miracle. I want you to know that even if your family and friends don't get the concealed sting of pain, I do. I want you to know that I'm praying for you in this season of wishing.
I write this because I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful that next year I'll write again... but to and from a mom who got her Christmas wish. I'm hopeful that my Christmas card will have a baby featured. I'm hopeful that my mantel will hold 3 perfect stockings. I'm hopeful that my house will be stuffed with stuff saying "Baby's First Christmas."
I write this because those precious pregnant women and sweet new moms need to know. They need to know that your tears and disappearances don't mean that you're not happy for them. They don't mean that you don't love their babies. They don't mean that they said something wrong. I write this because there are loved ones who need to understand the struggle. They need to know that our longing doesn't mean that we're depressed. They need to know that no amount of trying will lead to babies disappearing from our thoughts. They need to know we are celebrating the season, yet grieving in our own special way.
I write this because I want you to share it.
I want you to share it with your fellow friends with the same Christmas list as ours. I want you to share it with the moms that have babies in tow. I want you to share it with the loved ones who have no idea what this feels like.
I want you to share it so that maybe you'll feel less pressure to hide your sadness. I want you to share so that maybe more mommas will cherish what they're holding. I want you to share it so that someone else can hope with us while we're hoping.
Wishing you joy and blessings and babies this Christmas.