The Year A Christmas Carol Broke My Heart
*Content warning* Discusses difficulty conceiving.
One Christmas, several years ago I was walking through a shopping centre with my son who had just turned 2 years old. There were decorations everywhere and Christmas Carols were playing continuously. Overall it was a lovely pre-Christmas outing with my little boy.
Then the song “All I Want For Christmas Is You” came over the loudspeaker. A familiar Christmas classic. But the words just ripped my heart in two.
I had to practically run out of the centre, tears running down my face. Trying to get away from the song. Trying to get away from the words that somehow were speaking to my pain. Even writing this my eyes are prickling and my throat feels thick.
Because that year there was one thing I wanted. I wanted it more than anything in the whole world. But there was absolutely no way I was going to get it.
All I Wanted Was A Baby
We’d been trying to conceive for over a year, and the Christmas before I’d thought that by then I would had the baby! Especially given how easy it was to conceive our first. We thought we’d be pregnant again right away.
I’d imagined Christmas with our two children. Two Santa sacks. Two little tots together in Christmas outfits for photos. I’d really thought it would have happened. I thought our family would have been complete by then.
And I wasn’t even pregnant yet. In fact, I was nowhere near being able to be pregnant given my cycles were often as short as 15 days (fun fact – if your cycle is less than 21 days odds are you’re not ovulating.)
It Felt Like It Was My Fault
The extra little stab in the gut was the reason I wasn’t pregnant was quite likely because I was still breastfeeding our son. So while that did mean I knew when I weaned there was a very good chance I would be able to conceive – but it also made me feel guilty. It felt like it was my fault. And that I wasn’t allowed to be upset.
So, with all that swirling around in my head I ran from the shops, my heart aching so hard I could barely breath, my throat feeling like it would close over.
I felt like there was a baby out there waiting for me. A baby who was very real, who I loved, who was just waiting to be born.
And it broke my heart that she wasn’t ready yet.
The Christmas That Made Me Love The Song
Two years later I had a Christmas playlist on Youtube running in the background when “All I Want For Christmas Is You” came on. And the memory of that day came rushing back. All that pain and heartache.
And I picked up my baby girl, held her close, and I cried again. Because I remembered how much I’d wanted her – how much it had hurt waiting. She was the baby I’d wanted and loved for all those years.
So every year when I hear that song I think about how grateful I am that I did – eventually – get exactly who I wanted for Christmas. All I want for Christmas is you.