With just three days to go until Christmas, I can’t help but to reflect on those that have passed, the current holiday season and those yet to come…
But, first, a little pregnancy update for you: I am currently in week #27 and feeling pretty good (except for a nasty little cold that I picked up over the weekend). I had an appointment with my OB today and baby girl is measuring perfectly, with a strong heartbeat to boot. Next Thursday, I have another Level II ultrasound, will have little routine lab work done (I have O negative blood and Taylor has O positive, so I have to see if my body has developed any antibodies against the baby, as there is a 50% chance she has O positive blood. This has nothing to do with NAIT, but is just another common pregnancy challenge for us.) and get a shot of RhoGam to ward off the aforementioned blood-type problem. I have my last infusion of the week tomorrow morning and plan on baking cookies and listening to some holiday music while the remainder of this week’s IVIG makes its way through my system. All in all, I can’t complain too much. For some reason, I did lose two pounds this week (could be due to having a cold and walking around New York City a little bit too much last weekend), but will more than likely gain them back with a little help from all of the goodies I plan on feasting on this coming weekend. :0)
I, like most of you, am obsessed with the holiday season. I start feeling the flutters of my obsession creeping in around mid-September when the first pumpkins, leaves and cornstalks make their way into the stores. I only decorate for two seasons — fall and Christmas. But, I go all out. Obviously, the meaning of Christmas has evolved during my 33 years on this earth. As a child, Christmas was a time of magic and wonder. But after discovering that Santa was actually a member of my household, Christmas morphed into a time of relaxation, family gatherings and gift giving. I am a sucker for Christmas music, white lights on bushes and holiday-scented candles. So, when I found out that my second pregnancy was due on December 27, 2008, I was ecstatic. Although many people gave my belly the “poor thing” once-over when I informed them of my due date, I couldn’t have been happier. As I’ve mentioned before, unfortunately, our son was not born on Christmas that year. After losing him in August, I found myself dreading the holiday season. The Christmas of 2008 was not a happy one for me. I barely decorated my home and did my best not to ruin the holidays for Taylor and my family. On what was supposed to have been my due date, we boarded a plane for Key West and spend the remainder of that horrid year in a state completely opposite from the one I left behind — sunny, warm and isolated.
Although, I am still warmed by the first sights and sounds of the holiday season, Christmas is now ridden with bittersweet undertones. For me, it has become more of a time for appreciation, memories and reflection. Don’t get me wrong, I still play Christmas music, bake cookies, and decorate my house (both inside and out), but I also take time to remember my little boy. I can’t help but wonder about his reactions to what would have been his third birthday. To honor his
memory, I wear two silver charms around a silver chain every year at this time. One charm is a baby shoe engraved with the date of his death and the other is a blue topaz pendant to represent what would have been his birthstone.
The passage of time has healed the largest of my emotional wounds and I can now make it through the holidays with just a hint of sadness. And, having a two-year-old to share this special time of year with, has completely reinvigorated my holiday cheer. Since I want Clara to cherish this time of year as much as I once did, I’ve tried my best to come up with our very own holiday traditions. Last weekend, we took Clara, my parents and Taylor’s parents to New York City — the best place to get caught up in the spirit of the season. She was mesmerized by the towering Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and, although a bit shy at first, sat with the Macy’s Santa and I for a photo-op. She didn’t mind trudging through the cold and crowded city streets and took in the sights and sounds of Christmas in New York like a pro. This was the second year that we’ve taken Clara to New York at Christmastime and definitely a tradition that I’d like to add to our collection. Tonight, we snuggled on the couch and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas together and tomorrow night we plan on taking Clara for a Christmas lights tour in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Even though Taylor and I have celebrated many Christmases together, now that we have our own family, it’s time to decide on those traditions that we’ll one day pass on to our daughters. There are a few traditions, such as baking mountains of Christmas cookies, that I’d like to borrow from my family and some new ones, like taking an annual festive frolic to New York, that I’d like to make our own. Whatever we decide, as long as we are happy, healthy and together, Christmas will always be a time when we can forget about the hustle and bustle of our lives and just focus on our loved ones.
To my dear readers, I thank you for being a part of our lives each week and wish you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons. Be sure to take some time this weekend to indulge in one too many baked goodies, sip some eggnog, squeeze your friends and family extra tightly, and reflect on what truly makes Christmas great — the fact that it only comes but once a year. Happy Holidays!