Unbearable: Holidays Make The Baby Blues Harder

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

We all know that even though this is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, it’s also an extremely difficult season for those struggling with depression. All that cheer and goodwill swirling in the air just seems to make some hearts even heavier. It’s the stark comparison between those twinkling Christmas lights and decorated trees and a person’s own inner turmoil, and it can make December a particularly grueling month. The holidays are a time for family, so it just makes it even more heart-wrenching for couples who are struggling to grow their own.

Last year, my husband and I decided to buy new Christmas stockings for our family. Before, we had a hodge-podge of decorations that our mothers had given each of us while we were single. But as I was getting out all of our Christmas gear, I decided that we really needed a cohesive set of stockings. We’re a family after all.

So I headed to the store with my daughter in tow, determined to find the perfect set of stockings. I managed to steer my daughter away from the Disney collection (honestly, princesses need to be on stockings now?) and found cable-knit stockings in cream, maroon and forest green. My daughter was excited, we each would get our own color, and she was already putting claim on the red. But to her confusion, I bought four stockings. She could have the red, I told her, but we would get a back-up maroon stocking, just in case.

Back then, I was still pretty optimistic. As I brought our new purchases home, my husband looked a little perplexed. I tucked my extra stocking away and explained, “We may need it next year. Just in case.”

As I got out our stockings this year and hung them along the mantle, I thought about all my “Just in case” purchases still sitting in closets with their tags on. There’s the “Big Sister” tee, which wouldn’t fit my daughter now even if I did get pregnant. There’s an adorable baby blanket that I kept pretending I would give as a present at one baby shower or another. There’s matching place mats, so that some October when my daughter is eating off of a plastic monster, I’ll have the second one ready. And there’s one red Christmas stocking, just waiting to join my little girl’s on our mantle.

Last year I really thought that I might need that stupid sock this year. I had hope and faith that we would get the healthy little baby we’ve been trying for. It would have been the only Christmas present I needed. This year, I cried as I tucked that stocking back into my tub of decorations, mostly because I’m just not sure that I believe I’ll ever have a use for it.

The holidays are filled with love and happiness. But they can also be a reminder of the things that we’re still missing, or maybe of loved ones we have lost. All that heavenly joy can highlight how far we have to go.

To all those struggling through December this year, I wish you a very happy holiday and more strength and peace of mind in the year to come. Next year, I hope you need that extra stocking.