A page from my journal…. (Infertility trigger warning)
The air fills with a crisp winter chill, and snow covers the ground as we gear up for a cherished tradition that takes on new meaning this year—cutting down our Christmas tree with our newborn. As we navigate the familiar path to the tree farm, there’s an extra layer of excitement in the air, knowing that this year’s experience will be marked by the presence of our little miracle.
My family has long held the tradition of cutting down our Christmas tree, a ritual that has woven a tapestry of memories through the years. Every year we would go out to the local tree farm with my grandparents. It took 8 of us to find 2 perfect trees. My mother and grandmother were very particular about the top of the tree. Something I have come to inherit.
This time, however, is different. Our arms are no longer just holding saws and gloves but cradle our precious bundle of joy, wrapped snugly in a onesie adorned with tiny looking LL Bean boots.
Bundled up, we venture into the tree farm. The winter chill seems to fade away in the warmth of our shared joy. The snow-covered ground beneath our feet crunches with every step. My precious baby boy slept almost the entire time.
I am sure my husband would smirk when I say I took too many pictures. Even I would have to agree. It was our first family tradition and I was determined to make sure I had enough photos.
Back home, with our freshly cut tree in place, the real magic begins. The familiar twinkle of lights takes on a new glow as our little one watches in wide-eyed wonder. As we decorate the tree, we find ourselves humming Christmas Songs. Handmade ornaments, each carrying its own story, find a place on the tree, adding layers of nostalgia and love.
It is at this time we were reminded of our past Christmas times. Ones filled with sadness and others filled with hope.
See, I experienced my first miscarriage during the holidays. For some reason the Christmas tree that sat shining bright in the corner of our old home kept bringing tears to my eyes. So the next year (when I hadn’t become pregnant again) I refused to put one up. Then the following year I suffered a huge loss. The one that sent me spiraling into the deepest desperation of my life. A depression I almost didn’t come out of. That year I also refused to put up a tree even though my husband had begged me too. It was the first year in our new home (this home). Then one day I walked into the house and there was this little tree with its lights all set up in my living room. I cried, then I yelled, then I sulked.
Then that same night I looked over and Bokeh (our dog) was laying under it. Just curled up so cute. I have said it a million times but this dog not only saved my marriage, but I am positive she saved my life. This is just one small example of how. So, I decided to embrace the tree. I got out the decorations and as I hung each one I cried. The Christmas Tree went from being this glowing reminder of my losses and what I was missing to a beacon of hope.
So the following three years we went out and cut down our tree together. Each year, as I hung the ornaments I wished hard for us to have a baby of our own the following year. So this year as I hang the ornaments I will not only be grateful for the little miracle I have been given, but I will also pray hard that others who are dealing with the pain of loss and infertility get a little one of their own next year for Christmas too.
I feel so blessed.