Many times on my walks/runs I find myself thinking about where I am now and where I was the year before.

Holidays can be bittersweet. Sometimes more bitter than sweet.

The last few years of holidays, while not bad persay, were not on my list of favorites.

In 2008 I had recently separated from my ex-husband.

In 2009 Bryan and I were dating – this was a pretty happy holiday season but I know we were both still recovering from these broken relationships. Divorce is not easy even when you know it is the right thing.

2010 and 2011 were consumed with infertility. So was part of 2012. In fact I wrote a post specifically in 2011 about how much I was NOT looking forward to the holidays. Then I later wrote a 2011 recap post admitting that I wished I hadn’t let infertility worry take over my life, setting a 2012 resolution to live more in the present. Several conversations were had that year[2011] between Bryan and myself about the person it was turning me into and the effect it was having on our relationship.

If you’ve ever had bouts with depression, the two can be pretty comparable in the way that it can slowly take over your life in such a way that you wake up one day and its all you can think about – not even completely sure how that happened.

The holidays have a way of bringing this forward even more so. Because while your friends and family are Santa shopping, taking pictures in cute Christmas outfits or wrapping a bow around a belly with a tag that reads: do not open until 2013, you’re left feeling guilty that you aren’t more thankful for what you have, yet wondering if you’ll ever get the chance to do the same.

Last Christmas was hardest because we had 2 years under our belts and I was too sucked in to truly appreciate any forward movement that presented itself sperm count or treatment wise. We didn’t even put up a tree I was so bah-humbug about the whole thing. The icing on the cake was when a new cycle  made itself known on Christmas morning. This isn’t to say I wasn’t able to find some light in the holiday season at all – I had a really successful 20 mile run in training for my marathon, catching up with old friends and even some humor when using a spatula to clean ice off my car window. But it was all with the nagging in the back of my head I seemed unable to switch off. Sometimes I think back and wonder how much I missed.

This year was a big year for us – for reasons that I still don’t completely understand I was finally able to let go a little. And, as luck would have it our first IVF cycle was successful. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. But when this holiday season rolled around I found myself more ready to celebrate and decorate. Given the successful cycle this probably comes as no surprise, however, I still remember without reminder how much the holidays can really suck.

As I get older getting things for Christmas becomes less important. This Christmas I wish I could grant a BFP and a healthy baby to everyone dreading Christmas because of the cards they have been dealt.  All I want for Christmas is a baby for everyone trying so hard to have one. (and of course, healthy babies of my own). Unfortunately, I don’t have this kind of power.

But we can always hope, right?