Sunday during a brief “break” in the weekend, I brought the twins into the living room with me and started hanging ornaments on the Christmas Tree. I picked a Christmas station on iTunes radio and filled the green branches with bulbs, snowflakes and crazy characters while Miles sat in the bouncy seat and Abby bounced in the bouncer (aka “command center”). I had hoped to get all the ornaments up but instead I stopped about 75% of the way through, no longer feeling the same excitement and motivation. I walked away, leaving it unfinished.

Through all the months of infertility, one of the things I dreaded most was the holidays. Christmas was of particular significance when Bryan and I had a talk about how it was affecting me and what our future plans would be. On the other hand,  one of the things I most looked forward to when our cycle was a success was celebrating these holidays I once dreaded. As the days tick over from November to December, the excitement mixes with some sadness attached to memories of the previous holidays.

It honestly seemed silly at first and I was surprised and even irritated at myself because I finally have the family I dreamed about and yet I still carry the sadness with me. As someone who has much more patience with others than I do myself, I tend to view my own reactions with a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. I have to remember, though, that these feelings and memories can’t just be turned off like a light switch. The journey that brought us where we are now will always be a part of me.I’m not going to simply forget how hard it was for me or how hard it is for the others I know still trying.  When I look at the Christmas Tree this year, and maybe for many years to come, I will likely feel both joyful and sorrowful. At each Christmas as I watch the twins open gifts I will both celebrate our wonderful family and remember the mountains we climbed to get there. I will embrace the mixture of joy and pain.

Now, it’s time to go finish the tree.