Saturday, December 25, 2004

Joy to the World? I don't think so!

I probably should start posting a disclaimer on this at your own risk! I admit I even sound whiny to myself. Should I be so hard on myself? The miscarriage was barely three weeks ago.

Our Christmas Eve was very pleasant yesterday...we had a early dinner out and then came home to watch movies in front of the fire and I stitched for the first time in a while, as you can tell from the updated picture on the right. We watched Dodgeball and Collateral, both movies I would recommend. I even thought to myself, "Hey, maybe this won't be so bad."

This morning I woke up to the cheerful sound of my pager going off and had to tell this guy that his slab leak wasn't covered, which was not a great way to start my Christmas Day. For a flash, I really thought about just staying home from my inlaws and sparing myself the grief. And if P wasn't feeling dizzy (I think his allergies are causing vertigo) and was able to drive himself, I would have skipped the whole damn thing.

But no. I made myself go and tried to be the trooper.

It was fine getting there, and when we walked in, everyone was already there...and the "poor you" looks started up right away. Everyone was being so careful not to say anything, I could tell, and they were being all inquisitive and curious about me, my life, work, etcetera, much more than they usually are. I was fine for the moment. When the kids started to open their presents, it got a little harder...I felt very out of place and sad and not at all like celebrating Christmas.

The icing on the cake (as I predicted) was when my sister-in-law, M, walked in with her two girls. This is the one that is pregnant, and when I said I thought she was 19 weeks, I was right...she's showing a lot and everything. And she's got that pregnant glow that everyone has. It was very hard to see her but what was even harder was when she came over to me first before anyone else, even my mother in law, hugged me and whispered, "I'm so sorry."

Yeah, that was all it took to turn on Niagara Falls.

Fortunately, my other SIL, S, was watching me and apparently could tell I was going downhill fast, and took me in another room to cry and she gave me a hug. She has had four miscarriages, so she's no stranger to the pain, that's for sure. I just didn't know what to say or do other than cry and try bravely to get a grip. Then P came in. Then his brothers came in. It was just so hard. And no one knows what to say. My BIL R (M's husband) asked what I had made for dessert, and my answer was that I brought storebought crap because I just didn't feel like making anything. Definitely not the response R was expecting...I usually bring these elaborate desserts like apple pie, cheesecake, pineapple upside-down cake, homemade brownies, but all I could muster up this year was stopping at Albertson's and picking up a generic apple pie and some icky icky brownies decorated with purple and pink icing. Lovely. I couldn't even make myself eat them.

I tried for a little while longer to pull it together, but then my third SIL, G, came over and tried to talk to me about it and gave me the whole, "Oh, it's for the best/it means it wasn't meant to be/God has a plan/you just have to pray/you'll get pregnant again before you know it" routine, which by the way I am sick to DEATH of hearing, and I finally just asked P if we could leave.

Lesson learned...if I don't feel ready yet to be around kids and pregnant women, don't. A, I feel like a big loser because I wasn't able to hold my composure for just a few hours while we had this Christmas celebration; B, I know my crying made M feel terrible; and C, I probably managed to at least put a strong damper on everyone's Christmas by getting so upset.

I really should have just stayed home. My being there didn't add anything of value to anyone's Christmas, and I think I would have been better off if I just had stayed home.

I do have some positive stuff to share...mostly shopping related. The gift cards are flooding in. I got a $50 giftcard to Lundstrom's Jewelers last week, so P took me there the other night and bought me a peridot ring set in white gold with it. That was nice. My dad's present arrived yesterday...a check specifically noted for a new Dooney, giftcard to Bath and Body Works and a giftcard for P to Best Buy. My boss also gave me a $10 giftcard to Target. So tomorrow I get to go shopping and try to feel better by braving the madness at the mall. The Dooney will help quite a bit. (Dad and S, thank you so much for the Christmas gifts!)

I guess that pretty much sums up my life at the moment. Here's the Sunday Brunch to finish off:

1) What is your favorite Christmas song? "Do They Know It's Christmas Time?" by Live Aid or Band Aid or whatever..."Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by U2 runs a close second.
2) Do you send Christmas cards? Yes. Every year and I've done it for almost ten years now.
3) Artificial or real Christmas trees? I own an artificial tree but I prefer real ones. If I didn't have such a fear of the house burning down because of a dried out crusty tree (occupational hazard, you know), maybe I'd actually get a real tree one of these years. But baby steps...let's actually get me to PUT UP the tree again and we'll start there.
4) What is your favorite Christmas d├ęcor? (ie, trees, snowmen, stockings, Santa) I like angels the best.
5) Do you attend any religious services on Christmas? I used to attend Midnight Mass a few years ago, but we haven't been in thre years. Slackers that we are.

And...the second is on laundry!

1) Do you use fabric softener or softener sheets? Both. I like my clothes to smell GOOD.
2) Do you dry clean clothes on a regular basis? Nope. I generally don't even buy clothes that can't be machine washed.
3) Do you do laundry as it piles up or do you wait until you are out of clean clothes? I wait until I'm out of clean clothes. Again, I'm a slacker.
4) Do you use a clean towel every day for your shower or use the same one throughout the week? Uh...guess. I already said I'm a slacker!
5) Who does the laundry in your household? We do our own. Sort of.

I hope everyone has a merry Christmas! Sorry to be such a party pooper.


Blogger Terri said...

That's enough of that!! YOU ARE NOT A PARTY POOPER! You're going through a very emotional time in your life. Yes, you will eventually "get over it" (as some people say), but it will be at your speed and you'll be the one to decide when it's "over." It's hard to know what to say to people when you hear about this happening, even if you've been through the experience, everyone treats things differently. With the exception of the one SIL, I'm positive that your family was trying very hard to find the right thing to say and do without knowing what it was. Super hugs to you.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

(((Erica))) I agree with're going through a very tough time right now!! I know that though your family was doing their best to make you feel better, it was a tough day for you. Please take the time you need to get over this at your own speed, not anyone else's. As always, hugs for you and email me if you'd ever like to talk.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

{{Erica}} You are NOT a party pooper. Everyone was trying to be supportive, but had no idea what to say. If you need to cry, do so that's what we're all here for. My sister had a miscarriage between her 2 children, and when it happened, I told her I was very sorry it happened, but had no idea what else to say, since I've never been there. So I can understand how your in-laws felt. I wish there was something I could do more than sending virtual hugs, and I'm here if you ever want to talk. Having been through a few rough times in my life before, I know how much just having a sympathetic ear or shoulder can be. So if you need me, I'm here via e-mail, or IM and if you want I can send you my phone number! {{Hugs}}

7:31 PM  

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