Celebrating Christmas this year was supposed to be over and done with in less than a week. We were supposed to travel to see my in-laws on Saturday and Sunday, spend a quiet Christmas Eve at home (just the two of us), and end with a big extravaganza on Christmas Day with my extended family. Then I got the flu.
Rather than risk infecting my young niece and pregnant sister-in-law, M and I decided to postpone celebrating with his family. I was better by Christmas Day, so we were able to spend time with my family as planned. Fortunately, I was not surprised by any baby bumps or pregnancy announcements. The youngest kid there was 3 years old, so no babies to avoid, either. I call that a victory! But that was just Round One. Round Two isn’t for another few weeks, and coincides with a family wedding. Yippee.
Christmas: Round Two begins January 18. I adore my niece and can’t wait to see her reaction when she sees the bright pink, glittery reading canopy we made for her. What I’m not looking forward to is seeing my SIL’s growing baby bump. Last time I saw her, it was still small enough to ignore, but I know that won’t be the case in a few weeks. No, with 3-4 months to go, I’m sure it will be nice and big–and mocking me with its perfection. It will be just the 6 of us, plus the kid, in a small apartment, so sneaking away for even a moment won’t be easy.
The day after that is the wedding, M’s cousin, who he hasn’t seen for years. Weddings are stressful, because you never know how many baby bumps you’ll see. Maybe none. Maybe a dozen. You never know who’s going to ask prying questions about your reproduction (or lack thereof). It’s exhausting preparing a range of responses depending on who asks, how public the setting is, who might be in hearing range, my mood, etc. If this cycle is a success, I will know about a week before the wedding: way too soon to go public, so I’ll have to prepare a few excuses as to why I’m not drinking. (That I wouldn’t mind doing!) If we fail again, I’ll be a week into a new cycle: depressed, but probably not overly sensitive. Still, I’ll need to have an exit plan, which isn’t easy when I’m not on home turf.
The next few weeks will be filled with creating a battle plan (both defense and offense), finding a dress, disinfecting the house and putting it back to the way it was before Christmas exploded. I just hope to stay busy enough to avoid the emotional roller coaster.