Please can Christmas hurry up and be over?

Christmas is now less than a month away, and I can’t wait – for the day to hurry up and be over.

Before you start thinking I am a miserable cow and shout ‘bah humbug’ at me, hear me out.

While I have never been someone to get excited about Christmas months in advance, I do generally get in to the festive spirit a couple of weeks or so before the big day. It’s the things like dos and get togethers, buying the perfect presents for loved ones, and preparing the food that gets me in the right mood.

This year, though, I am not sure even those pleasures will get me in the spirit.

You see, last Christmas I was pregnant with Hugo, our first baby. The pregnancy was progressing beautifully. Martin and I spent a quiet Christmas, just the two of us, thinking it would be our last Christmas to do exactly as we pleased.

Tragically, Hugo was born 16 weeks prematurely in February this year, and died just 35 days later. It means that this Christmas, Martin and I will still be able to do exactly as we please. We hate that.

Hugo and I enjoying a cuddle

Hugo and I enjoying a cuddle

My baby was due to be born in June (I am being gender neutral because last Christmas I was around 17 weeks’ pregnant and convinced I was having a girl until the gender reveal at the 20 week scan). That means the baby would only have been six months old this Christmas – far too young to know or understand anything about it at all of course. I will still miss the Christmas we will not have.

Last Christmas, we were looking forward to the baby’s first time seeing the Christmas lights and their little face lighting up. The baby would have just started weaning, and we were looking forward to what parts of the Christmas dinner they would like and which foods would make them screw up their face in disgust.

The baby I was carrying was the first grandchild on both sides of the family. We were anticipating this Christmas, and every one thereafter would be a balancing act of seeing all the various family members, who would want to see the baby armed with an array of presents, and being buried under a mountain of wrapping paper from more toys than any one child could ever possibly play with.

After all, I have always thought that so much of the pleasure of Christmas comes from seeing the joy on children’s faces. That joy doesn’t have to be only about spoiling them with presents, but from seeing their look of wonder at the pretty lights, visiting Father Christmas, and spending time together.

I want to buy presents for my son, just like any parent does at Christmas. Rather than considering what toys would be appropriate for his age, or buying outfits to make him look even more handsome I will be shopping for something that will be able to withstand the outdoor elements in his grave garden.

I go to the shops and see all the adorable little Christmas all-in-one outfits for babies – I have little doubt that family and friends would have bought one (or several) for Hugo to wear and look cute in. Seeing these outfits and knowing this simplest, most humble of seasonal pleasures for mothers with little babies is something else I am denied is yet another sting.

Christmas TV adverts are an additional torment. The one with the small boy who befriends a cute penguin I cannot watch. I caught it once, and shouted ‘oh f*ck off’ at the telly in response to the tagline.  Other adverts with happy families sitting around a table to enjoy the day remind me of who will always be missing.

All the excited seasonal chatter on social media makes me want to shut it off for the next few weeks. If only there was a mute button for it all.

Rationally, I know Christmas itself, while subdued, will probably ok. The things you worry and fret about usually turn out to not be as bad as you fear. They also say the ‘firsts’ are the worst – the first birthday, the first Christmas, etc. You should never wish away your life, I know, but I can’t wait for Christmas to hurry up and be over so this additional torment can be done with.

I know these things do not get easier, but different. I am hoping for next Christmas, and all the ghosts of Christmas future to be different, and the sting to be less painful each year.

 

27 thoughts on “Please can Christmas hurry up and be over?

  1. Angela says:

    I too can relate a little to that feeling of wanting Christmas to f*ck off – my first christmas after losing my Mum was awful. EVERYTHING (including those arsing ads!) just highlighted how much I’d lost… and then the following one I had just miscarried at 3 months and like you I was dreading the ‘festive’ period yet again so ran off to Madeira to have a completely different Xmas experience. It was the best thing I could have done as it was so different to ‘normal’ and so was hard to compare with how things should have been. Sending you much love. xx

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    • Leigh Kendall says:

      Running off to Madeira sounds like a good plan. I think doing something different to ‘normal’ at Christmas would be good so, as you say, there are fewer comparisons with my dashed dreams. Thank you so much, sending love back to you xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Naomi says:

    Xxx
    We are approaching our second christmas since Beatrice was still born at just shy of 37 weeks.
    I just want to let you know that it is different from the first.
    Don’t get me wrong it’s still gut wrenching and sad but with less rawness to it.
    I hope the day passes peacefully for you. I will be thinking of you as I will all of us in this ‘club’ xxx

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  3. katy (what Katy said) says:

    Oh Leigh I just want to give you a big hug. I know how you feel to some extent as 2 years ago I was feeling the same.
    I hope the season passes by as painlessly as possible for you both. But just be proud of everything you have achieved the last few months Hugo’s memory lives on because of you. x

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  4. jennythem says:

    Leigh – I’m sending lots of love your way and can only try to imagine how you must both be feeling about Christmas . I must add though that every word you write is helping someone somewhere – I’m positive that your Hugo is shining out there somewhere and very proud of his mummy and daddy 💛💛💛💛💛 🌟

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  5. Tim says:

    Oh Leigh. I can’t really find the right words, but I hope you and Martin are able to commemorate Hugo’s first Christmas in a way that combines the inevitable sadness with some measure of joy at his memory.

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  6. virginiaw says:

    I remember this feeling from the first Christmas after Ben died. It was horrible. It gets better, eventually, but you’re right: you have to get through the “firsts”. I don’t have any great advice other than do what feels right for you and Martin–if that means skipping the whole thing, so be it. I’ll be thinking of all three of you. xxx

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  7. Taratara says:

    Ah Leigh, it’s so hard. The first Christmas after our loss was miserable, there is no getting away from it – and I was only three months pregnant. I can’t imagine what it must be like for you. As you were saying the other day, I think it’s healthy to acknowledge and keep sharing how you are feeling. I hope your family and friends support you though it. And your blogging friends are here for you too.

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  8. Hannah Budding Smiles says:

    I’ve been thinking of you loads as the build up to Christmas has gone into full swing. There’s no getting away from how wrong Christmas will feel but I hope that you and Martin and your families can find love and support through it xxx

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  9. meghanoc says:

    AMEN! The last happy holiday I had was thanksgiving last year. christmas was ruined for me because I had just learned my baby would probably die. Hearing that, holidays became so unimportant. and god, these first ones just suck, huh? The memories of last year, when we were so hopeful and the realities of this year that dont match up at all with where we were supposed to be. I’m with you. christmas cant pass quickly enough

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    • Leigh Kendall says:

      So right Meghan, these events really don’t have the significance or importance when you’re living with the loss of your baby. It’s especially tough when all your hopes have been shattered – it’s a ‘this time last year’ that is especially painful. Love and hugs to you xxx

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