All I Want for Christmas… Ellie Thompson 11 December, 2017 Blogger, The IVF diary I’ve entitled this blog post after that quintessential Christmas tune by warbler Mariah Carey – because, no matter who you are, everybody needs a bit of Mariah Carey in their life at Christmastime. Yes, Dad – even you. Seriously though. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my life has changed dramatically in the last two years. This time in 2015 I was feeling pretty shit. We’d been trying for a baby for what seemed like decades, but in reality it had been just under a year. Two years on and earlier this year our wish was granted. Our beautiful ICSI baby arrived. I’ve spent the afternoon wrapping presents for Maddie’s first Christmas. She’ll be nearly seven months come the big day. In a solitary moment, sat on the floor cutting paper and getting sticky tape stuck in my hair, I got to thinking how wonderful this time of year can be, but how for some, it can be a time of great sadness for many reasons. Infertility being one of them. Once you’ve been there, you don’t forget those feelings. Frustration. Anger. Emptiness. Hopelessness. Desperation. Sadness. It’s so overwhelming and isolating. Hearing your parents talk excitedly about the plans they’re making with their grandchildren, the panto they’re off to, the trip to see Santa at the garden centre… all of those special poignant moments. But it hurts, because they’re not talking about your children. They’re talking about your brother’s kids, or your sister’s kids. Not yours. It hurts. It hurts not because you’re jealous of your siblings, or feel anything but immense love for your nieces and nephews, but because your heart aches for your own child, for your turn. It surely isn’t much to ask of life – to create life. This year, I’ve read so many stories of struggles much harder than mine with a lump in my throat, mascara down my face, my heart literally swelling with a hundred emotions. Most of us get our happy ending, but some of us are still waiting. These women and these men are warriors. They’re busy fighting for their families. As with any kind of fighting, it eventually and inevitably takes its toll both mentally and physically, and Christmas can sometimes have a habit of creeping up and knocking you for six. It’s not much, or really anything at all but a few words, but this is my tribute to all of those women and men at war with infertility this Christmas. I’m thinking of you. I’m wishing and praying and hoping that each and every one of you will get the gift you really want this year. The cliché that you can’t miss what you don’t have is completely wrong, completely incorrect. This is the time of year is when you miss them the most. The fire is burning, The room’s all a glow Outside the December wind blows Away in the distance The carolers sing in the snow Everybody’s laughing The world is celebrating And everyone’s so happy Except for me to night because I miss you Most at Christmas time And I can’t get you Get you off my mind Every other season comes along And I’m all right But then I miss you Most at Christmas time (A little bit more Mariah. But that’s enough now.) Wishing you all a peaceful, happy Christmas. Next year brings hope. Keep your chin up. Keep your head up. Keep fighting. Keep talking. We’re listening. Xx Ellie Thompson, author of The Jellie Diaries. Come join us in our private and safe place to talk.