Back when we started trying in April, one of the first thoughts I had was about being pregnant at Christmas Eve. You see, Christmas Eve is a BIG DEAL in D's family. Every other year, all his aunts, uncles and cousins, immediate and twice removed, get together to celebrate. Usually it is 40 or so people in number, but even at its smallest it is over 20. It is known to be a riotous, drunken affair (complete with a secret society and drinking initiations). All-in-all it is a great time. And this year was our year to go.
So, back when we first started trying, of course my mind first went there. I thought about my 8 month pregnant belly, and my swollen and tired body, and thought how bummed I would be to miss out on all the partying, but also how exciting it would be because this would be the first grandchild for D's parents and even the first niece or nephew in over 4 years. I imagined serenely gliding (yes, in my imagination I can serenely glide) through the drunken crowd, hand over belly, and accepting congratulations and advice (also odd, since in real life I HATE being the center of attention, but in my fantasy apparently handled it fine).
And even after we did not get pregnant in April, Christmas Eve was my continual touchstone. Every month, I modified that vision to fit where I would be with the new due date. Each month, that burgeoning belly in the fantasy got a wee bit smaller. I remember in October, when I thought that would be the month, how I thought that maybe we could announce it to D's parents on Christmas morning. And arguing with myself how that would not work because his aunt and uncle spend the night and we would not want to tell them yet. And even in November and December I was still thinking about how hard it would be not to drink at the party without everyone noticing since we could not tell anyone yet.
And then it was here. Christmas Eve and no positive pregnancy test. Something I can tell you Ihonestly never, truly imagined. However, it was easier than I thought. Thankfully no one else was pregnant. Also thankfully, the number of people asking me when we wanted kids was at a minimum (two - and one is under 10 so I will give her a pass). But I will say it has crystallized my fear. I don't feel comfortable at this point saying, "Oh, but next Christmas we will have a baby" - that's only the case if we get pregnant in the next 3 months. Something I am in no way comfortable predicting. Even worse, I am scared to even predict we might be pregnant by next Christmas. But then I can't imagine another year of this...another year of trying and failing and crying. That is just too frightening to contemplate.
So I guess what it comes down to is this, I am scared to hope, but I am much more scared not to hope.