What The Holidays Are Like When You Have Experienced Loss

The Holidays are rough, especially when you have experienced the loss of someone close, like a brother or an aunt, but even more so, when you have been trying for a child, after a loss.

For me, this year, I am missing my brother LCpl John Cagle, who died September 28th 2011, and I am missing my aunt Robin, who was murdered on 7 July 2012, and I am especially missing my sweet angel babygirl Kayleigh.

I can't help but feel a little saddened around the holidays. I feel like sometimes I expect too much. First with hoping for a BFP around Christmas, and then hoping my boyfriend of 2 years proposes to me, and then lastly, hoping that no one asks that dreadful question "When are you having another child"?

I am happy around the holidays, but parts of me grieve  Parts of me are sad. Parts of me wish and hope things were much different. I am grateful, believe me, I am blessed, but sometimes it is hard...

Last night, we went to midnight mass at our church, and it was such a joyous celebration of Christ's birth.
Gabriella behaved well enough to where she was able to place the little baby Jesus in the manger, and deep inside my heart was aching, because she was rocking the baby like it was an infant, and she was singing and pretending it was a baby. I would love nothing more than to give her the experience of having a sibling. It was such a bittersweet moment. Gabriella even participated in candlelight mass.

Today, was the celebration of Christ's birth, and today we celebrated Christmas as a family. We went to church as a family, and it again, was a bittersweet moment. During the childrens message, Gabriella belted out "Today were celebrating Jesus' birthday" and everyone just died of cuteness. We spent a few moments at the Pillars house, and they gave Gabriella Christmas Cookies to take home. I went home and laid down for a few hours while Alex spent time cooking the delicious turkey.

My sister Vanessa, brother in law Gregory, their son Hayden and daughter Taylynn came for Christmas which was nice. They live a few hours a way, and so we don't get to see them much. My step-mother and my half-sister Tiffany stopped by, and we exchanged Christmas gifts, and met with everyone for a bit. My dad has not been feeling well, so he ended up staying home.

Unfortunately, with family gatherings comes the "when are you going to have another child" question, which, if you suffer from infertility issues like myself, always comes as a stab, and your forced to put a smile on your face, and say something like "We're trying" or a sarcastic remark like "leave the room, and we will try" to get a chuckle. It is very unfortunate that people don't like talking about things like children they have lost, or loved ones they have lost, because it is a very hard topic. A topic that seems much harder when the holiday photos occur, or the holiday gatherings happen.

At every family photo, I can't help but to feel like something is missing. Kayleigh would be turning 5 in May 2013, and starting Kindergarten that year, and Gabriella would be turning 4 in June, and starting Pre-Kindergarten as well. It pains me to look at the photos and see that something is missing. That something is my daughter Kayleigh. I know she is here in spirit, but it doesn't help fill that emptiness and joy that having her here would.

I remember growing up with my only biological sister, Vanessa, and how close we were. We shared everything together, we were so close people thought we were twins. I remember those days and wish that Kayleigh was still around to spend time with Gabriella and share that same joy that I had growing up. Gabriella and Kayleigh would be close. It is so true when the saying goes "Nothing more special than being sisters, a bond that no one else can understand" and my heart aches, because we try to be happy on the holidays, and we are, but deep inside, it kills me that I am the one suffering with fertility issues, and genetic conditions.

I could get mad at God, be angry, and scream, but my mother chose to keep me as her child rather than abort me, and she loves me so much. I love my daughter so much as well, and would never picture life any different, but my heart aches. How can you be happy when you miss someone so much? How can you be strong.

The holidays come with so many emotions. Kayleigh is not a topic I discuss openly because of all the emotions that come with it, but I did love her, and I still do. I miss her so much it hurts. I can picture it now, seeing her open all her Christmas gifts on the holidays, celebrating moments like firsts, cherishing family events. It hurts, and stings. In a way that most don't understand unless they have been there.

No matter how many times I explain to the people in my family that I have fertility issues and have to see a fertility specialist, and have to treat my conditions and am a high-risk pregnancy person, and no matter how many times I try to put on that smile and be happy, deep inside, there is always something missing. That something is my Kayleigh. We can try for another child all we want, but the loss that we experienced is something no parent should ever have to go through.

Trying to conceive after a loss is such a hard time, especially during the holidays and family get togethers, when the questions are asked. It breaks my heart that I can't just give Gabriella another sibling so easily. Perhaps I am not doing enough. Perhaps I am not ever going to be able to have another child, who knows, but the thing that bothers me more than ever is the question "When are you going to have another child" it wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't have fertility issues, but when the question is asked to my sister and brother in law, and they respond with "I'm ready whenever he or she is" and they know I have been trying for 9 months, and can't just have it happen without the help of doctors and fertility drugs, it bothers me. What is so wrong with my body, and wanting to have another child?

Anyway, I just wanted to vent and get that off my chest. I am bothered because I do have another child, Kayleigh, she just is in heaven. Everyone acts like she never existed, and it hurts me, because I want nothing more than to be able to have 1 or 2 more children, and the pregnancy and childbirth experience that I want. I am sick and tired of being "high risk" but it is unfortunately genetics, and something I can't control...


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