Wow! The past 3 days have been an emotional rollercoaster. I feel winded from the ride, but in a better place now than we were before.
My family (parents, brother, sister in law and nephew) were coming to Singapore for Christmas. We’ve been planning and looking forward to it for months. Before I left for the US/Canada business trip I was rushing around getting the apartment ready for a 1 year old. Set up the cot, stocked up on supplies, toddler proofed the place and did some Christmas decorating! I’ve been away from my family for most of the past 15 Christmases, so this year was going to be a special one.
Whilst I’m Chicago on Friday I got a call from my brother. His mother in law is unwell, so they are going to spend Christmas with her instead.
I understand their decision. But it’s sad for us all that the plans changed.
My parents have still travelled to Singapore. They were already here when I arrived back from Vancouver. I was relieved they had packed away the kids toys and the cot.
It is horrible here. Feels like we are grieving, even though no-one has died. I think we all
wanted needed a family celebration so badly. Walking around the apartment, and seeing the other families splashing about in the kids pool, is tough. I wish they were here with us in Singapore.
I was a complete bitch to my parents when I got home. It’s difficult to be cheerful after 20 hours of flying but I didn’t even try. I went to bed. And stayed there for most of yesterday. After taking down all the Christmas decorations and stomping about like a teenager.
We sat down together for lunch, and the floodgates opened. My parents started asking me what my plans are for 2019, and I just couldn’t deal with their questions. I know it comes from a place of love, but I get so hyper defensive. There were tears and shouting and each of us went off for some time out.
In our usual family style, later that afternoon we started planning to get away from Singapore for a few days over Christmas. It feels too quiet and empty here and we are all feeling trapped. So we’re going on a last minute trip to Sri Lanka. I hope it will be enough of a distraction. Travel planning has definitely helped to give us a focus and we were chatting and getting along well for the rest of the evening.
Now I’m wide awake with jet lag and replaying the past few days. I feel so sad that my nephew and his parents aren’t here with us. I was looking forward to it so much. Life has a way of disappointing us. Sometimes I want to be more of a pessimist, that way, when things inevitably don’t work out there’s less of a shock. I also feel sad that I’m not better st talking with my parents. I love them so deeply and I know they do too, I just can’t ever articulate that when we are together.
2019 is an important year for me. I’m starting it off with a fresh IVF cycle in a new clinic and a new country. I want to go in to the process feeling positive. But also realistic. After the miscarriages and failed attempts, those positive vibes are well buried.
I’m feeling grateful that I have a job, finances and flexibility to be able to run away when I need to (and take my parents with me). It’s probably not the healthiest solution, but I’d rather be marvelling at leopards in Sri Lanka than moping around the apartment on Christmas Day.
Maybe next Christmas we will have something to celebrate.