Christmas was hard.

My emotions kept yo-yoing back and forth in the lead up to Christmas. I had no idea what to expect on the day. In the end, I was okay.

I was sad, don’t get me wrong. It didn’t escape my notice that we should have had two 11-month-olds tearing open gifts on Christmas morning, and it made me even sadder that it did seem to escape everyone else’s. My partner said they probably just didn’t know what to say. But anything is better than silence.

There was a particularly poignant moment when I unwrapped a gift I received from hubby’s grandparents – a white photo frame. I opened it and immediately starting thinking to myself about which photo of our sons I would put in there. His grandmother then interrupted my thoughts to say “that’s for a photo of the new baby”. It made me feel strange. Sad. I can’t explain it.

My mother-in-law did acknowledge our sons in a tiny way. She bought them a gift. She gave it to us in secret, after mouthing to us at the end of the gift-unwrapping session to go outside and meet her by our car. Again this made me feel strange, I was so saddened by the way she kept it a secret from everyone else. The fact that she felt she had to hide it away, that she couldn’t acknowledge them publicly. If I let myself dwell on that though I would probably just get angry, so instead I would like to think only of how nice it was that she actually bought them something in the first place.

It wasn’t the day I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be special, but in the lead up I just started thinking, how could I make Christmas special without my boys here?

I’m okay. It was okay. It just wasn’t how I wanted it, but I guess I’m not even sure how I wanted it to begin with.