Yesterday evening, The Hubs and I set out on a mission. I had seen the perfect (if fake) Christmas tree at Walmart right after Christmas. It was 7 ½ ft tall and 5 ft wide. It had 1974 tips and it was pre-lit. I was in love with it, even though I have a perfectly fine 6 ½ ft tall by 3 ft wide tree that’s only been used once. I still want to keep that tree, but I have this crazy dream of having a Christmas tree in every room of the house when we finally have our perfect house. I love Christmas and I want to spread as much cheer in my life as I can.
At the time we first saw it, it was 50% off, but it was still more than I wanted to pay. The store had 38 of the trees, so I thought I would wait for it to go on 75% off, thus only paying $49.50 for it rather than the original $198. The store we had seen it in is 45 minutes from our home (our local Walmart didn’t get this tree in), so we decided yesterday would be the perfect time to go get our tree.
We drove over to the town where this store is located, excitement filling our car. I think The Hubs was almost as excited as me about the prospect of this tree that would fill our home next Christmas. We eagerly entered the store and walked towards the seasonal items. As we grew closer to that section, we began to notice something. The aisles seemed very bare of Christmas items. Oh, the odd one was here and there, but not as I would expect it to be. Maybe that was because it was a week and a half after Christmas, and maybe I’m naïve, but I expected there to still be a large selection of items. I didn’t fret though. I wasn’t there for any of the ornaments or wrapping paper, not for the packaging boxes or the leftover Christmas cards. I was there for one thing and one thing only: my 7 ½ ft Christmas tree.
We wandered on and came to the area where all the trees had been. Standing there with The Hubs, looking around at the storage boxes surrounding us, I felt my heart sink into my knees. Where my beautiful tree had lain in its box the week before now sat only more storage boxes. All the trees were gone. I felt gutted.
This may seem like an overreaction on my part about a Christmas tree, and maybe it was, but you have to remember I am currently infused with Provera and an increased dose of diabetic and thyroid medications. I don’t know which of those (but I’m betting on the Provera) has me so emotional this week, but I have rollercoastered between extreme sadness and extreme anger. I’ve not experienced a great deal of joy or happiness this week (apart from snuggling with The Hubs each evening and finding out my brother would be coming home in a week ), but I was really looking forward to getting that tree and feeling the happiness from imagining the Christmases we would have around it with our children.
As it was, I saw those dreams cracking and falling down around my ears as I stood in Walmart. I felt my eyes welling up with tears, but I managed to hold them back. The Hubs noticed and asked me why I was so upset (he wasn’t being nasty about it, he was just concerned) and I explained to him that it felt like more than losing just a Christmas tree. The disappointment of losing that tree felt so much like the disappointment of finding out we were suffering from infertility that, in that moment standing there in the middle of Walmart, that long-gone Christmas tree became the symbol of our inability to conceive.
It was like time stood still and I was engulfed by all the disappointments over the last seven years. I saw every negative HPT we’ve had, every announcement a real life friend had made, every snide comment about us not having children, every well-meant-but-unnecessary piece of advice about what we were doing wrong and every joke made at our expense about “not doing it right” all roll through my head. I felt the weight of the IF cross crash fully down on me as I stood staring unseeingly at red and green storage boxes.
Who knew the loss of a 75% off Christmas tree could make you feel so worthless?
My saving grace? The Hubs wrapped his arms around me and said “Our time will come. We will be parents.” This gave me the strength to pull it together and not embarrass myself any further in the store. We left shortly after that and went to get some dinner. I’m better today, but if I stop moving and working for even a minute, I can feel that hollowness swallowing me again.