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For unto us a child is born. Oh. Wait.

In an inexorable torrent, this year's Christmas letters have begun to come in. You know the ones I mean:

Matthew's doing great in his new position as Chief Executive Widgeteer. He really likes the work and the people, though he misses the family when he's off on those frequent business trips to Butt End, IA.

Jane loves her full-time job as a SAHM to Madison, Taylor, Montana, and Dakota. She doesn't get much vacation time, but the fringe benefits are worth it! This year we spent our days in a course of exhilarating child-directed study of the environment — Taylor especially enjoyed catching tadpoles in the pond!

Et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

I've been working on my own holiday letter. Want to take a look?

Season's greetings from Julie and Paul! It's been a while since we caught up — you know how hectic things can get — so we'd like to bring you up to date on how we've spent the past year.

January got off to a great start with a big jolt of Lupron. Julie says that smuggling the needles past airport security, shooting up in her grandparents' bathroom, and hiding the used syringes in the waistband of her underpants was the perfect way to ring in the new year. She had a few hot flashes and headaches, but then so did her grandfather, who was trying to adjust to the dose of radiation being used to treat his prostate cancer — so at least she was in great company!

February passed in a whirl of activity. Those 7 AM pre-dawn drives to the doctor's office sure gave Julie and Paul a lot of quality time together. Though Julie celebrated her birthday that month flat on her back with her feet in the air, exposing her pelvis to another man, Paul came through as usual, giving her a roomy pair of Polarfleece overalls as a gift. A great present, considering the uncomfortable bloating and painful ovarian swelling! At the end of the month, we had seven eggs to work with. Of course, only one fertilized, but everyone insists it only takes one!

At the beginning of March Julie and Paul left for a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas. I guess Julie was feeling lucky, because her first pregnancy test showed we'd hit the jackpot! Too bad our luck turned mid-month, when we learned the pregnancy wasn't viable — but at least we knew Julie could get pregnant!

March didn't exactly go out like a lamb, with two doses of Cytotec and a D&C, but in April we finally settled the matter once and for all with a whopping dose of methotrexate. Julie says the worst part about losing her first pregnancy was that she couldn't drown her sorrows in vodka! (Ha! Ha! Just kidding, folks!)

In May the cat had a great month at school. He got all As on his report card and was chosen student of the month! Not even his infuriating seasonal house-spraying could diminish our pride. Julie was heard to grumble that the school didn't send home a bumper sticker about that...!

June brought lovely weather to our neck of the woods, though Julie was a little too bloated by then to do much gardening. That's right! We were finally underway with IVF #2. Of course, Julie's body had its own agenda — when a single dominant follicle developed, the IVF was cancelled and converted to an IUI. Oh, well! At least Paul got to have his fun! (Just kidding, honey!)

But our Julie doesn't take no for an answer! Those fireworks you saw in the sky on July 4th? Those were for us. Much to everyone's surprise, the IUI worked — Julie was pregnant again! And this time none of that vexing tubal business, either. Once we saw the heartbeat on little Cellface, as we called it, we knew this one was a keeper.

Oops! Boy, were our faces red in August, when we learned it wasn't. Oh, well — like they say, easy come, easy go!

September was a lovely month here, with the leaves putting on their colorful annual show. The cat must have wanted to shed his own foliage, too, because he began pulling his hair out in large clumps, leaving it to drift across the carpet like gray and white tumbleweeds. The vet said it was probably stress — who knew a cat could feel stress, especially with such positive, upbeat owners?

Boo! Did we scare you? For Halloween, Paul and Julie dressed as anxious, exhausted, white-lipped patients undergoing IVF #3. It was a shriek a minute when the process revealed a frightful problem with Julie's egg quality. As October ended, we were wondering "witch" it would be: a trick or a treat? Would either of the resulting two embryos turn into a boy...or a ghoul?

The month of November began just like its name: with a big old "no." But we had other things to think about besides our own minor disappointment — our friends having babies, Paul's beloved aunt's death, and the likely death of our faithful feline friend, who had gone blind and lost his ability to walk. But we all know God never gives us more than we can handle! By the end of the month we were digging into a big turkey feast, feeling thankful for all the many blessings we've described above. More gravy, please!

December finds us ready for a holly jolly Christmas as we scramble to buy presents for other people's adorable moppets. This month brings Paul's 45th birthday (getting a little too old for international adoption, dear! Ha! Ha!) and we'll mark our first wedding anniversary. We'll also celebrate the season by asking Dr. Kris Kringle for a second opinion. No one will see Mommy kissing Santa Claus, but, oh, the things he does with an ultrasound wand...!

We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones happy and well. Here's to a joyful holiday season and a new year just as wonderful as this one!

Julie and Paul

Now that I look at it, I guess it could probably use a quick edit.