Surviving the holidays while "infertile" can be a challenge, shoot just surviving all the fertility treatments is trying, let alone being surrounded by family and friends asking when are you going to have a baby, announcing they are pregnant, all the parties, cookies, cocktails, it can all be a little overwhelming. Here are my best tips from the top!
1) Take time for YOU! Give yourself the gift of a little pampering. There is nothing like a lil massage or pedicure to cheer you up (and also it’s a great stress reliever).
2) It’s ok to say NO. The holidays can be great and also stressful for all the same reasons. Parties, gatherings, family, friends…it is great to catch up and see everyone but sometimes you (and your body) need to say NO! A night on the couch with a movie, your significant other, and (if you are like me) your cats to snuggle with is a recipe for a perfect night too.
3) Be prepared for the questions. And by the questions, you know what I mean!! “When are you both going to have kids?”
“Have you started trying?...”
Have a couple scripted answers ready to go when the questions start popping.
Keep short and sweet!
“When we have news to share, we’ll let you know.”
“Sometimes it isn’t a choice” smile, and switch the subject.
4) Also be prepared for announcements. Holidays are a popular time for family members to share happy news like “we are expecting”, or “Bobby is going to be a big brother”. While you are happy for your family, it’s ok to take some time to compose yourself, maybe refill the glass of wine or go for a walk (assuming it’s not -20 degrees outside, then people might start to get suspicious).
5) Remember however you are feeling is OK! I remember going through fertility treatments during the holidays was a stressful time, I LOVE LOVE the holidays and I felt the stress of the monitoring, testing, procedures, timing of meds, sorta took some of the “jolly” out of my holiday. Try to tell yourself it’s ok to be sad, frustrated, angry, depressed for what you are having to go through, but then follow that up with something positive (even if that something positive is a holiday latte from Starbucks).
6) Set up and use a support system. Maybe it’s a friend who has gone through infertility before you, let her know you maybe calling to vent a little. Let your significant other know you may need them to lean on a little bit more during this time. If you feel comfortable sometimes telling family and friends what you are going through and how they can help you through your fertility journey can help. You tell them what you need vs. them assuming anything.
7) When all else fails, indulge, it's that time of year, enjoy, and let go! I know for me, there is nothing like a little wine and some holiday cookies to help. God knows I was already feeling and looking bloated, one extra cookie wasn’t going to hurt :)
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