Tips for coping with infertility during the holiday season
Sunday, December 27, 2020
In the holiday season, at the surface, everyone seems to be filled with holiday cheer during the “most wonderful time of the year.” Yet, for many of us, infertility around this time brings a renewed sense of isolation and loneliness.
It’s hard to feel consumed with your own loss, longing and grief, when it appears that the rest of the world is celebrating and filled with continual joy. While all year round we know it, the holiday season amplifies that we are infertile in a fertile world.
Below are some suggestions that may bring you some comfort in your infertility journey during the holiday season.
Get the Holiday Party Invitation
DO: Be selective about accepting invitations to parties and holiday celebrations, especially the ones at which you know there will be a lot of children or pregnant women. Remember: you don’t have to say yes.
DON’T: Feel guilty about not participating in all the traditional family events. You’re going through a difficult time, and you need to concentrate on helping yourself and your partner get through the holidays.
Visiting Family and Friends
DO: Plan to spend time with couples or friends who don’t have children if family festivities are too much to bear this year. Consider arriving just in time for the holiday dinner, rather than the night before if you find it painful to be around your young nieces, nephews and cousins.
DON’T: Rely completely on family traditions to fulfill your present needs.
DO: Spend time doing things you like best, prepare a spectacular meal, take long walks, go horse-back riding or jogging. Plan a special trip just for you and your partner. Begin your own family traditions, a special ceremony or ritual that says that you and your partner are already a family and that you can rejoice in your love for each other, with or without children.
DON’T: Pretend that there’s nothing wrong and carry on with “business as usual.”
Sharing Your Feelings
DO: Decide in advance how you will handle difficult and insensitive questions. You may even want to rehearse your answers. Express your appreciation to friends and relatives who have given you their love and support. Be sure to keep in close contact with your friends at resolve; many of them can understand and offer the support that perhaps your family cannot.
Set aside time to share your feelings with each other. And allow yourself to feel sad, deprived or depressed. Infertility is a major life crisis, talk with each other about your feelings. Your partner may be able to help you through the rough times.
DON’T: Be caught off guard by unexpected or embarrassing questions about your plans for having a family. Plan your responses, but don’t feel that you have to disclose all the details of your situation either!
Get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and forget about each other. You need each other’s comfort more than ever.