The holiday season is just about to kick into full swing and along with it comes malls and shopping centers packed with excited families all looking for that special gift for their beloved. But the holidays are not always packed with cheer for those suffering from infertility. If the holidays weren’t difficult for people trying to have a baby there wouldn’t be hundreds of infertility bloggers writing about it. Your infertility struggle is real and you are not alone with how you are feeling.
Thanksgiving dinner is where we all take a moment to reflect and count our blessings, even though many have yet to receive the only blessing they’re hoping for. And then there are Christmas and Chanukah where stories of miracles are abundant. Finally, New Year’s Eve has everyone casting their wishes for the upcoming year. With all of these miracles, blessings, and hopeful new beginnings it is understandable that those afflicted with infertility are not in the cheeriest of moods and that is OK.
It’s okay if you are not feeling the holiday cheer. It’s okay to feel sad about feeling sad. Having these feelings does not make you ungrateful for the blessings you do have. Those feelings of anger and confusion are authentic and you are entitled to them. But here is something real that may help you get through the holiday hub-bub: you are not alone. And there are a few things that you can do to help make the holiday experience just a little more bearable.
Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Infertility
1. Talk about how you feel with people you trust.
Let your family and friends in on your experience of what the holidays are like for someone trying to conceive. Sometimes, simply speaking about what is making you unhappy helps to ease the pain. Talking about your feelings invites compassion, intimacy, and trust. It also enrolls those in your life in supporting you through your infertility journey.
2. Create boundaries.
Know what you can do comfortably and what you can’t. So don’t go to that holiday party with your six pregnant friends if it’s going to make you upset. Really. Know what you can handle and stick to it.
3. Give yourself pleasure.
This may include and not be limited to food treats, a massage, or a new outfit. I don’t know what it is for you, but pleasure helps to heal.
4. Consider taking a retreat.
The holidays may be the perfect time to take that trip to the Bahamas, or maybe to a silent retreat in the Mountains, any place far away from your usual holiday triggers. There are also many adults-only vacation spots that an easy Google search can help you find.
5. Call in the Support Troops!
Yes, I am talking about asking for professional help. Check out the support groups offered at your fertility center or check out the resources available through RESOLVE: The National Infertility Group. They really can help. RMA has an emotional support page for this very reason.
6. Do something that you love.
Write, Create, Cook. You are not barren – you are just not pregnant with a baby. Explore all the ways that you are able to create. It can really feel good.
So what are the takeaways?
- You are not alone in having a hard time during the holidays.
- Your sadness is real and understandable. Allow yourself to be sad without guilt.
- There are things you can do for yourself to feel better. Take the time to care for yourself.
- Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself a break. Make a holiday celebration of taking care of yourself!