Holidays are supposed to be joyous celebrations of tradition, with food, family and fun. But if you’re trying to conceive and having fertility issues the celebrating can become an ordeal. Well-meaning relatives ask when you’re going to start your family, not realizing the problems you’ve had. The long list of parties and get-togethers may seem irritating or depressing instead of fun. If you’re undergoing fertility treatment you’re juggling appointments and maybe feeling the ups and downs of fertility drugs. And it’s difficult to be cheery when it feels like everyone else has an adorable child decorating the Christmas tree, and you don’t.
You can get through the holidays with your spirits and hopes intact! It’s essential to take care of yourself at this time of year, and your partner, too. Here are some suggestions to make the holidays a little easier,
Pick and Choose Your Events
Forget about what you “should” do. You don’t have to accept every invitation or go to every get-together. If there are events you are dreading instead of anticipating, it’s okay to say no. Be a little selfish. Now is the time to be kind to yourself and cut yourself (and your partner) a little slack. Limit your exposure to the babies, children and pregnant women among your family or friends if it causes you pain. Maybe you can arrive just before Christmas dinner instead of socializing the whole day.
It’s OK to Feel Bad During the Holidays
A lot of people get really depressed during the holidays, even if they are not struggling with fertility problems. Allow yourself to feel sad, deprived or depressed. Experts agree that allowing your grief to surface instead of pushing it down may actually free up more energy for happiness. Give yourself some quiet time and let the feelings out for 20 minutes or so. Let your partner have his or her feelings, too. Talk with each other about your feelings and recognize what an effort you each are making in such a difficult time.
Decide What You’re Going to Say, In Advance
You know it’s just a matter of time at any family gathering before someone asks when you’re planning to have a child. Be prepared and you can handle it with less emotion. You can deflect it, saying something like “We’re working on it and hoping it’ll be soon,” Then change the subject
Celebrate Without Children
There are many fun things you can do which are more adult-oriented. Take a trip together, go to adults-only parties, enjoy a Christmas concert that doesn’t feature a children’s choir. You can skip some family events if you think they will be painful. A great way to celebrate is to help someone else who is lonely or down during the holidays. It’s a fact that doing something for someone else helps you get outside your own pain.
Gather Your Support System
Your family and friends may be a good support system for you. If you’re feeling bad, calling someone you love and trust can help.