Getting through Christmas
Christmas is a time for being together as a family but can be extremely painful for those struggling with infertility. Society bombards us with messages of family and children which can be very distressing and a constant reminder that your own family in not complete. Couples feel isolated from the fertile world and family occasions can be difficult to cope with.
Below are some strategies that hopefully will make the holiday season more enjoyable.
- You don’t have to attend every social engagement, be with the people that are important to you and understand and empathise with your situation.
- Many infertile couples feel isolated from the “fertile” world, and this can be especially true during the family-centered holidays. While it’s not healthy to avoid everyone and anything about the holidays, it can be healthy to avoid situations and places that make us feel worse. Think about what you find most difficult about the holidays, and to make a choice to avoid what’s hardest for them.
- Be a friend to yourself. Instead of berating yourself give yourself extra love, understanding and some special treats. For one person a treat is a luxurious bath for another it’s a ski weekend. You know what you like.
- Spend time as a couple, recover from the year you have had and allow yourself time to reconnect as a couple, remember Christmas is a fun time and do what makes you both happy.
- Begin your own family traditions: a special ceremony or ritual that says you and your partner are already a family and can rejoice in your love for each other, with or without children.
- Allow yourself to feel sad, deprived or depressed. Infertility is a major life crisis and you are entitled to those feelings. Your partner may be the only one that truly understands. If your partner doesn’t understand call a friend or family member that does.
- If you find family Christmas gatherings too painful, make plans to spend some time with other infertile people who do not have children.
- New year is a time for new beginnings, have a fertility plan for the year going forward, look at taking more control over your fertility, perhaps you have not been happy with your clinic, look at changing it, perhaps you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, look into it. Perhaps you do not know when you are ovulating, start charting. Fertility is something we don’t have control over, get some control back and you will start to feel better.
- Recover, you have time of work (hopefully), allow yourself the time to heal from the past year and start to look forward to the year ahead.