The season of never-ending gatherings has begun. It’s during this time that our hearts will ache even more.
The holidays has a way to bring out the Grinch in some of us and tend to remind us that our family building hasn’t been the way he had planned. Seeing your siblings and cousins with their children can remind you of what (who) you don’t have, and that, of course, never easy.
If you’re feeling stressed out just thinking about your next holiday get-together, here are some tips to surviving infertility during the holidays:
If Your mind is saying, “Can you give me a more negative tip to start with?” wait a minute. It’s an important tip, really it is. In fact, it’s o important, that I needed it to be first.
It always feels impossible saying no to family. If you don’t go to the holiday dinner, your parents and family may protest — loudly, in fact. They’ll try to guilt trip you, seriously – it has been done. But remember, they can’t make you go, and you should do what is best for you and your partner.
Invite over some other childless couples, and celebrate on your own terms.
Don’t Feel Like You Have to Hold Any Babies.
Being around children can be difficult when you’re trying to get pregnant, and sometimes, especially if your arms are empty, family members will plop a baby on to your lap while they attend to other matters – like that drink of Moscato you’ve been ogling for the past hour and haven’t touched because you can’t test until tomorrow.
It’s ok to say no to holding a baby, or you can quickly pass off the baby to another pair of empty arms. You don’t have to get into details if you don’t want to, but say something along the lines of, “I’m not really in the mood for baby dust right now.” Leave it at that, you don’t have to divulge details.
*On a side note – get yourself some babydust! Hold that baby, freshly born babies, are said to have the highest content of baby dust. (Look below)
Soak Up the Baby Dust.
Of course, not every woman with infertility struggles with holding babies. I (sometimes) fit in to this category. I simply adore babies, and I really want one of my one to
squish cuddle and snuggle with .
It’s okay to live vicariously through others. Take the time to get down on the floor and play with your nieces, nephews and cousins.
And most of all, it’s okay to go to the bathroom after you’re done and cry your heart out for what you do not have (at least not yet.)
Be Prepared for the Questions.
There may be some new friends or extended family members that have absolutely no idea why you’re eyes are so puffy everytime you come out of the bathroom. They don’t know about your struggles, and they may ask you “So, when are you going to have a baby?” “What are you waiting for? You’re not getting any younger ya know?!”
It’s completely up to you and your partner whether you want to talk about your Infertility struggles or not. I’m just saying, Be prepared, IT. IS. GOING. TO. GET. ASKED.
There Will Be Pregnancy Announcements – Brace Yourself.
For some unknown reason, the fad has always been to announce a pregnancy at Thanskgiving, Hanukkah, Passover, or Christmas, and Easter. Why? I haven’t a clue – but it’s the truth.
I think it has something to do with EVERYONE being together. Big Whoop right?! I know! I agree, and believe me, I’ll be there in spirit holding your hand the whole time.
Don’t feel guilty for your feelings of sadness – or dare I say it – jealousy, but do be prepared for the possibility. It’s normal to feel that way, to mourn what you don’t have instead of rejoice in what others are going to have.
Give that smile, say that “Congrats” and then go to the bathroom and cry. (See above – wash your face, the puffy eyes is going to give you away again.)
The Consensus Says It’s Okay.
Really it is okay to feel jealous, sad, and angry, and happy all at once. Don’t feel guilty. While I tried to add some humor, I know the severity of these emotions.
It’s okay to skip the holidays with family if you feel you need to.
Most importantly it’s the time of year to think about you too for once. You’re not being selfish, you’re actually being generous to others. I know the moods we can be in, and they’re no fun, especially when we feel forced to be around others. Others who don’t share our pain.
I wish you all Happy Holidays, and may the next year be more fruitful for you and your family.