The holiday season is often a very difficult time for couples going through infertility. These 8 tips can help you.
No one can make the pain of infertility go away. When expectations are high and pressure comes from many directions, be prepared to support yourselves first. Acknowledge that this may be a sad and uncomfortable time for you.
1. Pay attention to your own needs, not just those of your loved ones. Plan in advance so that you can take care of yourselves and improve the chances of having a pleasant holiday.
2. Limit your social gatherings. Choose to attend the parties or get-togethers where you will feel the most comfortable. Ask your spouse if he/she is willing to go without you. You don’t have to go to everything or stay a long time.
3. Consider changing holiday traditions by creating new ones. Go out to a restaurant, for a stroll in the city or a cup of hot chocolate by an outside fire. Ask someone else to host dinner if it is usually at your house. If being around young children is painful, plan to spend time with friends or family who don’t have children. Develop your own traditions as a couple.
4. If you typically travel to visit family and friends consider staying at a hotel to avoid being surrounded by small children, pregnant relatives, or other painful reminders of your infertility. This will also allow you to have some “down” time.
5. Try to avoid malls and toy stores if the excesses of the holiday cheer only make you sad. You can shop online, give gift certificates or make your gifts instead.
6. Prepare in advance how you will handle certain awkward situations or insensitive questions. You don’t have to share more about your situation then you wish.
7. Seek out the people who know about your infertility and are supportive and empathic. Set aside time to talk about how you are doing.
8. Nurture your relationship. Stay connected to your partner. Think about spending a quiet holiday together. Consider taking walks, renting videos, or curling up with a good book…Or plan a trip and celebrate the holidays by yourselves – just the two of you. Set aside time to check in with each other and share feelings. Allow yourself to have your feelings- whatever they are!
We hope that these will be helpful suggestions for coping with the holidays and infertility, and we of course wish you the best during this season.