Facing fertility issues at Christmas

The holidays can be a challenging time of year for many people. We are often nostalgic for days past and loved ones lost, and yearning for a child can make the days feel even more painful.

While some of us watch our friends and family surrounded by their children and grandchildren, the grief over infertility can be especially acute

Here are a few of our tips and suggestions for facing fertility issues at Christmas.

In the face of awkward questions, be honest

It’s shocking to realise that, even in this day and age, some people don’t realise how fraught and common fertility issues can be. If they see you with no children, they think it’s perfectly acceptable to ask invasive and insensitive questions. You don’t have to humour them.

If you have the strength, answer honestly. “We’re facing fertility issues” can shut down the entire line of questioning. If they begin the dreaded advice and anecdotes, gently cut them off with “we’re not currently looking for advice, but thank you.”

You don’t have to attend gatherings that upset you

Some family and friend gatherings can take the wind out of your sails. For example, if you know that the conversation willrevolve around your cousin’s fifth unplanned pregnancy, or you don’t feel up to being surrounded by babies, you don’t have to feel guilty about declining the invitation.

Stay at home or with a tighter group of understanding loved ones and be kind and gentle with yourself

Anyone who tries to make you feel bad about declining has absolutely no idea howpainful infertility can feel.

Enjoy a glass of fizz, oysters, or some raw cheese

If you enjoy an alcoholic beverage, sushi, or raw cheese and you’ve been abstaining for the sake of your fertility journey, let your hair down and enjoy some of the foods and drinks that you love. A few days of indulgence will not negatively impact your fertility, and it can do wonders for your mental health.

Set intentions for the new year

One of the hardest pills to swallow in the entire fertility journey is the loss of control. While some people are timing their pregnancies with preferred astrological signs, there you are, unable to have a baby at all. The sense of powerlessness and the constant hope/grief cycle can be hard to bear.

That’s why, when I say set ‘intentions for the new year,’ I know it isn’t as easy as saying “have a baby.” (If only, right?!) Instead, start keeping a list of the things you plan to do for yourself, including eating in a way that makes you feel good, exercising to benefit your health and wellbeing, mindfulness classes or other courses, and personal goals. If some of these intentions overlap with your fertility goals, that’s great – but they don’t have to. Focus on what feels good for 2022.

This can be a hard time of year. Be good to yourself, stay away from toxic situations, and have the best Christmas and New Year’s possible.

Sending so much love from all of us at IVFbabble  . . . wishing all your dreams come true in 2022

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