Prepare emotionally for the holidays
No matter where you are in your infertility journey the holidays can be hard. Hopefully this will give you some ideas to help you this holiday season so you are not blindsided like I was a few years ago….Let me start by saying I thought I was ready for the holidays. Thinking that no one would say anything I haven’t already heard. I thought that I was in a good place. Besides all of that, if someone did say something it would not affect me. Right? Those were my thoughts heading into thanksgiving a few years ago. Well I’m sad to say that I was wrong. Even after going through this on and off for 12 years, and two miracle children things still get to me. Thinking back on things that have hurt me in the past and I remember one Christmas party in particular when the family was all gathered together and the kids were putting on the nativity (Mitch and I were kid less at the time) I remember someone leaning over to my sister- in-law who was sitting next to me and telling her that next year she could have the baby Jesus. She was not trying for children at the time and she said “you wish”. It broke my heart, we had been trying for probably 3 years at that time. It felt like they had given up on me. I have spent time hiding in a bedroom (Not at my house) crying on thanksgiving feeling completely alone. Those feeling are why I have compiled these ideas for you.
How To deal with hard comments
Lately when people talk to me about infertility I feel like they are frustrated and feel like I should have it figured out by now. I still get “are you doing it right?” (worst joke EVER) “Why don’t you adopt” This one uses to get my blood boiling! (Crazy how life happens now we can say we have adopted) “Why haven’t you done IVF” (Many people have no Idea that cost can be a major barrier to building our family’s) Most of the questions that come up are just people wanting to be helpful…. Clearly if they knew how we felt about these questions and many more they would not come up. In the past I have felt like I am defending myself and no one wants to hear my answers. Often times it seems like I’m not even talking. Have you felt that way? People are talking but have no interest In what you have to say or what you are actually doing? So how can we handle these hard situations?
Here are some ideas that could help you this holiday season.
- If you know the questions are coming, plan what you are going to say. If someone asks you when are you going to have kids? How do you want to respond? Your answers may be different depending on who is asking. But plan a few responses. Like “never we hate kids”. J/K You could say we are working on it. Or it is defiantly something we are talking about. You can say whatever you feel comfortable with. If you don’t want a certain person to ask you questions you could have someone you trust, kindly give them a message before the party saying…. she is not up for talking about _______. Or whatever you need them to say.
- You can opt out! You can pick what events you feel comfortable with and not go to the ones that are just too hard. You know your limits trust yourself and do what is best for you and your husband. You can also choose to show up late and leave early. You know best and what you can handle and what you cannot. I have heard some say I can handle 15 minutes. So her and her husband meet at the car after 15 minutes.
- Find a support group. Whether it is a friend or a family member who knows what you are going through or an online support group. Find a way to vent. If a situation does come up you will want to find someone to talk to. I am really grateful my cousin told me about a Facebook group. Thanksgiving a few years ago, I used that group to vent and it helped so much. We are not alone in this journey there are so many people going through the same thing; why not let them help you?
A few ideas from our followers.
Waitingforpeanut – I have an agreement with my husband. If I need to take a break we have a code word and he helps me navigate that around our families.
My_happy_heart_journey – My husband and I have decided to take a break from ttc over Christmas and New Year. I can not deal with that wait in between, and the yo yo of feeling hopefully that helps me survive the holidays.
Infertilityjourneysd – No Christmas cards. My husband throws them away before I get home from work. They are such a trigger for me.
I hope you have a happy holiday.