10 Ways to Survive the Holidays When Struggling with Fertility

Holiday parties and family gatherings can be a wonderful part of the holiday season but can be very stressful for those trying to build a family of their own. Be true to yourself and do what is right for you. Go to the parties armed with a witty response for those who can’t help but ask or avoid the parties altogether (the flu is common at this time of year!). A last-minute getaway for the holidays to avoid the entire scene is always an option too. If you feel that you are spending a significant amount of time sad, please call your doctor or seek out a local counselor.

Some tips to help survive the holidays

  1. Ignore Santa (and all the screaming children around him) at the mall.
  2. Throw out the Pottery Barn Holiday Kids catalog.
  3. Be selective about the party invitations you accept. If you anticipate non-supportive friends or family at a particular gathering, it may be wise to skip it. This is a temporary solution; hopefully, next year will find you in a different place, expecting or caring for a newborn.
  4. Enlist your partner’s help with an exit strategy should you find yourself in a conversation or situation that is uncomfortable.
  5. Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Be kind to yourself.
  6. Be prepared for pregnancy announcements. The holidays bring family and friends together for reunions. Share in their excitement as best you can.
  7. Seek out time with supportive friends and family. Remember you are not alone – there are millions of couples going through the struggle to build their family.
  8. Remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation about your family building plans. It may help to have a few phrases ready for those inquiring minds, such as “you’ll be the first to know” or “we’re having a ton of fun working on it!” While these questions can be hurtful, assume that others have the best intentions.
  9. Throw out all those cute baby holiday cards from your friends – in fact, you don’t even have to open them!
  10. Practice gratitude, being thankful for what you have at present and what you can control.

 

Dr. Beth Malizia is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist at Alabama Fertility in Birmingham.

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