The holidays can be a stressful time even under the best circumstances, but when you’re dealing with Infertility, the holidays can bring up a flood of emotions. Being surrounded by children and well-meaning relatives telling you to “just relax” can be a source of anxiety and sadness for couples dealing with infertility. Dr. Walid Saleh of SIRM Dallas in Dallas, Texas has five tips for couples coping with infertility during the holidays.
1. Make Choices
You’ve decided to grow your family, and the road has not been as easy as you’d hoped. Dealing with infertility during the holidays can be difficult, so it’s important to make choices about what you can handle.
If you’re scheduled to undergo fertility treatments over the holidays, consider putting them on hold until the stress of the holidays has passed. This is especially true if you’ll be traveling – having to juggle travel arrangements along with doctors’ appointments and injections won’t help your stress levels.
2. Take Care of Yourself
The holidays usually mean families, full of children and well-meaning relatives asking about that absent bundle of joy. If the thought of being surrounded by children and being on the receiving end of painful questions sounds like too much for you, then take a break to care for yourself. Spend the holidays with friends who know about your fertility journey and/or who don’t have children. If neither is viable spend time with your partner at home or on a vacation. Right now, your well-being trumps tradition and guilt trips.
3. Decide on a plan
If you decide to go home for the holidays, make a plan. It’s only a matter of time before someone asks you and your partner if you’re planning on having kids anytime soon. For couples struggling with infertility, this is not something you’ll want to hear. While these questions can be hurtful, it’s important to remember that the asker didn’t know about your struggles with infertility. Decide ahead of time on how to respond to these questions, and, if you’re comfortable, share your infertility struggles with family and friends before the holidays roll around.
4. Practice Gratitude
We all have many more things to be thankful for than not, even while struggling with infertility. Take some time this holiday season to write out some of the things you are thankful for in your life – you’ll be surprised by how much it can change your perspective.
5. Lean on Your Support system
No matter how much you plan for the holidays, there will be days that will have you feeling down. Family and friends can be a strong source of support for you during your infertility struggle, so consider confiding in a close family member or two about your diagnosis. Allow yourself to feel sad, depressed, or deprived and lean on the people in your life who understand what you are going through.
Feeling sad, stressed, and frustrated when you’re coping with infertility over the holidays is completely normal. Make sure to take the time and energy to plan, practice self-care, and lean on those you love to help you get through the holidays. If you and your partner have been struggling to conceive, the experts at SIRM Dallas can help. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Walid Saleh, our fantastic fertility specialist at our Dallas, Texas infertility clinic, please call (972) 566-6686.