Infertility and Christmas: How to get through another Christmas without a baby1.12.2022 · 3 min reading
For most people, Christmas is a time spent with family and children, but for infertile couples it is a painful reminder of what they desire so much and have failed to achieve. It is no wonder that for these people, the Christmas holidays are associated feelings that are the opposite of abundance and joy. How can you and your partner get through the holidays and try to enjoy them?
It’s okay to not be okay
Christmas carols may not speak of jealousy, anger, and feelings of isolation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel them. Quite the contrary, infertility treatment is an emotional roller coaster that can get even wilder as Christmas approaches. Your colleagues are talking about letters to Santa, there are Christmas presents for children everywhere… and you have every right to feel miserable. But don’t forget that instead of just focusing on what you don’t have, you should remember the people who love you and who are supporting you in your fight against infertility.
Do you not feel like attending a family dinner? Then don’t
You may think this is not an option for you, but if there’s a family member who would make you feel worse instead of offering support, excuse yourself. You can say the reasons for your absence out loud and have an evening of your making that suits you both. And if you think this solution is too radical…
Arrive late, leave early
This is a compromise that won’t offend anyone – show up and leave before uncle and aunt start analysing the family birth rate. Arriving late and leaving early will also allow you to plan other things for the same day to take a breather—like dinner for just the two of you, a movie marathon, or whatever makes you feel better.
Self-care at the top of your priorities
Scheduling something you enjoy and look forward to every day is another helpful strategy. This could mean sitting down to a cup of hot chocolate and a good book, a visit to the sauna, or a relaxing bath with lavender – simply anything that makes you feel good. Psychologists also recommend performing ordinary daily activities more consciously – for example, when you’re applying face cream or eating your favourite food, enjoy every minute with all your senses. This is associated with the next practical step…
If the times today are hectic, that is doubly true when it comes to Christmas. It’s almost impossible to avoid the Christmas hustle and bustle, but you can learn to devote a few minutes a day to mindfulness, or ‘conscious attention’, which will at least make you stop for a moment in the frantic pace and not let yourself be controlled by a vicious cycle of thought. With this daily care, you will begin to better perceive the needs of your mind and body, and it will be easier to let joy and well-being into the ordinary moments of life.
Supportive therapy as a safety net
Infertility is an extreme stressor, and this is not only true during the Christmas holidays; you don’t have to deal with it alone. Not everyone copes with it the same, and there is no need to be ashamed of seeking professional help. Quite the contrary, having someone by your side to support you and teach you how to deal with the challenges of infertility can be incredibly comforting.
Don’t be afraid to put a stop to uncomfortable conversations
Unpleasant conversations and personal questions are almost a tradition at family gatherings. You may also receive unsolicited advice on how you should change your diet or adoption options. If you find yourself in the middle of an unpleasant conversation, put a stop to it. Ask kindly if you can change the topic. Be honest about how this conversation makes you feel without feeling guilty.
Unusual but enjoyable
If you want to increase your chances of a peaceful, pleasant Christmas, let yourself do it differently. Forget about tradition and make it your own. Be kind to each other, get to know your limits and don’t expect too much of each other. When dealing with infertility, you have every right to feel sad, and it’s okay to say no to events that would make you feel even worse. Plan your own Christmas.
Be together, do what you enjoy and focus on where you are going rather than where you are when it comes to a baby. We’ll be there with you.