Unfortunately there is no magic cure for surviving the holidays while dealing with the sorrow of infertility, but I do have good news today. If you are battling infertility, know that you will get through this. It is possible to enjoy the holiday season this year while using the tips in today’s Infertility Holiday Survival Guide.
Unless God answers my prayers really soon, this upcoming holiday season will be the sixth I’ve faced while battling infertility. Six years of childless Christmas mornings with no sound of little excited feet running to the Christmas tree to find gifts from Santa. Six years of emptiness and tears amidst the hustle and bustle of the most wonderful time of the year. Six years of struggling to find joy in what had always been my favorite holiday to celebrate before my world was turned upside down with one ugly word….infertility.
Every Christmas since we began our adventure to expand our family has been different for me, and some have been harder than others. There have been years when I could look at a group of children visiting Santa and have my hope renewed, and there have been years when it’s reduced me to tears and despair. Today I’m sharing some practical tips that have helped me get through the holidays year after year and it’s my prayer that they are useful for you, too.
Embrace your emotions.
Don’t try to hide your emotions, because it doesn’t work. Remember it’s OK to allow yourself to feel sad, depressed, angry or hurt. It’s normal to feel these emotions, and experiencing them is a natural part of the healing process.
Take a time out for you.
Holidays can be stressful for everyone, so it’s very important to slow down and take some time out for yourself. Read a book, get a massage, watch a movie, just do whatever brings you enjoyment and allows you to rest and relax during this busy time of year.
Just say no.
Give yourself permission to say no to events that may cause you stress. Respectfully decline party invitations if you know there will be lots of babies or pregnant women attending. Say no to attending the early church service when families with small children will be attending and attend the late service instead. Repeat after me….it’s OK to say no, and don’t let yourself feel guilty about it.
Be prepared for questions from family members and friends.
Chances are you’ll be questioned about your plans to have a family. Don’t feel obligated to give them information if you don’t want to, but don’t suffer in silence either. Discuss with your spouse and be prepared with an answer in advance.
Stay away from shopping malls.
Avoid the long lines of families with children waiting to visit Santa by shopping at small local boutiques or online instead.
Start new traditions with your spouse.
Who says you must have children to start new family traditions? Remember you are a family with or without children, so go ahead and start new traditions with your spouse. Plan a trip, service project or special dinner.
Fight despair with gratitude.
It can be easy to focus on what you don’t have instead of what you do have. Lending a helping hand to others in need will give you the right perspective and help you become more intentional about expressing gratitude for the blessings in your life.
Rely on your support system to get you through.
Don’t close yourself off to others, but instead lean on your family and friends for support. Share your feelings with those who you feel comfortable with and find comfort in those relationships.
Focus on the true meaning of the season.
At Christmas we celebrate the gift of baby Jesus, a symbol of hope to the world. Instead of thinking about Santa and gifts, spend time in thought and prayer. Let the love of Christ strengthen your heart and bring you hope this holiday season.
Remember that this is only a season, and the holidays will eventually pass. Find comfort in knowing that you are not alone and use these tips to help you cope this holiday season.
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