For couples struggling with infertility or the loss of a pregnancy, the Holidays can serve as painful reminders of the children they long for but do not yet have. These special days may feel like cruel reminders of your reproductive trauma and trigger a sense of failure, sorrow, resentment, confusion or make you feel completely swept away into a sea of mixed emotions. You may feel isolated from friends and family or sense that you don’t fit. Though you may be happy to spend time with your family, you may feel empty inside as the holidays may stir your desire to have children to celebrate with (The Center for Reproductive Psychology).
The Center for Reproductive Psychology offers 10 tips for making these holidays more bearable.
1. Avoid kid-friendly places on those days.
2. If you find contact with friends or family on those days stressful, keep your contact with them to a level that is comfortable for you.
3. If you must be at a social event, give yourself permission to leave early if you need to. Before you arrive create a signal with your spouse letting him or her know when you need to leave.
4. Seize the day by doing an activity with your partner that you both enjoy.
5. Recognize how painful your circumstance is.
6. Express your feelings in a journal or to a sympathetic friend.
7. Present your spouse or yourself with a gift in honor of their future parent status.
8. Give yourself a little extra love in the form of a gift in honor of the parent you will one day be.
9. Reflect on your reproductive story in writing or by talking about it. Allow yourself to consider alternative ways of becoming a parent, such as embryo donation and adoption.
10. Remember that today is not the end of your reproductive story.
While these days may be hard and it may seem that you are at a dead end, there are options and there is hope. Many couples who were at the point you find yourself right now are now celebrating the Holidays with the children that they adopted as embryos.
To learn more about how to cope with this hard season, visit The Center for Reproductive Psychology. To learn more about how Embryo Donation and Adoption may be right for your family, visit The Embryo Adoption Awareness Center.
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