How to Survive the Infertile Myrtle Holidays

The holidays are this time of year, where you feel all these cozy feelings, moments of excitement and anticipation. We often think of the holiday to come with the traditions that fill our memories and anticipate that same feeling to flood into us with a sense of nostalgia. For those of us experiencing grief, this time of year can be hard. Really freaking hard. 

Whatever the history is, it’s hard for us to deny that the holiday is a time where we put a new found hope in what this year will look like, with the strive for it to be something more – something to fill our souls with love and those around us.

When you are wanting so badly to have a baby, in your wait, following a loss, maybe it’s been a year and you are at the start of your fertility journey – and all you want is that baby in your uterus or in your arms. That can lead to a really difficult holiday season. 

For me it was because it was a marker – like a staunch reminder that another year has gone by without that baby. Another milestone not met. Another holiday where I watch my nieces and nephews or all the posts of how adorable everyone’s kids look in their outfits on Thanksgiving, or in their Christmas outfits. 

There was always a feeling of emptiness on top of the joy and anticipation of the holiday. It can be hard – really hard. 

But regardless of where you are mentally at before the holidays – they will come, the holidays will come – and your family will want you to be present, and you will want to celebrate and engage in festivities – maybe even get that hint of what it was like when you were younger.. yet the unknowingness of infertility, or the looming cloud of grief might steal that from you.

Which leads me to the tips to survive the holidays when you are feeling the heaviness of infertility. 

  1. When you are going into the holiday, and you are feeling the heaviness – admit it. Admit the hurt, to yourself, to God, to your spouse.. I am feeling heavy or empty. I am feeling hurt. Because you don’t heal, you don’t move forward if you don’t admit that you are feeling hurt, or heavy – or whatever the feeling is. 
  2. I’m always going to tell you to take care of yourself – keep any of your healthy habits up, and indulge if you’d like to.. I used to be so wrapped up that I would gain 10# during the holidays – you know, sometimes I gain 5, sometimes I stay the same. It’s ok. Keep your healthy habits that you do have, if you don’t have any and want some – go sign up for my free month of free coaching – but you guys, it’s more important what you eat between new years and christmas than what you eat between christmas and new years. So don’t stress. Enjoy. I usually use the gage of eating until you are 80% full. This will avoid that miserable feeling. 
  3. If someone is asking you about kids – there are a few ways you can respond – you can ignore and change the subject, you can be vulnerable or you can be snarky and rude. Depends on your vibe, and each vibe is totally fine and there isn’t a wrong one.
    • If you want to ignore and change the subject – have a few subjects ready to talk about.. “When are you going to have kids?”  – Hey, did you hear that – and update on some interesting news in the area… New York got all this snow, that I’m going to Arizona soon, that my husband got a promotion… whatever it is – think of a few topics that are news/sharing worthy or may be controversial.. Anything to shift the conversation that will be captivating.
    • If you want to be vulnerable – here are a few phrases to use: We would really love a family and can’t wait for it to happen for us. We are actually working towards that right now, it’s taking longer than expected. You know, we wish we knew! We’d love kids like, tomorrow.
    • If you want to be snarky and rude you can say.. When the doctor knocks me up for about 30K. After I see wanda about 19 more times and can give myself that trigger shot to see if the sperm sticks this time. – well, scheduled sex isn’t working so we will probably just turkey baste them right up there. I’m taking donations to get knocked up if you’d like to donate otherwise please don’t ask me. Everytime you ask me you can donate $50 to the knock me up fund. 
  4. Play infertility bingo! This is a super cute way to make it fun to see if anyone will bring it up – but it’s totally sarcastic and that isn’t your vibe, then this isn’t for you!
  5. Consider some limits. Put a time limit on this. Come later in the evening, or set an hour maximum of when you are going to attend outings. 
  6. Schedule some sibling time away from the kids. You don’t have to feel bad about seeing if grandma and grandpa will babysit – see if you can sneak some time away without the kiddos. 
  7. Scheduling something to look forward to. This could be a massage, a nail appointment, caroling, baking, whatever it is that fills your bucket – schedule it. 
  8. Prioritize Joy – make sure you add something to your calendar that is important to you. Don’t let infertility rob you of your joy. 
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