The days leading up to Christmas can be a wonderful time as we anticipate the day full of friends, family, great food and laughter. However, for many people trying to have a baby, it can be one of the most challenging times, instead full of sadness and anxiety.
As much as you feel happy for others having a family, it is a constant reminder of the family you do not have. For those who have experienced miscarriage, the secret pain is isolating and deep.
For some people, telling a few close friends or relatives might just save you at the right moment during Xmas Day if someone asks, “when are you going to have a baby?” or “Why haven’t you had a baby?” “How old are you?” “You know you can do IVF?” For other parents-to-be they may prefer to keep their journey private. What ever the case, family gatherings can be the time for unwanted question. Stay calm as much as you can. Yes, I know those hormones can really play havoc with your emotions. Even more so if we have just had news of a negative result after a long hopeful journey. Those who have never had problems conceiving don’t truly understand how some questions and comments are insensitive.
There are no wrong or right answer but here are some tips to help you survive the day. I did, and you will.
MAKE A PLAN
- Rehearse with your partner, let your trusted friends/relatives know you are feeling anxious about Xmas day and might need some ‘saving’ if Aunt Aggie has way too much to drink and starts at you.
- Really try and predict and rehearse the questions that might be asked. Have you and your partner memorise the answers and both agree so you’re on the same page.
- Make certain you communicate with your partner exactly how you are feeling before you arrive, especially if you are feeling vulnerable.
- Have a signal with your partner where you need to be rescued or leave a situation. Perhaps they can ring you so you need to leave to answer your phone!
- You are not obliged to answer people’s questions. A smile can be your simple answer and perhaps ask them how they are going with XYZ? A ‘tell you one day, I’ve just got to tell hubby something…’ and rush off can work wonders.
- Remember some people are not always intentionally trying to hurt or judge you, they just don’t realise their questions are insensitive to your situation. Then there are ‘others’ I’m sure.
- If you are pregnant, bring your own non-alcoholic bubbly, apple cider and drink this from a wine or champagne glass. If someone asks, you can creatively tell a white lie that it’s wine or let them know your not drinking …..due to XYZ without revealing your pregnant. Detoxing, kidney stones, you know what I mean.
- If you’re feeling it is too much this Xmas, don’t stay long anywhere, you can always excuse yourself and avoid social situations that your intuition tells you to.
- Whether it is a failed cycle, miscarriage, a long journey, a fallen through adoption or surrogate, an egg donor cancellation, or simply bloated as you’re in the middle of an IVF cycle – Look after yourself first.
- You can stay in control if you prepare yourself. Stay strong, centred and ready to enjoy the day. Be proud of how far you and your partner have come and sometimes it’s only you that pats yourself on the back, and that is ok.
Wishing you a relaxing Xmas and renewed strength for 2019.