2022 is winding down and the holidays are nearly here. Start planning now for the emotional tides of holiday parties, well-meaning relatives, and the hollow, empty feeling of an unrealized pregnancy. Improve your chances of having a pleasant holiday by investing your trust in the family and friends that surround you at the holidays.
First, you must be honest with your family and friends because nobody has a crystal ball. Let them know that there is a struggle. They can’t change anything unless you open the door and let them in. There will always be the family jester who tries to cheer you up with an odd joke that really is no laughing matter at all, so have a few quips at the ready in your back pocket when those come up. Your family and friends will be your biggest champions if you let them in and educate them as you yourself are educated along the way. They will learn to be sensitive as time goes on.
Second, let your family and friends help. They can accompany you to appointments when your spouse cannot. They can be a network of researchers to help you get the information you need. They can lift you up when that feeling of despair washes over you. They can remind other relatives who like to make those unsavory comments or jokes. But they can’t help if you first haven’t been honest with them.
Third, let others’ stories help you heal. Just knowing you’re not alone in your journey and that millions of people suffer from some form of infertility can fill that void of loneliness. You may find that you have more friends or family in the same boat than you realized. Ordinary people struggle every day and they come up with all sorts of anecdotes that help them heal so let them help you heal as well.
And finally, let the support system around you help keep the hope of life yet to come alive and thriving during the holidays. Use the positive energy of others to boost your own. Join a support group moving into the New Year, be prepared for pitfalls and have a plan.
The more people you have in your circle, the more stable your infertility journey will be. Remember that you and your spouse do not have to make this journey alone, regardless of how long it takes or wherever you may end up. Enjoy spending time with family and friends this Holiday Season and embrace the love and support they will offer.