How on earth do you cope with infertility during the holidays?
A friend asked me to describe infertility. I said, “It’s like cruising down a tunnel with the exit lights shut off.” If you’re in the throes of that crisis right now, please know that I’ve been there–I freaking lived there–for years. So many insensitive comments were made in the moments of my greatest pain, it took me years to trust people again and process my grief. I shared my journey from infertility to healing here if you’re looking for a friend who truly gets it.
Infertility is unique in its isolating hell. And this hell is only made worse during the holidays. You’re not only fielding questions from Mom and Dad who want to know when you’re giving them a grandbaby–Uncle Jack and Aunt Jane want to weigh in, too. Meanwhile, scores of kids are shoving the Toys R Us catalogue in your face over turkey dinner as they make wish lists for your Black Friday spree. And then Christmas hits you like a frying pan to your face. The ache you feel to have kids of your own steals your joy.
90% of infertility patients (and parents in the process of adopting kids) face the holidays with dread. But I personally feel infertility is a thief of so many things, you need to claim your stake and develop a Holiday Survival Plan to navigate your landmine of hurt.
Creating a Family: The National Infertility & Adoption Education Non-profit put together a FREE Guide to Surviving the Holidays Without a Child you can get by signing up for their weekly newsletter. It’s a solid resource to help you answer awkward questions over Christmas dinner, how to share such a private struggle with family and friends and how to decompress when the grief overwhelms.
I’d encourage you to check it out. And please share your coping mechanisms for struggling with infertility during the holidays here!