How to cope with infertility over the holiday season
The holiday season can be a painful reminder that your dream of motherhood has not yet come true. Here’s how you can survive the amplified emotions of infertility during the holiday season…
Another holiday season, another year without meeting your dream baby. Let me start by saying: I’m really sorry that you’re struggling this December and that your dreams of having a baby haven’t manifested for you yet.
Infertility, as you well know, is a devastating experience at any time of year.
However, holiday periods like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Passover can amplify this devastation and make a festive time that’s “supposed” to be full of joy and love become a time of deep isolation and sadness.
The approach of December brings with it the reminder that Christmas is all about family and children – a painful reminder that the children you’ve been longing for haven’t arrived for you yet.
You’re not alone.
It’s common for couples suffering with infertility (or privately following fertility protocols/treatments that they don’t want disrupted) to withdraw from the typical festivities.
This can be tough for both you and your family.
How do you (and they) respond to this need to withdraw in a healthy way? A way that’s not going to hurt yours or their feelings?
If you’re super close to your family, you may feel guilty for experiencing feelings of negativity towards spending time with them. It might force you to make decisions you don’t want to and say yes to things you would rather say no to.
My advice: say no.
It couldn’t be more important right now for you to listen to your mind and body and to do what you need to do; so you can not only to survive this time but to thrive through this time. Especially if you’re trying to conceive and are staying on your fertility plan.
You’ve been working so hard to stay empowered and balanced. The last thing you need is a stress-related setback.
Here’s my advice to you, if you’re struggling with the ups and downs of fertility over the festive season…
Think about all the care and love you want to give the baby you’re trying so hard to have, then; take that love and care and give it all to yourself.
When you’re trying to conceive, there’s so much importance in creating the right conditions for a healthy implantation to happen. It’s too easy to start punishing yourself or harboring negative self-talk when your fertility issues strike – but this is counterproductive and such a sad and unhealthy state of mind to exist in throughout the holiday season.
I know it’s easier said than done (and the pain can be overpowering at times) but you have to remain as strong as possible.
You have to choose to be kind to yourself – even when you don’t feel like it… especially over the holiday season!
Listen to what your body needs and then give it double.
It’s human nature to let our anxieties and worries master our minds. And it’s much easier than it should be to forget to look after ourselves and put ourselves first.
So, self-care is one of the most important and powerful things you can do for yourself this season.
My advice to you this holiday season, is to remind yourself every day of how amazing you are. Let yourself be amazed by and grateful to yourself for all the things you’ve already got through. You should speak fertility-empowering affirmations everyday and therefore manifest kindness, love and empowerment towards yourself and your reproductive health.
You should do this relentlessly, every day (even on the days you don’t feel like it, especially on the days you don’t feel like it).
My best self-care practices you can try for the 2019 holiday season;
Scents can seriously trigger our emotions. A bad smell = a negative reaction.
Something seriously magical happens when we use smell and scent to nurture a positive reaction.
Lavender oils can be very calming and help us to fall into an easier, more peaceful sleep. But did you know there are oils that are also beneficial to your fertility?
I often recommend Vibrant Blue Oils to my patients. Their oils – when used in combination with a healthy lifestyle – can support the gentle detoxification of old hormones and create the ideal conditions and rebalance the endocrine system to support your fertility.
This is one of my favorite forms of Chinese medicine! Acupressure can help to relieve the anxiety and stress trapped in the different areas of your body.
There are spots you can apply this powerful medicine where it will empower and activate your fertility – something that I explain thoroughly in my acupressure kit I specifically designed for reproductive wellness.
Fertility Seeds allow you to reap the same benefits of having acupuncture from the comfort and privacy of your own home without the necessity of needles or appointment keeping over the busyness of the festive season.
- Get your man to take a rest too (whilst using this)
There’s a reason why men have their testicles on the outside of their body. That’s because there’s an ideal temperature for high-quality sperm production; a temperature that’s slightly cooler than the rest of the body.
If he works in a hot environment, his work involves sitting down in hot environments, and is used to wearing tight fitting underwear, then he needs Underdog in his life. It’s a handy device specifically (as well as safely and comfortably) designed to be placed underneath him whilst he’s sitting to keep cool and encourage healthy sperm production.
The holiday season brings with it family pressures that feel that much harder when partnered with fertility struggles.
An important reminder for you right now: it’s okay to say no.
If going to a family event is going to cause you stress and overwhelm – don’t go.
Communicate as much as you need/want to, and remember; any negative reactions that come from your friends or family don’t have to be mirrored by you. It’s their choice to respond in a negative or frustrating way – make it your choice not to.
It doesn’t make them bad people. They just can’t understand, no matter how hard they try.
If saying no is not how you want to do it, then find a way that makes you feel most comfortable. You can compromise by arriving late to family functions and leaving early.
You are the first priority here. And feeling guilty about it isn’t going to help!
Feeling like you’re not getting adequate support (or the kind of support you need)? This is common for couples experiencing fertility problems. It can be hard for both sides; the advice your receive is often unhelpful and doesn’t ease the distress you’re feeling, the person giving the advice cannot relate and feels helpless and unable to comfort you.
Often new channels of support have to be found. And you’ll find talking with someone who understands what you’re going through and who can advise you from a professional standpoint gives you the most peace of mind.
Book a free 15-minute call with The Fertility Expert team to discuss how a fertility coach may be able to help you through this time. Click here to book.
Are you ready for the intrusive and over-personal questioning from the great-aunt you see once a year around this time? You know that: “so when are you two planning on having kids?” question that massively triggers you but you can’t truly respond to without sharing a painfully private part of your life that’s none of their business?
I hear you.
My patients talk about this all the time. It’s such a sensitive dinner topic that always lands like a stab to the chest.
You can’t stop it from happening if it’s going to happen. My advice is: prepare your response to this line of questioning in advance.
Think about how much you’re willing to share and expect this question to be inevitable (then they’ll be no surprises and impulsive responses).
You know deep down that they mean no harm – so it’s okay to dodge the question or give a vague answer. They don’t need to know the full truth of what you’re going through if you don’t want them to.
As I said in the last tip, often new channels of support have to be found. Make sure you’re in my private Facebook Group for couples trying to conceive. You’ll find tons of empathetic and lovely humans in there who can relate to you on a level no one else can.
Staying on track with the ‘head stuff’ will mean that when the time does come for you to say no, or dodge intrusive questioning, you’ll be able to respond from a level-headed space.
A healthy mind nurtures healthy reactions and choices.
How to keep the mind healthy over such a trying festive period? Stay on top of your ‘thing’ that helps you to relax and stay balanced.
It could be practicing mindfulness, listening to guided meditations, having journaling rituals, taking long baths, quiet time alone, going for walks in nature…
Simple acts of mindfulness can have profound effects on how well you cope with the inevitable lows of infertility over the holiday season. You’ll never eliminate the sadness entirely, but if you can do things that will help to relieve it some then why not.
One thing I always recommend to my patients is Circle + Bloom.
They have several fertility meditation programs available suited for all fertility paths; from those of you on the natural route to those of you going through IVF or IUI.
Visualization and meditation are powerful forces that can help you control your body with your thoughts. Circle + Bloom have consulted many experts as well as their community members to provide solutions that have helped many women conceive, heal after cancer treatment, and achieve other important health goals.
Get their meditations by clicking here.
If you must say no to survive, counteract that no with a yes to something that feels better for you.
Christmas/Passover may not be looking the way you wish it was, but this is how it is for you. Make a conscious effort to make the best of the situation.
This is your opportunity to create new traditions with your partner. Traditions that will help to make you feel full despite your overwhelming feelings of lack.
The traditions you make now are what will become the stories your future children when they have all grown up and want to know more about their mom and dad. Don’t underestimate the power this time has on you and your future family.
I’d like to share with you a story of Hope from one of my patients, Jennifer:
“The hardest part of my fertility journey was seeing my husband disappointed and seeing that he wanted to do something for me because he could see that I was upset.
We were very close and he was very supportive. But seeing how much he wanted to help me and do whatever he could to help me when I was pushing back and had a wall up was really hard on our relationship.
I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone and I was really stressed out. I didn’t want to face the scary reality that we might not be able to get pregnant. I didn’t want to put anything out in the Universe that was overly positive or negative, or become a pity party to anyone.
Seeing other people around me, seeing my best friends getting pregnant at the time was tough.
Things changed when Marc told me to relax. I showed up to his office a couple of times in tears and he told me: ‘you’re going to get pregnant! You can do this!’
So I let go over the summer and went on vacation. I took a break and took care of my body.
When I returned and started my next round of treatment the stars aligned and I fell pregnant with twins on my first round of natural IVF!”
Go on vacation! Take some you time! Do whatever you can to reduce the stress.
Need more fertility support to make 2020 your year to become a mom?
Have you been trying for a baby for a while now and it doesn’t seem to be working? Please don’t lose hope – there’s still so much that can be done (despite what doctors may have already told you).
If you’ve got about a million questions that consistently go unanswered, it could be time to look for a fertility coach.
A fertility coach can help you create a personalized fertility plan to help you get pregnant faster by…
- Finding out what’s not letting you get pregnant by testing for the root cause of your infertility.
- Seeing your infertility as a symptom of an underlying issue and not an untreatable condition.
- Treating your body as a whole; looking at every physical aspect of your body and empowering both your physical, spiritual and mental health.
- Providing avenues of testing and help you to understand your lab work and what’s happening in your body/ how it’s influencing your fertility.
- Supporting you throughout your journey and checking on you to adapt the plan to your needs.
- Helping you deal with and learn better ways to manage stress and balance work/life.
- Inviting you into their community of other people who share similar stories.
I lead a team of fertility specialists spread across my San Diego clinics as well as on my online programs. Our shared mission is to help you BELIEVE in your fertility and EMPOWER your body to CREATE a healthy pregnancy by supporting you on your journey to motherhood.
My specialty is in Chinese Medicine and Functional Medicine, combining the practices of medicine and holistic therapies to create an empowered pathway towards your pregnancy by understanding your reproductive health and learning the natural ways you can assist your body into healing itself.