It sucks even more when you’re surrounded by pregnancy announcements, adorable baby-dressed-as-elf photos, and merriment. You may end up in a “Fertility Festive Funk” because sometimes you just don’t feel like being festive.
A Holiday Miscarriage
One of my close friends miscarried right before Christmas a few years ago. Before it happened, she was excited to tell all the family at Christmas that they were expecting their first baby. But the rug was pulled out from under her. The future that she had imagined as soon as she got that positive test, was ripped away from her.
It was unfair. It’s always unfair.
Around the holidays can be even worse.
We were Christmas shopping together and she bumped into an old friend. There was the first few minutes of the conversation, how are you?! How are you? Then it turned real… “actually I just had a miscarriage…” Her friend responded “me too!” Hearing about loss is not something you usually get excited about but if you can share your grief with someone who get’s it, you’re excited to meet someone who’s walked in your shoes. Suddenly, my friend didn’t feel alone anymore.
Here are 3 things you can do to help survive the Fertility Festive Funk:
- Collect – Collect responses to those nosey questions from innocent family members. The ones who ask you, “so when are you starting a family?” or “are you having any more children?” You don’t have to answer them, or you can be blunt, or you can be evasive. It’s totally up to you. Before it happens, get prepared. Take your journal or a piece of paper and write out 5-10 responses you could say back to someone. Sometimes you’ll feel like telling the truth, sometimes you won’t. If you practice these responses to your partner or in the mirror, it will be easier when it happens. Also Collect ideas of how to take care of yourself during this time – counselling, massages, acupuncture with your favourite naturopaths at Rooted, meditation, or guided imagery for fertility. Make a list of things you can do to take care of yourself during this potentially stressful time. Look back at both lists every few days to remind yourself of what to say and what you can do.
- Correct – Correct people who feel it’s their business to know when you’re planning on procreating. It actually isn’t any of their business. Cut of conversations if you want to. Correct the thoughts in your head that say your family isn’t good enough without a baby. You can host the holiday dinner, you can go on a sleigh ride, you can sit on Santa’s knee if you want to. Choose gentle thoughts about yourself, your body and your situation. If you need help, come talk to us or your counsellor.
- Connect – Connect with yourself first. What do you truly want over the holidays? A big gathering? A small gathering? To hold all the babies? To not hold any of the babies? It’s totally up to you. First get quiet with yourself, grab your journal and really ask yourself how do you want to handle the holidays this season? How can you bring joy to your holidays for you while you’re still waiting to grow your family? How can you make this holiday season special despite this hole? Your family is still whole just as it is right now. Connect with friends and family who make you feel good. Who listen to you, who make you feel more positive than negative.
We’re here for you. Whatever you choose to do this holiday, know that you are ok, you will be ok, you’ve got this. If you’re new to Rooted, come on in for a free fertility introduction. We can chat about where you are, what you’ve done and how to support you on your baby journey especially during the holidays.
Dr. Whitney Young, ND