The word “expecting” can be kind of a loaded term here in the infertility world. But I encourage you, whether you eagerly greet or strongly dread the upcoming holidays, and as you journey towards parenthood, to be ready for the unexpected.
Last time I was here on the blog I shared some resources on surviving the holidays with infertility. I linked to a series of articles by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. One of my favorite pieces in the bunch is by Merle Bombardieri. I’ll share a blurb from her piece:
“Rather than tell yourself you should be happy [during the holidays], tell yourself, ‘I should reasonably expect to feel rotten during the holidays. If I have even a little fun, that’s a miracle, a gift and an accomplishment!”
I wish I had remembered this piece of advice at Thanksgiving this year. I had done my best to prepare. I was rested, I had plenty of time to cook, get dressed, and hit the road. Then a serious headache knocked me down before I even sat down to eat the beautiful Thanksgiving meal. My Thanksgiving was pretty much ruined and I spent the afternoon trying to sleep the headache off. Disappointing!
What about you? Did the Thanksgiving holiday meet, fall short, or exceed your expectations of what the holiday would bring? And how are you feeling about the upcoming [insert preferred holiday] season? If emotions are getting the best (or worst) of you, have you considered making an appointment with a counselor that specializes in infertility? The holidays can be loaded with expectations (met and unmet), and the infertility experience can be highly emotional. If it all feels like too much, ask your local fertility clinic if they can recommend a therapist for you to speak with. Many fertility clinics offer counseling services on site. If you don’t know who to talk to, contact your insurance company for a list of therapists in your area.
In recent weeks, I have been seeing more infertility blogs and Facebook comments discussing how to cope with infertility during the holidays. I’ve seen many sad stories, and some really positive ones. One woman discussed feeling grateful to spend some quality time alone with her partner this holiday season. She acknowledges that one day, when she has children, she will not have as much time to focus on her relationship. Another woman praised her wonderful and supportive parents, and I really felt joyful while reading her words. May we all be blessed to have someone in our lives that offers us unconditional love and support “ at all costs “ no matter what the future brings, expected or unexpected.
Britt Berg is a health and medical writer in Atlanta. Co-author of Making a Baby and a trained therapist, Britt is obsessed with all things fertility, pregnancy, and birthing. She enjoys helping others as they travel on their family-building journeys.