Thursday, December 6, 2012

Surviving the Holidays

The holidays can be hard enough without having the added stress of infertility or reliving a loss.   Christmas 2010, we were over the moon and were announcing our 1st pregnancy to our family.  New Year’s Day 2011, I was in the ER suffering a painful miscarriage.  It was one of the most humiliating and painful experiences of my life.  Sometimes it’s difficult to disassociate the bad with the holiday itself.  I have to work extra hard to remember why we celebrate and find ways to cope.  So, here are a few tips for surviving the holidays and finding some joy:

  1. Just say NO!  - There’s no doubt that December is a jam packed time of year and that list of parties and to-dos is growing by the minute.  It’s OK to say NO and only accept the invites to the parties and get-togethers that you know will be enjoyable and less stressful for you.  I tend to avoid the large parties where there are lots of guests that I don’t know.  It prevents me from having to field that dreaded, “Do you have kids?” question.  I encourage you to get out of the house and attend some of the small gatherings with friends where you can just relax and celebrate!
  2. Spread some Christmas cheer – It’s easy to get caught up in your own pity party around the holidays, but it’s important to remember the blessings you do have.  Try giving back to others during this time of year.  Adopt an Angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree.  G and I do this every year.  It gives us the chance to bless a child even though it is not ours.  Volunteer to serve dinners at a local food shelter.  Adopt a family and provide them with all the fixings for a holiday dinner.  Bringing others joy helps to put things into perspective and you can’t help but be happy when you see those smiles!
  3. Create new traditions with your spouse – Take this opportunity before you have those little miracles to start some new traditions with your spouse.  Build a gingerbread village with all sorts of fun candy.  Have a special fondue meal at home on Christmas Eve with all your holiday favorite goodies for dipping.  Take a tacky light tour or visit the lights at the botanical garden.  Make homemade waffles with all the toppings for Christmas morning.  Watch movies in your PJs all day Christmas day.  All of these are things that you can expand on when you have your kids. 
  4. Music, Music, Music! – Listen to those Christmas songs.  Make a play list of some of your favorite Christmas songs that make you happy and listen to it anytime you need a lift.  I know it’s a little corny and old fashioned but my all time favorite Christmas album is the Carpenters Christmas.  It has some of the best memories from my childhood and baking with my Nana so it always puts me in a good mood!
  5. Pamper Yourself –  Get a massage, facial, manicure or my personal favorite a pedicure!  Buy something that you would not normally do for yourself.  Take time to read that book you’ve been meaning to get to.  Spend the entire day lying in bed watching your favorite Christmas movies.  No, these won’t miraculously make all those sad feelings disappear, but taking some time for yourself can help you through them.
I think that we as women and infertiles tend to put added stress on ourselves and try to live up to the expectations of others.  The worst stress comes from our own expectations of what we think we “have to be”.  Allow yourself to let go of that perfection and what you think you need to be for others.  Do what is best for you and your partner!   Don’t let the blues of infertility or loss prevent you from the joys of the season!!!

4 comments:

  1. Absolutely love this! Some great ideas!

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  2. Thanks so much for this. Great advice.

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  3. I hope that you get your miracle for Christmas this year!

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  4. Love the new traditions with your spouse and treating yourself.

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