When you’re trying to conceive, the holidays can be tough and it can be hard to stay positive.
But it needn’t be this way.
(Our Fertility Squad members can help when you need some support – download the free app here).
Counsellor Mollie Graneek, from Harley Street Fertility Clinic, shares her expert advice for people facing infertility, not only at Christmas but all year round.
Over to Mollie.
Recognise that infertility is a crisis.
Normalising feelings, facing and accepting them can help you move forward and stay positive when struggling with infertility. There are apps that can help people face their worries.
Self-blame is not always helpful.
Resist the temptation to be angry with yourself or your partner for your infertility or not trying to conceive earlier. Try to focus less on negative thoughts and more on what can realistically be done in the circumstances.
Work with your partner to cope with infertility.
Couples experiencing infertility often feel alone. They do not want to share their feelings with their partner in case it upsets or angers them. Open communication is the best way of connecting and going forward in this difficult journey. If you cannot talk, writing a letter might be a solution.
Be good to yourself.
Don’t let your infertility define you. Engage in things that you enjoy doing especially in alternative therapies like acupuncture, dancing, massage and relaxation techniques. One of our patients went through 10 failed IVF cycles before deciding to focus on her studies – she is now the mother of two children.
Check out the resources available and read as much as possible about the treatment options available to you.
Being proactive in this way often gives you the feeling of power and helps you decide on your future prospects. Read about all available treatments and what might be best for you – one size does not fit all. ICSI, IUI, IVF with donor eggs or donor sperm are all available options.
Consider your boundaries.
Pushing the boundaries in fertility treatment? Decide with your partner just how far you will take the treatment process before considering alternative parenting.
Get healthy and fit.
We know that people with optimum health in general find it easier to conceive. Exercise is also great for mental health, which can be greatly affected by infertility. Wrap up warm and head outside to help stay positive over Christmas.
Avoid situations that impact on your feelings of loss.
If baby showers and baby-focused activities are too painful, give yourself permission to avoid them.