According to the Assisted Conception Task Force (ACT), “One in six couples of childbearing age are experiencing infertility.” The prevalence of this statistic means that there can be a lot of broken hearts, especially during the holidays. Many major holidays, like Christmas, result in silent suffering for individuals or couples facing infertility. Silent suffering is extremely difficult during the holidays because many people do not feel comfortable disclosing feelings of pain during a season intended for community joyfulness.
In truth, the holiday season is far from joyful for many people from all walks of life. Holidays often prove to be stressful, depressing, or downright difficult for countless individuals, even for those in the best of circumstances. Therefore, for couples experiencing infertility, it is important to realize that you are not alone. There are likely other individuals close to you, experiencing similar feelings during the holidays.
Although, infertility is quite common, this does not lessen the pain. It may be tough to face family, friends, or others during their celebratory modes when you, yourself, are personally dealing with infertility.
Holiday pressures are essentially everywhere. And, they’re almost impossible to avoid because they exist both externally and internally. Being surrounded by children is a typical holiday stressor when you’re dealing with infertility
However, there is always hope! For those struggling with infertility, there are specific actions you can take to make your holiday season bearable – maybe even joyful again!
The first thing you should do is talk about your feelings and share your emotions. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to put on a happy face for the holidays; it’s unhealthy to hide how you really feel. The buildup of emotions will only create resentment and depression. If you have a significant other, try to think about things from their point of view. Supporting your spouse and showing compassion for each others’ individual feelings will restore a certain level of much needed strength.
The second thing you should do is make up your mind. Once again, if you have a significant other, the two of you should do this as a team. You should be proactive and make decisions about anticipated situations in advance. This way you will not allow yourselves to feel like victims. You will feel like you’re in better control of your lives and situations. Decision-making and action-oriented steps are extremely healing because you will feel like you’re in control again.
Procrastination and indecision will only make you feel powerless over your situation. You don’t want to make things worse for yourself. You don’t want to be passive. Unresolved situations will leave you feeling stressed out. Couples should anticipate situations and prepare to make choices. Just keep on moving forward.
And finally, allow yourself to feel sad. Infertility is a real life crisis and you are entitled to feelings of pain. Remember, at the end of the day, you are only human. Let it all out and don’t hide from the way you feel or else you might never be able to cope. Try approaching the holidays in a brand new way. During your time of healing, you should never feel afraid to deal with the holidays on your own terms.
Figuring out what works for you, will certainly make your holidays more enjoyable and less stressful. South Jersey Fertility Center offers several options for dealing with infertility. Contact us today at to learn more about your options and to give you hope for the New Year.