IF and coping with the Holidays

December 22, 2006 at 9:15 pm 1 comment

I write this post today… for every woman out there who has to battle through Christmas and the season to be jolly while having to deal with the horrible pain of IF inside. Perhaps yet another BFN, another failed cycle, a miscarriage, a dissappointment, a devastation…..
I have been there… and I know.

While I realize how incredibly lucky I am, to be spending my Christmas with my cycle having turned out succesful and with my BFP just as I had prayed and dreamed, I know there are so many (TOO many) women including fellow cyclers and buddies who sadly did not end up on this side of the fence. I think of all of them so often, and my heart truly goes out to each one of them. I wanted a BFP for all of them, and for all women who unfortunately suffer the way we do, just as badly as I did for myself.

While this holiday is finally one where I am not crying and dreading how to go through with it, I sure have had a good share of them. And I wanted to share my tips from all my experience and things I’ve learnt with everyone who is sadly not as joyful this Christmas, and instead wondering how they will sit through family dinners, and face cute little babies, or listen to dreaded pregnancy announcements.

Whether it is Christmas or July 4th or a birthday or a family reunion or the dreaded Mother’s Day, there is only one way to deal with it when you are depressed and unhappy inside:

Do not ever be a sacrificial matyr that goes through with all the traditions at the cost of your sanity.

Various women dealing with IF may be at various emotional stages during an event or a big day. If you are generally happy and not at the end of your rope yet, and think you can separate someone’s baby or pregnancy from your own problems, and even handle clumsy and uncalled for comments or questions from well-meaning family members, by all means, be social. Attend whatever event you plan to, and enjoy yourself. You might actually have a lot of fun.

For some people though, events and occassions brutally coincide with a horrible time in their life, like a failed IVF cycle, or a miscarriage God-forbid, or simply being at the very bottom low of their life and not knowing how to go on one more day. Fertile people and the world in general, simply NEVER understand the pain to its full brutality, and one can not expect them to.
If you happen to have extremely sensitive and supportive family and friends, and no-one in your realm who is anywhere in the vicinity of being pregnant or having new babies to show off, consider yourself very lucky. There is nothing like being in company of supportive people.
But many have to deal with insensitive family members, and sister-in-laws gushing about their new babies, or cousins announcing their pregnancies. Its simply not a healthy environment to be in when you are at the end of your rope, holiday or not.

When facing such a scenario, and when you are having a hard time dealing with a particular event and holiday in general, here are my personal suggestions.

a. Do NOT go. If there is an event that you are dreading will hurt you, it probably will. And even if the chance is tiny, do yourself a favor and avoid the pain. There will be many other events and times when you will again be social (and hopefully soon), but if this comes at a bad time in your life, avoid any kind of environment of pain.

b. Consider alternative plans. Big holiday coming up? Get away from it all. Pack up and go off on a romantic cruise to Bermuda.  Think about it – you probably would not be able to up and leave as easily when you DO have that bundle of joy. Take advantage of it now – and avoid pain as a pleasant side-effect.

c. Make it all about romance. It is easy to forget the wonderful people we DO have in our lives, during the mad quest to make that baby – our husbands. They are the strong men who stand by us and deal with us and suffer with us and the ones who swore they would on our wedding days. Is there a special event coming up? Make it a time to celebrate that incredible love and partnership you have, and shift the focus off of families and babies. Recall what you were like on your honeymoon when babies were the furthest thing from your mind, and re-create that for whatever holiday is looming. You never know… it may be the last holiday/celebration/anniversary that you can.

4 Get tied up in a project. Volunteer on something big. Use the time you have to do something incredible, vs sit there and mope. Keep busy and be engrossed in whatever you take on. Do something you had always wanted to and never had the chance. Do something memorable and thrilling and completely different. Finish that project, write that book, emerse yourself in something fun and productive instead of pity and misery. Its not easy when life is tough, but we can always try to make even a little difference to make it better.

5. Surround yourself with people who relate, understand and support you. Women and buddies online, GOOD friends, a wonderful family member – the more people you have to support you, the better. It is easier for extroverts than introverts to have a good support system, but you owe it to yourself to build one and never be alone. Alone is BAAAAAD. Whether you engage in a lively forum discussion, a girl’s night out, or hang out with a bunch of (non-pregnant) women – you will probably have a much better time than being by yourself (or worse, hanging with the wrong crowd).

And no matter what… remember to laugh. Often. Laughter is life’s best recepie. Whatever you find humorous and funny – whether watching a comedy or spending the day with your hilarious friend, it is GOOD for you. It is impossible to be sad when you are laughing – laughing genuinely that is (not snickering, or being polite about a joke, or faking a sarcastic laugh). Just find something to laugh at. And remember to smile. Life, and the holiday or event or occassion may be hard today….. but you will have your good day yet. If it hasn’t yet come, just remember that it will. Somewhere down the road…. your life will completely turn around, and all will be easy again.. one day.

May your journeys all be speedy.. and Merry Christmas… to all the wonderful women I know.

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Entry filed under: All Posts, Tips and Thoughts on TTC.

7wks 6days: First Ob/gyn appointment! Nine weeks.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lut C.  |  December 23, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    Merry Christmas

    Reply

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Expecting Number 2… :)

My TTC History

Started TTC May 2005
RE diagnosed as unexplained in Feb 06.
natural IUI #1 March 06 - BFP, m/c :(
natural IUI #2 May 06 - BFN
clomid IUI #3 July 06 - BFN
femara IUI #4 August 06 - BFN

Skipping suggested injectables,
moving to IVF
Bloodwork: Oct 12 for lupron
ER estimated 1st week of Nov

UPDATE:
25 eggs, 15 fertilized.
1 blast transferred, 6 frozen.
Precious baby Girl born in July 07.

After 2.5 years of Bliss since that BFP...

April 2009: Start of TTC #2.
(Going back for the embies I left)
Apr 15: Start of Natural FET cycle.
May 1: Transferred single blast
May 11: BFN :(
Straight to Natural FET #2
May 29: Transferred single blast
June 4: BFP!!!!
June 8: 1st beta - 177
June 10: 2nd beta - 506


UPDATE:
Healthy baby Boy born 2010!

Fast forward several years...

June 2013: Surprised with a completely natural and completely unplanned BFP!
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