How to Handle the Holidays During Fertility Treatment
Holiday parties, dinners, and special outings are something that many of us look forward to each year as a chance to spend time with family and friends. For fertility patients, this time of the year may hold feelings that are a bit more complex. Fertility care is inherently stressful. With appointments, screening, treatment, medications, injections, and financial concerns all in play, layering in queries from well-meaning party attendees about your family-building plans is probably not going to make the season as enjoyable as it could be.
Many fertility patients note this time of the year is particularly difficult, with dreaded awkward conversations, celebrating other pregnancies, and meeting the new babies of friends and family. At Aspire Fertility, we know that fertility patients are going to want to enjoy the holidays as much as possible. We offer some advice on how to handle the holidays during fertility treatment:
- Know that it’s OK to decline an invitation if you need to – You don’t have to attend events if you anticipate that they only will lead to emotional stress. Politely declining an invite when you need to do so is fine. You don’t have to attend every holiday event you’re invited to. Spacing out events can help ease your general stress as well as any pressure felt about family planning.
- Anticipate the tough questions and your answers – Even the most well-meaning people in your life are capable of asking a thoughtless, insensitive question. This is especially true if he or she is not involved or aware of life in the fertility community. In an ideal world, fertility patients wouldn’t have to be the source of education on topics like in vitro fertilization, egg donation, and surrogacy, but unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet as a society. If you feel comfortable discussing your treatment plan, it’s entirely your decision about how much to share and when. If you’d prefer not to share details, here are some ways you can conclude an uncomfortable line of questioning about fertility care:
- I appreciate you checking in, but I don’t have anything to share at this time.
- Thanks for asking, but there’s no news.
- If there’s anything we’re planning to share, I’ll let you know.
- My partner and I are going to keep those details private, but thanks for asking.
- We’re not sharing details now, but thank you for thinking of us.
On the other hand, the holidays can be a time to take a short break from the word of fertility care and focus on the priorities in your life that aren’t necessarily family building. Most of the time, working to find a good balance between situations where you’re overwhelmed and situations where you’re able to relax and be yourself is all that’s needed.