The holiday season can be a challenging time for those going through infertility treatments. With all the family gatherings and celebrations, the pressure to have children is often magnified. If you are currently pursuing IVF with donor eggs or donor embryos, here are some tips to help you get through the holidays with more ease and joy.
The holidays can amplify feelings of grief, jealousy, or isolation for those struggling with infertility.
Remember, it’s okay to put yourself first, even if that means having a tough conversation or even avoiding some holiday events altogether. You can set boundaries with family/friends ahead of time if their questions or pressure around having kids is causing you stress. Let them know privately that you'd prefer not to discuss the topic.
Take time before holiday events to check in with yourself and your partner about how you want to handle questions or comments about starting/expanding your family. Remember that you do not owe anyone an explanation, and sometimes it’s best to politely change the subject. Having responses in mind can prevent feeling caught off guard and ensure that you don't share anything you don't want to share.
Depending on where you are in your journey and what you feel comfortable with, there are a few options for how to respond to these types of questions. You can give a subtle "not sure" answer and change the subject or you could simply say that you prefer not to discuss it.
Alternatively, if you are feeling up to it, you could politely educate the asker by sharing that 1 in 6 couples face infertility and be honest about the challenges you face. Being genuine and honest can bring awareness to the topic and help remove the stigma.
Understand many who ask insensitive questions are coming from a place of ignorance, not malice. They likely have good intentions but don't realize it can be hurtful. When possible, giving others the benefit of the doubt can bring you peace.
Take time for yourself during the holidays. Do activities you enjoy, prioritize your emotional needs, and remind yourself this is just one season of your life's journey. There are bright days ahead. Give yourself grace and don't lose hope.
In addition to counseling, there are also many online support communities that offer invaluable support and help you process your emotions.
The holidays can be tough for those in the midst of their donor egg IVF journeys. But with the right mindset and self-care, you can minimize stress and find more joy.
Wishing you happy holidays from all of us at Donor Nexus!
Find Additional Resources in the Donor Nexus Blog: