It’s often the worst possible time of the year for anyone trying to conceive – you just can’t seem to escape perfect smiling families wherever you turn whether it’s adverts on television or displays in shop windows. It can feel a very hard and lonely time to be childless when the very point of Christmas is to celebrate a birth.
There is no shortage of advice about how to get through this time of year. I usually write a blog post about it, but this year I thought maybe I’d give you a collection of other people’s thoughts on the subject to browse.
Here on netdoctor are the views of Harley Street fertility specialist Dr Geeta Venkat, here are some thoughts from Lesley Pyne who specialises in supporting women who are childless, some musings in the Daily Mail from Amanda Platell, thoughts from the Childless by Marriage blog, and a great factsheet on the subject from the US fertility support charity Resolve.
I hope that some of these are helpful – there are certainly lots of ideas and the key theme seems to be to put yourself first, not to attend events you know are going to be difficult just because you feel you should and to try to create a different Christmas for yourself doing the things that you like.
When you’re trying to get pregnant, you can start to feel like Scrooge as Christmas approaches; there are the endless adverts with glowingly happy families every time you switch on the TV, the jam packed shopping streets, the decorated trees and father Christmas figures everywhere. It can all seem like a particularly sharp reminder of what you don’t have – and of course, underneath the layers of commercialism, Christmas is meant to be the celebration of a very special birth.
You will find lots of advice on how to cope at Christmas, but I think perhaps the most important thing to do is to accept that it’s not a time of year when coping is easy – and to ensure that you do all that you can to look after yourself. If you want to escape the whole thing, that doesn’t mean you’re turning into some unpleasant Dickens character, it means you’re being realistic about what you can and can’t cope with.
There is no obligation to go along to traditional family Christmas events just because it’s what you always do if you think they are going to upset you. It’s fine to decide that actually you’d like to celebrate in your own way and do something completely different whether that’s a Christmas holiday in the Bahamas (yes, I wish too…), a trip out to the countryside, pizza for two at home for Christmas lunch or an all-day long scrabble contest. It really is up to you what you want to do, and you don’t need anyone’s blessing to decide that you’re going to branch out on your own and do something completely different, something that will make you happy and that you will enjoy – be brave – and have fun!
If you’re finding the build-up to Christmas hard going, you may find it helpful to go along to the next meeting of Fertility Circle in London next week where the evening will be devoted to the subject with tips and advice from a qualified fertility counsellor.
Fertility Circle is open to anyone who is having fertility problems and is hosted by the London Fertility Centre in Harley Street. For more details, click here