“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Holiday parties, family gatherings, delicious foods, joyful decorations, time off from work. So many happy, exciting things packed into two short months.
But, the holidays also come with a wide range of emotions, especially when you’re trying for a baby. Regardless of how long you have been trying to conceive, once you begin this journey, every moment you await your BFP (big fat positive) is tough! When you add holidays to the mix, there are bound to be more emotions. Perhaps it’s a reminder of another year gone by without a baby. Maybe you feel jealous and sad being with family members who are expecting or have children. The conversations with loved-ones asking about your trying to conceive journey may be triggering. Perhaps you’re receiving unwanted advice about things to try–or not try. “Just relax and it will happen!”. While the opportunities to have emotions associated with your TTC journey over the holidays may be plentiful, prepare in advance with our advice for navigating the holidays while TTC.
You may be anticipating certain events being more emotional for you. One year while trying to conceive, my former employer hosted an ornament-making activity for families. It was such a painful reminder that I was the only employee without children. My husband and I awkwardly watched as all the children made handprint snowflake ornaments.
You call the shots. Politely decline any activity you feel will not bring you joy, or join for the parts that will be upbeat for you. Perhaps you join for the meal then leave before the activity. Or, maybe you join later when everyone is hanging around and conversing. Whatever it may be, know that you can participate how you feel is best.
Consider setting a boundary regarding the topic of trying to conceive. If discussing your TTC journey is uncomfortable (or upsetting, or any other negative emotion), have a response prepared for use. “I appreciate you asking and thinking of us, but I really would rather we not discuss this.” or, “I’d prefer we not talk about this.” You can give as many or as few details as you want, as long as you make it clear where you want the conversation to go. You may encounter that one family member who can’t read your cues or even respect your desire to not discuss your TTC journey. Change the topic, or if you have to, excuse yourself to use the restroom, reload on snacks, or get some fresh air.
Lean on your Community
Hopefully you have found a sisterhood on this journey with you. Whether it’s virtual friends you have never met, or dear friends who happen to be trying to conceive at the same time, connect, communicate, vent, and cheer on these ladies. You might even find a “buddy” whom you can text throughout the holiday season and hold you accountable for the goals you have set for yourself.
What does self-care look like for you? This is a highly individualized topic. Do things that fill your cup, whether that is getting good quality sleep, having a night out with friends, prioritizing your tracking routines, ensuring you eat home cooked meals, getting fresh air, exercise, counseling, or simply taking your vitamins. The holiday hustle and bustle tends to derail self-care time. Continuing your healthy habits can set you up for success should you encounter more emotionally draining or stressful times.
What does your TTC journey look like for you? Even though the holidays often cause changes to routines, you might feel empowered by staying consistent with your TTC routine. Be sure to continue to take your kegg readings within your two-hour time frame. With the advanced predicted fertile window on the kegg app, you can plan ahead if your fertile window will fall during travel.
Wrapping it up (no pun intended)
The holiday season comes with a lot of expectations and pressure, but when you’re TTC, there is an additional dynamic that can be-at times-overwhelming. While you can’t prepare for every conversation or event that may arise during the holidays, by preparing in advance, you will be able to navigate whatever scenario that unfolds. And just remember, only you know what is best for you, so be confident in your decisions.