Make no mistake, the holiday season is hard for the infertile. The focus of this time of year is on families. Those without children often feel left out and the pain of infertility is often intensified. Surveys had reported that Christmas and Chanukah are the most painful, followed by Thanksgiving, and then New Years. I wish I had a magic wand that could irradiate all pain or at least send you to the Caribbean, but absent that, I offer you these resources on surviving the holidays when dealing with infertility.
Where to Start for Information on Holiday Survival:
- Check out the following Creating a Family radio shows:
- Other Creating a Family Resources:
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Books, Articles, and Other Resources on Coping With Infertility During the Holidays:
- Letter to My Pastor is, as the name implies, a heartfelt letter to a minister explaining what Mother's Day feel like for an infertile woman. I think the message would apply to other family-centric holidays and for people other than your pastor.
- Connie Shapiro is a clinical social worker and a professor of family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Women’s sexual and reproductive health has been the focus of her five books and dozens of articles,including several great articles on surviving the holidays: Infertility: Creative Approaches to Thanksgiving, Apprehension as Mother's Day Approaches, and Infertility and Halloween.
- Sharon Covington continued the discussion after our interview on the Creating a Family show by hosting a webinar titled "Coping with the Holidays". Listen to her continued advice on how to make it through the season.
- Try posting about coping with the holidays on your favorite infertility forum. You will get lots of suggestions and, most important, support. I list my favorite forums at my Infertility Resources page.
- “Infertility and the Holidays” by Jamie Ervi. This is exactly what I was looking for when I was researching resources to include for surviving the holidays infertile. It is pack full of practical tips for the childless by chance. Unfortunately, the links at the end of the article are no longer valid, and I wasn’t able to find new links to most of these resources.
- "Coping With the Holiday Blues" Great article on how to survive the holidays when you are infertile.
- “Celebrating the Holidays While You Wait” by Amy Rackear is an article in Adoptive Families magazine, but the information is relevant to either those in infertility treatment or waiting to adopt.
- “Childlessness at Christmas: Ministering to and Caring for Infertile Couples During the Holidays”. This article was written for ministers about being aware of the pain the infertile feel during the holidays, and how the church can help. I’ve included it here because I found that they advice they give for church leaders is good advice for the involuntarily childless Christian to read as well. Also, you may want to share this with your church.
- "Happy Holidays? Thoughts about Infertility during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season" by Angella Merkle is an article in the Stepping Stones newsletter. Stepping Stones is a Christian newsletter for the infertile or those who have lost a child. To access this article you have to subscribe, but the subscription is free. If you don’t want to subscribe, the meat of the article is excerpted in this excellent blog on The Road Less Traveled: A Journey Through Infertility.
- “The Plight of Childless People During the Holidays” (2003) doesn't have a lot of practical advice but you might feel less alone in your pain by reading this article.
- Great blog post on handling the holidays when you are infertile.
- All I Want for Christmas Is a Baby Infertility During the Holidays. This is an especially insightful article about developing coping strategies for getting through the holidays when you are infertile and longing for a child.
- Coping with Infertility During Family Holiday Gatherings: Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, and Other Holiday Meals. Covers well the decision of whether to share this information or not. Nice overview of dealing with the holidays while infertile.
- Holidays and Infertility. You’ll recognize quite a few relatives in this one and it will make you laugh.
- Good blog post by infertility patient and psychologist Lisa Rouff on Upsetting things people say, and what to say back: self-protection during infertility treatment.
- When Jingle Bells Don't Rock: Dealing With Stress During the Holidays published November 2012 by Helen Adrienne, L.C.S.W. in On Fertile Ground
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Image Credit: M4st3r-X-