Holidays and Infertility
Rachel Inbar - Fertility Stories Staff
"Another holiday season and
I'm still not pregnant. Everyone will be getting
together and talking about their babies, about
their children, about their pregnancies…
and where will I be? How will I feel? I wish I
could just stay home…"
The holiday season is especially tough. It's all about
family & togetherness. It's about happiness and
gift giving. If you're going through infertility, these
get-togethers can bring out a variety of emotions. It's
difficult to see your cousin complaining about her 3-year-old
son getting into everything and the terrible stretch
marks she's got from her current pregnancy, while you're
thinking about the multiple needle marks in your behind
and considering investing in a company that manufactures
HPTs to at least try to recover part of your expenses…
Usually the people you meet at all the holiday events
are one of the following types:
nudge: "So, aren't you and
Freddy thinking about expanding your family?"
or "I guess you won't wait much longer to have
a baby?" or "Your mom will make the perfect
Your gut feeling:
"Shut up, you moron!"
A polite response: "When
we have news to share, we'll let you know."
A surprising slap-in-the-face response:
"Actually, we're going through infertility. From
what our doctor says, it might take years
for us to have a baby."
I thought you'd have at least 3 kids by now!" or
"Look how cute Sylvia & Dan's baby is! Doesn't
it make you want to have one too?"
insensitive: "You know, my
sister Gina waited 4 years to have her first baby.
At least she didn't have a fertility problem!"
or "My neighbor, you won't believe this, she's
going for that I-V-F thing. Maybe you need to do
IVF to have a baby!" or "What's happening
gut feeling: "I hope you die slowly and
painfully." Or "Get a life and stay out of
A polite response: "When we have
news to share, we'll let you know."
A surprising slap-in-the-face response:
"How frequently do you and your husband have sex?"
or "Have you ever heard of the word tact???"
“trying to be sensitive”:
“You know, sometimes I think you’re
really smart not to have children. They’re
so much work… I don’t know if I would
have had any if I knew what I was getting into.”
Your gut feeling: If you feel
that way you ought to do your kids a favor and
put them up for adoption.
A polite response: Sometimes it isn’t
A slap in the face response: "Your
kids aren’t that thrilled with you either."
silent maternal: She's either
pregnant or has kids. She doesn't say much, but
just looking at her makes you feel jealous.
Your gut feeling: Avoid her
at all costs.
The polite thing to do: Talk to her
about whatever interests you. If you don't want to talk
about kids, then when she talks about her 3rd grader's
science project, you can just nod. She'll probably understand
it doesn't interest you.
considerate type: They have pleasant
conversation with you about a variety of things
and you can actually talk to them without thinking
they have a hidden agenda.
Your gut feeling: Hey, a human!
The holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah
or Kwanzaa, can bring you together with people you'd
rather not be around for relatively long periods of
time. Here are some things that can help you get through
- A supportive
spouse who really understands - after annoying
or hurtful situations talk freely about what things
bothered you and who, in particular, made you feel
(What did you say?)
- A really good
book (or anything else you can read or pretend
- A photo album
where you show off the results of a hobby (e.g., needlepoint)
puzzles (anyone know a 9 letter word for "bowl"?*answer
below) Get everyone to help you.
- Home rehearsals.
Take turns being that nagging cousin or that insensitive
uncle and see if you can keep a straight face.
- Rotten tomatoes.
(OK, that might be a bit much.)
When you're going through infertility, it seems like
no one really understands. Guess what? Unfortunately,
you're right. The people who really do understand are
few and far between. Most of those who can empathize
have gone through infertility themselves, although even
some of those who conceived through IUI (intrauterine
insemination), IVF (in vitro fertilization) or other
assisted reproduction techniques have already somehow
managed to forget what it was like (or maybe they were
just insensitive people to begin with).
The same idiots who tell you to "take a vacation",
"relax" or "maybe you should adopt"
(like you couldn't think of that on
your own) probably won't disappear just because of the
holidays, but hey, if it's snowing outside, maybe you
can at least take them out for a good snowball fight…
* casserole (a 9 letter word for "bowl")