While I was going through my infertility journey, I found that the fall season was an especially hard time to get through. As I witnessed the natural cycle of life -- the days getting cooler and hundreds of colorful leaves falling everywhere -- I anticipated the myriad of holidays that come bunched together at the end of every year.
I’ve always loved Halloween, but seeing the sweet, excited munchkins come to my door was a vivid reminder of what I didn’t have. After Halloween, then came Thanksgiving right around the corner, along with the plethora of toy store catalogs and holiday photo postcards that resonated the cozy “family” feeling you’re supposed to experience every year.
As the holiday season approaches in full force next week, I wanted to share a few reminders to help you enjoy the season to its fullest:
1. KEEP YOUR CONNECTIONS STRONG.
First, the holiday season is a time to be grateful. While our reproductive lives have gone astray, the recent tragedies in Paris and the flight that was downed in Egypt are vivid reminders that life is unpredictable, but still holds meaning even without children. We have families and friends who love us, and we love them. Take time over the next month to reach out and let them know how much you care. Keeping these connections strong will help you through the difficult times.
2. DON’T DREAM YOUR LIFE - LIVE YOUR DREAM.
Second, don’t put your life on hold waiting for a baby. Having a baby is not an achievement that can be crossed off our list. I, and too many of my friends, stopped living life so we could obsess over our cycles, finances and baby prospects every day. While many of us feel like there’s a hole in our hearts that only a baby can fill, staying active and engaged in other important facets of our lives increases our level of contentment with the here and now. This is the season to live life to the fullest! Treat yourself with those Nutcracker theater tickets you’ve always wanted or throw a holiday party this year worthy of Martha Stewart’s praise.
3. GIVE A LITTLE LOVE.
Third, when you give you get. Volunteering your time to a worthy cause will yield dividends in making you feel happy. I’ve always found that spending a day at a soup kitchen, sorting food for a food bank, helping out in an animal shelter or caroling at a nursing home fulfills me like nothing else can. It helps me put my life into perspective and to appreciate the many blessings I’ve received.
4. BE YOUR BEST FOR YOURSELF.
Fourth, take time to love yourself. With the holidays, typically comes a few extra days off. Treat yourself to a manicure or a “me time” bubble bath. Taking time to meet your personal needs will only strengthen your capacity to love your spouse or others around you. The old adage “it takes a village to raise a child” has a ring of truth to it, and you will be glad you invested in your “village” when a baby does come along. So take time to fall in love with you all over again.
5. SET GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR.
Fifth, make the New Year matter. Start considering the changes you want to embark on in 2016 and get a head start. Studies have shown that individuals who make smaller changes over a longer period of time are more likely to stick with them.
6. BE PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE.
Lastly, let the holidays spur you to action. Getting started now on your family building plan will give you a sense of control over the process. Having a plan of action and taking meaningful steps toward its accomplishment will give you peace and prepare you to be a parent at this same time next year. The frozen donor egg treatment process can be accomplished in as little as 2 months, and we are here to help you through the process. The timing of treatment is within your control and you can choose to get started in 2015 or early next year. Putting the plan in motion is the first step.
We know that with the joy of the holidays can also come a variety of emotions such as bitterness, loneliness, a sense of failure and even depression for many women and men who are presently walking the path of infertility. It is a silent disease that quietly steals joy and contentment. It is our sincere hope that these 6 reminders will make your year end the merriest and brightest ever.
We are here to shine a light on the path to parenthood and help you take control of the process. GET STARTED TODAY