It’s those times that should be celebrated – social gatherings, family get-togethers, holidays and milestones – that can be particularly rough for those experiencing fertility problems.
Although you might sometimes feel alone, you really are not: one in six couples in Australia have difficulty conceiving. Here is a selection of some practical tips from City Fertility to help you start enjoying social occasions and celebrations again:
- Plan ahead: before social occasions make a “game plan” – think or talk about what to expect and set some boundaries for yourself.
- Be ready to respond to questions: think through some common questions from friends and extended family about your fertility and plan your response. You don’t need to give details, a simple “No, we don’t have any children,” is fine.
- Be selective with the invitations you accept: you don’t have to attend every party or get-together. If you feel the need to, avoid events with lots of kids or pregnant women attending, until you feel up to it.
Take care of yourself
- Give yourself a break: every so often take time out from thinking about fertility or trying to get pregnant. For example, tell yourself, “I am going to have xx weeks/months off thinking about my fertility”.
- Refocus your mind and energy during this time: for example, start a hobby, plan a DIY project, go bushwalking.
- Make time to relax: go to the beach, book a massage or beauty treatment, read a book, go to the movies or theatre, watch the sunset, have a cup of tea in the garden and listen to nature and just breathe.
- Don’t be afraid to be a little selfish: if you need time away from social events and functions, allow yourself to take it.
- Minimise your stress levels naturally: make it a priority to get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy foods.
- Don’t pretend nothing is wrong: share with your partner or a close friend how you are feeling. With support you will find it easier to minimise stress.
- Create a new tradition: do something different on significant days, such as going to the beach or for a picnic.
- Seek help if you need it: acknowledging your feelings and asking for help if you need it is the first step in taking control of your situation. Specially trained fertility counsellors can offer experience and support.
A few tips for your family and friends
- Don’t feel rejected if your family member or friend is unable to attend a certain event or celebration. Let them know you would like to see them when they feel up to it.
- Don’t feel that you need to fix things. Just being there to support them will be comforting.
- Perhaps send a card letting them know you are thinking of them.
- Acknowledge privately that this must be a difficult time rather than pretending nothing is wrong.
Having trouble falling pregnant? Contact City Fertility.
This article is reproduced with permission from City Fertility.