If you are struggling with infertility right now, it doesn't mean you have to merely survive the holidays. You can THRIVE during the holidays.
“Just relax, then you’ll get pregnant.”
“Stop trying, and then you’ll get pregnant.”
“Adopt, and then you’ll get pregnant. I had a friend of my neighbor’s fifth cousin’s uncle removed that adopted and then got pregnant.”
“If you adopt, you won’t have to lose your body figure.”
“I thought you would be pregnant by now.”
Do any of these lines sound familiar? You probably can add more to my list, but seriously, isn’t it crazy what people will say? Actually, I just think they don’t know what to say. They feel sorry for you and the situation and want to say something but are not really sure what. Unfortunately, more times than not, what they say is pretty harsh even when that’s not the intent. They mean well, and they want to be comforting, but it comes across as being hurtful.
But what do we do when we run into that overbearing friend or family member? I don't want to give unasked for advice (we've had enough of that already!); but I will share what I did and what didn't work for me. My number one coping mechanism was avoiding; yep, that was me! I limited my family functions and didn't say anything at all about what was going on. I tried it, and I have to share it didn't work out too well for me. In hindsight, I think just being honest with them would have been best. Knowing what I know now, I would let them know that we were trying to get pregnant, but are having challenges. I would communicate whether I wanted to talk about it or not. I would ask if they could try not to give any unasked for advice. And lastly, I would share with them that I just wanted to enjoy our time with them.
Now it might seem that I am writing this in hindsight, but actually it's not. We're trying to expand our family now but it's not going as quickly as we would like. So, guess what? I'll be sharing these same words too! I would like to say that it's a surefire way to ward off any and all awkward, uncomfortable, and hurtful conversations; but I can't. We can't control what other people do, but we can control what we do. So I'll leave you with these 3 tips to THRIVE:
- Pray. Yes, old fashioned prayer. I'm telling you, it's worked miracles for me.
- Try not to take offense. I know this is easier said than done, and even difficult since it seems like the other person should apologize.
- Enjoy the holidays (as best as you can). Again, I know this is easier said than done; but try to make the best of it!
In closing, I would like to pray for you. I wish I could meet you, and pray with you face to face; but this will have to do.
A portion of this post was excerpted from "Was Called Barren."