Coping With Infertility and the Holidays ~ What Does This Time of Year Mean to You?
Coping with Infertility and the Holidays
I just read an article written by someone I know and respect on ways to get through the holidays. Dr. Marie Davidson, from Fertility Centers of Illinois, in "Advice from Two Pros: How to Navigate the Holidays With An Infertility Diagnosis" posted by the Chicago Tribune, gives some very sage advice about infertility and finding ways to celebrate without causing yourself undue harm.
It's about creating a plan. It's about being proactive in the next several weeks in ways that you can; making decisions about what you do, what you don't do, where you go, where you don't go.
I love all of her ideas. I remember trying all those ideas and finding the ones that fit in the right ways and adjusting others. I suggest reading her wonderful article and seeing how her ideas could help you.
Here's one more idea that a very lovely and loving woman in our practice tried out this year.
She adopted a family. Luckily, a lot of us do that. It's a way of helping another human being and putting them first, if only for a little while. It creates a feeling of gratitude within ourselves about we DO have, rather than what we DON'T have.
This lovely woman went further and organized other women in Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In to help. One woman went out and shopped for the two year old boy, whose mother had left him. When she brought the clothes in to be collected at Yogaspace, her face shone with delight. I asked her if it was difficult to shop and buy clothing for a toddler when she was still without a child herself, wondering how that would feel.
Her reply was that she enjoyed herself so much, that it lightened her heart. She showed me what she had bought, describing each item of clothing, smoothing the clothes over with her hands, almost as if the little boy's body filled it out. The love and kindness of the holiday season was all there, in that moment, in this woman's heart.
The feelings are there. Love, compassion, kindness. Then there was an outlet for those feelings to be expressed, by giving to a little boy who needed some tender loving care.
What does the holiday season mean to you?
Maybe it's not love, compassion and kindness. That's what the season means to me.
Perhaps taking some time to find out what the holidays means to you; to reflect, write, meditate, ask yourself some questions. Probably the holidays aren't just about shopping and gift giving. What are they about?
Then, having identified what the holiday truly means for you, take some action. Whether the action is for you, a loved one, or someone you've never met.
Give your feelings a way to be expressed. Don't worry about whether it's a traditional way to celebrate the holidays or a truly quirky version. This year, give yourself permission to celebrate the holidays in a meaningful way for you.
Me, this year? I'm going with lighting candles, sitting in front of the fire, drinking tea and reading books. That's right, multiple books! Nirvana, for me. It will feed my soul to have some quiet time.
I celebrate the holidays by encouraging you to find your way of expressing yourself.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.