Holiday Baby Questions - Fast Forward, Pause, Breathe
Baby Questions During the Holiday Season
We’re in it. Smack in the middle of holiday season. Well on our way to New Year’s Eve.
There’s a lot to enjoy during this time period. Seeing family. Meeting up with friends that you haven’t seen in a while. Time off from work. Beautiful colors and lights. Gifts of all kinds.
There’s much to be had during this time of year.
There’s time to reflect, if we choose to pause and rest. Sit down for a few minutes or a few hours. Maybe with a book, maybe watching a movie. Maybe simply sitting.
Holiday season with a pause button.
Certain moments you want to pause to enjoy more thoroughly, savoring the look, taste, feel of it. That pause button would be so very helpful. The people in your life in one place, their faces animated and happy. If not pause, wouldn’t you like to slow it down, just a little? See your beloveds’ faces for just a moment more?
Then there are other moments during the holiday season that you may prefer a different button. The fast forward button.
There have all ready been moments that I would prefer to fast forward through. Moments of intensely missing my sister for the first holiday season since she died. Feeling sad that her presence isn’t lighting up our gatherings. Feeling the emptiness left behind without her laughter.
Infertility and being without the baby you’ve been hoping to have in your arms can make you want to fast forward through some of the holiday activities.
Baby announcements. Does everyone wait for these get togethers to make their announcements? Do they actually have to be so cutesy and sometimes lovely, that tears immediately form in my eyes? I wanted to press the fast forward button through those too when I was in the midst of treatment.
When Are You Getting Pregnant?
And then there are the Questions. Oh so many questions. Pointed questions, “when are we going to hear that you are pregnant?”, “don’t you have some good news to share yet?”, “aren’t you ready for your baby?”
Subtle questions that don’t feel subtle at all, “anything you want to tell us?”, “any presents that we should know about in 2015?”, “Have you gained a little weight?”, “any cousins planned for so and so?” “Is it ok for you to have that champagne?”
Yes, please give me a fast forward button. Getting through those moments can take heroic amounts of calm and effort. Yes, heroic. To be polite, maybe even kind. Maybe even honest with some special people about the infertility challenges that you are facing.
It does take big hunks of energy to hear these questions and answer. I’ve written blogs in previous years about what to say to these questions and why people pose insensitive questions for the infertile. I’ve gotten suggestions from you about what you feel comfortable saying as well.
My focus here is on how to give you a way to enjoy your festivities without allowing these questions to color your entire experience a shade darker than you were hoping for. Or ten shades darker.
Look up the answers or discuss with your partner, spouse or confidant what easy things you can say that feel comfortable. Some answers deflect, some answers are outright lies. Some answers are defensive and protective. Pick the ones in the moment that feel just right for you.
Making a Conscious Decision About How to Respond
Then let’s make a conscious decision. Hear the question. Let it roll over you. See it seep into the floor around you and disappear. Pause for a moment and look directly into the eyes of the person asking you the question. See them as the human being that they are, curious and maybe even concerned. Answer the question in as gentle away as possible. Let any sting or hurt that the question evoked release through your thoughtful response. As you open your mouth to answer, visualize the pain flowing out through your body, your vocal cords and your open mouth. As you finish your response, bring in calm through your next inhale. Make that inhale bright and big. Make it cleansing.
And then ask your own question. Unrelated to babies or pregnancies or fertility. Ask the person you are with something about them. Their job, their relationship, their dress, what they’re drinking. Change the subject.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
One breath at a time is really that simple.
Fast forward and reverse are beyond our control.
Being thoughtful to yourself in the moment. A gift that you can enjoy when you hit the pause button.
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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.