Thinking back, looking forward in support of Conceivable Dreams

by DaniGirl on December 21, 2012 · 6 comments

in Infertility

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since we celebrated our first Christmas with Tristan – in the emergency room, as it turned out, as the poor guy had a wicked UTI and a spiking fever that saw us bundling him off to the University Hospital ER in London at about 5 am on Christmas morning. Oh the joys of parenting.

Just two years before that, we were celebrating a different kind of Christmas. I’d just endured our first intrauterine insemination and was giddy with hope over the holidays that it might work. I spent that Christmas dreaming up clever ways to tell our family I was pregnant. And I spent Boxing Day deathly sick and heartbroken with the estrogen crash that follows an unsuccessful cycle. (I’ve always been a little sensitive to the estrogen drop-off at the end of a normal monthly cycle, often enduring end-of-the-month migraines, but with my estrogen torqued to new heights by the reproductive treatments, the crash made me so sick I could barely get out of bed. And of course, I cried myself sick at the unsuccessful cycle on top of all that.)

The holidays are stressful for all of us, but when you’re enduring infertility they can be a special kind of hell. Here’s a few thoughts about how to get yourself through the holiday season with sanity intact. You can also adapt these if you’re caring for someone who is coping with infertility.

First, be kind to yourself. It’s okay to be sad, to be angry, to be stressed out. Your feelings are what they are, and they aren’t right or wrong. Give yourself permission to slow down, to take a break, maybe get yourself an extra treat. You deserve it.

Second, don’t feel overwhelmed by your obligations. If you can’t face the children’s Christmas party at work, then skip it. If you can’t handle seeing your sister-in-law celebrating Christmas with her newborn baby, excuse yourself. You’ll probably feel better if you do go, but if you truly can’t handle it, don’t force yourself.

Third, try not to let despair overwhelm you. Find little things that make you happy, whether it’s the warm Christmas lights on a snowy night, or wrapping presents for your loved ones. While it’s okay to be sad or angry, it’s not healthy to let it consume you.

We survived two Christmases of “trying” and one Christmas with officially diagnosed infertility before our lives changed thanks to in vitro fertilization and the arrival of our beautiful baby Tristan in March of 2002. We lost another baby in November of 2006, so I know a thing or two about infertility and loss around the holiday season. I also know that our government has in its hands the power to change the lives of families facing infertility. They’ve promised to fund IVF treatments, but we’ve seen no action in three long years.

One in six Ontario families suffer from some form of infertility. That’s why I’m happy to work with the advocacy group Conceivable Dreams, who sponsored this blog post. For more information, you can visit the Conceivable Dreams website, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

This holiday season, give your families an extra hug and remember that there is much to be grateful for in our lives. And think a kind thought for those still waiting, waiting, waiting for their dreams of an end to infertility to come true.

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the Conceivable Dreams blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion, and my stories, are all my own.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 manogrl December 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm

quit selling out with all these sponsorships.

2 Coffee with Julie December 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

I think it’s so important to share our stories about infertility. It is such a difficult and heart-wrenching experience and events like Christmas and baby showers can be particularly difficult to get through sometimes. Thanks for sharing, Dani.

3 Amy @ Muddy Boots December 22, 2012 at 10:17 am

Infertility, pregnancy loss, infant loss… all these things are so, so hard. Especially with the holidays and a looming New Year as the backdrop. And all are becoming more and more prevalent.

Dani, you have a beautiful family. We can all tell how much you love your boys. Knowing the length you went to and the heartache involved makes us all see your family in a slightly different light. I think this partnership with Conceivable Dreams is perfect. Hopefully many couple will find this post… and will read your story, finding hope for their own.

4 Dani's Mom December 22, 2012 at 10:49 am

As Triston’s granny, I can’t imagine our life without him – he makes us laugh – he makes us proud – I also feel for the couples that are going though what Dani and her husband did – what – oh what – could be more important to the government than to help these aching hearts

5 Janet December 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm

After suffering four miscarriages and a devastating molar pregnancy, I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl. For almost three years I lived through infertility hell. I spent countless hours at the fertility clinic undergoing tests to find out what was wrong with me (they never did figure it out). I’ll never forget how hard it was sitting in a waiting room full of couples who were facing fertility challenges of their own. It was heartbreaking. One of my friends had a daughter the same week as me thanks to in vitro. I know a few other women who are considering in vitro as their only option to conceive. The government needs to do more to make this procedure more accessible to people in need.

6 Paula Schuck January 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I love reading these excellent posts. You are a great blogger and you have a really important story to tell. Thanks so much for these tips.

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