To The Friend Who Wants A Baby For Christmasby Elizabeth MacDonald
The world seems to be consumed with family happiness right now, but those who are in the process of trying to conceive, or have been trying for quite a while, may not be feeling the joy of the season.
Once you have decided to get pregnant, everyone around you is suddenly carrying a newborn or sporting the baby bump.
If a baby is at the top of your Christmas Wish List, I truly pray that your gift is given. I know that this piece may seem strange coming from a mom with a few children - and writer for a pregnancy keepsake company, but I am not here to spread fertility knowledge or advice. I am simply writing to tell you that I am here, and there are friends there for you.
I can listen and respect you. I am that friend who you may be shying away from right now. I can give you space, but I can also be here for whatever you need.
Our first baby was conceived after 11 months of trying, and with medical help. We found out 2 weeks before Christmas that we were expecting and it truly felt like a miracle. My heart longed for that positive test, for the growing belly, and the crying baby. Sex became a chore, and I pulled away from pregnant friends and those I knew who seemed to get pregnant by looking at their spouses. Now I’m on the other side of the fence. I guess I am also writing to tell you not to give up hope. If you can allow yourself to be around children, this is the season to do it.
There will be moments of joy and beauty - and of heartache, but there are few things that can soothe the ache in your heart.
How To Enjoy the Holidays Without Being Pregnant...
- Sponsor a Child or Family if You Can. Giving to a child or family in need will make you feel warm inside. There are angel trees, shelters, and charities all waiting for love.
- Know Your Vulnerabilities. If you are in an emotional place where newborns make you cry, and the thought of holding a friend’s baby sends goosebumps down your back, find a place that makes you happy. Avoid the triggers and keep your anxiety as low as you can.
- Have a Plan. Take the time to come up with a few short phrases to answer questions or ward off further conversations. So many times you will be faced with a conversation about pregnancy, children, or family, and being caught off guard can potentially ruin your mood. If you plan ahead and have a few things ready, you’ll be able to throw a few words out there and move on.
- Volunteer. While volunteering will not soothe your heartache, it will pass the season and give you something to focus on (and a topic of conversation to bring up with others). Visit a nursing home, work a soup kitchen, make dinner at a Ronald McDonald House, package blankets for the homeless, bring gifts to a women’s shelter… Or simply volunteer to watch your friend’s children so she can go on a date. (It will make you happy, I promise.)
- Take Time to be Thankful. I know it is so hard to be happy and thankful when struggling to conceive. Make a list of the things in your life that you are truly grateful for, and keep it in your purse or nearby. No, it won’t magically make you pregnant, but it may make you smile on a hard day. Things as simple as *Hot Cocoa *New Jeans *Clean Sheets can make the list!
- Create Traditions Without Children. It’s too common that people say, “I’ll start this holiday tradition when we have kids.” Start this year. Start right now. Exchange homemade cookies or ornaments with friends, send holiday cards, and go look at the decorated houses while sipping cocoa.
- Seasonal Depression is not going to help the sadness you are feeling. Make sure that you make a conscious effort to breathe fresh air and visit with people who make your heart happy.
- Accept your Sadness. The moments will happen, and often throughout the season. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions, but not to dwell on them.