How do I deal with another Christmas NOT pregnant?
Another year has passed.
How has it been for you? I’m assuming that if you’ve opened up this blog post then it’s not gone to plan. Well before you read on please know that the following stories will help. For that, I can give you my personal guarantee.
I know I am in a different place to you as I have a son. However, I am ending this year after going through my own grieving period as we have decided to not try again, which means we will not be using our frozen embryos. I write this with a heavy heart and yes I change my mind daily. Also, I saw a comment on one of my posts the other day telling me I would regret my decision.
However, for my own self-protection and for the sake of my relationship I need to move past this stage I’ll write more about my decision in a different post as that is not what this one is about. But all I wanted to share is that sadness does have a place. It is an emotion with incredible healing capabilities.
Did you know that tears of sadness release a chemical that help you heal?
I’ve been studying emotions and how we can best deal with them and will share more of that work in the new year. For now, though, I’ve been wondering what the best thing I can do for you this Christmas and I thought compiling a list of the episodes where I’ve shared people’s stories about dealing with Christmas, childless as well as the people who share their stories of acceptance, finding joy and hope when they have found themselves childlessness, not by choice.
So I’ve split it into a few categories and depending on where you are at you can dip in and out or you might want to listen to all of them. I’ve linked all the episodes through this blog post and they are all available in a number of podcast apps, so if you’ve not yet subscribed here’s a really handy link to take you to the right place to subscribe depending on whether you’re on an iPhone, Andriod or your computer click here
Faith and Fertility
As Christmas is a faith-based time of year, I thought I’d start with some of the conversations I’ve had where people talk about their faith being tested. Personally I’m Jewish and our struggle to conceive and all that has come as a result has made me question my belief to some extent yet I’ve also found solace and support within my community and for that I know I am blessed. First up is Sheridan Vosey talking so openly about what happened to him and his wife and the impact it had on his beliefs. Yvonne John talks about how she had to move away from her faith as a result of her infertility and her childlessness and where she is now
How do you deal with Christmas?
Well, Dr Robin Hadley gives brilliant advice of what to do, who to see and how he has dealt with the festive period as a childless man and Jody Day and Kelly Da Silva share their thoughts on what you can do and who you can turn to as there is an amazing community right here online, you can rant in the loo – don’t feel you can’t get away from the prying questions.
Fielding the Questions and Allowing Yourself to Grieve
Kate Kaufmann was a recent guest talking about her book “Do you have kids” and sharing what she had learnt from the many conversations she has had with childless women as well as sharing her own experiences. It’s a fascinating book and one I’d highly recommend getting if not to give to friends or family so they get what you are feeling!
Changing the Narrative on Hope
Jody Day is an incredible woman and you will hear her name come up in a number of these conversations as her organisation Gateway Women helps so many people. Jody is a published author whose book could also be one for the family or friends you don’t have the right words for. Here she talks about this year’s World Childless Week and explains more about her work, her hope for the conversation about women who don’t have children to change and how she lives her life.
This probably sounds easier said than done and there is no way you can rush how you feel however I believe that hearing others talk about how they have moved on with their lives and accepted how it now looks different and how that can be OK, could help you with what you are feeling.
We had a great conversation Rod Da Silva who has been speaking out more in 2019 about his experience. Rod is a brilliant writer and filmmaker and performer who has used his experience of infertility to help other men talk more and also shine a light on what it’s like to be a childless man.
I spoke at the start of this blog about grief and allowing yourself to grieve whilst dealing with infertility is a big thing that I don’t think many of us do. I’m not telling you to go and be sad but I want you to know that it’s OK to allow yourself to feel these things. We hide behind feelings of guilt and shame and anger when we are trying to conceive and grief doesn’t get a look in.
It’s something I’ve learnt to accept and prepare myself and my partner for. Telling the person you love – I’m going to be sad for a while OK.. is helpful. It’s open and honest and it’s OK to be sad for a while.
Lois Tonkin is a bereavement counsellor and talks about how she helps people dealing with infertility and Lesley Pyne has written a book which is another one to add to your list and here she shares her journey and how she has accepted her life childless not by choice
The Ultimate Fertility Warrior
I’m sure you’ve heard the name Jessica Hepburn as she has been doing incredible things within this community to shine a light on infertility. From creating a brilliant arts festival bringing art and science together to help the industry understand more about what we go through, whilst bringing lots of us together in a creative space to laugh and cry together… to swimming the English Channel and preparing to climb Everest all whilst writing books and doing A LOT of public speaking.. Jessica is inspirational. The last time we spoke with her she had not long returned from swimming Lake Windermere and climbing a Russian mountain so there’s never a dull moment in her life and even writing that makes me feel like I need to get up and do some star jumps!
Feel free to get in touch with any questions you may have for Kate and I to answer just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also be sure to subscribe as I’ll be sharing my 12 Pods of insta from Xmas Day!!
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