6 Ways to Keep Joy in the Holidays When Trying to Conceive
(Purchase, NY-December 4, 2012) Attain Fertility® Centers; the nation’s largest fertility center network, performs 1 out of every 4 IVF procedures in the country. In addition to providing exceptional fertility care, many of the centers in the network also take a holistic approach to each patient, offering a wide range of services to support not only physical, but financial and emotional well-being. During the winter holiday season, emotional support is an important focus at practices including Fertility Centers of Illinois where Marie Davidson, Ph.D., offers patients helpful steps that will enable them to make the most of this time of year.
“The holiday season brings joy to many as families and friends gather together. But it is also a time loaded with high expectations and increased stress for many people. It is perhaps the most difficult time of year for those who are having difficulty starting a family on their own and have turned to assisted reproductive technology (ART),” explains Dr. Davidson. “It is important for people to take control of the holiday for themselves in order to enjoy and not dread this complicated time of year.”
- Think Ahead
This is the year to break the mold. If your holidays include lots of family time, holiday parties that include kids, and gatherings with people who are anxious to know whether or not you’re pregnant, consider breaking with tradition, for just this year. “The more control you can have over the holidays the better. This is the year to take care of yourself. It’s not about guilt or anger. It’s about self-preservation,” explains Dr. Davidson.
- Make a Plan
If breaking with traditional gatherings, it is important to have an alternate plan. When visiting family, stay in a hotel instead of the home; rent a car in order to be mobile and make a getaway; or celebrate the holidays alone with your partner. It’s important to have a positive plan that will bring you more joy and less stress. “It’s extremely important for couples to discuss their plans and options, and make decisions that will support both of their needs,” adds Dr. Davidson.
- Communicate in Advance with Family and Friends
Whatever your plan, be sure to communicate with your family in a clear and calm way, and be prepared for some push back or hurt feelings. “The most important thing you can do is communicate your plans clearly and calmly, reassuring your family and friends that this isn’t forever, and it isn’t anything directed against them,” says Dr. Davidson. For those who will spend time with their family and friends, Dr. Davidson suggests requesting a moratorium on conversations about your pregnancy status, explaining that you are looking forward to spending time with everyone, but that you need to take a break from thinking and talking about ‘it’.
- Understand that breaking the mold isn’t forever
Breaking with tradition and feeling you may have let your family and friends down are very difficult at any time, but especially during the holidays. As important as it is for you to reassure them, it’s equally important to reassure yourself that this isn’t forever. You will arrive at a place of resolution and be able to step back into some holiday traditions.
- Reaffirm what you do have this holiday season
Take time with your partner to celebrate all that you do have together. While you may not yet have a child, remind each other of all that you do have, and all of the joy that you bring to each other, your families, and your friends.
- Stay in Touch
Along with Dr. Davidson’s advice, Attain Fertility also offers support through their active Facebook community that includes The Wall of Hope, a place where the community is invited to post words of encouragement for each other, and a series of E-Cards, some humorous and others more heartfelt, that community members can send to anyone in need of a kind word or a reason to laugh. The community also provides a safe and supportive place to vent. Both the Wall, with its continuous scroll of encouragement, and e-cards help the community give voice to their emotions while also giving support to each other.
About Attain Fertility
Attain Fertility is a division of IntegraMed America, Inc., a leader in developing, marketing and managing specialty outpatient healthcare facilities, with a current focus on the fertility and vein care markets. IntegraMed supports its provider networks with clinical and business information systems, marketing and sales, facilities and operations management, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, risk management, quality assurance, and fertility treatment financing programs.
Attain Fertility® Centers, an IntegraMed Specialty, offers the nation’s largest fertility center network, with 34 centers, comprising 135 locations across 33 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly one of every four IVF procedures in the U.S. is performed in an Attain Fertility Centers network practice.
Vein Clinics of America, an IntegraMed Specialty, is the leading provider of specialty vein care services in the U.S. The IntegraMed Vein Clinic network operates 50 centers across 15 states, principally in the Midwest and Southeast.