“As month after month of prayers go unanswered, we can begin to wonder if God is even there,” writes Julie Irwin Zimmerman in A Spiritual Companion to Infertility. “Anger is scary, but for a person of faith undergoing an ordeal like infertility, doubt can be even more frightening.”
Whether you believe in God or not, coping with infertility depression on Thanksgiving Day can be overwhelming and even heartbreaking. Zimmerman struggled with infertility before having two children; read A Spiritual Companion to Infertility to learn how she coped.
And, here are several ways to cope with holiday stress and infertility depression…
Ways to Cope With Infertility Depression on Thanksgiving Day
Connect – or reconnect – to your spirituality. Feeling connected to God, the Universe, or a Supreme Being can help you cope with infertility depression on Thanksgiving Day – or any other day of the year! This Thanksgiving, find ways to be thankful for the things you do have in your life. Tap into your soul, your deep inner core. You’ll find a center of strength and peace that will help as you struggle with the fear and possibility of living a childfree life after infertility.
Be prepared to share your “fertility status” at Thanksgiving. If your family knows you’re trying to get pregnant but haven’t heard from you in awhile, then they might ask how it’s going. Don’t let their questions catch you by surprise on Thanksgiving – be prepared with a general statement such as “we’re thinking about in vitro fertilization, but haven’t decided yet.”
Ask for infertility stories. I love hearing how other couples coped with infertility – whether they adopted, went with a surrogate mother, or decided not to try infertility treatments at all. I’ve learned that people have some very bizarre stories of getting pregnant! This is one of my favorite ways to cope with infertility depression on Thanksgiving Day: asking family and friends to share their experience with infertility or having trouble getting pregnant.
Consider celebrating Thanksgiving in a different place. Do you always do the big family get together on turkey day, but dread the thought of it this year? Consider this way to cope with infertility depression on Thanksgiving Day: go somewhere you’ve never gone and do something you’ve never done. It’s healthy to recharge your batteries and take time away, especially if family members are pressuring you to have children – or if they don’t understand infertility issues.
This year, my husband and I will be exploring Vienna and Prague over the Thanksgiving holiday…it wasn’t a deliberate way to avoid turkey day with the relatives, but part of me is happy not to spend this big family holiday without our own children.
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If you’re of the Jewish faith, you might find Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss by Nina Beth Cardin helpful.