Holidays may be an appealing opportunity to share big news as it’s a time for family to gather and celebrate together, or because we know people have additional downtime to be on social media.
If you are pregnant, you may be considering a cute holiday announcement to share your exciting news! However, if you've been trying to conceive, these announcements may be difficult for you to see and celebrate. It’s normal to experience some conflicted feelings when seeing these announcements if you’ve been trying to conceive yourself and your time hasn’t come yet.
Below, we’re outlining some ways that might help you prepare for these announcements, and sharing four ways to cope when you do encounter them, so you can enjoy the holidays to the best of your ability.
Preparing for the Expected
Knowing there might be a pregnancy announcement at Christmas dinner or on New Year’s Eve, or an influx of posts on social media can be difficult for those who are struggling to conceive. However, there are ways to prepare and feel confident in how to react, while proceeding in a way you feel comfortable.
- Connect with your partner - Don’t forget, you are not going into this alone - you are part of a team. Discuss with your partner how an announcement might make you feel, how you can lean on each other for support, and how you can stay hopeful your time is coming!
- Brainstorm responses - While you might not know the specific situation, you can brainstorm what response you might give to someone who shares their news. Whether it’s forcing a smile while your head screams “why not me?!” or simply offering a congratulatory hug or a “like” on social media, coming up with and sticking to a planned response can help you through tough moments.
- Focus on your journey - Remembering everyone is going through a different journey might put your mind at ease. Focusing on your own plan can provide hope that your announcement might be the next one.
Coping in an Authentic Way
Sometimes, you can have a plan, and everything still doesn’t work out as you would hope. This extends across all aspects of life, but in this situation, don’t be afraid to acknowledge your feelings. Trying to conceive can be emotional, and honoring that in a way that is authentic to yourself and your partner is important. If you find the situation to be too much, try one of the coping strategies below.
- Step away - Prepared or not, if the announcement hits you in an unexpected way, take a moment for yourself - walk away, regroup, and rejoin the family/friend group when you’re ready.
- Share your story - Talk to your family and friends about what you’re going through. It can be helpful to share that, while you’re really happy for them, you are currently struggling, so they shouldn’t take your response personally. They might be able to provide extra hope and support during this time and beyond.
- Log off - There is no harm in logging off and taking a break from social media. The posts will always be there when you’re ready to revisit them or offer a “like” or a comment.
Unapologetically Practicing Self-Care
Don’t forget the importance of your mental health - if you need to practice self-care, then carve out the time. We know research has pointed to a high prevalence of depression in people who are receiving treatment for infertility, so make sure you are taking care of yourself! Try the following self-care methods to prioritize your overall well-being.
- Connect with your tribe - Whether you already have a TTC tribe behind you, or you are part of an online community of other open and honest women who are going about their struggles, lean on them during this time. Let your feelings out and share with others to find a silver lining.
- Decide what you need - Is it a glass of wine to relax with your hubby in your childhood bedroom? A massage at a spa you haven’t been to in ages? Is it just a good night’s sleep to reset? Maybe a run in the park? Either way, decide what you need, and take it!
Visualize Your Time
As difficult as it may be to face pregnancy announcements – whether expected or not – it’s important to hold out hope that your time will come. Just because you’re not the one announcing your big news this year, doesn’t mean that it won’t be your time next year. So when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed with hearing others’ great news, spend some time in a quiet space visualizing your future. Maybe it’s in three months from now, maybe it’s next Christmas, or maybe there’s no time limit – just close your eyes and imagine your beautiful pregnancy. Just like your loved ones and acquaintances, your time will come, and it will be worth the wait.
Your Journey, Self & Mind Matter
Making decisions to attend holiday gatherings and parties, check social media, or whatever it might be during this season can be tricky. Remember that you know what is best for your mental and physical health, so keep that in mind when you make your holiday plans. There is no “right” way to act when faced with an announcement you wish could be your own. However, planning can make you feel prepared, coping can help you reset, and self-care is important for your overall well-being.
Most importantly, don’t give up hope - your time is coming! OvuSense is here for you every step of the way - from getting pregnant to getting help - we are designed for your complete fertility journey. Be sure to check out our website to learn how the OvuSense family can provide everything you need in ovulation and cycle monitoring to improve your chances of getting pregnant.