Let's be honest, it's hard enough miscarrying on any given day. The holidays make everything worse. Besides getting through the EDA, getting through the holidays are by far the next runner up. Here's my words of advice for all of you living through the same pain.
1. Eat. I'm not saying eat the entire Christmas dinner yourself. (Although if you're anything like me, you've thought about it.) Allow yourself to enjoy some Christmas desserts. After all, like my grandmother always says "Think about the people who passed up the chocolate cake on the Titanic." If you start to feel guilty, counter balance the sweets with some extra time at the gym. It will burn off the calories and help to clear your head. Trying mixing in a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole grains as well. Offer to bring a dish to the family party, something nutrient dense. It will help to keep your energy level up and mood happy.
2. Drink. Allowing yourself a drink (or two) at those awkward family gatherings, they will help to calm your nerves. However, don't over indulge. You don't want to be the blubbering idiot in the corner everyone feels bad for and avoids. You want to attempt to be the happy socialite surviving the pain, even if you're just pretending. When you need a moment, take it. Emotions come in waves and you just have to ride them out.
3. Avoid. That's right, avoid those who always seem to say the wrong thing. You have enough to worry about and bad memories filling your every thought, you do not need another one. Simply smile and say hello and then walk the other way. No need to be rude, but no need to cause yourself any more pain.
4. Be Merry. Yes I know, this will be the hardest one. How do you be happy when you have no baby bump, no "Babies 1st Christmas" ornament, no child sitting at the kids table? Remember you always have your spouse. If you can make it through infertility together, you can truly make it through anything. Through all the torture, my husband and I have managed to let this pull us even closer together. Don't let your sadness put a void between you two. Remember that infertility is no one's fault. It's discouraging, it can bring you to your darkest place. But when you're there, tell your spouse. Be open and honest with one another and find a way to be happy. (Happiness is a choice after all.)
5. Remember you are not alone. I am there with you in spirit. Quietly avoiding conversations about kids. Smiling when someone feels the need to remind you that you're still young. Biting your tongue when you hear "You should look into adopting" for the 1,000th time. I'm sitting beside you, holding your hand, reminding you that this is a battle we share.
6. Therapy. And if none of those seem to help, there's always Retail Therapy. Buy yourself a new outfit for the holidays, something flattering and makes you confident. Strut your baby-free figure and smile that you don't have any stretch marks hiding under that shirt. Hell, buy yourself a gorgeous Christmas bra and matching underwear set. Enjoy staying up all night together and sleeping-in in the morning. (Your husband will thank me.)
Just remember to take care of yourself first and foremost. If you can't handle the company Christmas party, don't go. If the thought of sitting through the family dinner curdles your stomach, plan a last minute getaway and say Adios to the holidays. Your family and friends will understand. Taking care of yourself comes first, and I think a lot of the time we forget that. This holiday season, put yourself and your happiness first. I know I plan to.