Surviving the Holidays with Infertility
Christmas can be a difficult time when you are struggling through infertility. It can be a wonderful thing to be surrounded by family and friends, but it can also be a painful reminder of infertility. Fall can be an isolating time even starting with Halloween. I can remember several years ago after my first fertility surgery, I was laying on the couch while my husband passed out candy to all the cute Trick or Treaters. I was still recovering from my surgery and I just remember silently crying while I heard Patrick interact with all the kids. He would be a great dad...was all I could think.
Then Thanksgiving and Christmas comes and it seems like there's always pregnancy announcements and babies everywhere. I can remember many Christmas parties that I would struggle through. Even getting Christmas cards in the mail was hard and a reminder of the kids I wanted so bad but didn't have. And each Christmas that came and went was a painful reminder of another year of infertility come and gone.
For me, this time will always bring sweet and painful memories of my first pregnancy and miscarriage. It's been years and sometimes the pain still hits out of the blue. How can you miss someone so much that you have never met? I know anyone out there that has experienced a miscarriage will understand that ache, that emptiness. I can at least look back and see that if I didn't have that miscarriage, I wouldn't have my middle son today. So for women out there who have experienced a miscarriage and are still struggling with infertility, you are the true warriors and my heart goes out to you!
Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally through the holidays can help to improve mood and make these weeks a little more cheery:) Here are some tips for taking care of yourself through the Holidays! Especially if you have PCOS, take care of your body and eat foods to fuel you! What you eat truly does effect your mood.
Happy Appetite's Holiday Tips
- Rest & De-stress. Try to incorporate yoga, meditation, reading time, baths, or whatever relaxes you. I've been doing yoga and reading at night. I also just ordered some magnesium bath flakes that Wellness Mama recommended and look forward to a warm bath!
- Don't overdue it. Know when to say "no" and don't try to go to every party. One thing I didn't do this year was send out Christmas cards. Early November was kinda hectic and we were sick off and on and we never got around to getting a good picture.
- Exercise. Even if you just do a short exercise video, 20 minute walk, lifting weights..whatever to get you moving! This will help clear your head, improve insulin resistance, and benefit your PCOS fight!
- Watch portions and eat quality food. This can especially be hard at parties to no overdue it. If you are gluten and dairy free like me, you may have to prepare ahead of time and bring foods you can eat. Usually there are foods I can snack on like fruits and veggies and I will pack by own protein and paleo bread, etc.
- Splurge? I say there are two good options if you want to splurge a little. Either have a little bit of everything like a sample plate or pick one of your favorite Christmas foods and have that with healthier options. For me, I love Christmas cookies and I love sweet potato casserole. So my plan is to have a little sweet potato casserole, and my oldest son and I are going to make Against all Grain's sugar cookie recipe! If I could actually pick one thing I really miss it's COFFEE!!! I love coffee but coffee doesn't love me and from the research I've done it's not good for PCOS, especially if you are fighting adrenal fatigue or have a history of it. But I'm going to have a cup or two of bulletproof coffee or this Gingerbread Latte Recipe from Wellness Mama over the Christmas holidays:)
- Travel Prepared. If you are traveling, make sure you have plenty of snacks packed or find a grocery store once you arrive so you can stock up on healthy foods. Don't be afraid to tell your family and friends you are eating a certain way (ex. gluten and/or dairy free).
- Make goals! I'm not a huge New Year's Resolution fan but I do have goals for 2017 that I'm going to write down and share later. Don't overwhelm yourself but pick things you could do to live healthier whether it's eliminating gluten, getting rid of plastics, making your own cleaners or relaxing more.
- Don't give up!! Keep fighting PCOS with real food, exercise, and self love. You can make a difference in your symptoms by what you eat! Here's to defeating PCOS in 2017!