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Dear Patient Care Advocates: How Can I Cope with Infertility (and Family) During the Holidays?

Dear Patient Care Advocates:

I’ll be spending a lot of time with my family this holiday season. No one, except my mother, knows that we are struggling with infertility. What tips do you have for coping with infertility during the holidays and (politely) dismissing unsolicited advice or comments? My Aunt Nancy is bound to ask why I’m not pregnant yet after five years of marriage. Please help!

Childless in Atlanta

Dear Childless,

Girl, I can relate! When I was in the thick of my infertility journey, my sister-in-law got pregnant and although she had no idea I was struggling with infertility, every belly rub and reference to being “knocked up” felt like a direct blow.

You have to be prepared to either answer questions or change the subject. Talk to your husband beforehand. Agree on how much information you will provide to family and friends. If you want to make sure that ONLY your mom knows about your infertility, I’d suggest responding with “We’re still trying and hoping to be pregnant soon!” or “We have a few other things we’d like to accomplish before expanding our family.” You can get creative with a little sarcasm and wit if you want, but let’s not make Aunt Nancy cry, OK?

In terms of coping, I highly recommend that you check out the forums on There is a forum for everyone from endometriosis to egg donation to pregnancy loss to PCOS. Also, some of my favorite blogs by Lori Shandle-Fox on shed light and humor on coping with family around the holidays:

Hanukkah & Infertility: Will the Similarities Never End?

The Real Housewives of Infertilityville...A Holiday Special

Follow This Mantra & Your Holidays Will Be Blissful

Wishing you strength and baby dust,

Watch as Elizabeth discusses how fertility patients can cope and get through the emotions of infertility:

Click image to play.

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