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					Shopping for Children’s                           Don’t shop. Could you contribute to a
Gifts                                             joint gift or provide the funds and let your
                                                  mother or brother do the shopping? This is
Malls are terrible places for the infertile any
                                                  done all the time for reasons that have
time of the year; during the winter holidays
                                                  nothing to do with infertility; it could mean
they’re just appalling. So before you gear
                                                  happier holidays for you and the children
up for an encounter with masses of
                                                  you love.
pregnant women, gorgeous children, and
elves, consider the alternatives.                 For those who want children but don’t
                                                  have them, coping with family-oriented
Catalogs. You can buy just about anything
                                                  holidays can be one of the most difficult
from a catalog today, from cartoon
                                                  challenges of infertility. From religious
character sheets to inflatable dinosaurs. This
                                                  celebrations to shopping trips, every
is a useful option especially if you must buy
                                                  experience conjures up visions of happy
“as advertised on TV” children’s toys.
                                                  children and serene parents. It becomes
Spend an hour with one of the big catalogs
and save yourself time and anguish.
                                                  almost impossible to maintain an outlook            Infertility
                                                  that is at all positive during the
Unusual Gifts. Birdfeeders, music boxes,          Thanksgiving-Chanukah-Christmas-New
picture frames and flashlights are just a few     Year’s holidays in the winter, and in the           COPING WITH THE
examples of “different” gifts available in        Mother’s Day-Father’s Day season in the
specialty stores outside the malls. Another       spring.                                             HOLIDAYS
idea: fill a box with crayons, markers,
paints, clay and other art supplies or with        Learn more about our programs by
ribbons, lace, remnants, buttons and silk          visiting the following sites:
flowers for dress-up.
                                                           pregnancyrisknetwork.org
Hobbies. A jar of pennies and a coin book,
or a selection of stamps and a beginner’s                   PrideandJoyFamilies.org
album will give pleasure throughout the
                                                             infertilityeducation.org
year, as will music or karate lessons, or a
subscription to a special interest magazine.              pregnancyandadoption.org
Books, tapes, and videos. A copy of a                                ferre.org
book, song, or movie you loved as a child
could be a very special gift for a young
relative; store employees are happy to
recommend other choices for any age                Infertility: Coping With the Holidays was
group.                                             prepared by Ellen Asprooth and the                 Ferre Institute, Inc.
                                                   Educational Materials Advisory Committee of
                                (continued)                                                                124 Front Street
                                                   the Ferre Institute, Derwent A. Suthers, editor.
                                                                                                       Binghamton, NY 13905
                                                                                                        Phone: 607-724-4308
                                                                                                         Fax: 607-724-8290
                                                                                                            www.ferre.org
T h e W i n t e r Ho l i d a y s                 G e t t i n g T h ro u g h t h e S e a s o n   C o p in g a t Fa mi l y G at h e r i n g s
The period from Thanksgiving to New
Year’s is difficult for many – the single        Practice answers to difficult questions. If    Dealing with your family may be the most
                                                 you have anticipated a question and            difficult part of the season, because
person with no family celebrations to                                                           everything is so intensely personal. Patterns
anticipate, the recently bereaved, even          rehearsed a response, you’re less likely to
                                                 be startled to tears and more likely to be     of behavior established in childhood affect
the young mother trying to create the                                                           your relationships today, and often it’s just
perfect holiday. But knowing that others         able to answer quickly and change the
                                                                                                impossible to act like the reasonable adult
are also miserable doesn’t make things           subject.
                                                                                                you’ve become in an atmosphere where you
better if you’re infertile and facing a          Pick and choose your holiday “fun.” You        feel again like a dependent child. The key
season for children without a much-              really don’t have to go to every party.        to improving this situation is establishing
wanted child.                                    Just this year, consider skipping the tree     new patterns. Some suggestions:

At the Thanksgiving table as the family          trimming and cookie exchange –                 Give yourself some space. If you travel to
waits for an announcement, it’s hard to          “children welcome” – and make                  spend part of the holidays with your family,
be grateful for anything. At the mall,           something decadent for your newly-             consider staying in a hotel or with friends
                                                 married friend’s dessert tasting instead.      rather than with your parents or siblings in a
surrounded by package-laden mothers
                                                                                                home where all activities will focus on the
pushing strollers and herding wide-eyed          Consider a winter vacation. Go to a            needs and interests of children.
toddlers past holiday displays, it’s difficult   romantic inn or an island resort – eat in
to hold back tears. At the family gift           restaurants inappropriate for children, do     Limit your participation in the family
exchange where nieces and nephews are                                                           celebrations. Perhaps you can come in at
                                                 things you won’t be able to do when
                                                                                                the end of the gift-opening, or skip it
the center of loving attentions, it’s almost     you have a small child.                        altogether; come for Thanksgiving dinner,
impossible to find the joy that used to
                                                 Indulge yourself. Do whatever makes            but leave after dessert.
come with the season. New Year’s Eve,
                                                 you happy. Spend an evening in front of        Consider some degree of openness about
once a sparkling adult occasion of
                                                 the fire, take a long bubble bath, have        your infertility. If you think you might be
excitement and promise, becomes an
                                                 the perfect dinner, take a day off to read     ready to let family members know, this
evening of regret for the past year’s
                                                 a mystery. Whatever lifts your spirits, do     could be the right time. You might speak to
unfulfilled dreams.
                                                 it, as a gift to yourself.                     one or two members ahead of time and let
These problems won’t disappear, and the                                                         them spread the word, or simply answer
                                                 Do something for someone else.                 probing questions honestly.
winter holidays will probably not be an
                                                 Volunteer in a soup kitchen, take cookies
entirely happy time while you are                                                               Schedule one on one (or two) time with
                                                 to a nursing home, be an “angel” and
working through infertility. However,                                                           children you really care about. Take them
                                                 buy presents for a child whose holiday
there things you can do to minimize the                                                         to a special movie or out to lunch so that
                                                 would otherwise be bleak, invite
pain.                                                                                           you can enjoy them and your relationship
                                                 someone who’s all alone to share your          away from the family and its “public” child-
                                                 Thanksgiving meal                              focused activities.

				
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posted:9/28/2011
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