Coping with Infertility During Mother’s Day
Shweta Nayak, M.D.
The path to build a family can sometimes be a tortuous one – one with the occasional roadblock, maybe one that requires an additional passenger (like a fertility doc or a donor). It is a private, sometimes isolating, journey. But one thing is clear: while a couple is on this path, focused on their final destination, they need support and ways to cope with the twists and turns that come their way.
Unfortunately, some days on this journey can be more difficult than others. For many, Mother’s Day can be a heartbreaking reminder of the pregnancy that was lost, or one that is yet to be. Prior to the need to socially distance, planning a welcomed distraction may have been a little easier, so how can we better cope when we are at home?
- Take a break from social media. It’s no secret that we’ve all turned to social media these last few weeks as a means to connect, get information, or to just pass time. But, on Mother’s Day, your social media feed will be a landmine of celebratory posts, pictures, and new pregnancy announcements. The best way to avoid these triggers? UNPLUG. You may consider temporarily deleting your social media apps or turning off notifications for the day.
- Spoil yourself. Today, you do you. Guilty pleasures? Today is the day to indulge. That show you’ve meaning to binge on Netflix? Today is the day to watch! A favorite food or meal? Today is the day to prepare it. Do what makes YOU feel good today. Planning some activities that you enjoy at home will re-focus your energy to a positive place.
- Change the meaning of the day. For those of us on our fertility journey, it’s only natural to think of Mother’s Day as one that is centered around our own motherhood. However, changing the focus of the day to instead celebrating the maternal figures in our lives (our own moms, aunts, grandmothers, or best friends) can bring new meaning to the day.
- Be kind to yourself if you are feeling sad. It’s so important to be kind to yourself, today and every day. If you’re feeling guilty about being sad on a day when others are happy, remember - it is completely normal to feel a little down today. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come, and where you hope your journey will end. You are a warrior and it’s important to remind yourself of this!
- Reach out. Above all else, don’t ever hesitate to reach out. Today is still a day to connect – whether with your partner, family member, best friend, or your fertility team, be honest with where you are emotionally. Talking to that person you know you can lean on, one who will listen without judgment (but with so much love), is a great reminder of the support that can continue to push you forward in your journey.
So, this Mother’s day – unplug, treat yourself, reach out, and remind yourself of the fierce warrior that you are. Your story and journey are both unique and important. We can't wait to continue on that journey with you. Until then, stay safe!