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“It's the most wonderful time of the year With the kids jingle belling And everyone telling you be of good cheer It's the most wonderful time of the year”

So the words of the Andy Williams Christmas song happily tell us year in, year out and yet when you are struggling to conceive it can be the worst time of the year.

Christmas has a way of shining a very big spot light on what you have and what you have not, it has a way of opening up your soul and causing a gradual meltdown of the layers of protection you have so carefully wrapped around you throughout the year (and perhaps previous years) in order to fertility proof yourself and to ensure that you appeared strong and non-chalent to the outside world.

Christmas is so focused on children, there is talk of Santa everywhere, amongst work colleagues, friends, passing conversations, “have you all your Santa shopping done yet?, What’s Santa bringing this year? Bet you can’t wait to see their faces on Christmas morning? , Sur’ Christmas isn’t Christmas without Santa….

Some of you will also have to deal with being taken for granted by family members or friends. Perhaps you are listening to –

“We have to stay at home, we can’t be transporting big Santa presents all around the country, you’ll have to go home and cook dinner for the Mam and Dad”, or

“We’ll all come to yours, sur’ ye have no one but yourselves to look after”, or

“you’ll have to do the family obligations this year and visit all the relatives, our kids don’t want to leave their Santa presents and friends”

So what can you do to protect yourself from Santa talk and fend off the family members….Know that

It’s ok to feel sad, Christmas can be a very sad time, all your loses seem to be magnified and infertility is a real loss. It is a loss of your dreams, the baby that the previous Christmas you dreamt you would be holding in your arms, perhaps you pictured yourself buying Santa presents and dressing your baby in ‘Baby’s 1st Christmas’ clothes.

It is the loss of all the hopes you had for the year. All your hard work, dedication and devotion to the cause of conceiving have not worked thus far. Perhaps you are even asking yourself ‘what is this all about’, ‘what’s it all for’, what I am eating mounds of green vegetables for, practicing daily rituals of stress reduction techniques? What am I medicating myself up to my eyeballs for? What am I exercising for, using organic sanitary pads? The truth is you are weary at the end of the year, another year gone by with nothing to show for your herculean efforts. Know that......

It’s OK to take a break and rest, you deserve it. You may not be pregnant right now, but your efforts are paying off. You are much healthier now and taking your foot off the pedal for a few days/weeks is not going to set you back too much in your efforts (if that is what you want to do). Take this Christmas time to really rest and re-charge your batteries. Taking time out from your fertility crusade is not going to slow you down in fact if anything the real difference it will make is boost your chances of conceiving. Take time away from google, social media and forums.

Take ‘me’ time, take a look at your boundaries. Ask yourself, "how can I communicate what I truly want to others without feeling guilty"? Are you saying yes to others thereby saying no to yourself? Ask yourself ,"what do I need, what do I want", and give it to yourself, this is your time, you and your partners, your special time. Try not to feel guilty by saying no, try not to feel guilty by pampering yourself, you do not have to run yourself ragged by taking care of everyone else.

It's time to take care of you, by putting yourself first. Use this Christmas break to ask yourself how can I put myself, my partner and our dream to have our baby first in 2018? How can we achieve what we truly want to achieve in a healthy way - try not to force this, by resting you will re-balance and clear your mind, helping you to make clear, concise and better choices for yourself and your potential family in 2018.

Wishing you a very Peaceful Christmas and a Bountiful New Year

Angela x

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