As you’ve probably already discovered, trying to conceive can be extremely isolating. You try to keep it a secret from everyone you know, especially your families. The last thing you need when TTC is your aunt telling you how to have sex or someone else telling you about their friend who tried for years before giving up and adopting. The holidays can be an especially difficult time because you are surrounded by friends and family who love to ask questions and give unsolicited advice. How can you survive? Or better yet, how can you survive the holidays while continuing to optimize your fertility?
Continue Your Routine over the Holidays
By now you have likely established a routine. You wake up, check your temperature, possibly take your medications, eat your protein-packed breakfast, take your vitamins and then fit in a little exercise to start your day. During the holidays find ways to continue your routine even when you are traveling to visit family. Don’t forget to pack your thermometer. Pack your medications and prenatal vitamins. To avoid nosey eyes (and questions) you can keep them in a ziplock bag in your purse to take on the go. If your family doesn’t eat the healthiest, find the time to run to the grocery store and pick up a container of Greek yogurt to make sure you stick to your healthy diet. Finally, be creative in finding ways to fit in some exercise. You can opt for a morning hike, a walk around the neighborhood, or checkout the local spin class.
When trying to conceive you don’t necessarily need to avoid all alcohol. In fact, between your period and ovulation you can’t be pregnant, so a glass or two can’t hurt. After ovulation, when you are possibly pregnant, your pregnancy is protected for the first couple weeks. During this time the pregnancy is only receiving nutrients from the uterus. It takes a few weeks for the placenta to develop, allowing the pregnancy to absorb toxins from your own environment. Of course, binge drinking will negatively impact your fertility. But if sipping a glass of champagne or spiked eggnog saves you from unwanted prying, save yourself the headache and enjoy. Drink slowly so that 1-2 glasses last you the entire night.
People just can’t mind their own business, and you may be the subject of nosy relatives . Consider how you will respond ahead of time and stick to your rehearsed answers. They wont come off as rude, but they will likely shut down the conversation. For example, when your mother-in-law asks about when she can expect her future grandkids- just say “we want children soon.” This provides her with reassurance, but makes no guarantee. Or you may hear people tell you that fertility declines with age (yea, no duh). Your response to this could be “thank you for the information. We will keep that in mind.” Be polite, but make sure you end the conversation.
Communicate with Your Partner
The only people who likely know you are trying to conceive are you and your partner. Cut out time for the two of you to be alone. This is your chance to be open and honest and share with each other the stressors you are experiencing. Get away for the hike I mentioned above, or for a cup of coffee. When TTC it can start to feel like your only time together is when you are trying to make a baby. But it is important to continue to nurture your relationship. Your mental health is as important as your physical health, so make sure you put aside time for your mental health.
Allow yourself to say “No” to Holiday Parties
You may get tons of holiday party invitations. In addition to weddings, engagement parties and baby showers you are likely being pulled to the obligatory holiday parties. Holiday parties can be a great distraction if they are filled with close friends who are fun to be around. But the holiday parties you attend out of obligation may have a negative effect. This year it is ok to say “no”. Sit down with your partner and decide which parties are the most important and enjoyable to attend. Make a list and stick to it.
The holidays could be just the thing you need to shake things up. Change is always good when things haven’t been working. The holidays are a chance for you and your partner to have a few days off from work. If these days line up with ovulation- bingo! The holidays are historically an extremely popular time to conceive with Christmas Day being the most popular, followed by New Years Eve and Thanksgiving. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Checkout my article 10 Steps to Start Trying to Get Pregnant