Coping with Christmas

We wrote this section for all of you who - a one time or other - struggle with learning that someone else is pregnant, or already has babies and small children. No matter how saintly you are, you're bound to get jealous at some point and feel "It's not fair", and "Why not me?" - even if you are genuinely happy for the other people. And Christmas with its focus on family and children tends to make all those feelings worse.

What's more, when trying to get pregnant, lots of people find they set themselves milestones. "I'll be pregnant by my next birthday", "This will be the last summer holiday with just the two of us", "We may have some good news to share with everyone this Christmas" and so on. So, if you're hitting one of those milestones and aren't yet pregnant, don't beat yourself up about the self-imposed missed deadline. You'll just make yourself even more unhappy. Be kind to yourself - as respected psychologist Dorothy Rowe recommends - be your own best friend. Feeling good about you is important; you're still trying to conceive, and depression is definitely something you want to avoid. Remember the statistics in How Long Will it Take - not many people get pregnant at the drop of a hat!

Sometimes you may find yourself struggling with relatives showing off their new babies, pregnant friends, other people's toddlers getting all the attention. Hard as it is, don't turn yourself into the jealous green-eyed monster! It's not fair to take away the happiness of those people; some of whom may once have been in the same boat as you (and you may not have even realised). Think positively. One day, you too will be blessed with a child as those others already are. Make the most of the situation by trying the fertility technique used by David Bowie's wife Iman - she spent the day holding a friend's baby ... African tradition says it stimulates some deep maternal instinct which encourages you to conceive. Last but not least, relish being able to still devote time and attention to your partner when other couples are being run ragged by their offspring!

How to Cope with Getting Pregnant Pressure

One of the biggest stumbling blocks at this time of year is the dreaded questions asked by relatives you might not have seen for a while: "Must be your turn next", "When are you two going to have a baby then?", and various other hurtful comments. Remember that the person asking has no idea it is upsetting to you, so try not to be rude - or you'll end up with even more upset people! Consider telling close family in advance that this is a difficult time for you; they can then make an extra effort to consider your feelings. As for those who don't realise, prepare a stock, non-committal answer and roll it out automatically without dwelling on the issue. Something like "Yes, we hope to have a baby at some point", or "We're planning to start a family one day but we're not sure when". Another possible response is "Well, we're doing lots of practising, but we're not sure when we're going to go for the real thing!"

If you're following the advice in What You Eat, alcohol is going to be a tricky issue. Chances are, someone's going to wonder why you've given up, and automatically come to the wrong conclusion, leading to even more questions of the type outlined above. So, two options here. One is to be downright defiant, and explain that you've given up because you want to improve your general health, or that it's none of their business! And the other is to slip a little .... or at least make it look like you have. Take a glass of wine (or whatever), but make sure you get a soft drink too. Take a couple of sips of the alcohol now and again ... chances are everyone else will be so into theirs after a while they won't notice you're still on the first glass! And, if you slip big time, don't be too harsh on yourself afterwards. The odd glass won't hurt.

Christmas is a happy family time. So try and enjoy the break, relax and have fun. You deserve it. And who knows ... you might even find you conceive this December!

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