Virtually all of my patients at the Houston Fertility Center come in feeling alone, at least at the start of their fertility journey. Occasionally I receive "Dear Dr. Kristiansen" emails, mostly from women who live in fear that their situation, their particular cause of infertility, is rare and untreatable. And the holidays is by far the hardest time of year to have an overwhelming feeling of being left out in the cold. But things are a lot better now than in past years, when infertility truly wasn't something anyone talked about beyond clinic hallways.
In this blogpost for Huffington Post, author Leslie Goldman sums up the thoughts that run through so many patients' minds: "Why not me?!" Just as Leslie found out when she dared reveal her struggles with getting pregnant, there is in fact a huge number of people who are going through the same or similar. She finishes up her post with experienced advice for those who are still trying to conceive: "Drink wine. Lots and lots of wine. And enjoy it while you can."
For this holiday season, I encourage you to let things go a bit. If you're in the middle of an IVF cycle or other treatment, follow doctors' orders, of course, but also take advantage of every single opportunity allowed to enjoy yourself. Any questions about whether it's okay to do this or that in mid-cycle? Just ask. If you're not in the middle of treatment, then try your best to shelve the sense of urgency. Breathe as much as you can, both literally and figuratively. After the holidays, you can get right back on the path (if you want) or start thinking about new roads to travel.
But for now, I wish you all peace.
~ Dr. Sonja Kristiansen M.D.