Sunday, May 1, 2011

National Infertility Survival Day

National Infertility Survival Day: A Day for Self-Care and Celebration
Coping with Infertility on National Infertility Survival Day
By Rachel Gurevich, Guide, Updated April 26, 2010

Mother's Day isn't easy for those coping with infertility, but now, we have a day of our own - National Infertility Survival Day! National Infertility Survival Day is a relatively new holiday, invented to celebrate all the hard work and effort that infertile couples put towards trying to have a child. The day’s main emphasis is on self-care and celebration for what we do have. It’s also a day for friends and family to help lift the spirits of a loved one coping with infertility.

Just like Mother’s Day, when all the hard work that goes into motherhood is celebrated, on National Infertility Survival Day, we celebrate and honor couples who are desperately trying to become parents.

When is National Infertility Survival Day?
The holiday falls on the first Sunday of the month of May. In 2010, the holiday is celebrated on May 2.

Scheduled for the weekend before Mother’s Day, the holiday's timing is intentional, so it can blunt the sadness and frustration that many women feel as Mother’s Day approaches.

Why National Infertility Survival Day?
“As lovely as Mother’s Day can be for mothers, it can be extremely painful and disheartening for infertile women,” explains Barna. “One can feel terribly left out and ripped off. For me, it tended to be a time when all the disappointment about my situation coalesced around this one day.”

The holiday is also a chance to turn around and bring something positive to what is normally a difficult condition. Often, we focus our energies and thoughts on what we don’t get, or have not received, despite all our efforts. On this day, we honor and celebrate all we have done to try to have a child.

Instead of focusing on our losses, we focus on our strengths.

For Infertility Survivors, How to Celebrate and Spend the Day:
This is a day just for you, and you should celebrate the day however you like!

A few possible ideas:

•Go out to dinner.
•See a movie or a play.
•Buy yourself flowers.
•Get together with friends, either at home or out of town.
•Pamper yourself by visiting a spa, or getting a massage.
•Take the day for some creativity -– messy art, corny poetry, whatever you like!

Some women may feel silly celebrating when they feel they have nothing to celebrate. Our society puts so much emphasis on celebrating after we’ve accomplished a goal. It’s not uncommon for women coping with infertility to feel like failures. But you are not a failure.

With infertility, your accomplishment is the effort you’ve already put towards becoming a parent. You’re celebrating your strength and your efforts. You may not be able to hold these types of accomplishments in your hand, but they are just as real and deserve to be celebrated.

For Partners, Friends, and Family, How to Support Someone with Infertility:
For partners, this is a day for a special gift. Something to brighten her spirits. “Chocolates –- unless she’s on a diet, in which case, jewelry is always good,” suggests Barna. “Perfume! Cards! Candlelight dinner! Wine! Champagne! A poem! A trip!”

For family and friends, assuming the couple has let you in on this private area of their lives, anything to lift the couple’s spirits is great. Bring over some balloons, or send a funny or uplifting e-card. Sometimes just a phone call letting them know you’re there, if they ever want to talk, is nice.

Whatever you might consider doing for their birthday, those kinds of ideas probably fit for National Infertility Survival Day celebration, too.

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