As Thanksgiving approaches, people around the U.S. will sit down to dinner with family and friends, expressing their gratitude for the wonderful things in their lives.
However, when you’re coping with infertility during the holiday season, especially on Thanksgiving, it can be hard to find something that you’re thankful for. You’re probably more focused on the things you don’t have rather than the things you do. And, while that’s completely understandable and normal, it’s also important to take this time to think about all the good things in your life during this difficult time.
While everyone’s situation is unique, there are several things that you likely can be thankful for at this time in your life.
1. That You Have Loving, Supportive Friends and Family
The infertility process is incredibly difficult and facing it alone is impossible. Whether you’re still in the acceptance period of your infertility struggles or moving forward with an infertility treatment like surrogacy, you likely have friends and family that you can turn to for support. It may be a large group or a few close people, but they are instrumental to your coping with this difficult period in your life — and you should be thankful for each and every one of them.
2. That You Can Afford Fertility Treatments
When you’ve already attempted several rounds of fertility treatments, it’s normal to feel frustrated and upset at the medical process involved. However, there are many people in the world that may also be dealing with infertility but don’t have the methods or the financial ability to further pursue their parenthood dreams. Intended parents can be grateful that they not only have the advanced medical options like surrogacy open to them but that they can also afford the process that will bring them a child.
3. That There Are Many Family-Building Options Available to You
Hopeful parents in the United States have so many different ways they can build their family, from adoption to assisted reproductive technology to foster care. Others in different parts of the world aren’t so lucky. The U.S. also has laws that protect LGBT and foreign parents looking to grow their family, unlike in other countries where single, LGBT and non-nationals cannot complete the family-building process. While the family-building process can be frustrating and slow-moving at times, you can be grateful that you actually have this opportunity in the first place.
4. That There is a Large Community of Support Available to You
Thanks to the growth of online communities through social media and the internet, those who are struggling with infertility can gather more information than ever. While prospective parents before the internet had to rely on their doctors and local support groups to learn about the process awaiting them, now you can easily get in contact with others who have been through your situation — no matter where they live. A support system is incredibly important during the infertility and family-building process, and many hopeful parents are thankful for the opportunities for support and information provided through these online communities.
5. That You Are Moving Forward in Your Process, However Incrementally
It can be difficult, especially around the holiday season, to find hope in a process that may have left you many heartbreaks and losses. However, it’s helpful to find the silver lining. After all, you’re likely farther along in the process than you were last Thanksgiving. Perhaps this is the first Thanksgiving since you’ve started taking advanced steps toward creating your family, or you’ve moved forward from last year’s treatments to a different family-building process that holds a better chance of success for your family. No matter what, you’re likely in a better position that you were before — and moving closer to success is always something to be grateful for.
Infertility can be a hard process, especially around the holidays, which is why we encourage those coping with infertility to acknowledge their feelings and reach out for love and support from others. Remember, as tough as it may seem, there is always something in your life you can be thankful for.