6 Ways to Find Gratitude With an Infertility Diagnosis During the Holidays

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Fertility Counselor Dr. Marie Davidson of Fertility Centers of Illinois Shares Helpful Tips for One in Eight Couples with Infertility this Holiday Season

Dr. Marie Davidson, Fertility Counselor with Fertility Centers of Illinois

For me, years ago, it was gratitude for a small handful of friends who understood my longing.

Thanksgiving is the holiday of food, family, and giving thanks. Is it possible to find thankfulness in the midst of an infertility journey?

Though it isn’t always easy, the answer is yes.

To arrive at a place of gratitude requires looking with open-minded kindness at the present. Noticing how much attention focuses on what is not present (a pregnancy, a baby, another child), and gently redirect attention to the present good. The good things may include treasured family and friends, enjoyable activities, and all that is comforting and fulfilling.

Dr. Marie Davidson, a fertility counselor with Fertility Centers of Illinois, has worked with thousands of patients who have overcome their infertility diagnosis. She also overcame an infertility diagnosis of her own. Here she shares how she found gratitude on her journey.

“For me, years ago, it was gratitude for a small handful of friends who understood my longing; for the faith community that valued my volunteer efforts; for the graduate study program where I could feel completely normal; and even for my slightly misguided therapist who kept asking, ‘what’s really behind that desire for a baby?’ I could not know how my journey to a family would turn out, but I could hold in my heart these gifts and give thanks for them.”

Her patients have also shared the many ways that their infertility experience resulted in gratitude in different areas of their lives.

If tough days come along this holiday season, take a look at some of the positive viewpoints below shared by others who have worn the same shoes. Some share what got them through, while others share viewpoints from the other side of their journey.

Here are their suggestions:

1. Find a clear perspective on what really matters. After a winding path to parenthood with many twists and turns, some of the “big” stuff    seems much smaller.

2. Try to make the most of every moment. Living through tough diagnoses and treatments can help bring about positive change in life. This can come in the form of a new mindset, new habits, new goals, and a new outlook.

3. Savor each day. Living in the moment may feel like second nature after waiting so long for a little loved one, but each day is precious.

4. Recognize personal strength and resilience. This old saying still rings true - “That what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” In the moment, it may not resonate, but the truth behind it can also be recognized. Inevitably, resilience and strength result from living through and overcoming an infertility diagnosis.

5. Draw strength from a support team. Infertility is impossible to endure alone. Family and friends play a critical role in keeping spirits up. After a long-awaited child arrives, an excited and enthusiastic team is also eager to celebrate.

6. A unique story of how a beloved child came to be. Fertility treatment offers special insight as to when conception occurs, and exactly when a pregnancy begins. It is rare to know such special and detailed information. Not many see a little one before he or she grows inside a belly or joins the family. If a child comes to a family through adoption, there is also a unique and moving narrative to tell.

Thanksgiving is too special a holiday to miss out on. Find a gratitude place and inhabit it as fully as possible.

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Fertility Centers of Illinois is one of the leading fertility treatment practices in the United States, providing advanced reproductive endocrinology services in the Chicago area for more than 30 years. FCI physicians, embryologists and support staff are stringently chosen based on educational background, medical skills and their ability to collaborate. With a team of 11 nationally and internationally recognized reproductive physicians who treat thousands of patients each year, the practice has earned a reputation for overcoming hard-to-solve fertility issues. FCI is dedicated to medical and clinical excellence and continues to invest in the latest technologies and research. FCI offers a comprehensive range of fertility treatment options including intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, donor egg, gestational carrier, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, as well as extensive resources to address financial and emotional needs. Fostering a culture for continuous innovation has made FCI home to the annual Midwest Reproductive Symposium which attracts experts in the field of reproductive endocrinology from around the world. FCI has 10 offices conveniently located throughout the Chicagoland area (Buffalo Grove, Chicago/River North, Crystal Lake, Glenview, Highland Park, Hoffman Estates, Lindenhurst, Warrenville, Oakbrook Terrace, and Tinley Park). FCI is a member of the Attain Fertility Network which provides discounted fertility treatment programs. For more information visit http://www.fcionline.com

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Gina Kremer