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Ho Ho No! Baby Talk: Tips for Avoiding Conversations about Having a Baby at Christmas

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The holiday season is a time for joy, reflection, and celebration; however, for those on a surrogacy journey, it can also be a period of heightened emotions, expectations, and well-meaning enquiries about family plans. In this guide, Tracey Sainsbury, a Fertility Counsellor at the Lister Fertility Clinic, shares valuable tips on how to gracefully navigate Christmas parties.

1) Recognise the power of choice

Attending gatherings during the holidays is a choice, not an obligation. It’s essential to acknowledge that it is okay to say no if you feel it’s in your best interest. Reflect on what feels right for you and consider discussing alternatives with close friends and family. If there are family traditions around who goes where and who does what, now may be a great time to make new traditions.

2) Plan ahead

For those aware of your surrogacy journey, sharing a pre-party update can set the tone. Politely let them know that you prefer not to discuss it during your time together, emphasising the need for a break to focus on enjoyment and relaxation. Forward planning allows you to gently remind others of your boundaries.

‘I used our family WhatsApp to let people know I wasn’t open to their questions, when my Aunty said how hurt she was by my request, my cousin shot her down. I felt so cared for in that moment. It helped everyone to recognise my boundaries and how difficult their constant questions were for me’

– Joe

3) Be authentic

People who know you well, can often tell if something is wrong. If someone asks about your journey, starting with something like ‘sadly’ can signal that it’s a sensitive topic. For example, saying, “Sadly, no news yet, but we’re okay,” communicates both the difficulty and your readiness to move on from the subject, promoting a more supportive environment. You can be honest and authentic without compromising your boundaries.

4) Have an ‘out’

Plan your exit strategy, if things feel overwhelming, plan how you can leave early or take yourself off, to go to a different part of the house or to go for a walk. Establish a signal with your safe person, a pre-arranged cue that provides a smooth exit without drawing unnecessary attention.

‘Our ‘get out of jail card’ was always ‘Do you remember the sausages we had in Hamburg?’ If either of us said that we’d both smile and the other would be attentive and check in, do we just need to stop
or change the conversation, leave, or ‘need some air’ and go for a walk. Now Franky is two we still use it when we have family staying.’

Roan and Dale

5) Remember your gift to yourself

Time is the greatest gift we can give ourselves, and those we love. Value your time, make time to think how you want to spend it. If you decide to attend challenging parties, plan a reward for yourself. Reflect on your resilience and celebrate getting through it. Self-care is crucial on any fertility journey, especially during the festive season.

Support is available, book in with the counselling team before and/or after the holidays so you know you have time and space planned for a check in. Remember, the key to enjoying the festive season is to prioritise your own well-being and navigate conversations with grace and resilience.

Hi everyone, So I’m Mike, guess I’m the crazy one who had the idea to sell our souls to Social Media and open up our world for everyone to comment on and observe our lives. I spend most nights (when not with Talulah and Duke obviously) with my phone glued to my hand, posting, sharing, liking and filming - all in readiness for Facebook, Insta and now YouTube. It’s getting to be a full time job, which is tricky - as I have one of those! For the last 18 years I have worked within Medical Recruitment and have worked in a variety of high pressured Operational and Business Development roles in London and the Midlands. More recently I am working for myself as it gives me greater flexibility with our new family via my Consultancy firm MJE Consultancy Ltd, where I attract and recruit Fertility Nurses, Embryologists and IVF Consultants and other specialist Doctors, as the Fertility Industry is my passion. I’m obviously one half of TwoDads.U.K and very proud of that fact too, and without doubt being a father is and has been the best job I’ve ever had. Nothing prepares you for the impact these little humans have on us, I know if you’re anything like me, the joy of being a parent just keeps on giving (whilst equally testing me too!). Don’t get me wrong, there’s days where I want to sit on the garage floor and drown myself in Gin but on the whole, life is better than it ever has been...

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