There are lots of articles written for expectant mothers on how to spend New Year's Eve, but what about women trying to conceive? Resources on ways to spend New Year's Eve when you're trying to conceive are far and few between. Why? Maybe it's because our culture isn't quite sure how to talk about infertility, or the challenges, for some women, that come with getting pregnant. Plus, it's safe to say no one wants to have an uncomfortable conversation about women's health on the most rockin' night of the year. But what about the women going through the emotional ups and downs of trying to conceive? How are we supposed to deal with life, and the struggle to make a new one, on New Year's?
I never thought I'd be one of those women struggling with conception. (What does one of those women even mean? According to The National Infertility Association, 7.4 million women struggle with infertility in America today.) The struggle is real. Like depression or addiction, challenges associated with trying to conceive (TTC) are worse around the holidays. The past couple weeks, I've burst out crying when I've see an infant wearing a mini-Santa hat. I hear news of other friends getting pregnant, and I find myself fighting that pang of jealousy and feeling like a monster for begrudging someone else's joy. However I got here, two miscarriages and many failed attempts at motherhood later, I'm here. It sucks.
So, happy New Year, right? If you hated New Year's as a normal person, try it when you're TTC. Part of me is hopeful: with the New Year comes a new chance at making my dreams come alive. Another part of me is straight up bitter and afraid: what if this doesn't happen for me? Why is everyone and their mother pregnant? Why not me?
To get through New Year's Eve, I'm guessing I have to find a happy medium between the two aforementioned states of mind. I don't want to ring in the New Year with feelings of anxiety about things beyond my control. I also don't want to ignore this debilitating fear that 2017 is not going to bring me a baby. If this year has taught me anything, it's that stuffing feelings does no one any service.
What can I do? Playing party girl doesn't hit the right chord, but that doesn't mean midnight yoga is my only option. The following are ways to spend New Year's Eve when you're TTC. Oh, and if you're in the same party boat as me, girl, you're not alone.
Cook A Healthy Meal
Cooking with friends can help open dialogue about what's going on in your life. While I don't broadcast my TTC status to everyone in my orbit, I've found talking about my trials has helped to normalize this whole process. What better way to break the silence than by breaking bread, right?
As for the menu, eating foods to help your fertility that are high in protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D is key. If you're lacking these nutrients, you might not ovulate. Foods that contain these nutrients include eggs, dairy, fish, meat, and eggs. Think of all the yummy meals with those ingredients, and that will suffice as your party food.
Play An Adult Party Game
Cards Against Humanity, strip poker, darts, truth or dare, dominoes — you've got the rest of your life to play pin the tail on the donkey. Live it up while you still can.
Choreograph A Dance
"Hold Up," from "Starboy" to "This Is What You Came For," 2016 had some killer dance tracks. For the night, forget about TTC and release your inner pop star. Dance studios like Banana Skirt offer classes that teach you choreographed steps to your favorite song, plus, you can get a video of yourself dancing, so you don't forget the moves.
Everyday Health reported that dance can reduce stress big time. So, get your squad and get into formation to welcome in 2017.
Make (And Eat) Homemade Ice Cream
I always find a hands-on project amazing for stress relief. Just don't get stressed out trying to make homemade ice cream. This is supposed to be fun, people.
Plus, Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro told Parents that one to two servings of whole milk products like ice cream can help protect against ovulatory infertility and encourage those sex hormones to function properly. Milkshake martini, anyone?
Host Spa Night
Baby Center noted that bodywork decreases stress. Massage therapist Kristy Hawthorn claimed that reflexology might help women conceive, in conjunction with other lifestyle factors. That's one part of TTC I can totally get down with—the bodywork.
Make New Year's Eve a spa night, and add some face masks and nail art to your massage. And, women aren't the only ones who like being pampered, so feel free to invite the men in your life to this spa party.
Have Sex Without Trying To Make A Baby
Because you're one fierce b*tch and sex feels good.
Watch Movies Because The Snuggle Is Real
This might not be the New Year's Eve when you end up on a party jet, sipping bubbly and rubbing elbows with the toast of the town. Accept that you're in a new stage of life (yes, I'm speaking directly to myself here). I think part of the challenge of TTC is that you've got one foot in your former life, and the other not quite in the threshold of your new one. One. Step. At. A. Time.
Movie night on New Year's Eve is totally legit. You deserve a break from the party.
Create And Practice A New Mantra
Here's where I get mildly New Age-y. According to Dr. Viswamitter JI Maharaj, a mantra can make the impossible possible. The goal of a mantra, or an uttered phrase, is to summon peace and bring it forth. That, I can get down with. New year, new mantra. And there's always midnight yoga.