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The Grinchiness of Infertility

By Tracey Minella

December 20th, 2015 at 10:50 am


Photo Credit: Stuart Miles/

There’s been a post going around in social media that “as you get older your Christmas list gets shorter and the things you really want can’t be bought.”

For the majority of Americans, the materialistic part of Christmas begins innocently at birth, with the creation of mile-long “Wish Lists” for Santa and the often repeated question of “What do you want from Santa?”

It takes time and wisdom before many finally grow up to realize that we can celebrate in moderation. That we can focus less on getting… and more on giving to others in need. That nothing we can buy is more valuable than people and the ties that bind us.

Sometimes, it can take a major life setback or loss to reset our holiday priorities. Something like losing a loved one. Or not being able to have a baby.

Those suffering from infertility want only one thing for Christmas. And for many, we’ve been asking and waiting for it for more than one year.

We have no Christmas wish list worth sharing. We don’t care if you buy us a sweater or gift card or nothing at all. What we want can’t be bought from a store. It’s hard for us to celebrate at all, especially if surrounded by children that remind us of what we don’t yet have. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them…we certainly prove that by the torturous toy shopping we do for them with our hearts in our throats, as we wonder how we got on the perpetual naughty list.

And while empty arms are justification to be a Grinch, we also struggle with an inner battle. We know that the only important thing we want can’t be bought. We’ve outgrown the materialistic. Yet for many, we can’t afford the fertility treatment we need in order to make that Christmas wish come true. It sounds awkward to say it but frankly, we need money. We need money… in order to get the priceless gift.

But, can you ask for it?

Obviously it depends on your relationships and whether you’ve come out to them about your infertility. If you haven’t and would like to, we can help you do so either by a one click on social media tell-the-world post or by giving you the scripts to start those hard face-to-face conversations. Holidays can be a good time to come out, especially if prompted by the usual nosy questions about when you’re finally going to have a baby. But you don’t want a scene at the dinner table. You want to be prepared. Please visit the Long Island IVF website or the Coming Out Infertile Day Facebook page for more info on how to come out.

If directly asking your parents or siblings to contribute to your fertility fund instead of buying you a traditional present isn’t something you’re comfortable with, you can consider setting up an internet fundraiser for your fertility treatment. It’s a less direct request for help and a way to come out about your situation. You may be surprised at the generosity of friends, family and even strangers.

You should also explore the many grant programs available at Long Island IVF to see if you qualify for financial awards to pay for your IVF treatment.

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If asked, would you request financial help for treatment instead of a present? Have you applied for an IVF grant?

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