Surviving the Christmas parties…by Mel Brown

I always think that the two worst times of the year to be prepping for an IVF are June with weddings, big birthdays, stag and hen dos, BBQs and sporting things and Christmas

It seems that everywhere you go you are faced with a sea of mince pies and M&S canapés and, of course, endless amounts of alcohol. Being jolly as well is hard when all you really want to do is curl up and watch the entire box set of The Good Wife and try and stick to your ‘regime’.

So here are my top tips for coping with an IVF Christmas

If you are going out to a Christmas party, eat something first. If you arrive hungry, you will be tempted to hoover up more food, and be less discriminating. It can also help you not want to drink alcohol too. Anything from a bowl of porridge, handful of nuts, peanut butter, hummus or cottage cheese on oat cakes, a banana or a bowl of soup. And stick some nuts into your handbag.

Bring your own drink with you. Non-drinkers are not well catered for here! Sweet sugary juices, fizzy drinks or fizzy water are your lot really. I like a good Virgin Mary myself if in a pub with loads of Worcester sauce and tabasco so it takes quite a long time to get down.

I would also bring in my handbag a small bottle of Seedlip, a lovely non-alcoholic drink made of herbs and spices that you can add to a soda or sparking water and it just makes it more interesting.

And I do think that a couple of glasses a week of wine or a vodka/gin or a craft beer is fine to be honest

Sometimes that can just help the evening begin and stop everyone from asking you why you aren’t drinking. I have been known to take a small one-person sized bottle of my current favourite wine (see my Instagram post), an organic red called Terre di Faiano, in my handbag and I stick to that all night by diluting it with water.

On Christmas day have one glass of something, and the same on New Year’s Eve, unless you have already started your IVF drug regime

But some people are not very good at stopping there so decide what’s best for you. Doing the driving nowadays is a good way not to drink too. If both of you are going then both of you say you’re driving to different people!

Organise your timing too, arrive a little later and leave a little earlier to minimise your time at a social occasion that you may not really want to be at. Most people don’t really notice.

And remember on January 1st you will wake up clear headed and ready to go, whilst everyone else will be feeling terrible and planning their ‘Dry January’, Veganuary and everything else.

Always remember your goal.

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