When you hear someone is fighting through Infertility, or has experienced loss or perhaps failed fertility treatments, what do you do with that? How do you find the right words for that couple? The natural response is to sometimes avoid them, fearing not knowing what to say, feeling like you might say the ‘wrong’ thing, to also feel deep sympathy, and sorrow for their loss. You naturally want them to get better, feel better.
For things to be ok. But what if things aren’t?
Couples with Infertility have no choice but to just keep fighting. Those around them, searching for an appropriate response to their situation often fall back on,
“How are you now?” (How do you think we are)
“I hope you are feeling better.” (Nope still feeling pain…)
or some of the dreaded…
“Things happen for a reason.” (What is the reason??)
“Things that are meant to be, will be.” (Enlighten us. Why is this meant to be? What did we do to deserve this? Where is the rhythm or reason behind any of it?)
The reality for some couples is that many of them aren’t feeling any better than they were yesterday, or the day before or the day before that. They are still dealing with the same issues they were last year and, it is likely that some of them will be on a path getting progressively more difficult, entailing painful treatments, costing thousands of more dollars and months of sacrifice ahead. Forcing them to put their life on hold in ways most can’t even imagine. There might not be any ‘curing Infertility” and that is their reality. That is what they are trying to prosess every day.
Let’s be honest no one likes to hear this kind of news and no one wants to say it. No one enjoys giving depressing news, and couples start to feel bad that they have to. So it’s either tell the truth (a Cole’s notes version), or lie and smile. So how do couples and the caring friends and family, get more comfortable with Infertility which sometimes feels emotionally burdensome? No one wants to be the sad story…no one wants that look of pity.
So if you are looking to support someone you know who has Infertility, just be there for them. Invite them to everything, yes even baby showers, baby parties and birthdays. EVEN if you know they won’t go. Let THEM turn you down. Don’t let them feel forgotten. Treat them like anyone else…Don’t pry for personal details. Let them initiate conversations about what they might be going through. If they feel you are truly there for them they will reach out/if/when they need to. Save comments and suggestions to yourself. Be understanding that their life is full of last minute situations, early mornings, numerous appointments, timely commitments, and waiting. Lots of waiting…Humour is always welcome and so are small gestures of love. Most importantly don’t be so hard of yourself! Your aren’t expected to fix anything or have any answers. Just be a friend and if ever at a loss for words, give a hug.
If you are looking for extra support, understanding and sisterhood, you are welcome to join the Miss.Conception Coach community! It is a safe place to connect with others ttc sisters with Infertility, who truly understand the daily challenges.
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