TGIF 🙂 I do not think I ever touched on this subject, but I hope it can help at least one person who reads this. I did not know many who went through infertility before I did, but after joining my support group and talking with many women who have and are going through it, I understand how it feels to watch someone you love struggle. Whenever someone in my group would get a negative test or bad news from the doctor, my heart would break for her even though I am over here going through the same thing. I have cried many tears for my friends, have done research in the middle of the night on Mr. Google trying to find answers for them and tried to just be there when they needed an ear to listen.
Going through all of this myself and being so open about it, I have had the most incredible support system in family, close friends, sorority sisters and even strangers who read my blog. I hope you can walk away after reading this with a few tips on how to help.
- Listen. Do not try to diagnose, do not tell that person to “relax, it will happen.” Do not tell that person to go on a vacation and you will come back pregnant. I used to hate hearing “I bet if you adopt, you will get pregnant on your own!” Just listen, cry with them, hug them and let them believe it will be ok.
- Let them know you are thinking about them. A simple text, email, phone call or sending a card in the mail, means SO MUCH. It would mean so much to me when I was in a doctor’s office for another appointment or in my bed crying over bad news, to hear from a friend that they were thinking of me. We are all so busy in life and in with cell phones and email, it takes 10 seconds to let someone know you are there.
- Pray with them. Some may disagree with this, but prayer was a huge factor that got me through 3.5 years of infertility. I had friends put me on prayer chains, have their church pray for me during mass, and send me a prayer book. I would talk with God and St. Gerard constantly and read from a daily devotion book every day. (Since having Kayla, I have really slowed up on all of this and something in 2016 I really want to focus on again.) I had friends light their St. Gerard candle for me while I was going through a cycle and vice versa. Trust me- it means more than you know to let someone know you are praying.
- Invite them out. So many nights I wanted to just stay home and go to bed early but having friends ask Dave and I to come over for a BBQ or to meet for drinks really helped. Don’t be too pushy- some days that really is the last thing we want to do. But, don’t forget about us too…invite your friend bowling, to the movies or something fun to get them to laugh and forget, even for 5 minutes, what is waiting for them tomorrow.
- Invite them to your baby shower and kid’s birthday but DO NOT expect a yes. This one sounds crazy, but I would have hated to be left out and not invited to go to an event, but 75% of the time I just couldn’t do it. Let your friend know it is ok if they cannot make it, please do not get upset with them. If you were in their shoes, you would see how hard it is to go and watch someone open up baby gifts or to come empty handed to a child’s birthday party while you watch everyone play with their kids and talk all things mommy. I finally started saying no to invites, I had to put myself first and I don’t regret a second of it. (Thank you to my friends who would invite me and before I even got the invite would tell me, don’t worry about coming, I get it. Thank you.)
- Now that I am a mom- I post way too many pictures of Kayla (I’m so sorry). Keep posting those announcement pictures, bump pictures (not every week ughh lol) and baby pictures…but don’t expect your friend to comment or like them. I honestly hid many friends who would post constantly because it would hurt to see it every day in my feed and that is OK too! I did not post many bump pictures or any ultrasound pictures because I knew how much many of those bothered me but now I waited so long for this, I am posting away. 🙂
I think that is it for now, thanks if you are still sitting there reading this. I just wanted to share a few ways that my family and friends helped me through our struggle. I still remember to this day when we had our miscarriage and failed cycles who sent flowers, a card, sent me a good luck charm (like my elephant bracelet) or even stopped over with food. It is the little, thoughtful things that make such a difference.