Join the Movement. National Infertility Awareness Week {When You’re Fertile Myrtle But Your friend is Waiting Wendy} How to Care for your Friend Who is Walking the Road of Infertility, Miscarriage or Adoption (post 1 of 2).

how to care for your friend who is infertileOver the years, people have asked me how they can care for their friend who’s hurting.  I’ve asked my good friend Amber @ bumbersbumblings to co-author this post and try to hammer out “what to say and what to do as well as what NOT to say and what NOT to do”.  Amber has walked the road of infertility and now celebrates her two beautiful children that she and her Mister have adopted. Today’s post will cover things to avoid saying or doing when trying to care for your friend who is walking the road of infertility.

Later this week, and in recognition of National Infertility Awareness NIAWWeek (NIAW), we will be addressing miscarriage and adoption.  NIAW is from April 21-April 27.  Our hope in sharing this week of postings is to be a resource  to both those struggling with infertility as well as for those who are walking alongside them in love and friendship.

Infertility:

Your intention: You want to communicate that you know she’s hurting

What Not To Say or Do:

  • “I know I don’t understand but if there’s anything I can do…”
  • “Your time will come…”
  •  “Maybe you’re supposed to be focusing on your job right now.”
  • Sharing how you’re super fertile and had unplanned pregnancies are probably not a good idea (as in not a good idea at all)
  • Send flowers (as in don’t actually send flowers- she wants empathy NOT sympathy)

Sharing your joyous news of pregnancy:

Your news is important.  It’s WONDERFUL.  Don’t discount  your friend’s ability to share these feelings with you.  This is a tricky situation and everyone walking the road of infertility will feel different on how they want to receive the news.  Trying to “break the news” is only a reminder that you feel sympathy (and again, it’s empathy that’s needed) so the ‘sad eyes’ or any words that include you not wanting her to feel bad would be things to avoid.  Phrases that don’t work might include: “I didn’t want you to find out by someone else.”, “I didn’t know how to tell you.”, “I just wish we could be pregnant together.”, “I couldn’t wait any longer (for you to get pregnant).” – these are just a few phrases that both of us have heard and none of these worked for us and our spirits.  Try asking her how she wants to hear your news before you are at the sharing point.  Email might be the best reception and in turn when you see each other the processing of the news and the reality that she is still struggling will have settled (and the two of you can celebrate without awkwardness).

If you’re a new mom or expecting:

Be sensitive to how much conversation focuses on your new baby, pregnancy, recovery from labor, etc..  Your life is important and your reality is important to your hurting friend but you have one really BIG thing she wants and she’d kill to be 9 months pregnant and uncomfortable, sleep deprived or sore from stitches.  Of course you can’t and shouldn’t NOT talk about motherhood but try to be sensitive to the amount of conversation that might be perceived as complaint (am I’m not saying you’re complaining but just hoping  to communicate the heart of another who has walked this road of infertility)

The Decision to Mother Infertility, miscarriage,and motherhood storyThose of us who are or have been challenged with infertility or miscarriage can tell you that our hearts need new things each day.  From one day to the next we will need to be loved differently.  I find that it’s better to just ask “how can I love you?” and I’ve always thought that to be the best question asked of me when my heart hurt for the love it hoped to one day share.

We love our comments and look forward to them.  Feel free to comment and let us know what else might help to ease the struggle faced by women walking the road of infertility. Our goal is to share our experience and insight but not to discount your feelings or assume everyone feels the same.  Kind and helpful comments appreciated. 🙂

lori and amber

I share a bit of my infertility story each week with the hope of walking alongside those who are currently struggling.  If my story can be of some comfort or help, or I can answer any questions feel free to contact me.  You can read my story from the beginning by clicking the infertility story tab at the top. You can also subscribe to this blog via the sidebar link and receive email updates when new posts are available. You can read about Amber’s Adoption Story by clicking here.

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6 thoughts on “Join the Movement. National Infertility Awareness Week {When You’re Fertile Myrtle But Your friend is Waiting Wendy} How to Care for your Friend Who is Walking the Road of Infertility, Miscarriage or Adoption (post 1 of 2).

  1. Great advice..”how can I love you?” that could be used in many situations. Being able to answer it is a good exercise for the one hurting too. You gals are doing a good thing. Thanks for the blogs.
    yours,
    tmr

  2. Pingback: join the movement. Part TWO of {when you’re fertile myrtle but your friend is waiting wendy. how to care for your friend who is walking the road of infertility, miscarriage and adoption} National Infertility Awareness Week | Living Out Loud

  3. Pingback: {Infertility and Adoption Etiquette}. what to say to help your waiting friend | Living Out Loud

  4. Pingback: Caring for and Connecting with Adoptive Families | Wenrich Family Adoption: Becoming a Family of 4

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