As someone who has been suffering from the disease of Infertility for over 6 years, I have heard a lot! I wasn't so vocal about my disease in the beginning and am still working it into my daily life. Since adopting our daughter, Ellie, it has become much easier to talk about it. I feel most comfortable discussing my journey here, on the internet, with you. I know that's pretty silly, right? I can sit here and share my feelings, thoughts, and emotions with the world (okay lets be real, with like the 10 committed readers I have) but have such a hard time actually talking about it. I am not embarrassed of my disease by any means, it's just that I like to be a "strong" person. But in reality, I am learning that hiding my emotions actually isn't a very "strong" character trait rather its the opposite. It's cowardly. Then again I have my reasons, sometimes people are just Assholes and say the most unkind things and frankly I am tired of hearing them!!
So today I thought I would help y'all out so that you don't come off like an Asshole to one of your friends or co-workers. Because in actuality 1 in 8 couples suffer from Infertility and the odds are you are pretty close but they are suffering silently.
Here are 5 things to NOT say:
1. Don't tell them to relax. These comments actually cause more stress to the couple.
2. Don't tell them to "Stop trying, then if will happen". This is incredibly messed up because if you stop having sex then you are not going to be able to make a baby.
3. Don't complain about your pregnancy. Well you can, just not to them. For the Infertile sometimes just being around a pregnant lady is a battle, watching your belly grow is a constant reminder of what they are unable to achieve.
4. Don't tell them about a friends success story with Infertility. This does the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. Each couples Infertility is unique and just because one thing worked for one couple doesn't mean that it will work for another. And maybe they have already gone down that road without success. It just reminds the Infertile that THEY are unable to conceive.
5. Don't ask why they are not trying IVF. Infertility treatments are expensive and most insurance companies do not cover these treatments. So all expenses are paid out of pocket by the couple. Not to mention that not all IVF cycles are successful.
And because we are human and want to help and be of comfort I will give you these 5 things TO say to your dear friends:
1. Do your research. Read up on Infertility and if you are aware of their diagnosis then learn about that too. This is so helpful as they won't have to feel like they need to educate you before you can have a conversation.
2. Act interested. Each Infertility journey is unique. For some it is easy to open up about their struggles whereas others find it more difficult. If they are willing to open up to you then be present in the conversation.
3. Remember them on Mother's Day and Father's Day. While these holidays focus on those who are already parents they can be difficult reminders to those who cannot be parents. Remember them on these days, they will appreciate knowing you haven't forgotten.
4. Tell them about your pregnancy. Just do this in a way that allows them to handle their initial reaction privately. They are so happy for you, but often times are disappointed for themselves.
5. Remember them throughout the year. Since there are no physical signs of Infertility (aside from a non-pregnant belly) remembering that your friend is struggling throughout the year and reaching out to them is a huge encouragement. It helps them feel not so alone in their battle and that they're not forgotten.
Here's to not being an Asshole and actually accomplishing the comfort you're intending to give!!
Speaking of giving. Thomas and I are in the process of beginning the adoption process again!! We are so excited to bring a new little bundle of joy home to our family, but we can't do it without you!! Not only are Infertility treatments expensive but Adoption Costs are too! Before we can start the process we are hoping to raise $2,500. About $1,000 will go toward updating our HomeStudy, which is a requirement for adoptions and the remaining $1,500 will go towards our re-enrollment Agency fees. We have already raised $300 and anything helps. To donate you can go to our GoFundMe page and we would also greatly appreciate you sharing our page via Facebook, Twitter, etc.
We are also going to be having a garage sale this Spring/Summer so I am cleaning out my closet, Ellie's closet as well as some home items. I want to offer them up here on the blog first. So be on the lookout for a Shop the Farm post in the near future!! All proceeds will go into our Adoption Fund!
In case you missed it:
Sunday I shared my Infertility Story
Monday I shared FAQs on Infertility
Tuesday Thomas shared his Infertility Story and Ellie's 23 monthdate
Wednesday common Acronyms of Infertility
Thursday Infertility around the World
linking up here