Sunday, July 7, 2013

Infertility: Do's & Don't's

After three years of silence about our fertility struggle, I "outed" us this year as part of our New Year's Resolution to be more open and also to make some decisions about our journey to parenthood.

Why did I do this? 

Well, for one I wanted everyone to be aware that this is something going on in our lives and also for us to be accountable for making some big changes. But I also put it out there begin some talks on infertility and the emotions that come with it.

In future posts, we will go a little more in depth with what it means to struggle with infertility, but for now, let's dive in with some Do's & Don't's:

DON'T assume that couples who have been married awhile are just waiting until the time is right to have a child. "So when are you going to pop out a kid or ten?" is a pretty common question, but it's kind of a downer to couples who are struggling. If they want you to know, they'll tell you.

DO be a shoulder to cry on and a ready ear to listen if needed. Infertility sometimes feels like a very exclusive club...and not in a good way. If you know someone is struggling, offer to be a support system. Sometimes they just need a friend to rant to, not a problem solver.

DON'T assume that just because someone who is struggling with infertility hasn't had miscarriages or surgery that they aren't just as devastated or affected by their inability to conceive. Unexplained inability to conceive is just as hard a pill to swallow for someone who wants to be a parent. Saying, "Well, gosh...At least you haven't had [Fill In The Blank]," is a slap in the face. On the flip side, if you know some has had a miscarriage, do NOT say, "Well, at least you can get pregnant."

DON'T be offended when your "Waiting Wendy" friend isn't hanging on your every word as you chronicle every pee break during your first week of pregnancy. It's not that she doesn't care...or maybe it is?...More likely, it is just a difficult reminder of what she's wishing for herself.

DO ask questions. But be mindful of how personal you're getting. It's okay to be curious when your friend shares her story, but don't get in bed with her, if you know what I mean.

DO support her decisions. If she wants to adopt, great. If she wants to do IVF, awesome. If she wants to do NOTHING, that's fine too. It's not your job to push her into other situations or remind her of every  New Age herb that's supposed to cure infertility. It's your job to have her back.

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