How NOT To Support an Infertile Friend

You are not an expert in conception. Having a viable pregnancy does not make you an expert in this. Trust me, your IF friend has read more books and knows more about conception than you could ever hope to know.

RELAXING is not a medical treatment for IF.

IF is a medical condition treated with a wide array of treatments none of which include a pillow under the hips!

Don’t offer us your eggs/sperm/uterus. This is like me wanting a porsche and you offering to let me drive yours. If I ever want to drive your porsche I’ll ask.

Don’t assume I will fall apart if you tell me our mutual friend is pregnant. I might fall apart but you will only make it worse by going on and on about how “I didn’t want to tell you but…” Just tell us like ripping a band aid off.

Forgive me for making excuses to get out of baby showers and other events featuring pregnant women or babies. Sometimes it hurts too bad and a well planned excuse is just an act of self preservation.

IF treatments are intensive, sometimes painful, always emotionally taxing procedures. This isn’t like getting a splinter removed. If your friend has a procedure – CALL and ask how she is doing at least. Flowers and chocolate are also appreciated.

Fertility drugs can make you crazy. Erratic behavior is expected, please understand. Imagine your worst PMS then multiply it by 1000 then imagine it is happening during a devistating time in your life like the loss of a loved one – this may get you 1/2 way to grasping the roller coaster her emotions are on.

The failure of an IF cycle is like dying a little inside. Flippant remarks like “you can have my kid” or “don’t worry it will happen” is demeaning.

How many pregnancy tests have you taken? We’ve peed on hundreds of home pregnancy test sticks. We have prayed over the stick for 3 minutes for 2 pink lines. We have held the stick in the light and looked for even the phantom of a line. We have cried over many sticks and taken another (and another) to be sure. Our relationship with pregnancy tests are not the same as yours.

Our IF is NOT at all like the “agonizing 4 months” it took you to get pregnant. We are not being impatient we are suffering from an illness (or illnesses).

Don’t say “you can always adopt.” While adoption is a beautiful option and we may get there one day – don’t assume we are there now. Giving up on our biology is a difficult process of loss. Saying this to a couple who is not ready to move on is paramount to saying “you can always remarry” to a woman who’s husband has just died.

Don’t ask us “are you pregnant?” every time we call. For goodness sake we will let you know! Your prayers are so so welcome but don’t ask stupid questions.

Don’t say things like “I wish my house was as clean as yours, but we have 2 kids.” OR “Must be nice to sleep in on Saturdays, our kids get us up.” OR “You’re lucky you can afford manicures/pedicures/theatre tickets/other luxuries; but you don’t have kids to take all your money.” Seriously, saying things like this is like punching us in the stomach. We would gladly have a messy house, no sleep, and ratty finger nails to not feel the empty hole of childlessness in our lives.

Do you want to support me? Tell me that you can’t imagine what we are going through. Tell me you don’t know what to say but that you are always there for me if I need you.


2 thoughts on “How NOT To Support an Infertile Friend

  1. Pingback: 10 Things NOT To Say To the Parent of an A.R.T. Child » The Road Less Traveled To Parenthood » Baby Dust Diaries

  2. I had 8 miscarriages, and I’ve heard many of what you’ve posted up here.. I can include “Don’t worry, the fun is in the trying” (actually, no it isn’t.. after a while sex can become all about trying to reproduce). Along the line of God has a plan was from a co-worker who gave me a whole BROCHURE on generational curses, and I felt obliged to read it because she kept bugging me about it. Eventually I did, and it was all about ancestral satan worship. I just told her bluntly that neither I nor any of my family were ever involved in satanic practices. yeesh.. why don’t you just point that finger of blame!
    I think the best thing for me were my friends who would actually sit and laugh with me – i have a twisted sense of humour and we’d get drunk after a miscarriage, and laugh at all the stupid things people say. My absolute corker was recently (my 8th m/c was after the birth of my son).. A friend came back from a month-long holiday and sms’d me to ask how the pregnancy was doing. I sms’d back to say we’d m/c’d and had all been sick for a month. she replied to say how sorry she was, and that she’d pray for the family, and that she’d hoped that we could be pregnant together (this was her way of telling me she was pregnant), and that I should just keep trying to have one soon.
    Wow. I thought that that was the ‘best’ one yet.


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