Friday, April 27, 2012

NIAW: 5 things you can say to an infertile

National Infertility Awareness Week is coming to an end. This year's theme is "Don't Ignore.."

Don't ignore people with infertility.

There have been plenty of blog posts in the infertility community that talk about what not to say to an infertile:
Infertility Etiquette 
Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Fertility-Challenged Wife/Partner
10 things not to say to your infertile friend
While this is all very good advice, I fear it leaves friends and family of an infertile afraid to say anything at all. I think it is more helpful to give people a list of things they can do/say. So, here are some things I find helpful.

1) "I'm sorry, it must be really frustrating and heartbreaking for you." Simple, yet effective. This acknowledges your friend's pain and is sometimes the only thing that can be said.

2) "Tell me about what you have been going through." Sometimes we just want to vent and get things out. This opens the door for us to talk about our pain. Be prepared to listen.

3) "Tell me about the treatments you have been doing." I find talking about the process of my treatments a great way to help me release some anxiety I may be having about them. So, when a friend says they are starting the IVF journey ask them to explain it to you.

 4) "After your next appointment let's go have lunch/dinner." Everyone always tells us to "just relax", but it is really hard to do that when you have appointments every day and needles being stabbed into your arms and belly.  Instead of the classic, "Just relax", help your friend get her mind off of things by spending time with her.

5) "I'm thinking of you/praying for you." Some women hate this, although I'm not sure why. For me it is just another way for my friends and family to acknowledge what I'm dealing with. The first time a friend said they were praying for me it made me cry. I pray for my friends when they are going through hard times, so I appreciate it when they do the same for me.

6) Get her a cute puppy. Just kidding. Although, that scruffy face dog below does put a smile on my face every day.

I am lucky to have a great support group. This includes friends with children who aren't afraid to invite me over to hang out with them and their kids. Just because I can't have kids of my own some people assume that means I don't want to be around them. This is actually very far from the truth. I want to have kids because I think they are great, I love them. Which means I would love to hang out with you and your kids. Don't be afraid to ask your infertile friend to hang out. If they are like me they will gladly come play with your kids. If playing with kids makes them sad, then they will say no. Either way, just ask.

So, don't be afraid to talk to your infertile friend. Don't ignore her. Listen to her. Be there for her.

Is there something I missed? What did your friends say to you that made you love them even more?

HTC Rezound: Android: Instagram


Anonymous said...

I'm always thinking about you. And Derek too. I wish I were there to help you any way I could, I'd love to take you out to lunch! Miss you tons and tons and tons!

Anonymous said...

I love you sister! You know I'm here for you! :)

Anonymous said...

Aw, Kim you're always in my prayers. Whichever way your children come to you, you're going to be an awesome mother! Love ya girl!

yvonne said...

Kimmy, I've been thinking of you a lot. I've been following your blog and I just want you to know how amazed I am by your strength in sharing with us all that you and Derek have been going through. I admire your strength. Keep up your blogging, I think it's a healthy form of relieving some of that anxiety and If I could hop on a plane, puppy in hand, I would be there in a hear beat. I would like to see you if possible, I truly miss you.

Always your friend....Yvonne