You’ve probably heard the statistic before that 1 in 6 couples suffer from infertility. A lot of times women stay in the closet about this unfortunate circumstance but if you’ve been fortunate enough to have a friend open up to you about her struggle, here’s some tips on how to react moving forward.
Say “I’m sorry”
This may be all you’re able to come up with to say but it spreads pretty far. Just acknowledging that you’re hurting with them is enough, they don’t expect you to be able to fix the problem but it is considerate to empathize. They may be opening up because they can’t hold it in any longer, so they appreciate someone who’s there for them and willing to listen. If they have been open to the rest of the world about it, they’re more than likely tired of hearing things like, “once you stop trying it’ll happen” or “just adopt”. I feel like anyone who has gone through the adoption process would say you never “JUST adopt” there’s so much to it, a process as beautiful as that never deserves a “just” in front of it at all.
Don’t keep things from them
Please don’t leave them behind when things go well in your life, they want to be included. Do you remember that scene from P.S. I love You when the three friends were on the boat and neither friend wanted to tell the widow about the good news they each had, which hurt her worse than the actual news. It’s not necessarily that they don’t want to know how your pregnancy or parenthood is going, they just wish they could join you in those experiences. They’ll appreciate if you keep them in the loop because trust me, investments you’re making now will make you the first one they come to when their time finally comes. I remember the first person I told I was pregnant to, after Chris, was my best friend who stood by my side and supported me through our whole fertility journey.
Remind them of what a badass they are
Sorry for the language but it’s true, anyone going through fertility trouble and still gets up and lives their life is a badass. It’s hard to see through the storm and know that there’s a rainbow on the other side. Some days you can be in a room full of people and feel completely alone knowing how badly you want to grow a tiny life inside you. They suit up in armor of a brave face every day in fear of being asked, “when’s your turn to have kids” or hearing the news of another coworker getting pregnant. They’re being strengthened to know just what to say when someone close to them is also faced with difficult times.
My husband and I attended our church’s annual marriage conference this past weekend. It was a simulcast by Marriage Today. One of the speakers was Chris Kyle, the American Sniper’s wife. I thought, “she is so brave for getting up there and speaking”. She talked about what a chess game life is, that there’s news we’re given that makes you want to just fall to the ground in defeat (like your husband getting shot and killed) but eventually light reveals itself and we see it was God’s will all along. So anyone who holds their head up through the struggles of life and keeps going forward is taking steps closer to God’s check mate move. He will create and reveal something so magnificent we feel silly for having doubted all along.
If you’d like to read our whole fertility story, you can find it here
Or if you have a friend or you, yourself personally has endured pregnancy loss, you can read my article about that here