We touched upon pregnancy fears before and those comments really got me thinking about infertility.
It broke my heart how many people reading this blog have tried to have children but, for whatever reason, haven't.
When I first heard about this, I thought, "They have that? Why do they have that?"
Then reading its website I thought, "This is awesome! Everyone should go there!"
I'm going to state the obvious and point out that being a blogger that can't have kids is particularly difficult when surrounded by many bloggers who have children and blog about them.
So I thought maybe today we could talk about infertility a little.
I typically hate "Do's and Don'ts" (rules and I never got along) but I appreciated this post from Resolve, The National Infertility Association, about infertility etiquette for friends and families.
This is not the full post. The italicized words are excerpts from the very well written article.
For the full article, go here.
~ Don't Tell Them to Relax
The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.
~ Don't Minimize the Problem
Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain.
~ Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen
~ Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents
~ Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF
People frequently ask, "Why don't you just try IVF?" in the same casual tone they would use to ask, "Why don't you try shopping at another store?"
~ Don't Be Crude
Crude comments like "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.
~ Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.
~ Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant
For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.
~ Don't Gossip About Your Friend's Condition
Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret... Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.
~ Don't Push Adoption (Yet)
When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.
~ Let Them Know That You Care
Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one.
~ Remember Them on Mother's Day
Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them.
~ Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments
Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again
I particularly love these words by the author:
So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say "I am giving you this baby," there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn't your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lesson the load.