Monday, February 27, 2012

Infertility QandA

I feel after three years of trying for another miracle everyone close or far from us never truely knows how to handle us or approach our pain.  Infertility is no fun. It just isn't. You could have no children or some children. In our case we have a child.  Our six year old takes a lot of the sting away and we feel so blessed to have her, but when she plays with her stuffed animals and pretends they are brothers and sisters, it becomes an inevitable thing.   Vita Alligood wrote an amazing article about Infertility Etiquette, I would recommend reading this article. By no means do I wish to take any of her words but only add.  Each person chooses to deal with infertility differently but hopefully this helps you approach a friend/relative who is struggling with infertility.

1. How do you know if your friend wants to talk about it or not?
Ask her. Sometimes talking about it is the best way to cope with it.  A friends said one time " Maybe nobody says anything because they don't want to make you sad."  Do not worry about that, in fact sometimes the hardest thing to struggle with is silence from others.  She will never forget about her infertility, and you showing you care will not ruin a day. Does this mean that every time you see her you need to ask? Of course not, It doesn't have to be the main topic of every conversation but do realize that it will always be on her heart.

2. Do women struggling with infertility hate/despise/don't want to be around a pregnant friend/relative? This statement very much hurts to hear. If I hated/despised every close person to me that was pregnant, um I wouldn't have any friends. A ginormous chunk of friends have been pregnant while we have been dealing with infertility and the hardest part seems to be the "announcement" and the pregnancy, it's a a big reminder of what we are missing but would never want to down play any part of your happiness. Don't expect for her to stand up in excitement and scream but just be considerate of her feelings, as she should be of yours.

3. Do you ask a friend struggling with infertility to your baby shower?
Of course. Chances are even though your friend is struggling, she does not want to be excluded and wants to share your happiness about this baby.  Do let your friend know that if it is too much to come that you understand.  A few weeks after our second miscarriage I went to a sweet friend's shower. Although is was still a time I was struggling I wanted to show my support. The emotions were still fresh and it was hard but I wanted to be there for her like she had been with me.

4. It's been awhile since her miscarriage, shouldn't she be over it?
No. Everyone deals with it differently but the wounds always tend to be apart of you.  Infertility is like an old friend.  You might not hear from your friend for a few months but that shower invitation, announcement, facebook comment, and you hear from your old friend again. Try not to put a time limit on someones pain. When we miscarried, it was hard to think that we waited for so long, we had it, the baby was growing, forming from the two of us, and then all of the sudden it was gone. We lost what we had longed for. Allow your friends to grieve.

I don't say any of these things to make anyone feel guilty, but to bring the issue of infertility out for both sides.  I have been hearing of more and more that are struggling. Infertility or miscarriage can often be a lonely place to be but this verse gives hope.

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