Hi Friends! I just learned that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week and wanted to share a few things I have learned about infertility.
I haven't actually been diagnosed as "infertile" for very long, but I have waited for four years now to be able to have another child. It's much tougher than I imagined it could be. The thing I have longed for most in this journey is understanding. Not judgement. So I've come up with a few suggestions to help out those in your life who may be struggling with the disease of infertility.
- Show them you care. Give them a hug. Listen. Ask questions in a thoughtful and sensitive way. Even if you don't know what infertility is like, acknowledge that it is really hard and painful. Don't belittle their suffering.
- Be informed. Before I knew that I had Severe Endometriosis and would have a hard time having more children, I really didn't understand the struggles and facts about infertility. Like all trials in life, you don't really know what infertility is like until you experience it. I realize now that I should have been more sensitive with others, but I just didn't know. So the more informed you are, the better of a support you can be.
- Never ask a woman if she is pregnant, especially in public. Woman with infertility often struggle with feelings of self-worth as it is, so don't make them feel even more insecure, even if you are just curious.
- Don't complain about your kids or pregnancies no matter how difficult they may be.
- If you are pregnant, let them know in a private and thoughtful way. I had a friend who wrote me a nice little email and it was perfect. It allowed me to deal with my frustration in private and I really appreciated that she told me that way.
- Don't tell them what to do or what not to do. Women with infertility already blame themselves enough for not being able to have children. Believe me, in most cases they are already doing everything they can. They just want people to understand.
Infertility is such a sensitive issue, so I hope this has helped. If you just don't know what to say to someone, just ask them what they need. Ask them what helps them. They will tell you.
Any thoughts or suggestions? What has helped you or someone you know deal with infertility?