What to you say to a friend dealing with infertility?
Well, this is a huge topic most of us who have dealt with could write novels about. The easiest thing to say is, “I’m sorry.” Then zip it. Really. That’s it. Nothing more is needed nor in most cases wanted. This advice is for those fertile mertyls out there.
My friend send me a link to this blog with a post talking about this subject and a call out for links to blog posts talking about this topic. I love to talk about infertility, because too many of us keep it all bottled inside.
We really DO NOT want to hear about the one friend you know someone who knows someone who is related to said someone got pregnant on their own after years of trying, adopting a child or having a baby by artificial reproductive technologies (ART). Those are the far and few between. They are the ones people talk about. People don’t talk about the 95% left who still don’t have a baby, gave up years ago for emotional and/or financial reasons, adopted the one baby, had the one baby by ART or are still plugging away at getting the one live baby. Stories of hope are great, but they aren’t that helpful.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of us are very appreciative of your concern for us. It’s just that the journey of infertility is truly like an old wooden roller coaster with super highs and lows jostling you then entire trip. I broke my tailbone on one of those stinkin roller coasters about 6 years ago and it still hurts making this the perfect metaphor for me! With all the ups and downs it is really hard to gauge what comments will be hurtful and which will be OK at any given time. The same comment can be taken either way depending on the receivers spot on the ride.
My spot is a great one right now. I have two beautiful babies whom I used to call my little drug babies until Guy, the cop, kept complaining because it sounds bad. Those drugs were and are awesome for helping them get here to us.
My spot may not be so great soon. We are gearing up to try again in December. I really thought it would be all fine and dandy with no drama. Well, dang it, I’m already having drama about my doctors appointment next week to see what we need to do before then. Most Reproductive Endocrinologists want to do ALL the tests over again if you have been more then a year since your last tests. Not fun and they can be pricy. The last few nights I’ve been dreaming about being pregnant and dramatic situations around pregnancy.
Over the last few weeks I’ve mentioned to several people we are about to try again. Yeah, no one cares. I’m pretty sure this is the typcial reaction from people when someone already has kids. But we aren’t typical. We can’t expect to be announcing happy news in 3-6 months. We also have to deal with the drama of doctors appointments, laying out the dough, prepping for a cycle and all the drugs.
The other blog also brought up adoption. I’m glad she did. Most of us with fertility issues have thought long and hard about adoption. Both my husband and I would love to adopt especially because we both have adopted siblings we adore! But that is often harder or just as hard as fertility treatments. Domestic private (both open and closed) adoption is a lot of work by the adoptive parents, quite expensive (like IVF expensive) and there is no guarentee because the birth mom/family has to find you and pick you. Domestic adoption through foster care is very time consuming, economical, often heart breaking as you say goodby to one or more kids you’ve taken in that were available for adoption and very rarely can you get an infant especially one not adidcted or handicapped. International adoption is more of a guarentee with it’s long long waits, high expenses (20-35 thousand) & stacks of paperwork though most contries are much less available and more restrictive about allowing United States adoptions. Oh, and the most obnoxious thing about modern adoption. You have to prove over and over again to many people YOU are worthy to get a child. Talk about fear of rejection and hurt when so many can just get pregnant who are clearly unworthy, but they get to keep their baby. Unfortunately there are many less babies available for adoption then there are people who want to adopt. Abortion is definitely a contributing factor.
Speaking of abortion. I called Planned Parenthood (I didn’t know what they were really all about then) for some advice and leads on adopting figuring they were counceling women of their options to place a child for adoption, abort & offering birth control. The lady rudely let me know they do not help with adoptions in any way. Wow!
Not only is primary infertility a major issue in this country so is secondary infertility. So many couples have one or more children and then hit a fertility roadblock. We should not be limited to being completely greatful for the one or more child we have. Only we and our Heavenly Father can determine when our family is complete. It is OK to want more children. Not only is it OK, we should be able and supported for trying to complete our family with necessary fertility treatments and/or adoptions. I feel just as bad for those suffering from secondary infertility. They must feel like all of a sudden a wall is in front of them blocking the goal they saw only yesterday.
What to you say to a friend dealing with infertility? – I’m sorry. As many times as she needs to hear it over the span of your relationship. If you have some fabulous knowledge of fertility help feel free to share it. There may be just the tid bit of information they need to get pregnant. If you hear of any bith mom wanting to place her child for adoption make sure to blog about it and send an email to all of your friends. Someone may just know the adoptive parents for the child. Definitely give me a shout out as I know a few people actively looking to adopt right now.
There is definitely hope, love, support, luck, connections & knowledge out there. Love is the way to share and help. Love is always an appreciated emotion. Love doesn’t mean pity or even empathy. Love is just love. To all my friends and family. I LOVE YOU!!!