How to be supportive when someone you know or love has been diagnosed with Infertility – – (And what not to say) Part 2 of a 3 Part Series
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), The Surrogacy Source would like to share the 2nd part of this beautifully written piece outlining a very sensitive issue… a friend or loved one who has recently been diagnosed with infertility.
This is part two of a three part series.
Don’t forget your friends and your family on holidays. Holidays are especially hard for people who have been diagnosed with infertility. We tend to forget about those who are having a hard time becoming moms and dads. Remember your infertile friends and family members on these days. Believe it or not they do appreciate it.
Be available! Be that person who offers to attend appointments. Stay in the waiting room or coming to the appointment with them – but just let them know you’re there for the long-haul and you’re there to help. If they already have kids, be that person that offers to provide them childcare. If they need to lose weight be that exercise buddy or cooking buddy.
If you discover during this time that you are pregnant be the one to deliver the news. It’s always hard to hear pregnancy news during a time you are the one trying to actively have a baby- especially when it’s not happening for you. Deliver your news kindly and gently and in a way that respects their privacy. Sometimes email is the best way to deliver that kind of news.
Don’t make their infertile issue about you and whatever you do don’t be insensitive. You are there to listen and be supportive. It isn’t the time to talk about your stuff. This means that it’s your job to be sensitive and not minimize their problem. The inability to conceive is extraordinarily painful. Ridiculous comments like “just relax” “ enjoy your freedom while it lasts” or “ just think you can still have sex everywhere “ etc.. It’s not only insensitive but those kinds of remarks cause even more stress for infertile individuals, especially women. When a woman’s body doesn’t work like its intended the woman often always feels like she’s doing something wrong, when in fact, there’s a good chance there’s a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.
Don’t ever say “It could be worse” that is probably one of the meanest things you could say to someone suffering from infertility. That is as thoughtless as telling someone after a death of a loved one that they are in a better place. Who are you to know what a better place is? And who makes you the final authority on what is the worst thing that could happen to someone? Being sensitive to the pain an infertile friend is going through means…think before you speak! Get our drift? If you don’t know what to say – don’t say anything at all. Just listen.
Don’t bring religious beliefs into the conversation. If you do you’re asking for trouble. One of the meanest things you can ever say to individual that has just been diagnosed as infertile is “Maybe God doesn’t intend for you to be a mother.” Or “Maybe God has other plans for you other than becoming a parent.” Number one infertility of any kind is purely a medical condition. God, Mother Nature, or whatever higher power or deity you may ascribe to doesn’t punish or create infertility of any kind. So just don’t ever say that- ever.