TO THE FRIEND WHO'S STRUGGLING TO GET PREGNANT
Oh, friends. This is a topic I am passionate about because I feel as if it's something no one talks about. We gasp when we find out someone can't get pregnant. And then we quickly move on and don't ask questions. No one ever talks about it. But the truth is: WOMEN EVERYWHERE are experiencing issues with infertility.
I've gotten pregnant several times in my life. I've also had several miscarriages and of course those moments were heartbreaking. But I've never had a problem actually getting pregnant, and I can't possibly understand what that may feel like.
I look around me and I see TONS of women affected by infertility, and I never know what they're really thinking. I want to help in some way, but know I can't. I don't ever have the right words to say, and to be honest I don't know if they want to talk about it or if they want me to just shut up.
Does this sound familiar to you?
I asked my good friend Melanie, a lifestyle blogger from Chicago, to share her perspective on this topic. She is married with two fantastic stepkids, and has also been through quite the ringer trying to get pregnant herself. I absolutely love following her on her journey. She is so strong, and so inspiring. Read what she has to say below... and then check out her blog here where she talks a lot about her journey with infertility.
Dear friends who have no problem getting pregnant:
I know what you are thinking. Here is another woman going through infertility who is angry because everyone around her is getting pregnant after only trying for a month or two. Ok, admittedly those thoughts do cross my mind from time to time. In fact, another person I know just posted their obnoxiously creative pregnancy announcement.
But really, here is what truly goes through my mind.
Let me back up to give you a little background. I am a 37 year old female who suffers from infertility. This does not mean I can’t get pregnant, it just means it may not be as easy for me as others. I have older eggs, a blocked tube and suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In a way, I am lucky. Other women have it harder and are told they will never get pregnant. However, I have seen those same women pregnant more times than not. The body is a strange, yet beautiful thing. I am someone who has known she wants children since I was in my 20’s. However, I wasn’t going to be the girl to just get married for the sake of having children. I had goals to achieve before becoming a mother, and I needed to be with the right man.
When we started trying to get pregnant, I never thought I would have an issue. Since then, I have been thru IUI’s, IVF, FET’s and more. I am literally a human pin cushion as shots have become a part of my nightly routine.
So, now put yourself in the shoes of my friend who’s just found out they are pregnant. You know all about what I have been going thru to get pregnant: the mood swings, the emotional ups and downs, financial woes, self-doubt, embarrassment, failure, needles, vaginal ultrasounds, more needles, la-di-da-di-da, on and on.
You are terrified to tell me because, as my friend, you somehow feel like I can’t handle it? Or, I’ll resent you? I honestly don’t really know what you are thinking. I do know that the second someone I care about is going to be a mother, I feel immensely happy as you will get to live the greatest adventure with the greatest gift of all.
What, I’m happy?! Of course I am.
That doesn’t mean I am not sad for myself. That being said, I don’t want anyone to have to experience what I am going through. The reality is, though, that so many do.
In fact, many of the people you think got pregnant sooooooo easily may have had a miscarriage or even maybe an awful delivery.
What I'm really saying is this: everyone has their own battle that we know nothing about.
Now, are there things you CAN do and also NOT do when it comes to friends and family going thru fertility treatments? Yes, absolutely! Let me list a few…
- Please stop telling me to be positive. That won’t make me pregnant.
- Don’t joke and tell me to stand on my head. That will also not make me pregnant.
- If one more person tells me to stress less, I may lose my sh*t. That in itself stresses me out.
- Don’t tell me everything happens for a reason. I have prayed, analyzed, meditated, philosophized the hell out of what I am going through.
- Don’t act like you know exactly what I am going through. Empathy and compassion yes, but don’t pretend to know.
- Ask how I am and let me know you are there if I want to talk.
- Educate yourself, read books, blogs and try to have a deeper understanding of what your friend or family member is going through.
- Realize that I may not be able to attend a baby shower or talk about what is on your registry. This is about self-care.
- Have faith, pray and don’t give up. The support you give means everything.
- Send a card, flowers or a nice text. The support has been truly therapeutic for me.
I think at the end of the day, we are all on our own journeys and as friends need to just be there for each other. I hope that this perspective helps you when maybe you are talking to a friend who is having a hard time getting pregnant. It happens a lot more than you would ever think.
Keep up with Melanie and her journey at withlovemelanie.com! Follow her on Instagram @mellycoy.