Chances are you know someone who is struggling with infertility. It is a painful struggle that affects more than 7 million couples of child-bearing age.
Infertility is likened to the grief of losing a loved one-even more, losing a child or grieving a child that you can not have.
Isolation is one of the primary feelings associated with infertility. People don't know what to say so they say the wrong thing or they say nothing at all thus creating more isolation.
As mothers, our children are our life. We live and breathe our children. We post pictures of our children all over facebook. We talk about our children in our every conversation.
Anyone that knows me knows how much I love my "babies." My babies are 27 and 30.
When our son was playing baseball he learned to deal with the, "way to go, baby," that rang out across the field in high school and college.
All Our Children
When I run into friends that I haven't seen in a while, they ask me, "How are the "babies?"
It's just who I am as a mother.
It's just who I am as a mother.
As a grandmother, "BonBon", I am absolutely goo-goo about my first grandchild. It's who I am.
Our Son with our first GRANDson
As www.resolve.org states, "We are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this emotional time.
The above website offers the following advice (with some of my own added in):
1. Don't tell them to relax. Don't say, "Oh, if you just forget about it, you will get pregnant." Although in many circumstances, pregnant occurs when a couple has chosen to relinquish the hope of having a child, relaxation is not a reason for infertility.
2. Don't minimize the problem. Remember most infertile couples have watched and waited and experienced the birth of one and two children by most of their friends. They plan and attend many baby showers and birthday parties, while going home to an empty, silent house, void of children. Comments like, "Oh, you should be thankful you can sleep in with no interruptions." Most inferitle couples, would give up nights without sleep just to be able to nurse a crying baby.
3. Don't say, "There are worse things that can happen." There again, statements such as this are insensitive. Avoid statements such as, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother," or "Maybe it's not meant to be." What does that say about what God thinks, that one is incapble of being a good mother? Saying, "I am so blessed" to a struggling couple feels like, "So I'm not blessed because I don't have a child."
4. Don't ask, "Have you tried this method or that or this doctor or that?" It's like saying, "Why don't you try shopping at Target instead of Walmart."
5. Don't complain about your pregnacy to the struggling couple. She would go through morning and night sickness for the joy of knowing that she is going to have a baby.
6. If she can't hold your baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting your baby, she is trying to work through her own pain and sort through her feelings. A counselor once told a couple who was struggling with holding a friends baby, "If you had a broken arm and had recently gotten the cast off, you would not be able to hold a baby for long. Oh, you would want to, but it would hurt too badly. You could only hold it for short periods. However, in a few weeks or months, the injured arm would heal and you could hold the baby for as long as you like." The same is true for emotional healing.
7. Don't gossip about your friends' condition. Infertility is a very private matter.
8. Don't push adoption. A couple must grieve the loss of their own child first. Grief is very personal. There is no time limit for grief. My mom will be been gone 2 years next month and there are still days when the grief is almost unbearable. My dad has been gone a year and a half and last week I sat in his driveway, and bawled my eyeballs out. The couple is dealing with the loss of the baby they may never have with mommy's voice and daddy's eyes.
9. Let them know you care. Saying, "I don't know what to say, but I do care." Don't say, "I understand what you are going through." Pain is very personal.
10. Remember them on Mother's Day. Respect that they may not be able to attend church or special events on Mother's Day or Baby Dedication Day, showers or birthday parties. Say, "I love you. I want you to do what is best for you."
Our daughter and our GRANDdog, Charlie.