We're thrilled your friend's cousin's cousin got pregnant through IVF, but please, SAVE IT.
You've got that friend or that cousin struggling to get pregnant, and most of the times you don't know what to say or think. You're afraid to say anything so you say nothing. You read articles about fertility and consider sending them. Sometimes you do, but you never hear a word from the person you sent it to. You don't know if you're doing the right thing or the wrong thing.
You're struggling to get pregnant, yet somehow, people think it's cool to keep bothering you about "having a baby" as if you haven't even bothered to try! You want to smack those people but you don't. You don't even share your struggle with infertility. You just squeak on by, struggling.
For those of you who are struggling and don't want to say a word, I'm saying it for you. For those of you with loved ones who are struggling to get pregnant, listen up. Here are things people struggling with infertility want you to know.
1. Those fertility articles? Please save them.
We know you want to help but trust us: we have read everything and anything on infertility. If you really want to help, take us out for ice cream or come see a movie with us. Being here is better than you telling us about your WebMD findings.
2. Don't question a couple who doesn't have kids or isn't pregnant.
Too often today, many childless couples are undergoing IVF and you may never know. If you see a childless couple, don't ask. Let them share their views on children if they so desire.
3. We're not antisocial, we're just tired.
Hormones and other processes in the IVF, infertility and miscarriage journey are difficult things to process. It may mean we are quiet for a while and may not want to talk. We love you and are simply taking space right now.
4. We don't want to hear about someone you know having success with IVF.
We are happy to hear how your friend's cousin's cousin was successful at IVF or conceiving after a miscarriage, but as we are going through all of this, these stories may trigger and upset. Instead, tell us you heard about a success story and would we like to hear about it.
Asking us first and allowing us to tell you if we want to hear it is a good way for us to decide if we're ready to hear the joyous news of your friend's cousin's cousin.
5. Lay off with the holistic remedies.
Holistic remedies are great, but right now? Please just save it. If there was an easy solution to preventing infertility or miscarriages by now, we would have found out.
6. We are happy for your pregnancy, but may skip your shower.
It's not that we aren't happy for your bundle of joy, but your shower brings with us the dreadful feelings that we may never be in the same place you are on your big day. That's a lot to swallow. Knowing that our baby dreams may just be dreams? Heart-wrenching.
7. We need our friends.
Come see us. Talk to us. Distract us. Just don't obsessively talk or ask us about the infertility process. We are already stuck in that mode ourselves.
8. Our plates are full.
We try to be present in our loved ones lives', but the fact is infertility and trying to conceive (or making plans after a miscarriage) can feel really daunting amongst the rest of our life responsibilities. We aren't trying to be selfish, but right now? Well, we sort of have to be.
9. We're finding a new normal.
A lot of women and men struggling with infertility are simply learning to find a new normal, which may mean constant rounds of IVF or accepting the fact that children may not be a possibility, at least, through pregnancy. Finding a new normal can be hard.
10. We don't want to hear about adoption.
We are thrilled that your friend adopted but not many people can afford that, so please don't throw that to us like a bone. Also, it's not a crime to want to reproduce your own flesh and blood.