It’s often difficult to know how to support someone going through infertility, especially around the holidays. You want to, but are at a loss as to how. Introducing 12 Days of Supporting Your Friend Going Through Infertility: Ways to care for them during the holidays.
What it really comes down to is this: Your friend feeling seen, valued and worthy of your time and attention during an extremely difficult time. It can be summed up in one word: loved. That’s all any of us want when life gets hard.
Hopefully you find these ideas easy and fun to do. I invite you to put them into practice to show your support for someone you love who’s navigating infertility.
On the FIRST day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: A Trip Down Memory Lane
Share one of your favorite memories with your friend. It could be a trip, being roomies, a concert, etc.
- Text them a throwback photo of the memory
- Record a video of yourself telling the story of how you remember the event unfolding
- Reenact the memory and send them a video of it – props, hair, makeup and attire are a must.
On the SECOND day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: Listening Ears
We all want to be understood and being a good listener is a MAJOR source of support for your friend navigating infertility. Steer clear of dismissive statements and instead reinforce and empathize with the emotions and feelings they’re experiencing. When a person feels heard, appreciated and accepted it’s a huge sense of relief.
- Listen with the intent to understand vs. reply
- Be emotionally present when your friend is talking
- Remove all distractions when you’re engaged in conversation
This could look like:
- I hear you’re upset. This is hard. I’m here for you. This is a safe place to share exactly how you’re feeling.
- I see how much this hurts you.
- I wish you weren’t experiencing this.
- I’m so sorry this is happening.
- I see why that’s so frustrating.
- I would feel so stressed in that situation too.
- I feel how much this is breaking your heart. Mine is breaking for you, too.
- I can feel the pain you feel.
On the THIRD day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: A Phone Call
Call with the intent to ask how they’re REALLY doing, and be sure to ask about their infertility journey. If you’re hesitant about what to say, be honest and tell them instead of avoiding it. Difficult situations are not to be ignored. Your friend needs you even more during this time so please keep the lines of communication going no matter how uncomfortable it feels.
- Ask if they are in a good place to talk about this
- I’m not sure how to ask this, but I care about your well being and wanted to know how you’re really doing with trying to get pregnant. I may not be able to fully understand what you’re going through or feeling, but I love you and am here for you.
- Ask validating questions
- How are you feeling about your infertility journey?
- What one thing would make this process better for you?
- Have there been any blessings in disguise during this time?
- What’s surprised you the most about this experience?
- How do you feel most supported?
- What frustrates you the most right now?
On the FOURTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: A Compliment
More than the physical kind. Sure, it’s nice to be complimented on our physical features, but the ones rooted in our character and personality fill our hearts.
- You are so brave.
- I constantly learn from you.
- Your energy and excitement is contagious.
- I always feel safe when talking to you.
- You have the biggest heart.
- Your resilience is inspiring.
- I constantly learn from you.
- The way you love people is beautiful.
- You are so kind.
On the FIFTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: Grace
We all make mistakes, forget stuff, or say things we wish we could take back. These may seem magnified during difficult times. Why? Because you’re at a heightened sensitivity level due to your circumstances. Just like any other relationship, friendship involves give and take. The current season your friend is in might require more taking and lots of giving of grace.
- Respect their decision to not attend kid centered events
- Be patient
- Embrace them in their brokenness
- Be honest
- Share your time and attention, even if it’s not equally returned
- Give tough love
- Lift each other up vs knocking down
- Be quick to love vs judge
- Expect the best vs the worst
On the SIXTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: Prayers
Prayer is the greatest source of power known to human beings. Be intentional when you say you’re going to pray. Use it daily to support your friend.
- Let my friend feel your love today.
- May they feel peace at their upcoming appointment.
- Give them guidance and direction on next steps.
- We’re trusting and believing in your promises.
- May they grow and deepen their relationship with you during this time.
- Thanking you in advance for getting my friend pregnant.
On the SEVENTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: A Gift
It’s truly the thought that counts. Giving your friend a gift lets them know the one thing they want most: you’re thinking of me.
- Gift card to their favorite restaurant, store, etc.
- Subscription service – groceries, fitness, movies, music, car wash
- Fertility Coaching
On the EIGHTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: Laughter
During infertility, smiles can often be few and far between. So send them something to make them laugh!
- A meme you recently saw
- Send a book that had you laughing out loud
- An article or quote that you thought was hysterical
- A video you couldn’t stop laughing about
- Share a fun board game for them to play
- A video of yourself being silly
On the NINTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: Mail
Your friend navigating infertility is getting plenty of mail, bills that is. Getting surprise mail from you during this time is a much needed break and sure to put a smile on their face. Snail mail is one of my favorites!
- Make a card – messy and imperfect using construction paper, glue, stickers and glitter make it all the better
- Write an old fashioned letter
- Send a Fill in the Blank Encouragement Card
- Notebook paper works great to relive the days of passing notes in class
On the TENTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: A Follow-Up
It’s not about saying the right or wrong thing; it’s about showing up and supporting your friend with your very presence. That’s what they need and want most during this difficult time. Following up is critical in showing them they’re not alone on this journey; they have you.
- After doctor appointments
- If you haven’t seen or heard from them in awhile
- Around holidays, special occasions or anniversaries
On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: A Delivery
There’s nothing like a surprise package left at your door to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Have fun and get creative with the different type of deliveries that can be dropped of.
- Cookie Bouquet
- Homemade meal or dessert
- White Elephant Gift
On the TWELFTH day of Christmas my true friend gave to me: Continuous Check-ins
Infertility is a day by day, month to month and for some year after year monkey on their back. It doesn’t go away with the weather, when the sun goes down or if you’re on vacation. That’s why continually checking in with your friends navigating infertility is so crucial. Your friend just wants to be seen, understood and worthy of your time and attention during an extremely difficult time. It can be summed up in one word: loved. That’s all any of us want when life gets hard.
- Set a reminder in your calendar to touch base each month
- Use any of the 11 days of Christmas as a guide
- Give the gift of Fertility Coaching, which includes check-ins
Please share with someone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait.