There is a common thread when it comes to having conversations about infertility – open, honest, raw, and vulnerable communication. I am not talking about the surface level “how was your day” type of discussions. These conversations are the “pour your heart out and be vulnerable” type that reach another level in a relationship. Also strung throughout, is asking. Ask, do not make assumptions. Ask no matter how awkward you think it is. Not asking hurts more than asking.
Conversations with my infertile friend
(Applies to anyone who is pregnant, getting pregnant or already have kids. They all apply because the one thing you have – pregnancy/kids – they do not.)
- I feel guilty when I am around you. I wish I did not, but it is so hard hearing your story knowing I am growing, yet another baby inside, or already have kids. I wish I could make it better.
- I wish I could make it better.
- I feel awkward talking about my pregnancy, or my kids, because I can only imagine how hard having a discussion like that must be for you. I want to talk about my excitement.
- I want to be sensitive to your situation.
- I do not know how to talk about such a serious/difficult situation. Sometimes I find it easier not to ask for fear talking about it makes it harder for you..
- I hurt when you hurt.
- I am afraid to upset you.
Conversations with my fertile friend
(Applies to anyone who is going through infertility and their friends are pregnant, getting pregnant or already have kids. They all apply because the one thing you want – pregnancy/kids – they have.)
- I am happy for you and your family, or growing family, but understand I might not be able to physically show you that all the time. I can congratulate you, but might have to duck out of the room, cue the tears. Seeing your kids can be hard as it is a reminder of how much I wish I had my own. I see how much joy and love they bring you, and long for that same opportunity.
- I want to talk about my infertility because I do not want to do this alone. Ask me how I want to discuss this topic.
- I want to be included. Please avoid assumptions that we don’t to hang out with couples who do or do not have kids just because we do not have our own. Invite us and give us the option to tell you if we can come or not.
- It is not our fault we do not have kids. The blame for this should not be placed upon myself or my husband. We want children desperately, but for whatever reason are unable to. Do not place personal blame on us for this being the path we are on.
- I want you to avoid making assumptions about my situation, feelings or struggles. The only way you are going to get a glimpse of what I am going through is by asking, so please do.
- Treat me like you would any of your other friends who has kids. What we are going through is anything but “normal” so being treated normally is appreciated.
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Please share with someone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait.