Dr. Feingold says, "As a culture we think we need to take away people's pain and grief. We're forever trying to fix things. But what we need to do is sit with someone's pain and grief."
So what do you do when your friend is going through a crisis that you don't have first hand experience with? You listen. You express your sorrow for them. And you help out whenever possible.
Heather Cornett became pregnant with her first child while her closest friend was undergoing fertility treatments. Cornett says that she felt terrible for her friend, but was able to offer support by accompanying her to doctor's appointments and even giving her hormone injections when her husband was out of town.
When I was going through in vitro, I too had a friend who gave me a hormone shot in the ladies room of a swanky restaurant during a Girls Night Out. Another friend brought me homemade dinner the day I had embryos implanted in my womb and was put on semi-bed rest. These friends told me I was in their prayers, they crossed all their fingers and toes for me, and they cried along with me when one of the twins I was carrying suddenly stopped growing and died. They offered to drive me to appointments, put up with my drug-induced tantrums, and knew better than to call and ask, "Are you pregnant? Did it work this time?" every time I had a blood test. They gave me my space when I needed it and held me in their arms when I was ready to come out and talk.
Don't be surprised if it gets tough. It is painful to hear someone sob that they'll never have children or tell you how unfair life is for them. Listening to the details of the medical procedures, tests, and surgeries can make you cringe. Maybe your friend sounds like a broken record and you wish she'd just talk about something else for a change. Well, that's where the rubber meets the road, girlfriend. That's when you silently give thanks for the blessing in your belly and settle down to lend an ear to a friend in need.
Be Happy, Be Mindful
True friends rejoice in each other's good luck, so your friend is unquestionably happy for you, while inside she's also probably devastated about her own loss. You too, can have mixed emotions where your friend is concerned. Enjoy your pregnancy and relish all the fun and anticipation. Just be mindful of her feelings and give her kind of support and attention only a best friend can give.