Sharing Your Pregnancy News with a Fertility-Challenged Friend
She’s your best friend, so of course she should attend your baby shower, right? In fact, aren’t best girlfriends supposed to host the shower? Well, maybe. If your friend offers to throw you a shower that’s great, just don’t expect it, because it may be too much to ask. All those baby gifts and pregnant women talking about babies non-stop is extraordinarily painful for someone who’s struggling to conceive. Also, understand if she just wants to drop by the shower for a while, but might need to excuse herself if one too many well-meaning lady asks her, “So when are you going to have a baby?”
On the other hand, don’t even consider taking her off the invite list. She’s a big girl and can make her own decisions, so give her the courtesy of deciding for herself what she can handle right now. Just remember that it’s absolutely not a reflection of her feelings for you or your friendship if she decides to just send a gift and skip the main event.
Kelly Derrick is a mother of three boys and one of those lucky women who got pregnant each time from just holding hands with her husband. She’s also a Methodist pastor and knows a thing or two about just listening when someone is expressing their grief. She recalls being pregnant and talking to a friend who wasn’t: “I couldn’t empathize with her because I’d never been in her situation. But I could sympathize. I could listen and say, ‘I’m so sorry.’”
Dr. Madeline Licker Feingold, PhD, a fertility counselor and psychologist who specializes in reproductive medicine says, “If people haven’t gone through infertility, they don’t get it. They can relate to something like a serious illness or a death in the family, but this … not so much.”
Although it’s so very tempting, and the words are on the tip of your tongue, resist the urge to say things like, “I know it will happen for you some day.” Or “It’s going to work this time!” or “You can always adopt.” Anyone who’s experienced long-term infertility is undoubtedly tired of that sort of cheerleading. Don’t try to make things better. Just be there.
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