There is a blog discussion going on over at It’s Almost Naptime!
I have enjoyed reading this blog for a while now, and I know you will all enjoy Missy, as well! She is witty, and wise, and is a mommy to four beautiful kids. The topic she brought up is what to say (or not to say) to an infertile friend.
This can be such a hard thing. It’s hard to know when and what to say, or if you should say anything at all.
So, because I tend to have an opinion about EVERYTHING, and because I actually do have some experience in this area, I thought I would weigh in.
My husband and I tried for many years to become pregnant, we have done the treatments, and understand (however much one can) what it is to be infertile.
My husband and I are building our family through adoption. Adoption, for us, was by no means a “last resort” or our “plan B”, as we had desired to include adoption in our plan for children.
The best thing you can do for your infertile friend is let them know that you care. Let them know you are praying for them, hurting with them, and supporting them. Listen, and then listen some more. Pray for them, and then pray some more. When they get bad news, tell them you are sorry, and let them talk if they want to. Send them a card to let them know you care. Your friend doesn’t need advice or words, just your loving support and friendship.
A few things not to say:
“You just need to relax” or “Maybe you should take a vacation”
We all know of someone who had trouble conceiving, and then became pregnant when she “relaxed”. Couples who are able to conceive after relaxing are, in fact, not infertile. Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor.
“God has another plan for you” or “Maybe this is God’s way of telling you you’re not supposed to be a parent”
One of the most hurtful things I’ve ever heard was that maybe God didn’t mean for me to be a mother. This is so unnecessarily insensitive. I know this person did not mean it in a mean way, but to me it implied that I would be such a bad mother that God felt I needed to be divinely sterilized. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God.
Josh and I have been so blessed to have the greatest friends in the world, and we have always felt unbelievably supported and loved. I have heard of some pretty insensitive things said to infertile women, and I always feel so sad for them. Then I thank God I have the friends I have! If not for you, my God-sent loved ones, I never would have made it through those years!