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Thank you to Samantha at Rush To Hope Ministries for providing this guest post, just in time for Infertility Awareness Week – April 22-28, 2018.
She may not tell you right away, but you know something is wrong. The frequent doctor visits. How she’s stopped talking about baby names and avoided the last two baby showers.
Chances are, your friend is struggling with infertility like 1 in 8 other couples in America.
Infertility takes an emotional and physical toll on the body. Studies have found that the stress and depression women with infertility face are similar to that of cancer patients or people with chronic illness.
Lending Your Support Through Infertility:
How to be the Friend She Really Needs
Your friend is hurting and even if she hasn’t told you, she needs you to understand. So how can you reach out to be the friend she needs?
#1. Ask if she’s ok.
This should be normal, right? Tell her the things you’ve noticed, and that you’re worried about her. This will give her opportunity to open up and let you in if she’s ready.
Husbands are great, but most ladies need that extra conversation with a best friend. She is dealing with a lot of emotions, and her mind is consumed with becoming pregnant 24/7.
Do not keep asking when she is going to have a baby in hopes of her telling you! This may even cause her to avoid you all together.
#2. Listen when she wants to talk, and let her cry when she needs to.
You can’t fix it, so please don’t try. Sometimes you can’t even cheer her up so just cry with her.
A simple “I’m so sorry you are going through this. It’s not fair and this sucks!” could be what she needs to hear.
Her doctor visits are filled with tests, counting cycle days, medication, internal ultrasounds, giving herself shots, and a financial burden because most insurances won’t touch infertility treatments!
You may be the only friend she trusts with this information. Hold it close; don’t share her pain with anyone else.
#3. Don’t give her advice on how to get pregnant.
This might sound obvious to some, but I have heard all kinds of advice from home remedies to diets. Yes, some of this stuff might work, but if she is to the point of seeking medical help, she has tried it ALL!
There are actual medical reasons someone could be infertile, and doing a headstand for 15 minutes after intercourse won’t fix it!
Do not suggest adoption unless she brings it up! Adoption is a beautiful thing but it does not cure infertility, and should be given serious thought and prayer. Her heart must be ready for adoption, not just her mind.
#4. Don’t Avoid telling her things!
Don’t let her be the last to hear of a friend’s pregnancy. Don’t be scared to tell her of your own pregnancy. She won’t be mad at you!
She wants to rejoice with her close friends, she just wants the same for herself!
Invite her to those baby showers and events, but understand she might not come. Encourage her to find some support groups or even counseling if needed.
#5. Have girls nights without kids.
She needs her mind on other things than getting pregnant 24/7. Get her out of the house! Your circle of friends are changing from carefree nights to family nights. Your bestie can see and feel this…the fun girls nights out have changed to playdates that she’s not invited to, or is invited to, but that’s even worse.
If you can get a fun night out on the calendar (or any get together), keep your conversations from traveling down the mom train. Get a bunch of women together and inevitably the topic of childbirth will arise, and EVERYONE has a birthing story to share but your friend!
Take note if she feels uncomfortable. Be her way out. Excuse yourself to the bathroom and take her with you!
She needs to feel you are her safe zone to let it all out without advice or quick fixes.
She needs a place to vent and not be judged for her sometimes harsh thoughts.
The reality is this, friendships might change. She may not be able to handle being around your new baby, or it may be the highlight of her week.
We all travel this infertility journey differently, but if you stick to these 5 tips it will help you to be the friend she needs!
About the author
Samantha Morgan is a two-time adoptive mom and infertility survivor. Experienced in international and domestic adoption, Samantha loves sharing her motherhood story and experiences to help others find hope in their journey. Founder of Rush to Hope Ministries, she strives to build connections between people with similar paths so no one has to walk alone. You can read more from Samantha and get connected at RushtoHopeMinistries.com