Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why you don't say "just live childfree" or "just adopt" to an infertile couple

A while back, someone asked me why two specific phrases tend to make most people dealing with infertility go postal.

As tough as infertility is to go through, it is also difficult to witness. When someone you care about is dealing with it, you want to do the right thing, you want to help.

But it's so easy to feel a bit tongue-tied and awkward. When we feel awkward, there is a natural bit of defensiveness, a sort of backlash against the people we feel are making us tiptoe on eggshells. Or, a backlash against them telling us we crossed the line, hurt them or were offensive. It's easy to feel even more defensive when we Just Intended to Help.

But there are two things you can advise infertile couples to do, and neither, in my experience, is ever helpful. Both are, in my personal and anecdotal experience, the antithesis of help and are near guaranteed to cause pain when you intended support, and may net you an angry friend.

What are these two phrases?

1. just live childfree
2. just adopt

In addition to not saying those, you should never, ever, ever caveat either of those ideas with, "it's God's will." Then definitely never, ever, ever tell the infertile couple to "just accept God's will."

Want to know why I think this? Read on, and I'll explain...


In the communication model, so much factors in to what one person says and how the other person receives that.

If one person is dealing with infertility, you need to consider the communication model even more closely because infertility is so deeply painful and difficult. When emotions run as high as they do in fertility, it's easy to over-react and the targets for offense are larger and deeper.

Therefore, as with any interaction, you have to think about yourself (your frame of mind, your experiences, what you think, your desire to fix things for a hurting friend, and so forth) and consider that alongside your friend's needs. Is what you think needs to be said more important than what you know the other person needs?

(I don't mean pander and yes-man it by saying that. I'm simply saying to consider whether the moment calls for telling someone what you think they ought to do versus providing an unconditional listening ear and supportive shoulder and keeping your opinions to yourself.)

See, it's not just about me and it's not just about you. It all depends on the moment, the people involved, the circumstances, and the experience of each person.

Not to mention, everyone has their own opinion about reproduction. People make their choices about reproducing, or deal with the lot they were dealt, and then have strong opinions about how others choose or deal.

I had to get really good at figuring out whether in that moment I needed to address a situation or just let it slide off my back.

The difference was intent.

For example, when one friend kept wanting to talk to me---as I underwent testing for a diagnosis of infertility after having tried to conceive for over a year, unsuccessfully---about how unhappy she was with her surprise pregnancy, initially I tried to be a Good Friend, but it ripped me up inside and I cried after every conversation. Eventually, I told her I wasn't the right friend for this. I said I understood it was hard for her and I'd be a supportive friend, but I couldn't be her confessor about her deep and complicated unhappiness about the surprise pregnancy.

She called me selfish.

In another example, plenty of people weighed in with the, "Oh just relax, you'll get pregnant," and other anecdotes about their husband's cousin's sister's best friend who took a trip to Jamaica and got pregnant "without even trying." (Really? Someone call the Pope! ;) ) Although these stories were likely true, they trivialized my experience and ignored the difficult journey I was on. The comments were thoughtless and hurtful, even though the speakers weren't intending to be cruel. But, I didn't dwell on them, and got fairly good at preventing them from hurting by letting them slide off my back.

I did address it once, formally, in writing, after a verbal conversation netted no good results. I chose to address it this time because the comment was made by my doctor's nurse (general practitioner, not reproductive endocrinologist), and it stung. She told me I was "too young" to be worrying about all this "infertility business" already and if I just learned how to relax and "quit trying so hard" it would probably happen for me quickly. When I told her that comment was hurtful, and misplaced, she didn't feel the need to apologize. She simply heaped on additional judgment. I never went back to that doctor, and wrote a letter explaining why.

Now, with children, the comments fly faster and more furious than they did when I was childless. I look like One of Us, the Fertile, on the exterior and everyone assumes I am either fertile like them, or All Over It.

I was infertile, I am infertile, I always will be infertile. I'm never going to "get over it" in the sense that it's just some distant memory of this thing I went through but I got my beautiful daughters and all is well now and I'm just Normal.

First, I continue to deal with the health conditions that caused my infertility. Second, when you walk through fire, a bit of you melts. If you're lucky---and I count myself lucky on several planes---you come out re-forged, stronger, but changed.

I have a different mindset about reproduction. I always will. I think of it differently than most people do, most of the time. I don't make the same assumptions, or carry the same level of trust that of outcome that fertile people do. I also changed my mind about reproductive choices. I think differently about that, too.

I am different as a person, and a mother, as a result of my experience. I am different from someone who didn't deal with this.

This is typical, and not exclusive to infertility.

But that's what we're talking about.

Speaking of talking...

So what about these things you can and can't, or rather should and shouldn't say to people experiencing infertility?

Why shouldn't you tell them to adopt or live childfree, why is it cruel to tell them that maybe this is God's plan and they need to simply accept it?

Because it's not your problem, and you can't fix it.

Infertility is a journey and a process. People process through it at different paces.

"Why don't you just adopt?" oversimplifies the issue. Infertility is a very gradual process. So is adoption. Both are emotional, difficult, challenging journeys that require a great deal of time and investment...and money.

"Why don't you just adopt one of those poor 'less than perfect' children waiting for homes?" also oversimplifies the issue, and reminds us of being broken...makes us feel a bit leper-ish, in need of a colony with other broken people.

Sure, you never know with biological children...they might have special needs. True. But red herring irrelevant. Deciding to adopt a special needs child is fantastic, but takes a special person. Having infertility doesn't make you that special person. It's a big choice, big decision, big responsibility. Yes, I want every one of those children to have a loving home and the best chance. However, I doubt even eHarmony would decide that "infertile" and "special needs" is an automatic match up.

Remember, we all start out each new situation with the hope of good things. When you try to conceive and fail...it's tougher than you can imagine. Having a baby is such a fundamental thing, it's almost a promise, a right by the way our culture views it. Reaching for it and failing feels like the wrath of God.

And that's why you never tell someone it is the wrath of God.

You don't know God's will. He doesn't litter life with roadsigns. You can't divine his will by looking at tea leaves in the bottom of a cup...in the same way, you can't look at someone's infertility and decide this means God has a specific plan, such as living childfree, adopting, or adopting special needs. If you do believe, you can believe God has a plan, but all you can know is that you need faith.

We decided to have a baby. Like everyone else, our minds wandered through the possibilities: boy? girl? husband's eyelashes? fair like me or dark like him?

It's an amazing thought, combining bits of ourselves, and from that, a new person, who we were trusted to raise and love. It's awesome, truly.

When each of us decides to try, this dream is in our hearts.

When some of us meet challenges and obstacles in achieving this dream, there is no obvious simple solution. We don't fail to see the choices: pursue IF treatment, live childfree, adopt. We know these choices.

But as I said, it's our own journey that we need to walk. It's a process to step towards understanding it's not just biological but also a desire to love and parent.

I don't for one minute forget the fortune visited upon me in the form of my daughters. Sometimes it is a pressure that crushes my chest, this need to be worthy of the luck, which manifests as a desire to be perfect.

But mostly, I try to focus on the benefits that we came out of this with: our beautiful girls, our new role as parents and a new depth to us.

HUMP DAY tomorrow! Here's two topics, one for tomorrow and one for next week:

Hump Day Hmm for 9-26-07 (suggested by Emily of Wheels on the Bus): A Good Thing Going

Hump Day Hmm for 10-3-07: A challenge in my life and how it affected and affects me

Just write your post, link back to my blog, send the link to me at j pippert at g mail dot com and I'll link list you!

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
Julie Pippert REVIEWS: Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE
Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS: A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products
About-HOUSTON-TX.com: HOT scoop about H-Town!
n the

27 comments:

Gale said...

I feel your pain. You speak so eloquent and I being an older lady done with the childbearing thing. Can use your thoughts in my next step of life. I was just diagnosed with an illness. The fact that I am ill stunned me. The way the people are handling that are near and dear to me stun me even more. One recent memorable one: I'm glad it is happening to you and not me. I think I need to cultivate different friends. So thank you for your wise words and I will be back to (so to speak) set at your feet and learn.

Suz said...

You've really hit on some very good points with this post, not only the ways that some well-meaning (and some not so well-meaning) folks undermine their infertile friends, but how infertility sticks with you.

kim said...

We have friends struggling with infertility so this post is really helpful. Particularly the adoption thing. I'm not a process kind of girl, I'm more the give me a damn baby now, so I tend to forget that both options are a long gradual process.

And don't even get me started on the God's will thing. Those who make such comments have a very limited understanding of God.

Kyla said...

"It is God's will." is the NUMBER ONE thing you should never say to ANYONE as a verbal comfort. It is such a slap in the face. Ack. Also not a comfort, "God is in control." even if I believe that, it doesn't not keep bad things from happening, obviously!

This was good. It makes me so angry for you. I hate that people cannot simply be there, they must FIX and ADVISE and nine times out of ten, that isn't what we need at all. Your friend who was complaining about her pregnancy and turned around to call you selfish. Irk! It is so upsetting.

I wrote a couple of similar posts last November (I think) about the asinine things people had said to me about KayTar. These were in the early days, when the possibilities on the table included things ending in death. I just stopped talking to everyone, because I could not take the "comforting words" that came across like slaps in the face. I always remember that and I try and never offer those sorts of comforts. A shoulder and an ear, yes. Empty words to make myself feel better about what someone else is going through, no.

Julie Pippert said...

Gale, you are so right: the lessons from this extend far beyond infertility. My experiences have made me more sensitive to what Kyla mentioned, "Empty words to make myself feel better about what someone else is going through." That's what any of us struggling with a surprise that takes us out of the "healthy" or "norm" category deal with too often. I'm sorry you have heard these hurtful things...especially the one you mentioned! You are right again in that it is them, not you. But, I found with some I can help them realize. Maybe this would work with some people you know? Big (HUGS) to you of support. And I'm so glad you came by, and will be back. :)

****

Suz, AMEN. I found that sometimes the desire for it to be all fixed wasn't so much for me as for them.

****

Kim I hope to get you started on that...I like it when you get started. :) If I can EVER be a resource to you or your friends, I am here; use me.

****

Kyla, oh friend, awesome comment. Yes, you hit it so perfectly.

I'm going to try hard to find a way to articulate this as well as you articulated your points so bear with me LOL.

Sometimes, we *think* we are thinking of the other person but we really aren't. We're still guided by our own desires and needs. It means we make the situation about ourselves instead of the other person. It means we hear our own thoughts more than we listen to the other person's needs.

And THAT is when we come out with the hurtful things that we THINK are well-intended, such as ADVICE or FIXES.

In the end, this can too often be the case you summed up so well with, "Empty words to make myself feel better about what someone else is going through."

It has to do with insecurity (and Gale, this is applicable again, like you said, for more than just IF, and as Kyla demonstrates) and worries and fears and personal needs.

We don't want there to be bad things, but some scare and worry us worse than others. That tunes us too much in to yourselves sometimes,and too much out from others.

I hope that made sense. It's so complicated, and not an absolute.

Kyla, it troubles me too when I hear others getting these sorts of slaps.

Because of my experience, I try to be sensitive but know I don't always know and thus goof at times.

Anyway, awesome comment!

PunditMom said...

This is so beautifully written, I wish that all the people who made similar comments to us as we were on that road would read it. Out outcome was different -- we adopted PunditGirl. And even then, people feel free to question that decision -- why adopt from another country? Aren't "our" kids right here in the U.S. good enough for you? There are so many issues that come up that people act like they understand, but they don't. I've tried to come up with some snappy comebacks to all the questions and comments -- I'm still working on that.

Aliki2006 said...

You did such a fabulous job writing about this, and you offered a beautiful perspective.

Mary-LUE said...

Somewhere along the line, I learned this lesson, although I'm hesitant to say that I did learn it. I know there've been times when I've forgotten it and "slipped" in some advice during times I should have just listened.

It hit home with me the strongest when my friend who was pregnant with twins was obviously going to lose one. We knew it was coming but it was slow and there was all this horrible waiting for the inevitable. Watching her go through that, I realized there was never, ever going to be a thing I could say that would "fix" that.

So, I tried just to tell her that I loved her and I cried with her and I tried to do little things for her--not things that would fix it but things that would hopefully support her.

It is a hard line not to cross but it is a line best not crossed.

Gina Pintar said...

Well you know I am not over it! LOL.

I am also supposed to be over it. I am also supposed to now apologize for how *I* made others uncomfortable when I was going thru those really rough times. REALLY? What about how they made me feel? What about my feelings? No one cared about me and my feelings back then.

See, see how over it I am!

Great job.

painted maypole said...

very good. I was very lucky to not have to deal with this, but have been the listening ear for many friends, and am shocked to hear what people would say to them!

Sober Briquette said...

I have a friend in this situation - she has a 3 year old, but has been unable to conceive again. She's sad and confused right now about her options (donor egg = no, adoption = ?), and I worry about the stress on her marriage, that she and her husband likely have different levels of desire to expand their family (her husband is one of 12 children!). I hope I can be the sort of listening friend she will need.

Sarcasm Abounds said...

I am going thru this now as the husband. Now that we've tried to set the infertility past behind us, and have started down the long road of adoption, the sheer amount of misinformation is daunting, (not to mention sticker shock on how much.)

My least favorite is the endless comments like: "Oh my cousin/friend/sister's roommate couldn't conceive either, but as soon as they adopted, she got pregnant - probably just because of lower stress" Gee thanks, is that what it was? Silly us...
SA

Emily said...

You said it, sister. In addition, you never know what options people are considering and what that is doing to them. Say (hypothetically, of course) that one spouse wants to adopt but the other does not. It is really not going to help the tension for you to bring it up.

May I add one more thing? Never tell infertile people that they just need to "give it time." They may smack you.

bubandpie said...

Really, any sentence that begins with "Why don't you just..." seems unlikely to end in a sensitive or supportive way. The word "just" should just be removed from the vocabulary altogether when dealing with an issue like infertility.

Christine said...

i'm supposed to be on vacation here but. . .

great post. like some commenters said this can apply to many situations i think. great perspective, j.

Catherine said...

Several of my close friends have lost babies, and they ran into the same kinds of comments....I'm sure the universe thanks you for this post...

Louise said...

People are truly amazing when they speak without thinking. I agree that they speak not to be there for the other person as much as to feel like they are helping... hmmm a bit selfish.

We have done the infertility and then started adopting. We have 3 beautiful childern by adoption and 1 by birth. They are all miracles. We have had to teach them to laugh at the thoughtless comments people make in front of them. Our favorite... "are these your 'real' children?" One of these days I will respond, "no, these are my plastic children, I keep the real ones in storage!"... :D

liv said...

At the risk of being a total b*tch, I have to say that I don't even understand why someone would be stupid enough to ask you why those phrases are offensive. I did not have complex fertility problems, but they did stall out the childbearing process for quite a while. People don't seem to get that whether they repeatedly ask you when you're going to have children, why you don't, or offer there opinions they hurt. They hurt your dream and your feelings. Friends keep their mouths shut unless it's to support your reproductive journey however it goes.

Snoskred said...

I think that people just want to show they care, and in their mind saying either of those things is the equivalent of caring. And to most people those are the next logical options.

People want to solve problems for their friends. People feel good if they can do that.

I read a few blogs where people have adopted and one of them makes me cry every single time, the kids are just so gorgeous together even though they were adopted at different times.

I wrote once about how we're infertile due to the other half's ex wife insisting he have a vasectomy. In some ways it's a good thing for us, neither of us feel the need to have children. I don't want to inflict me on a poor innocent kid. ;)

But I still, somewhere inside, resent the fact that the choice was taken out of my hands and by a woman who is the essence of pure evil. Satan is alive and well, and used to be married to my other half. I'm not kidding.

I know better than to say those things now - but at the same time I have seen several successful adoptive families and how happy they are, so I wonder if it is ever ok to approach this topic with someone you really care about who is infertile? I mean, they could choose to be on the path to having kids who aren't their own biological kids but who are family all the same, right?

Snoskred
www.snoskred.org

Lawyer Mama said...

"When you walk through fire, a bit of you melts."

Oh yes.

Oh yes. I know, sweetie.

You know I've been told to "get over" the infertility label now that I have 2 children. But you're so right that walking through that fire and brimstone changes you in an elemental way. You never, ever make assumptions. And once you do get pregnant you're constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and the inevitable miscarriage. Or waiting for the problems with the pregnancy and baby because of your health issues. And then the problems with your child.

I'm still deeply affected by every. single. miscarriage. By every hope dashed. By every promise of someone that was a part of me.

Sometimes we forget and we start talking about having another. And then I remember that it may not be "our" choice to make. That still makes me cry in a way nothing else can.

I know people are (usually) well intentioned when they make all of those statements. But what was worse for me was the silence. There were so many people who just pretended that nothing was happening to me. That everything was exactly the same. That I was exactly the same.

OK, I'll stop now because I've overrun your comments with my sobbing enough for today....

(((HUGS))) for both of us.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh, you've been Sk*rt'ed.

slouching mom said...

Bub and Pie, as always, is spot on. There's something wrong with the word "just" in that context, there really is.

Excellent post!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I never suffered from infertility, but I had two very close friends who did. I, too, experienced that "eggshell" feeling....but I found it much easier to just lay the cards on the table. I asked each of them what I could do to help...did they want to talk about it? Did they want me to pretend it wasn't happening? This led to many honest, open conversations with them and I was able to be the best friend I could for them at the time. It even prompted a phone call from one who tearfully explained that she simply could not be around my kids (when JM was an infant). While at first glance my feelings were hurt, I appreciated her honesty and we had adult only meetings until she was able to adopt her son. Imagine that.....honesty....maybe it IS the best policy! :)

Julie Pippert said...

Punditmom, oh yes, criticizing one's adoption path, yes, yes, different words, same thing. Sorry you got that, but sadly it seems inevitable.

I got it for deciding to undergo IF tx too...'what? the kids up for adoption aren't enough for you?' And my friend got it for adopting domestically, 'oh you know those kids will all get homes, it's the poor children in other countries...'

It boils down to thoughtlessness, ingrained in one's own view to the exclusion of the other person, oh a myriad of things...but the bottom line is a judgment of selfish and wrong decision and that's just so, so wrong.

We often have a myriad of choices and one isn't right, one is simply right for us.

I don't, can't---WON'T---regret a single decision I made because it netted me my girls.

****

Aliki, thanks!

****

M-L, you know, most of us go through something, and it's either eyes wide open or eyes wide shut. If it's open, we come out with a sort of knowledge, a lesson learned (which doesn't mean perfect implementation every time---although I hear you, yes, feel the same, I even goof with IF talk!). Your friend probably appreciated you so much.

Yes, a hard line, but one best not crossed.

****

Gina, I will never, ever understand the demand for apologies for making others feel badly. That's a whole post there are so many levels upon which that troubles me.

But I will say that the expectation of constant and endless 'grace under fire' can get unreasonable.

****

PM, yes, and your friends are lucky to have your ear. :)

****

De, There's no way to compare pain, but sometimes I felt even worse for my friends dealing with secondary IF. IMHO, Queen's advice (just above this probably) is how I always preferred people to be. You can be, I am sure, the friend she needs, just because you are thinking of her, and want to be, and you are a good person. GL to you both.

****

Sarcasm Abounds, OH MY, adopting as IF tx. Yes, we got that one. As if one should adopt one child in order to conceive another. As if that is the sure fire IF success method. Do people even realize what they're saying?

When we were deciding about the adoption process, the biggest help we got was from Open Door, which hosted seminars and provided free help (or donate as you can afford). They helped us learn so much about adoption and the process. Alas, they were exclusive to MA.

GL with your adoption process.

And thanks for commenting.

****

Emily, exactly...you never know what someone has considered and why they are pursuing the path they are, and how it is affecting them or where each partner is with the situation (yes, likely slightly different, at least, because we process and feel and think differently). Only you can know when something is right, or wrong, or enough.

And yes, add away! "Just give it time" and "Relax" are the two things that nurse said that sent me postal.

****

B&P, excellent point! There are many variations on the phrasing, too:

"Don't you think it's about time you..."

"You should..."

to name a couple.

Yes, there is no "just" for infertility, or most major issues like this.

****

Christine, thanks for popping in despite your vacation. :) Yes, you can substitute in any issue here.

****

Catherine, I hope the universe does. :) It's so broad, this topic, that it feels hard to do justice in one post. And yes, whether it is loss of trouble conceiving, there is this fundamental issue some people have that seems to trigger comments of this ilk.

****

Louise, yes indeed. And the "real" mom and dad and "real" children comments SLAY ME, especially when said where kids can hear. One time I read a great article/post about new vocabulary, a desire for "real" to be taken out of talk. They are your children, period. No qualifier required.

****

Liv, you rock. LOL YOu managed to cover it so perfectly, succinctly. "People don't seem to get that whether they repeatedly ask you when you're going to have children, why you don't, or offer there opinions they hurt. They hurt your dream and your feelings. Friends keep their mouths shut unless it's to support your reproductive journey however it goes." Awesome.

And also? When you tell them this? And they persist? You really, really wonder.

****

Snoskred,

While there are many choices to make in IF, "next logical option" isn't one. There is nothing logical about IF, or dealing with IF.

I think the people usually do care, to some degree. And yes, in their minds, they think they intend good....but as so many have said, it's not really good, it's selfish.

"People want to solve problems for their friends. People feel good if they can do that."

Yes, and this is EXACTLY the problem. This isn't the friend's role. It's not the friend's problem, and the friend can't fix it. The person herself is trying, and simply needs the friend's support. Support isn't interference, Monday quarterbacking, assessment, and direction. It's being there, period.

The sentence itself shows the problem: the focus is on what the friend wants and needs, not on the person needing the friend.

Liv nailed the friend's role perfectly: "Friends keep their mouths shut unless it's to support your reproductive journey however it goes."

Stepping beyond that is crossing the line, like Mary-Lue said.

Even if you say, "I don't know what to do!" it's really usually rhetorical.

This is my journey and I have to travel it. I might like good friends to carry my pack and ease my burden a bit, but I don't hand over the map to them.

See what I mean?

So in answer to your question, no.

As many have said, those of us on this path know our choices. We know what the possibilities are. We know what we've thought about, what we decided for now, how it is affecting us, what it means to us, and so forth.

Nobody else knows that.

Yes, there are many happy adoptive families and they are beautiful.

But some people end infertility treatment and choose something else.

If people decide to get on the adoption path, they'll decide when and how.

Does it make sense how telling someone they ought to consider adoption implies (a) they don't know that, (b) they haven't done, (c) you have no faith that what they are doing will work, and (d) their bodies are broken and so are their minds because they must need someone else to explain to them their choices and options? You lose so much control in IF. Deciding what and when and how is about all that's left to you.

Simple support.

Or...ask..."What can I say or do?" as Queen suggests.

Listen.

You rock for wondering.

****

LM, (HUGS)

When I got my diagnosis and the doctor looked at me and said, "No more kids. Your body can't conceive any way right now, and you can't be pregnant while getting treatment, which is a matter of years, not months, years. Long-term. And you are already advanced maternal age. You'd be over 40. Two will have to be enough." or words to that effect, I felt the floor fall out from under me.

Sure, we are accepting it and saying goodbye to more dreams and choices.

But oh it hurt.

So I understand. (HUGS) again.

You described so perfectly the changes, the lack of assumptions.

The silence, yes, pretending like it isn't, yes. It can be worse. There's nothing to grab on to in silence.

Thanks for the sk*rt!

And thanks for the great comment. :)

****

SM, thanks!

****

Queen, you rock. That is EXACTLY the friend I always wanted. Your understanding, even in the face of your own potential hurt, is so awesome. Yes, honesty. Great comment, thanks!

****

Thanks to all for the great comments, points, stories, thoughts, and questions.

atypical said...

Speaking as one who has been known to stand, awkwardly (like when my sister was going through infertility), and finally come out with something insipid like, "I am so sorry. I wish there was something I could say or do to fix it, but there isn't," I apologize.

Speaking as someone who, for a somewhat brief period of time was classified as infertile (but held that classification guiltily because of my four living children and the fact that I could easily get pregnant....just couldn't stay that way), I can really sympathize with the hurt of the things people say.

Speaking as one who heard some really ghastly comments from people who meant well after Caleb died, I give you a hug in solidarity.

I agree with B&P about the word "just."

I know, on the God's will thing, during my first subsequent pregnancy (after Caleb), I tended to cut that one off by saying, "Look, I know God is looking out for me, but I can tell you from experience that doesn't mean nothing bad will happen, and sometimes that is scary."

-t

mpearl said...

Oh, I just had to comment on this one. First, "When you walk through fire, a bit of you melts." Wow, I wish I could think of these things. You are so right. I suffered from infertility,too. Miscarriages, chromosonal abnormalities, unable to conceive. Been there. Although I have 3 beautiful healthy children and thank the Lord everyday for my blessings from heaven ; I do not and will not ever forget what it is like to feel helpless when everyone else seems to be able to have what should be your God given right, too. I am also forever changed from this experience
( seems like too small of a word). I now have friends who are going through similar situations and I try to just be there to listen. Ask what I can do to help. Infertility is a life changing experience, not unlike having children. Whenever you think your life is going one way and is changed by 360degrees (for good or bad) there is going to be some soul searching involved. Be kind, be patient, and for heaven's sake don't give random advice laced with cliches. My mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I have no clue what to say to her. I do try to just let her know I am here for her for whatever she may need. Many times, like in many cases, it is just an ear or a shoulder.
Great post!

KMH said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post. I'm in the camp of people who got pregnant by accident, so it's helpful to me to read your thoughts on this.