Disclaimer: Today's post is a "thank you" to our friends/family that support us in every way possible in this valley of life (for example, one of my sweet friends from college who called me on Monday night), and a "please read this" for people who don't understand infertility struggles.
Everyone goes through trials and tribulations. And the truth is: I GET IT; I have a pretty great life. But it's not perfect, nor will it ever be.
I'm convinced that people in my life have a tough job. Because of our struggle to get pregnant, some (not all) of our friends and family suddenly don't know how to act around us, or how to talk to us about the anything related to pregnancy. And I don't say that in a negative way. How can I blame them? If they've never been through the experience, then how would they know how to act or what to say?
That being said, it's still very possible to learn how to be sensitive to couples struggling with infertility.
First and foremost, if you avoid talking about it or pretend that it doesn't exist, it actually makes things worse. It's not uncommon for my close friends and other people my age to announce that they're pregnant. It is nothing short of a true blessing. However, if you call me out of the blue to announce your pregnancy, be expected to somehow, someway let me know that you still love me despite our struggles, and that you know we'll be great parents one of these days. Of course, I want to be giddy with you over your growing miracle, but it's not fair to completely disregard my struggle as if it's insignificant. If the roles were reversed and you prayed daily to get pregnant, and then I called you saying, "we weren't even trying!" and I didn't say a single word to you about your struggles, how would that make you feel? I imagine it would put a knot in your throat.
My sweet friend from college... bless her sweet soul. She called me Monday and I immediately knew before answering. Within probably 5 minutes of being on the phone, I just broke down. No, it wasn't because I was jealous or mad at her - how could I be?! She, without a single doubt, will be an awesome mom. I am secretly predicting it will be a boy. But rather, I started crying because for the first time, someone actually acknowledged my feelings. That's a true friendship. She got straight to the point. "Allison, I kept wanting to call you, and then I'd hang up. I didn't know the right words to say, but I'm here for you... and I'm pregnant!"
It may sound selfish on my part, but I can assure you that it's not selfishness to ask that my feelings be considered. It's called respect. People like her will forever be in my life, because in tough time they prove their worth. And she is priceless. And her wittle baby on the way is going to be spoiled with love and kisses by me... trust that.
Because this is getting a bit too lengthy, I'm just gonna add in one more point.
The second tip that I have when dealing with loved ones struggling with pregnancy: You don't have the slightest understanding of how difficult it can be, so rather than give advice, just be present, supportive, and loving.
I am absolutely not looking for advice when I'm in tears over our struggles; that's the very last thing I want. I am looking to be consoled and reminded that God knows my desires... and that this pain is only temporary. And that IN FACT, one of these days, I am gonna rock at being a momma.
Since husband & I are on the verge of starting the IUI process, I am filled with hope, but also want to be mindful of my other sisters who struggle with this topic. My philosophy? God only puts people through what he knows that they can handle. And good gracious, I am one strong woman.