3 Ways You Can Encourage Friends Struggling with Infertility

When you have a family member or friend struggling with infertility, it can be hard to know exactly what to do or say to them. Here are a few tips to help you encourage them through their infertility struggle.

After losing two pregnancies to miscarriage, it’s been hard for my husband and I to talk about having children. Once upon a time we spoke about having multiple children. We wanted 3, 4, or maybe even 5. We wanted a big family and lots of pets. We used to spend so many nights laying in bed talking about baby names and when we thought we might be ready. Once upon a time we looked so forward to pregnancy, babies, parenthood, and family.

When I conceived our first child we were overjoyed. I was a few days late and couldn’t wait the full week like they recommend so I bought an e.p.t test at the store and took it as soon as I got home. I saw a positive result almost immediately. I know I’m not alone because statistics show that approximately 8 out of 10 women first learned they were pregnant from a home pregnancy test, and nearly half said they took the test immediately after buying it. It’s just so hard to wait, you know?

After getting that positive result, we couldn’t wait to make phone calls and tell everyone that we had a little one on the way. It was one of the happiest days we had experienced together. That first miscarriage crushed us.

I still remember crying in my husband’s arms the night I came home from the hospital. I sat on the edge of our bed trembling with tears and feeling so broken. I kept asking him what I had done wrong as if I had somehow failed our baby and caused the miscarriage. In the years that have followed since then we’ve lost another pregnancy, opened conversations with an agency about adoption, and very recently we spoke with my OBGYN about our fertility options including artificial insemination and IVF. 

Brandon and Ashley LaMar

It’s hard for us to think about fertility treatments. When you’re young you take so many precautions because it seems like pregnancy is always a mistake lurking right around the corner just waiting for you to forget protection or be too careless. Even in the beginning, when we felt like we were ready, we tried not to “plan” it and instead figured we would just let things happen. We didn’t want to take ovulation tests, track my temperature, watch cervical mucus, or feel like we had to schedule sex. We know that good things can happen when you least expect them. I mean, 45 percent of women surveyed (by e.p.t as part of their 40th anniversary survey about the emotional journey that women experience as they wait to find out if they are pregnant โ€“ and how it has changed over the years. The survey asked more than 600 women between the ages of 22 and 60 their thoughts about getting pregnant, finding out whether they are pregnant and what the experience is like) said that their pregnancy was unplanned and we thought we’d be lucky enough to be the same way. Obviously, we were wrong.

Now that we are on this adoption and this fertility treatment journey I wanted to share a few ways that you can encourage your family and friends (and favorite bloggers ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) as they set off down the journey of trying to conceive their rainbow baby.

Offer introductions to someone that can relate 

If you know someone that has been in similar shoes offer to introduce them to one another. I’m telling you that there is nothing I would love more right now than to be able to relate to other women who have been in the same place I find myself right now. If you know someone that has been through infertility and fertility treatments, offer to connect them via social media, email, or telephone. Sometimes a new friendship with someone that “gets it” is exactly what you need.

Encourage selfishness

Right now my mind is almost completely encompassed by getting pregnant and having a baby. It’s almost all that’s on my mind and there’s no doubt to me that my work and my blog has suffered. Last week I had a friend tell me, “I’m coming over and we’re going out. She made me order a cocktail, get a pedicure, and buy something new for myself because, as she put it, “You need to take care of yourself right now and it’s ok to be a little selfish.” She was right and I do need to take time to take care of myself but hearing someone else say it made me feel better about actually doing it.

Share your good news

While we’ve been struggling with our infertility my sister has borne two children – a daughter and a son. A lot of our friends have had children or are currently expecting children. Yes, it’s hard for us to hear and yes, it makes us want to cry but YES, WE WANT YOUR GOOD NEWS. It helps us to know that others are still feeling joy over babies and it continually gives us hope that one day we’ll have our blessed rainbow baby.

(Just like when we went to Orlando to celebrate my little niece’s birthday. I pushed the stroller…it was hard but I loved every second of it).

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But please do not…

  • Say to “just relax”
  • Say, “Well, you can always try to adopt.”
  • Exclude us from your parties or festivities because children will be present (we are adults and I’m sure we can handle it)

E.P.T test Right now, we are doing everything we can to move forward and add a sweet little babe to our family. I’m fortunate to have the support of an amazing family, great friends, and you fabulous blog readers. 

I’m also stocked on e.p.t tests which are the only tests I’m trusting with our results each month. It is the original home pregnancy test and has been successfully used by millions of women since 1977. It’s over 99% accurate from the day of your expected period so I know I can feel confident with the results. Now, I’m just anxiously waiting for our #momentoftruth and to see that positive result again.

Thank you kindly for all of the sweet thoughts, encouraging emails, and prayers you’ve sent our way over the years.

Even though it’s been a long 6-year journey for us we are keeping hope alive.

We still have a list of favorite names and are still hoping we may have multiples (especially if we end up doing IVF).

I still pause every time I’m in the mall and walk by a rack of baby clothes. 

We still smile when we watch little ones playing on the playground in the park when we take our dogs for a long walk and dream about the day that we are there watching our babies climb on the jungle gym and demand to be pushed on the swing. 

I still cry every time I watch a movie or read a book and a character has a baby. Our day is coming, we know it is, and hope is not lost. Hope is still there friends and hope needs you to believe in our #momentoftruth too.

One day, hopefully soon, I’ll be able to come on here and announce a little baby LaMar is on the way and when that day comes it’ll be the happiest and most joyful day on the blog EVER. 

Until then, I’m keeping the hope and reminiscing about the time I won the baby shower game at a friends shower when she was expecting her first little boy (and note the awesome blue highlights in my hair)

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Get more information about e.p.t and their long history in helping women conceive here.

Do you know anyone who has struggled or is struggling with infertility? Do you have any tips to share? Any favorite ways to show care or support them through this highly emotional journey? Please share in the comments below.

Oh! And of course…pin it to share the love. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl
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