Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to Respond to Infertility and Loss



It's National Infertility Awareness Week, and Resolve, the national infertility association has issued a challenge to blog about this week to Raise Awareness.  While I'm very fortunate that my issues with fertility are relatively easily treated, the feelings around it are complex for anyone it touches, and don't  necessarily go away when a child joins the family through birth or adoption.  This year's theme for the week is "Don't Ignore Infertility," an  important statement.  But if you can't ignore it, how do you respond to it?

Especially for those who haven't experienced it, it's a hard thing to respond to.  Everyone wants to be a supportive friend, and say the right thing.  Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, the wrong words can be more hurtful than doing nothing at all.   Questions, suggesting adoption, or saying anything God's plan, said at the wrong time are salt in a very open wound.   The one thing that is appropriate to say when a loved one is facing loss or infertility is very simple.

"I love you, and I'm so sorry."   

Let your loved one lead the conversation from there.  There maybe other ways that you can help, but take your cues from your friend.  What he or she needs more than words is a listening ear and your support.  Less is more, here, and by exercising restraint in your response, you can still strengthen them as they face the challenges of infertility and loss.

3 comments:

  1. That was well written. I identify with this since I want babies and all and am not in a place in life to have them. And I probably wouldn't be able to get pregnant if my situation changes. I have a lot of friends that struggle with the loss of a child or infertility and it's more common than we think. Lots of aching hearts out there to comfort.

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  2. loved that you wrote about this. I didn't realize how bad some of the things I asked and said to woman were until my sister struggle with getting pregnant.

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