When someone is dealing with infertility, they need the support of their family and friends. They need a shoulder to cry on, a bag to punch, and a caring someone to feed them all the chocolate. But sometimes the people they go to for support get their responses all wrong. They don't need the world to tiptoe around your feelings, but maybe being aware of the feelings and giving those feelings a few feet of space would be nice.
Here are ten things you should not do when your friend is having trouble getting pregnant:
1. Don't act like infertility is contagious.
It's not, unless you're screwing the gal's husband who has a low sperm count. Then it is. Also, you're a terrible person.
2. Don't ask if they're sure they're "doing it enough."
Ok. Let's take a seat here, and talk about your belief that your adult friend does not know that sex makes babies. If they need this level of help to get pregnant, then they probably can't take care of a baby because they are six-years-old.
3. Don't complain about your pregnancy in front of them.
Pregnancy can be less than a lot of fun sometimes. Talk to your other pregnant friends about it. Get on the internet and commiserate with strangers. But saying, "Oh man, I wish this baby would stop moving for a second!" to your friend who has had a miscarriage and has been trying to get pregnant for two years? This is a bad choice. Bad. Baaaaaaaaad.
4. Don't think that her issues are about you.
I'm sure your friend is grateful that you have been so empathetic about her fertility issues. But reacting to her finally getting pregnant with, "Thank God! I couldn't take it anymore!" is not the right move. This is not happening to you. Be happy for her, not for yourself. PS, dur-hay.
5. Don't casually bring up her infertility whenever you see her.
"Hey, so glad you could meet for coffee! So are you pregnant yet?" Is right up there with, "Thanks for coming to dinner. How's that diet going?" Not cool. If she wants to talk about it, she'll talk about it. In the meantime, shut yer yap.
6. Don't criticize her choice to spend money on fertility treatments.
Yes, fertility treatments are expensive. But guess what, fool? It's not your money! Talking about how that money could be spent on a down-payment for a house is not your place. Back off, Suze Orman. She's got this.
7. Don't talk about how easy it was for you to get pregnant.
Only took one cycle, huh? You weren't even trying, you just "stopped not trying?" That is so great for you. Now pardon your friend, but she needs to go to the bathroom to give herself her fourth shot of the day for her upcoming IVF. Thanks.
8. Don't play doctor.
Yes, she does know what you just read on Web MD. Yes, she has also read that new study. No, she wasn't exposed to lead paint as a child. No, none of her immediate family members had trouble getting pregnant. Holy dog farts, keep your diagnosing to yourself, please.
9. Don't announce your pregnancy with what will feel like the equivalent of a ticker tape parade marching through her living room. For example:
Huh. You're kidding. I wonder what's wrong with her?
10. Don't use those cliches that make people with infertility want to stab you through the eye with a speculum.
"Everything happens for a reason." (That reason being your agony.)
"You can always adopt." (Yes, because I've heard adopting a child is way easier. And you would do it yourself, you know, but you got pregnant while on the pill.)
On behalf of all the infertile ladies, we thank you.
(photo: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock)