Today, a pregnant woman that I recently met said during lunch, “I don’t enjoy being pregnant.” There is nothing wrong with what she said–I mean I’m sure there are lots of things that are uncomfortable during pregnancy. However, it was really hard for me and came at a painful time. She, of course, could never know how much I would LOVE to be pregnant and everything that comes with it –the sickness, the backaches, the tiredness, the weight gain, the fill-in-the-blank.
So, I’m asking all of you out there, please don’t take for granted what you have. Please don’t complain about your pregnancy. Please don’t add insult to injury to us women struggling with infertility. Because you never know when one of us is among you. And, we would gladly trade places with you and experience whatever it is you are complaining about with a smile on our face and joy in our hearts.
My only hope for writing this is to make people more aware of infertility and pregnancy loss. It’s hard for me to believe that this disease affects 1 in 8 couples, while there is so little awareness of it.
Here are some great etiquette tips from RESOLVE for dealing with couples with infertility. Lucky for us, our family and friends have been amazing throughout this process, and it’s hard for us to see that they are suffering right along with us.
Unfortunately though, there are other people on the periphery of our life that could stand to be more compassionate, including some medical staff. I have already discussed one such situation here, that turned out good.
The best advice I can give to anyone dealing with someone in our situation is to acknowledge their struggle and/or their loss. Do not minimize it. And, avoid empty platitudes such as “Everything will be ok” or “Just relax”. Also, I can’t speak for everyone, but we like for people to ask us how we are doing, not to ask details about what’s happening, but how are we actually doing. It’s comforting to know that they are thinking of us and care enough to ask.
And, finally, I would like to share a video that really explains what day-to-day life is like for those struggling with infertility. It’s like a journey through our thoughts and fears. This is such an amazing video, and I applaud Keiko for making it.