One of my first blog posts was right after my pregnancy loss right before Christmas in 2014. In this post, I took the opportunity to lay out some things that are - and are not - helpful to say to someone going through infertility and/or pregnancy loss. These are based on my own experiences as well as those of other women I'm connected with who may have different situations from myself. You can read the post in it's entirety at "Meat Loaf and I Lay Down the Law", but here are some highlights:
I know I haven't posted in what feels like forever. I pretty much stopped posting in the spring of 2013. That's when two things happened - I switched jobs, leaving KPMG where I had been for close to 4 years, and I start trying to have a baby. Let me summarize for you:
~I worked for the place I went after KPMG for 10 months then switched jobs again - I found something in my field and close to home and was very happy to make the change.
~Shawn graduated college and began working as a nurse.
~I was diagnosed (over time and 3 doctors) with PCOS, Endometriosis, and damaged "fingers" on my fallopian tubes. I had surgery, take new medicines (which helped me drop 40 pounds), am learning all about the "joys" of fertility treatments, and just this week had a miscarriage.
In the full post I go into detail on each of these, but here's the summary of things I suggest saying or not saying if you want to be supportive.
Please, whatever you do, just don't say:
- You'll be pregnant in no time.
- Just relax.
- If it's God's plan, it will happen.
- Your child needs a sibling!
- At least you know you can get pregnant.
- You'll be pregnant again in no time.
- It's for the best.
- There's always adoption.
A "tread lightly" list:
- At least you were only a few weeks along.
- God has a plan.
- I think it will work out for you to be a mother, but I know this sucks right now.
Things that you can say:
- Do you want to talk about it?
- I'm praying for you.
- Can I pray with you?
- I've been there too.
- Let me know if you would like any resources.
- There's nothing wrong with you for feeling like that.
Since posting the original piece, I've had several other suggestions given to me by friends in my support group that I'd like to add.
- I love you.
- Can I give you a hug? (Or, if not together, "I wish I could give you a hug".)
- How can I support you?
- If you want to talk later or need help, I am here for you.
And please, please, PLEASE: do not forget us. We're already feeling more alone than at any other time in our lives, even with our spouse or partner. Send us a message to let us know you're thinking of us. Take the effort to make plans with us. And this one may surprise you, but don't stop including us as your own families may grow.
There will be times we have to turn down invitations to protect our own vulnerable hearts, but on the whole we still want you to be happy and there will be days we will enjoy being with you and your family. So invite us to baby showers and birthdays and holiday parties and BBQs. Make it "safe" for us to be honest with you, and we'll take care of deciding if we can handle the event or not. That's not your problem to solve:)