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3 Ways to Encourage Friends Struggling with Infertility

We started trying to conceive in 2011 and it’s been a difficult journey for us as we’ve spent nearly the entire time struggling with infertility. It’s something we never expected to impact us yet, here we are, and it’s so hard. During our trying to conceive journey we’ve lost two pregnancies to miscarriage which has made it that much harder for us to talk about children. Once upon a time we would talk about having a large family. We knew we both wanted multiple children so the real question was if we’d stop at 3, 4, 5, or more. We wanted a big family and a lot of pets; the busier the family, the better. We used to spend so many nights laying in bed talking about baby names with so much excitement for the future of our family. Once upon a time, we looked 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. 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 like I did. It’s just so hard to wait, you know? I saw a positive result almost immediately. 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 absolutely and completely crushed us; I’d never cried so hard in my life. Then again, I didn’t know we’d be struggling with infertility for a long time. I’ve cried a lot of tears since that night.

Have friends struggling with infertility? Here are 3 ways you can encourage friends who are coping with infertility from Honey & Pine #infertility #ttc

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, as we’ve been struggling with infertility, we’ve lost another pregnancy, spoken about adoption, and considered other options including artificial insemination and IVF.  

It’s hard for us to think about fertility treatments. When you’re young you take so many precautions because it feels like pregnancy is always a mistake lurking around the corner waiting for you to forget protection or be too careless. In the beginning when we felt like we were ready, we tried not to “plan” it and figured we would let things happen naturally. We didn’t want to take ovulation tests, track my temperature, watch cervical mucus, or feel like we had to schedule sex. We know good things 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 – 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.

Have friends struggling with infertility? Here are 3 ways you can encourage friends who are coping with infertility from Honey & Pine #infertility #ttc

We’re still struggling with infertility and it feels like it’s never going to end but we’re fortunate to have supportive family and friends. Their support means so much to us and I wanted to share a few ways that you can encourage your family and friends if they’re facing similar struggles. 

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.

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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).

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)

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.

You’ve all been so kind over the years and shared such sweet thoughts, encouraging emails, and prayers with us. Even though it’s been a long journey for us we are keeping hope alive by trusting in God and continually praying over these Bible verses. We still have a list of favorite names and are hoping maybe we’ll get lucky and end up conceiving multiples when our time comes.

Despite struggling with infertility, I still pause every time I’m in the mall and walk by a rack of baby clothes; still smile when we watch little ones playing on the playground in the park; still dream about the day we’ll watch our babies climb on the jungle gym; still cry every time I watch a movie and a character has a baby. Our day is coming, we know it is, and hope is not lost. It’s just hard.

We’ve been struggling with infertility for years and I am trying hard to keep hope that one day, hopefully soon, I’ll be able to come on here and announce a little baby LaMar is on the way. When that day comes it’ll be the happiest and most joyful day on the blog EVER.  

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

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

Do you know anyone struggling with infertility? Do you have any favorite ways to show care or support them through this highly emotional journey? 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart, Ashley! I am sorry that you and your hubby are going through this, and I hope it changes very soon. Thank you for the tips for what to do and what not to do. I don’t have anyone in my life going through this at the moment, but I know that it is likely I will at some point, unfortunately.

  2. That’s so exciting and happy to hear the good news. Wishing you much love. -Jocelyne from resonatecreations.com

  3. I so enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for your vulnerability–there are many of us who have experienced miscarriages, but for some reason, it’s not something we talk about much. I hope you are blessed with a child soon. And I truly appreciate the tips on what to say/not say, do/not do with friends who may be struggling with infertility. Thank you 🙂

  4. My husband boss – who is a good friend of our – is struggling with this at the moment. It heartbreaking and painful. Thank you for sharing this and I will show this post to him. xx

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