When I was talking with my four pregnant friends and you came up to us and said, “Aw! Look at all the pregnant women!” Did you see me?
When you, my good friend who was once in my shoes, listened to me time and again talk about the pain of my infertility, yet one day said, “I think you need a support group.” Did you see I stopped calling you for support?
When you laughed about getting pregnant with your sixth child and said, “All he had to do was look at me!” Did you see me force a smile and wish it were really that easy?
When I was standing around my five expectant friends, you took note of their pregnant state and then looked at me saying, “What are you doing here? Wishful thinking?” Did you see me quietly excuse myself so I could run to the bathroom and cry?
When we got together for ladies fellowships, did you see I didn’t say anything because the only topics of conversation that came up were your pregnancy stories? “Just call me Fertile Myrtle!” “I’m so ready for this morning sickness to be over.” “Hubby ran to the store and got me ice cream at midnight!” “I felt her kick for the first time!” “I feel like a beached whale!”
When our group of friends went out to lunch, did you see how I felt excluded when all anyone could discuss were the latest and greatest books and blogs on parenting?
When you talk about how everyone is pregnant – “Don’t drink the water!” Did you see me? I’m not pregnant, but I want to be.
When you opened gifts at your baby shower, did you see me in the crowd, trying to share in your joy, all the while hoping I could be next?
When the mothers were asked to stand in church on Mother’s Day, did you see me – sitting – hoping not to burst into tears and not wanting anyone to feel sorry for me?
When all you posted on facebook were pictures of your ultrasounds, updates of your cravings, photos of your pregnant belly month by month, posts of registering at Babies R Us, doctor visits, and Baby Center, did you see I am one of your “facebook” friends? Did you see I had to limit your updates?
When God finally blessed you with a baby after your struggle with infertility, did you, of all people, see me?
If you do see me…
Don’t ignore me. To ignore is not to know. Don’t refuse to take notice of me and my infertility.
Think before you speak, if you must speak at all.
Don’t isolate me. Try to imagine what it could be like if you were in my place and what you would want someone to say.
Remember I confided in you because I thought you were my friend.
Don’t dismiss my infertility – I may be in the minority, but I still have feelings.
Take a moment in private to tell me you hope I am next.
Don’t make mindless comments about your ability or my inability to get pregnant.
Write a heartfelt note to encourage me not to give up hope.
Think about excluding me from your baby posts so I won’t have to limit your updates. Or try to understand if I don’t “like” or comment on them.
Don’t disengage me from conversation – take notice there are many interesting things to talk about in addition to pregnancy and babies.
Let me know you are praying for me – and then pray for me.
Don’t pretend that I have never talked to you about my struggle. I made myself vulnerable sharing that with you. Can you show balance while rejoicing in your pregnant/mommy state but also by being mindful of my infertility?
Consider that even if you don’t know I am struggling with infertility, there’s a good chance I am.
- http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
- http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)