This week is National Infertility Awareness week. As I sit here watching my daughter squirming in her crib after another short nap, (despite how tired she may be), I can feel nothing but overwhelming thankfulness for the gift that she is. My heart goes out to all of the deserving women out there that have struggled with the heartache of infertility for so long and have a heart wrenching desire to be a mother someday.
A little over a year ago my husband and I were in that terrible place; not knowing when or if we would ever have children. You can read our story here. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through. Not only is infertility terrible, but all the unsolicited advice you receive coupled with endless birth announcements and baby showers is enough to make you want to curl up under the covers and ignore the world for an indefinite amount of time.
The most common mistake people make when dealing with people that are struggling with this condition, is to try to "fix" them without showing compassion or understanding. I can't tell you how many times I was given "advice" on how to deal with all my heartache. Some of the most common phrases include "Just relax, it will happen", "Maybe you could just adopt", and "If it's meant to happen it will". This is about as helpful as telling someone that's dying that it's "meant to be". A woman's desire to have children is so deeply ingrained in us, that to have someone basically play it off as if it's not a big deal, is about the most unloving way you could possibly handle the situation. Grieve with those who grieve, and rejoice with those who rejoice. Infertility will not be fixed by some canned answers or a vacation. And unless you are a practicing reproductive endocrinologist, please keep in mind that a listening ear and some support are the best things you can offer someone who is going through infertility.
So if you know someone this week that is struggling with infertility, give them a big hug and let them know how amazed you are at their strength. Some of the most amazing women I know have dealt with infertility. Check out some of my favorite people who are still waiting for their miracles: Melissa G, Melissa P, and Carli. Love you girls.