HOW TO HELP FRIENDS OR FAMILY STRUGGLING TO HAVE A CHILD

Whether they are men or women, those who have been confronted to infertility, assisted reproduction or simply to the stress or fear of not being able to conceive… They all have something in common: they all heard, at least once, one of these clumsy sentences that hurt so much…

“What about you?  When will you get down to it?”

“Try to relax. You’re too stressed out, that’s why it’s not working!”

“Organize yourself nice romantic holidays, I’m sure you’ll come back pregnant.”

“I’m having the same problem: I’ve been trying for 3 months and nothing!”

“Maybe it’s simply not your moment. You’ll get pregnant when you’re ready for it.”

“Don’t worry, you’re still young! You have plenty of time!”

“You’re obsessed. Stop thinking about it and you’ll see it’ll come naturally.”

“Whose fault is it? Yours or his?”

“Enjoy while you can. Kids just wear you out: my youngest woke me up 3 times last night!”

“But you already have one kid. Think of lucky you are and enjoy it.”

“My friend’s sister undertook at least 4 or 5 IVF treatments with no result. The very moment she abandoned the idea, she got pregnant naturally”

“Have you ever considered adoption?”

“Well, it’s true that after 35 years old the fertility drops considerably.”

Yes, we know say this because they want to help. They say it out of good will, with all their friendship and love. They also say it out of ignorance or because they feel embarrassed by the subject which, although increasingly common, is still a taboo.

We knot this but still, these sentences hurt, a lot.

YOU HAVE A FRIEND WHO’S HAVING DFIFFICULTIES TO GET PREGNANT. YOU CAN FEEL HER SADNESS BUT YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO HELP HER.

Here are a few suggestions which we hope will help:

Get informed.

Infertility is a taboo for various reasons, but one of the main reasons is that people know very little about it, and find it hard to understand the situation. They feel awkward talking about it, which can often lead them to being tactless and pronouncing one of these hurtful sentences.

Don’t judge the seriousness of her situation, or the intensity of her feelings of sadness.

The desire to have a child is profound and complex: we often feel overwhelmed by contradictory feelings we have trouble understanding ourselves. They are irrational and uncontrollable feelings, which we all try to deal with in our own way, the best we can given our sensibility and intensity.

Don’t take it personally if your friend doesn’t talk about it with you.

It hurts to talk about it, and it’s often easier to do it with someone less intimate and close to us, but who has lived the same situation and therefore can understand us totally.

It’s often said that the love of a father or a mother is so intense and so unique that only someone who has experienced it can really understand it. The same goes for infertility: we often feel that only someone who has experienced it can understand our situation and these emotions that make us feel so guilty sometimes (rage, jealousy, feeling of injustice…).

Don’t judge her if she grows apart from you. Try to understand, and to forgive.

Sometimes it’s simply unbearable just to see a baby or happy family. And even if it makes us feel guilty, it’s just too painful to visit a friend who just had a baby. This doesn’t mean that we don’t love that friend, not at all, but simply that we need to protect ourselves – and sometimes protecting ourselves goes through growing apart and being selfish.

Please don’t blame us for this.

Avoid comparisons.

Each situation is different, and we all have our own way of living it.

It doesn’t help to know that the daughter of our mother’s friend has finally decided to adopt, or that she undertook the same fertility treatments and now has an adorable baby.

Take care of her,  without forcing. Be present for her, even when you don’t understand her.

Sometimes we’ll want to go out, laugh, have fun and think about something else for a moment. And sometimes we’ll just be able to cry on the sofa, worn out.

Sometimes we won’t want to talk about it, let alone being asked about it. And sometimes we won’t be able to talk about anything else.

We’re not easy to deal with, we know that. But we really need your patience.

There are many things on which she doesn’t have any control. Help her focus on the things that really depend on her.

During fertility treatments, we have no choice but rely totally on our doctors – and also, in a certain way, on chance. But there are things that do depend on us, like the way we live the whole process. And there are solutions to help us deal with it much better.

Natural therapies can optimize the fertility treatments.

A good massage can help us relax.

Yoga can help us reconnect with our body and reach a better balance between body and mind.

And sometimes a professional psychological or emotional support is simply necessary for us to move on.

The She Oak Association proposes all these services, among many others, so that each one can find what best suits him / her in order to live the desire to for a child in a more positive and serene way, and maximize the chances of success.

YOU WANT TO HELP A FRIEND, A SISTER OR A COUSIN (etc)?

THE FIRST STEP IS TO TAKE THINGS IN HAND AND NOT RELY EXCLUSIVELY AND PASSIVELY ON DOCTORS – AND ON CHANCE.

 

OFFER HER OUR SERVICES!

 

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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