It’s National Infertility Awareness Week, and this is a subject that is close to my heart.
There are so many people who mean well. I know this. But, for a woman who wants to expand her family - whether it is with her first child, or tenth - whether it is biologically or through adoption or surrogacy - whether you are her best friend or a stranger on the street - many of the “supportive” comments are, actually, soul-crushing.
Yes, you mean well when you tell her, “What’s meant to be will be!” but she may hear that & wonder, “Does this mean I’m not meant to be a mother?” Yes, you’re trying to show encouragement when you say, “I thought I’d never get pregnant, and now I have two kids through IVF and this one I’m carrying now was our little surprise!” but she may feel guilty for wishing it could be her, after months (or years) of ttc with or without assisted reproductive technology.
Yes, you think you’re being kind when you tell her how “blessed” she is to have a happy marriage, healthy child, or free time to travel/work/sleep but she will not be comforted by this; she knows she is blessed, and reminding her of that, when she aches for something she doesn’t have, only makes it worse. ***
If a woman you know or see or love might be considering family expansion, just tell her that you see her; validate her; remind her that she is loved. And then take a breath and listen. Our words have power, and they can cause pain, even when they’re said with the best of intentions.
So, to anyone out there who is looking to expand her family, I love you. xx, B 💗💙