Your Infertility Is Safe Here

Recently, someone told me they were worried they may be experiencing infertility. 

“You’ve been the biggest support without even knowing it,” they told me. As someone who tries to be sensitive to infertility, I found this to be such a nice compliment.

Of course I had my suspicions and recognized the signs but I didn’t say a word. Want to know why? Because your infertility is safe here.

You are safe here.

How to Support Infertile Friend | therhouse.com

In my home, I will never ask you if you are pregnant.

In fact, I will never even ask you when/if you are planning on having children. Or coyly mention with a wink, “So…when are you going to make me an aunt?”

You’ll never hear me wonder how long you’ve ‘been trying.’

And once you do tell me that you’ve been struggling with starting a family, you won’t hear me belittle you by asking you if you are ‘doing it right.’ I will never tell you that you haven’t tried long enough. Even though infertility is defined as trying for a year, I recognize the heartache and know it is real even after 4 or 5 months.

The worry is real.

The wondering is heavy.

The what-ifs are consuming.

When I know your heart is hurting in this way, I’ll never mention what a good mother you would be …even if it is so true. I won’t tell you how cute your kids are going to be. I won’t try to guess which features you will pass along and which your husband will.

I certainly won’t tell you that I will be your surrogate or tell you that you can have one of my children like some people do …because those people are some kind of crazy.

I will not ask you how many children you want to have or which gender you are hoping for. I won’t ask if you are going to ‘try for a girl’ since you have so many boys …because I realize you are not God.

I won’t ask you if ‘you’re done’ because you don’t need to reveal such a tender topic to me.

I won’t question it if you never offer to hold my baby. I won’t call you out on it. I won’t force you to.

My feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t show up to a family baby shower or choose to only send a gift. We can bond in another way that doesn’t involve so much baby talk. I totally get that.

I will not say, “Are you going to have another one?” Or worse, “When are you going to have another one?”

Any sentence that starts with “At least you…” and then talks about family building will not come from my lips unless it is dripping with sarcasm.

I won’t try to fix your infertility. Or offer advice. I can’t explain it away. I hope you always know that you can come to us if you have questions or would like recommendations, but I won’t ever pry. I’ve been where you are before and it’s no bueno. 

The reason I won’t say those things is not because I don’t care. I do care. I care enough to let you come to me. With a disease that robs you of your power and your timing, it’s the least I can do to show you love. Let me empower you with your own story, your own timing, your own words.

Your infertility is safe here.

Your pain is safe here.

You’re safe here.

Welcome.

 

Comments

  1. Kari says

    This is awesome. Pure awesomeness. I wish everyone could look at this way. I’ve really been struggling with my in-laws. We told them we didn’t want to talk about it, we asked them not to bring it up and that we would tell them if and when we got pregnant but they bring it up all. the. time. I don’t know how else to get them to realize that we don’t want to talk about it that doesn’t make me sound like a totally B****. Thank you for posting this. Keep being awesome.

    • Lindsey says

      Infertility is hard. It’s even harder when people don’t listen to what you need. I’m so sorry!

  2. Bree says

    I am so grateful for the last few years with “the R house” and the things I have learned to not ask or say, I am still not perfect at it, but I am def more aware.

    And “the R house” is actually really welcoming to all struggles that are hard to talk about, I speak from years of abusing this wonderful safe haven…

    • Lindsey says

      We all can! If you read the comments of that “sensitivity” link I threw in there, you’ll see that I totally offended someone. The irony! :(

  3. Karen says

    Even though I never had trouble getting pregnant, I became super sensitive to this topic when, days after I had miscarried, a near stranger we had invited over for dinner asked me when we were going to start a family. It’s nobody’s business. Idle chitchat can hurt so bad. Thank you

  4. says

    Lindsey, this is a manifesto for being a good human being! But particularly wonderfully pertinent for those suffering through infertility. Thank you for sharing- and educating!

  5. Marianne says

    Seriously I think the best post I have read about friendship and infertility. This is why you rock. You have said everything I would have said times 100. You are such a good writer. Thank you for sharing this message. Infertility in a way is a silent disease. It robs us of a voice and by sharing this message the way you did, you have given friendship and power. Such a needed gift when going through infertility.

  6. says

    Amen sister! So many awkward pauses started with the exact statements above. I wish less people would ask so many questions that have no answer.

  7. Tamara Peters says

    Lindsey, thank you so much! We have been trying since June and yes to some people it is not long, but when you are in it, every month is hard. I so appreciate everything you said in this and feel so blessed to have those words to read at anytime and to remember in my heart. Amen to ya sista!! Lots of love!!

  8. Susan says

    Thank you! I think you would accept anyone in your home. I have two siblings with infertility. At times I feel left out because that is not a part of my daily life (as my many children run here and there). I would hope that we all could accept each other for the fact that we are children of God and not focus so much on the various talents or gifts or opportunities that God chose to give each of us.

  9. Pam says

    Thank you !!! I have my 2 Beautiful amazing daughters
    That have struggled with infertility. We certainly
    Have felt every thought mentioned in this article
    A very heartfelt thank you for sharing !!!

  10. says

    Thanks for this reminder! It’s easy to forget how painful infertility is when you are going through a period of respite. I needed to read this today. Love ya

  11. says

    Thank you. This is exactly the type of safety I need, and have found among a few friends. It is the type of safety I hope I offer to others.

  12. says

    You really are the best!! I refer so many people to your blog, birthmoms, friends who are struggling with infertility, even friends who I think will appreciate your humor and honesty! Although we have been blessed with our two babies after years of trying -I am still tender and I still check your blog and find peace in the things you share! I will always find people who need to read your words so thank you for continuing to be great!!

  13. says

    This is Jilly from “Jilly Bean Jewelry” :) and I had no idea you girls had a blog until today. Thank you so much for sharing this. As someone who struggles with infertility and is very open about it, I love when people share things like this. Everyone needs to read this post. Thank you so much for putting this out there and being a voice for all of “us.”

  14. ann bourbeau says

    Wish they would of had this site when I was young I am 58 now no hope of having children but we tried for years I adopted two boys which are grown now but the fact is we wanted to have children and to see all these years we always ask why why us but my boys are great. And I have a granddaughter which I love guess it was meant to be but it still hurts and people have a way to hurt even know they are not trying too everything happens for a reason and my family was made a little different we all love each other

  15. Kati Goguen says

    Everyone needs to read this. After struggling with infertility my whole life and going through a year of unsuccessful and painful fertility treatments it was even more painful when people would bring it up. I got so tired of hearing people say the same things over and over again. The worst was when people would tell you “I’ve heard when you adopt that you will usually end up pregnant within a year”. No, no you won’t. Because it’s not true. I was told by my fertility doctor that according to current medical science, there was no way for me to ever get pregnant. To be told by the ones you love that you just need to be patient, to relax or that it would happen in time was like a knife slice to my heart each time. After having my children through adoption now for over 5 years I grateful that my fertility treatments were not successful. Otherwise I never would have met my children. And they are a greater blessing to me that any “natural” child.