As we’ve already talked about, infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. Some of those couples may eventually get pregnant on their own, some may go through treatment to get pregnant, some may get pregnant with non-biological children, some never get pregnant and decide to adopt and some never get pregnant and decide to live child free. Every person dealing with infertility is different.
Just because your friend got pregnant on Metformin doesn’t mean I will. Just because your aunt’s sister adopted and then got pregnant on her own doesn’t mean I will. Just because your co-worker waited it out, went on a vacation or “just relaxed” and got pregnant doesn’t mean I will.
We are not all the same.
This has always a been a fear of mine with sharing my series on Loving Your Friend Through Infertility and sharing our own infertility story. I don’t want you to say “Well this is what Jackie says or this is how she dealt with it, so it must work for everyone else too.” Because that’s just not the case. If you try that – it will fail.
I’ve known many women who struggle with infertility over the past few years. There are some things about us that are the same, but there are many that are different. We take different paths, we feel different emotions. We are all struggling, but it may manifest itself in different ways. We communicate differently – some of us may shout out every treatment step from the rooftops while others may quietly and particularly share with only a select few. Some people want to be around others all the time while some need to be alone. Some marriages are strengthen, some are threatened.
So today, please remember us. Even though the world may give us the same label, we are not all the same. Get to know the individual you’re talking to before offering advice. Don’t assume your friend’s experience with infertility will be the same as your sister’s. Don’t assume the emotions your coworker experienced after her miscarriage will be the same as your pastor’s wife.
You don’t need to have the “politically correct infertile” thing to say – just say the right thing for the person you’re talking to. Just remember, we’re still individuals… we’re just fighting the same battle.
To Learn More:
- http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (About infertility.)
- http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)