How you tell your friend how to support you best through infertility treatment(5 Posts)
My best friend for many years is going through fertility treatment and is just about to start iui.
She's known for many years she would struggle to conceive naturally however time was always on her side back then through our twenties and she wasn't in a position to have a baby. It's always something we've discussed. She's now at the stage where she is married and they've been trying for 3+ years and have had unsuccessful Chlomid for months so the next step is iui then ivf.
I'm pregnant with my third baby in all this time we've been friends, I can't imagine how difficult that is for her.
I want to know how I can support her more if possible. We don't see each other often, less now I'm pregnant as our catch ups were always alcohol fuelled so obviously that's not possible for me just now.
Over the years I've made some pretty stupid comments when drunk like "you can always adopt" (that still makes me cringe..) and told her success stories I've known of. Pretty much infertility insensitive bingo
We don't get to chat much face to face so it's generally through texts but I really want to support her more in any way I can. Especially now I'm older and hopefully wiser in terms of the stupid comments I've previously made! I'm worried she doesn't really have anyone she can talk to about it.
I know everyone's different so what someone might find supportive another person won't. But does anyone have any advice? I was thinking of suggesting online fertility forums to her but I really don't want to come across as smug and that I know more than her about what she's actually going through if you know what I mean.
Hi supporting as you say it's difficult to say what your friend would like, my only helpful suggestion would be to simply say you're sorry she has to go through this and that you are there for her if she ever needs to talk.
That's just based on my experience, I've personally found that I respond better to "I'm sorry you have to go through this, it's shit" than someone telling me how 3 or 4 families they know have had IVF etc and they had kids. It's more about the acknowledgement that having to go through all of is this shit and hideous if that makes sense?
I'm sure other ladies will have better suggestions! I'm just saying based on my experience, funnily enough my colleagues and some male friends have been the ones to say the "I'm sorry" line and when I talk they just listen. My two best friends have made some questionable comments (one recently told me to "get on it" and I had to reply how?! There's literally nothing we can do at the moment!).
Whatever you do, if your friend starts ranting or tells you something that would reduce her chances, do not (after saying you're sorry and you wish you could say something comfort her and she replies with "there's nothing anyone can say, it is what it is") just disappear, still talk to her...my other best friend did this the other day and that upset me too.
There is no set ground, all you can do is take your cue from her I think. I don't know how often you talk but both of my best friends are overseas...one of which had her first baby 8 weeks ago. Do be prepared for your friend to not want to talk to you about your pregnancy/baby...she may not ask questions etc mostly because it will be REALLY hard for her to do so. At least that was the same for me, I struggled a lot asking my best friend about her pregnancy, it was really hard for me and sometimes it can be hard when she volunteers information about her baby...the rational part of me does point out that she is excited and for her life moves on and is about her baby. The irrational side of me is fighting many emotions - envy, sadness, guilt etc.
I'm probably rambling now and I do hope some of the above helps. It's a nice thing you are doing - thinking about your friend. I wish her well on her journey.
Thanks Elektra. I appreciate your reply.
You're spot on about her not asking questions about my pregnancy or children and I completely understand that. It has hurt a little in the past how little she has to do with my children but I do try and put myself in her shoes in that respect and I certainly don't hold it against her. I try and keep talking about them to minimum, if at all unless instigated by her.
I will be/am there for her and will give her space to talk about it. I think the natural reaction for most people is to try and say things to make it better. I know nothing I say will make it better so less is more. I just feel for her
I think just letting your friend know that you are there for her, just to listen to if she wants to talk or for a shoulder to cry on, asking how she's doing, perhaps offering to come to appointments for moral support?
My best friend and I have become very distant since she's had children, she recently had her second and I cannot bring myself to visit. Although she doesn't know we are having problems, I know she must have an idea but what hurts is that she never contacts me and never asks how I am, I feel like I'm the one who visits her and her little one but now I can't face it, I just haven't heard from her. This hurts just at the time when I could really do with someone to talk to
It's a difficult situation supporting which is why i think being honest with her and simply saying that you're there for her is more than enough. She knows she can come to you.
I avoided telling my best friend about this stuff whilst she was pregnant, I felt like she was going through this really happy thing and telling her my miserable journey would upset her/ruin her experience and so I never volunteered any information unless she asked directly. Seeing her, bump and all was difficult too. I'm off to see her and her little boy in November and tbh there is a part of me that is dreading it, especially after the fact that we were due to start our treatment soon and now it's put on hold for the next couple of months. I know I have to do it, so I will...I just have to find a way in which to cope. I never thought I'd ever say this, but the distance between us has made all of this easier!
Beansprout that sounds tough, my friends may have made insensitive comments, but they still talk to me...i do know what you mean - one of my other friends is like that - it's as if she can't see what is beyond her little family, I have just come to accept that. I know it's not the same but you have us ladies you can talk to! Feel free to PM me (if that's possible...!)
I've found talking/venting really helps me.
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