If you are a human, who has friendships or relationships with other humans, then you most likely know somebody who is affected by infertility. One in eight people are diagnosed with infertility, and it's exactly that: a diagnosis. It's not just a fluke, or an illness that can be cured with a Tylenol or a heating pad. It's a real medical issue, and it is one of the hardest blows when you hear those words from a doctor.
"You might not be able to naturally conceive a child."
Cue all the tears.
So, for those of you who personally know the hardships your friends are facing, and might not share those same struggles, I'm guessing you often wonder what you can do to help them get by, or to show them that you care. I know it can be hard to talk about something that you don't really know much about; especially when it's such a touchy subject, and you really don't want to hurt your friend even more.
I've personally been through this struggle, and let me tell you, I'm pretty sure all of my friends had NO clue what to say or do because it got really lonely after a few months. That right there, is one thing NOT to do.
Don't leave your friends behind just because they are going through something you aren't.
I'm about to drop some ideas for ya, that might help you be that supportive friend that you know you are. Take notes, and take my advice because,again, I've been there. I've been the friend who felt left behind once we were hit with that gut wrenching diagnosis.
First off: Hug your friend, and tell them you care and love them. It means SO much more than you realize. <3 Are you a gift giver? Do you like to surprise those that you love with little things just to let them know you are there for them? Keep reading.
Us ladies who are the 1:8 love little things that we can carry with us, or wear to our appointments, surgeries, procedures etc. We live off 'good luck charms' or things that bring us good juju! Any kind of jewelry, will put a huge smile on our faces! We aren't asking for diamonds, just something cute and small! Etsy is KEY for these type of gifts!
One of my favorite items that I used A LOT during our treatments was my IVF planner! This thing was exactly what I needed to keep track of all my appointments, medications, different procedures and also all the highs and lows! Brooke from Fertility In Focus has created some of the best planners around, and they are perfectly priced!
Check her out on Etsy or Instagram!
We also love any and all tees and tanks with fun and positive sayings on them! I've heard of this shop called Nine 16 Designs that has THE cutest stuff! ;o)
If you aren't into gifts, and just want to let them know you are here and support them, a simple 'I'm here for you' is the best way to do it. You don't need to know or fully understand everything that they are going through, but letting your friend know that you are there if they need to cry, vent, hug somebody, punch somebody (maybe not punch, but still) is more than enough.
Another way you can show your support is to educate yourself. Do you know what IVF means? Do you know what the process is that your friend is going through? Take some time and do some research; and guess what? If you have Netflix, there are a couple documentaries that explain it perfectly, and in a really great way. Go look up: One More Shot and Vegas Baby. Both great! Both REALLY educational! Both real and raw too.
So, let's recap. :o)
- Good luck charms are our jam! Necklaces, bracelets, keychains, rings, ANYTHING with pineapples!
- Tees, tanks and socks are always a good idea! We need to look cute during all these procedures, right?
- Planners and notebooks are like GOLD!
- Notes, cards, texts, voicemails, emails, or telegrams - all good options to share your 'I'm here for you'
- Educate. Educate. Educate. (Netflix, Google, search #ttccommunity on Instagram)
- Hugs, ice cream, and wine are 100% okay to share!
Your support is needed. Your love is needed. Don't be that friend that just disappears because you don't know what to do or say. That's the opposite of what your friend needs, I promise you that.