April Fools Day

So it’s April Fools Day and this is where so many people will be playing pranks on one another. This could be in the form of a new product launch (scratch and sniff canvases, iron man suit and a hologram wife are a few that I’ve seen already!) or opening all the cans of pop in the fridge very slightly and tipping out the contents so everyone thinks they have been manufactured this way ūüėČ

One way that would be upsetting to see today is the “I’m pregnant” prank. Now this will only affect a few people as a “I’ve got cancer” prank would be too. Both are not nice in there own ways for certain people to see.

I have seen this on the Internet today that was a nice way to show that it can be insensitive to post these things. Before I am told in all sorts of ways that “I’m being silly for saying this”, “this wasn’t meant to hurt you” and the likes – I am merely updating my blog that helps both myself and other infertile a around the world so please don’t read it if you’re offended by my thoughts and advice but if you are interested and you feel it’s ok for me to say it then thank you and read away ūüôā

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Happy Mothers Day

So today is Mothers Day and it hits me hard every year that I do not have my very own child to have the day celebrated like most of my friends and family who can. I know it’s hard for people who have lost their mothers and I feel for these people also. I see the isles in the supermarkets stocked up with amazing gifts that mothers will receive today but the only gift I’d ever want on Mothers Day is the sign of my child being developed, the sight of my child in my arms, a hug.

Here’s a poem I’ve found to sum today up:

So I was online today in search of a mother’s day gift for myself…its a little weird considering that Im not officially a mother. But I think that all because I am not holding my child physically, does not make me any less of a mother than those that are. Now that I have that off of my chest, I came across this poem that touched my heart because it is something that is a very touching subject for not only myself, but all of us.

‚ÄúHappy Mother’s Day‚ÄĚ

It comes around every year;
but when you have empty arms,
it’s very hard to hear.

It’s a day to celebrate a mother,
for all the trials she overcame;
and a reminder to an infertile
of her loneliness and shame.

But what really makes a mother,
Is it just conception and birth?
Or is there something more,
that shows a mother’s worth?

It’s putting your child first,
in everything you do;
it’s sacrifice and determination,
and love and patience too.

An infertile woman makes all her plans,
around a child not yet conceived;
she loves them even though they aren’t here, more than she ever could have believed.

She appreciates and understands,
what a blessing that children are;
she works hard for just a chance,
that motherhood is not that far.

All odds are stacked against her,
and yet she still has hope;
everyday is another struggle,
finding ways to help her cope.

So even though her arms are empty,
she can still be a mother too;
So say a special ‚ÄúHappy Mother’s Day‚ÄĚ
for those waiting for their dreams to come true!

Happy Mothers Day to all who are dreaming and hoping to become a mother in the future xxxx

2012: A review. Heres’ to 2013.

Well it’s that time of year where everyone reflects on 2012 being ‘their year’ so I thought I’d reflect on mine. ¬†I found it hard to think of anything good from 2012 so I had to have a search through my diary starting January 2012! ¬†I found it hard to find many happy parts that just involved myself as this year has been my worst year to date!

Here’s a timeline of events that have happend in 2012:

January: ¬†I worked my backside off to get any means of supply work – yes you have to be very proactive to get it by calling everyday and making sure the 8 agencies I was with were fully aware of my daily work situation. ¬†Many thought I was just ‘lucky’ to get all that work; well I wasn’t lucky, I worked hard for it!! ¬†This was also done alongside working in my retail job (I love this type of job).

February:  Again I worked my backside off to get any means of supply work and I also took on a 3rd job in a College in an evening.  This was very hard work for me but I really enjoyed working all day, all night and every weekend РYES 7 days and nights a week I worked.  This was also the month where our official 1st wedding anniversary took place, the 29th February.  Officially we had been married 4 years of course and we had always said that we would go on holiday to celebrate so we went to the 1st place we had ever been on holiday together, Benidorm!  That week was lovely.  I was able to relax and unwind.

March: ¬†March is always a busy month with birthdays so a few celebrations were done here along with a mass baby boom; 4 people who were close to me plus a few others knocking about were pregnant. ¬†Yes this can happen as thats what normal people do when they are in a relationship or married right? ¬†It was the way I was told that hurt. ¬†From their perspective it’s the thought of ‘oh how do we tell Lynsey’ about this news, my perspective is just tell me as I’m not going to tell you to have an abortion because I’m struggling am I? ¬†We also met with the FS (fertility specialist) this month too so that made it a little raw as I always come out of them feeling like a failed woman! ¬†Anyways, I was still working here, there and ¬† ¬†everywhere whilst trying to find the time to see family and friends.

April: ¬†April started off as a good month, I got long term supply work with the potential of getting a full time job there, I went to see New Kids On The Block and The Backstreet Boys which was ace and I still held down 3 jobs. ¬†Not much time spent with family and friends again – some started to say that that it wasn’t good for me and others were gutted because I didn’t have time to see them.

May:  I give up one of the 3 jobs so I had a bit of time to myself.  Nothing else happened this month really apart from work.  WOOP!

June: Still putting the hours in at the 2 jobs I had, attended a couple of weddings and went to a couple of meals where the sole topic on the table was babies as everyone was sharing their pregnancy related issues.

July: ¬†The month it all started to show the signs that I was becoming ill. ¬†I already knew I was suffering with depression as the doctors put me on a number of different anti depressants in the past but nothing was helping but I wasn’t that bad at this stage. ¬†Yes I would drive places and cry for no reason, I would feel a little anxious about people looking at me byt that I thought was linked to the ever gaining weight I was putting on, not having a child and suffering with my hormones. ¬†I had my interview for my long term teaching job and didn’t get it, I was put forward for another school and never got that then the worst interview was when the school I was at recently told me that I was never going to pass anything in their school so I didn’t get that either. ¬†So I was facing the summer holidays without a job in teaching and feeling rubbish at the job too. ¬†At least I had one thing to look forward to; MARBELLA with my 2 good mates! ¬†I then got a call the last week of term offering me a job. ¬†WOOP! ¬†So I had a holiday and a job in September to look forward to! ¬†I went on holiday and loved every minute of it.

August:  August I attended the wedding of a very good friend of mine, completed the Race For Life 5k in a quicker time than I did a couple of years before, went to Creamfields and got ready to start my new job by handing my notice in at the job I have always loved.  An eventful month.

September:  I started my job at the school at the beginning of the month, I loved it at 1st but it was a bit of a struggle finding out how they worked as not many people in the school liked to reply to emails or speak face to face.  I ploughed though and just stuck with it.  I attended another wedding and the month ended with my Sister in Laws baby shower and seeing John Bishop!

October: ¬†The worst month EVER for me! ¬†Lets start with all the good things this month. ¬†It started off nice at baby shower number 2 for my Niece that was due to come into the world this month (my bets was on Steven’s birthday (31st) but that was not the case at all. ¬†We attended the last wedding of 2012 which was a family wedding, a good party and spent with special family and friends, I started doing Partylite, went on a surprise mission to Teeside for an Ice Skating night and met up with my other friends where we catch up from the months we haven’t seen each other. ¬†1 had already told me that I was pregnant and the other announced on the night. ¬†I have got used to making nappy cakes for friends so I will be happy to get them started for my close friends. ¬†We also celebrated Steven’s last birthday in his 20’s – heres to his 30h next year! ¬†Now for the bad: ¬†I had to re-apply for my job, I didn’t get it, I was shot down for my work, I realised that I had put on far more weight than I thought, my FS appointments were changed left, right and centre for it to be on the day before my birthday and the highlight of dropping so low due to the negativity around me (job, weight, no baby and health) I hit rock bottom and by barrier that I had held up for so long, smashed into bits! ¬†I wanted to die, I couldn’t ¬†go that step further to end it all and it was a struggle to go out of the house. ¬†I pushed myself for the last 3 days in the month to go to school but I was constantly panicing, I was constantly anxious and I was constantly crying. ¬†The doctors saw this as an issue and changed my tablets and signed me off.

November: ¬†I had been living in a bubble for the month, I have gained this mood that can only be explained as ‘I can’t be arsed’ but I want to push myself but my body won’t allow it to happen. ¬†I struggled through by trying to go out of the house and putting on my brave face but I never felt comfortable. ¬†Take this as an example: ¬†My Sister in Law was blessed with a little daughter at the¬†beginning¬†of the month and we were blessed with a little niece. ¬†We went to the hospital very excited as the mood should be but I was that scared of going near her for her to see how much of a shell of myself I have turned into (not that she knew) as she should have been round happy people. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see her, to hold her and to be one of the main people in her life but it was hard for me, not because I want one, just because of how my body and mind is working at the minute. ¬†Sure enough I build myself up and went over and held her in my arms and I whispered to her ‘you don’t know how much you have done for me’. ¬†By this I meant how I had talked myself out of harming myself just so I could meet her, my own Niece. ¬†Oh and we celebrated the 4th year of¬†officially ‘trying to conceive’ this month, yay!

December: ¬†The month of joy, good will, food, drink, family and friends. ¬†This I have realised this month. ¬†I have seen my friends and my family. ¬†I have received advice, care and comfort. ¬†I have had 3 ‘good days’ which is an improvement from the past and I have slept loads. ¬†I have been miserable on the days I should have been happy. ¬†Spending Christmas day with family should have been happy but I struggled smiling, getting out of bed, trying to get ready and pretending to be happy. ¬†Boxing day was the same. ¬†My birthday was lovely, I went for a couple of meals and had a house party where friends and family came which was lovely. ¬†I tried to keep positive for everyone. ¬†I had Santa to come and visit the kids who came too. ¬†It’s a happy time of year but I just don’t feel happy.

So here it is, the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.  Is it the end of me feeling the way I do?  Is it the end of the career I have worked damn hard to get?  Is it the year where mental health is not a taboo subject and people begin to realise how serious it is and how it can affect people in different ways?  What is my New Years Resolution?

All I hope for 2013 is the following:

For my life to carry on

To start getting back to my old self

To lose a bit of weight for my own health and not for other people

To start my journey of becoming positive

To get a job that I love regardless of my qualifications

To try and not focus my life around trying for a baby, what can I do about the fact I’m infertile, nothing apart from getting¬†to the weight I need for IVF

To do a little bit more that is listed on my Bucket List

To think of myself more

To be happy

Happy New Year to you all and heres’ to a lovely 2013

Happy Infertility Anniversary (4 years,1 week and 5 days)

Just needed to vent so here goes (sorry)

It’s been 4 years 1 week and 5 days since we made one of the happiest decisions in our life together – to start our very own family. Truth is, I didn’t realise that it would change my life for the worst (it could be worse I suppose but it’s added to problems I’ve had for years) Everyone has either had a baby or are expecting. Take a look at the list:

I’ve had a run through of dear friends who have had monthly births Aug (1), Sept (1), Nov (5) with announcements (some of which were scared of telling me due to hurting my feelings) in Aug (1), Sept (1), Nov (1) plus another 6 friends being pregnant and this is all just from August.

I am lost in myself! I want my own and I know this won’t happen. It hurts being in a room with people constantly talking about babies or children and most of the time not being considered of the things that I am going through (depression, infertility, negativity, anxiety, sleepless nights, panic attacks and thoughts I would never have thought I would have had) and when I bring up that I have an appointment or having going to the doctors about certain issues, the answer I usually get is ‘oh I forgot about that’ or ‘oh I didn’t realise’.

I wish I had never begun this journey as I was a far better person before this regardless of the issues I have had prior. ¬†I was lively, outgoing, happy and the life and soul of the party but now I’m this moaning, argumentative, miserable piece of crap that I never thought I’d turn out to be.

Some say:

  • it’s only 4 years
  • you’re still young
  • it’s not the right time
  • you don’t need to have a child and our children love you
  • you don’t want to go through pregnancy anyway, it’s not the best expereice

My answer to these are as follows:

  • 4 years of wanting something SO MUCH and thinking about it every day is hard. ¬†Unless you are or have been in this position or that you can think outside the box then you don’t know how this feels.
  • Why am I STILL young? ¬†What is the age that you class me as being old enough for this to happen? ¬†I have seen children who I have taught being pregnant. ¬†I have seen people throughout my time in secondary school who have had 2 children and that is before the age of 16. ¬†Please give me the age that is right for me to start worrying about NOT being young!!
  • Why is it not the right time? ¬†I am in a stable relationship with a husband who loves me and who would be an amazing dad yet I can’t fulfil this dream of his. ¬†My thoughts and feelings would have never got out of hand if this journey had worked like they teach you in school and all the medical theories that are out there were correct.
  • I know your children love me and I love them too but I would love to have the option to tuck my own into bed every night and comfort my own when they are ill. ¬†The saying always a Bridesmaid never the Bride comes to mind here BUT in the sense of always the Auntie but never the Mum. ¬†You have your children that you love and cherish, you have the special days in the year that you can celebrate; Mothers/Fathers Day being one of them. ¬†Am I selfish in wanting this for us too?
  • I DO WANT TO HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS FOR A REASON! ¬†The ones that are out there in a general are you don’t have a cycle (I have this), you feel sick (quite frequently I feel sick), you are getting fat (I’m fat already), you have stretch marks (I have these), you are tired (me too), you have tender breasts (oh yeah I have this too), you have headaches (check!) and you can’t sleep (I’m there with you too) BUT you have had all of these AND got an outcome. ¬†Me on the other hand has had these for years along with taking hundreds of pregnancy tests and all being negative regardless of me actually seeing 2 lines (imaginary visions).

I wish I coud stop being like this. ¬†I wish I could be more positive and I wish that I was back to my old self. ¬†We have decided that the journey we have been on should stop but I don’t know how to give up. ¬†I would love advice on how to give up and forget about it all. ¬†I would love to be happy again. ¬†I would love to sit in a room with friends and family and not get upset inside when they are talking about children due to feeling an emptiness of not having one of my own.

Again, I apologise for the length of this and the moaning that is involved BUT this is why I decided to blog; to put my feelings down on ‘paper’ thus the name ‘Stress Burner’.

An empty scan screen: My date with the nurse (28th Sept)

Sorry for the major delay in posting on my blog (especially this one) but I have had a busy couple of months and have now found a little bit of time to get writing again ūüôā

So the 28th September was one of those days where things went from bad to worse…. ¬†I’ll start from the beginning shall I??

I was booked in for an internal scan by my GP due to a serve loss of blood that I had been experiencing over the past month and it was no where near stopping at this point nor was I at a point in finding out what was wrong with me after seeing the GP, visiting the NHS Walk In Centre and A&E. ¬†Today finally came and all I wanted to see was something other than cysts on my ovaries…. this was never going to be the case of course!

Usually us ladies love having a scan as they show you something wonderful you, your body and your partner have made…. well my scan shown an empty space and ovaries that look like they have chicken pox….Woop! ¬†The nurse said that I had a load of cysts; last time this was done, it was described as only having a few thus them developing further. ¬†My GP said that if nothing else was on the scan then they would send me for further investigations to find out what is happening inside. ¬†This further investigation will be happening on Tuesday!! ¬†I will be having a laparoscopy. ¬†My initial appointment will be then so hopefully I will be given a date on when this will be happening. ¬†This will hopefully inform me on whether I have Endometriosis alongside PCOS. ¬†I have wrote about what a laparoscopy is below for reference. ¬†Hopefully I find out whats been going on! ¬†Watch this space ūüôā

Laparoscopy

A laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin. It is also known as keyhole surgery.

Laparoscopy is minimally invasive. This is made possible with an instrument called a laparoscope.

Laparoscope

A laparoscope is a small tube that consists of a light source and a camera. The camera relays images of the inside of the abdomen or pelvis to a television monitor.

The surgeon makes a small incision in the skin and passes the laparoscope through it to study the organs and tissues inside the abdomen or pelvis.

The advantages of this technique over traditional open surgery are that people who have a laparoscopy have:

  • a faster recovery time
  • less pain after the operation
  • minimal scarring

 

As usual, I was given a lot of support from friends and family. ¬†Here’s a few screen shots to show the support I have around me:

 

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I’ve Tried It: A helpful at-a-glance guide to my infertility

I love having a mooch on Pinterest and when I was having a nosey, I came across this fab poster which is a checklist of the different things you go through when you deal with infertility. Some people who have gone through pregnancy and had a child sometimes don’t understand some of the things you have to go through when being infertile. Have a little nosey yourself. Some of these are just too funny but are reality for some (including me) x

Infertility Etiquette

All the information below has been taken from RESOLVE.org. It is a very useful read and is something that people need to consider when being faced with a friend or family member who is on the infertile road.

Chances are, you know someone who is struggling with infertility. More than seven million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility alone and int the UK 1 in 7 couples can be faced with the dificulty of having a child. Yet, as a society, we are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this painful time.

Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn’t coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mummy’s nose and daddy’s eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money.

A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways:

  • They will eventually conceive a baby.
  • They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children.
  • They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.

Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don’t know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.

Don’t Tell Them to Relax

Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she “relaxed.” Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of “relaxing” are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as “infertile” until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. In fact, most infertility specialists will not treat a couple for infertility until they have tried to become pregnant for a year. This year weeds out the people who aren’t infertile but just need to “relax.” Those that remain are truly infertile.

Comments such as “just relax” or “try going on a cruise” create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.

These comments can also reach the point of absurdity. As a couple, my husband and I underwent two surgeries, numerous inseminations, hormone treatments, and four years of poking and prodding by doctors. Yet, people still continued to say things like, “If you just relaxed on a cruise . . .” Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor, and even with treatment, many couples will NEVER successfully conceive a child. Relaxation itself does not cure medical infertility.

Don’t Minimise the Problem

Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone’s life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.

Comments like, “Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.,” do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn’t tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father’s Day or Mother’s Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn’t even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.

Don’t Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen

Along the same lines, don’t tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the “worst” thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?

Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the “worst” thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the “worst” thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the “worst” thing that could happen.

People wouldn’t dream of telling someone whose parent just died, “It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead.” Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don’t tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility.

Don’t Say They Aren’t Meant to Be Parents

One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, “Maybe God doesn’t intend for you to be a mother.” How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilise me. If God were in the business of divinely sterilising women, don’t you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn’t he sterilise the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren’t religious, the “maybe it’s not meant to be” comments are not comforting. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.

Don’t Ask Why They Aren’t Trying IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a method in which the woman harvests multiple eggs, which are then combined with the man’s sperm in a petri dish. This is the method that can produce multiple births. People frequently ask, “Why don’t you just try IVF?” in the same casual tone they would use to ask, “Why don’t you try shopping at another store?”

Don’t Be Crude

It is appalling that I even have to include this paragraph, but some of you need to hear this – Don’t make crude jokes about your friend’s vulnerable position. Crude comments like “I’ll donate the sperm” or “Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination” are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.

Don’t Complain About Your Pregnancy

This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.

The number one rule is DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don’t put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.

Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, “I’d gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby.” When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, “I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes.”

I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends’ new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend’s emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can’t bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn’t rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.

My addition to this – anyone who has health issues linking to their pregnancy do have a hard time and I fully understand what you must go through (not that I’ve ever experienced it before but I do read up and know of people who do have complications). Please don’t take any of this to heart.

Don’t Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant

For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don’t follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn’t ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.

Let’s face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.

Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to “dream” about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.

Don’t Gossip About Your Friend’s Condition

Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.

Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband’s sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend’s privacy, and don’t share any information that your friend hasn’t authorised.

Don’t Push Adoption (Yet)

Adoption is a wonderful way for infertile people to become parents. (As an adoptive parent, I can fully vouch for this!!) However, the couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision. Before they can make the decision to love a “stranger’s baby,” they must first grieve the loss of that baby with Daddy’s eyes and Mummy’s nose. Adoption social workers recognise the importance of the grieving process. When my husband and I went for our initial adoption interview, we expected the first question to be, “Why do you want to adopt a baby?” Instead, the question was, “Have you grieved the loss of your biological child yet?” Our social worker emphasised how important it is to shut one door before you open another.

You do, indeed, need to grieve this loss before you are ready to start the adoption process. The adoption process is very long and expensive, and it is not an easy road. So, the couple needs to be very sure that they can let go of the hope of a biological child and that they can love an adopted baby. This takes time, and some couples are never able to reach this point. If your friend cannot love a baby that isn’t her “own,” then adoption isn’t the right decision for her, and it is certainly not what is best for the baby.

Mentioning adoption in passing can be a comfort to some couples. (The only words that ever offered me comfort were from my sister, who said, “Whether through pregnancy or adoption, you will be a mother one day.”) However, “pushing” the issue can frustrate your friend. So, mention the idea in passing if it seems appropriate, and then drop it. When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.

So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say “I am giving you this baby,” there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn’t your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lesson the load. Here are a few ideas.

Let Them Know That You Care

The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren’t going through this alone.

Remember Them on Mother’s Day

With all of the activity on Mother’s Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother’s Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.

Mother’s Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother’s Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven’t “forgotten” them.

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments

No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mummy’s nose and daddy’s eyes.

Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don’t encourage them to try again, and don’t discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don’t try to open that chapter again.