Every day it seems like there is some type of “national day.” National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, National Taco Day, National Puppy Day, or one of my personal favorites, National Margarita Day. Most of these are celebrated in a way that is fun and joyful.One national day that people may not be aware of is National Infertility Survival Day.
RELATED READING :: How to be Supportive During Infertility
This day is typically the Sunday before Mother’s Day every May. This day, is not one that is celebrated by eating fun foods, enjoying a drink, or snuggling an animal. Instead, many are mourning that they do not have children of their own and may be years into costly fertility treatments.
Infertility affects one in eight couples. Which means you probably have someone in your close circle that is a part of this statistic and may be struggling in silence.
There are so many things that can trigger people who are going through infertility. Baby showers, birthday parties for children, religious events, and holidays, specifically Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Those days make the sense of loss feel so much heavier.
So if someone you know opens up about their struggle what should or shouldn’t you say or do as a friend, family member, or a colleague?
Recently on my infertility support Instagram page (@jojiiandco) I asked just that. Here are one of the responses.
Things not to say:
- Just stop thinking about it and then it will happen.
- You should go on vacation, relax, and have some drinks- that for sure will work.
- Why don’t you just adopt?
- So whose fault is it? His or your’s?
- Oh my sister’s, friend’s, cousin-in-law tried ________.
- Maybe you’re not meant to have kids.
- Do you want one of my kids?
- I may not understand what you’re going through, but I’m here to talk and listen.
- This sucks, I’m so sorry.
- Just wanted to check in on you and see how you are doing.
- I know it’s (fill in holiday), just wanted to let you know I’m thinning of you.
- Your pain is valid.
- This is so unfair and I know you will be an amazing mom or dad.
The truth of the matter is- don’t ignore the topic. If someone has shared with you that they are going through infertility, they are looking for support from you. They aren’t looking for advice or a quick fix solution, they are simply looking for you to be there for them and be a shoulder to lean on.
Now if you are someone who is experiencing infertility and the holidays are especially challenging here are some ideas of things you can do on those days, including Mother’s Day, which is right around the corner:
- Skip an event that you know will make the day even harder.
- Do something for yourself: get a massage, go for a hike, treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure.
- Go shopping and get yourself something special.
- Grab some lunch or dinner with a friend.
- Take a long bath with music, bubbles, a glass a champagne.
Whatever it is that will help ease the pain just a bit that day.
Infertility can often times feel very lonely and know that it doesn’t have to- if you are needing support or just talk to someone who may understand, be sure to check out my Infertility support page- @jojiiandco.
kate- your cautiously optimistic realist