I’ve received enough comments throughout October to warrant this reminder to good-hearted, well-meaning folks–if you haven’t been on this side of infertility, please tread lightly when comforting or sharing your news with someone whose sorrow is profound, at times, hidden or downplayed, and rarely acknowledged. No one is to blame. We just need to be reminded.
When comforting an infertile woman, please don’t say too much, period. “I’m so sorry,” works wonders. Otherwise, shut up. Just be there, hold, and listen. Most of us do, but sometimes we screw up and find ourselves contorted in bitter-tasting small talk.
When sharing good or bad news, this may seem like common sense to most of you, but, humor me, and please refrain from telling an infertile woman–
how relieved you are at not being pregnant,
about the birth of your baby while still groggy from labor,
that you’re going to terminate a pregnancy, or
shit, I can’t believe it! I’m pregnant again.