It seems like most of the stories we hear about how others treat the infertile are the horror stories. Times when people say insensitive things, or expect the infertile to just get over it, or at the very least don’t get “it”—meaning the pain and grief that walk alongside infertility. In this season of giving we thought we’d share with you some stories of random acts of kindness that have been done to help someone coping with the grief of infertility. We would love it if you would share your own in the comments as a gift to other readers.
Aly: I was driving on a Saturday morning to the clinic for a fresh transfer. My husband had to stay home with my step kids (his children from his first marriage). I was on the highway, about 20 minutes from home- the clinic is about 45 min away- when they called to say please don’t come in, there’s nothing that has progressed enough to transfer. I had to pull over at the next exit, at 9 am in the parking lot of a Papa John’s, I was crying too hard to be able to see let alone drive.
I sat there sobbing, I called my husband who talked to me for a few. I posted on a group like this, except for local women in my area. And a woman in that group, someone I had never met before, offered to have me come over and make me coffee and sit with me in my despair. She didn’t know me, she didn’t need to. It was the most profound act of kindness I think I have ever experienced. And I am happy to report that she was just at my baby shower last week for these rainbow miracle twins I’m carrying. Just knowing someone cared and would sit with me in the dark, made all the difference.
Emily: An acquaintance, who is an artist, made this for me after my fifth miscarriage. Inside the shell are seven pearls, for my two sons and the five I lost. While I was going through the awful physical process of a miscarriage, she dropped everything in her own life so she could think of me and sew. It was the most precious gift I’ve ever received.
Rachel: Right after I miscarried a neighbor texted me and asked to see if I could watch her little boy. She did not know I had a miscarriage. I texted her and her husband and let them know about the miscarriage and that I would not be able to watch their son. Only a few hours later they texted back and said to go to my door. They had gone to the store, bought a precious card, bought flowers & chocolate and let me know that they also had suffered a miscarriage. This friend also left me a beautiful Mother’s Day Card this year with such kind words of love and encouragement. So thoughtful!
Jennifer: At least once or twice a year a group of us from University get together and touch base. We are all still “young”. Some girls are not yet married or planning families, so we gloss over those details mostly.
Last time we got together, at the beach this summer, the group went for a bathroom break leaving me and one other friend alone. She mentioned something about “it sucks waiting for children” (she’s postponing TTC until after her residency; my husband and I have been TTC for 3 years).
I responded with “it can be painful at times”.
Her response was “painful isn’t a strong enough word”.
We sat in silence for a while on the beach. There was no more that needed to be said. Sometimes it’s not the big actions that make the biggest difference.
S.S.: I am lucky enough to have two very special friends that have supported me so much; I really don’t know what I would have done without them. The first is my best friend K who has always been there for me even when she struggled with infertility herself. And she is the only one that remembers my two miscarriages three years on and is not afraid to refer to them. They are a lot less present now that I got my rainbow boy, but I am grateful at least someone remembers because not even my husband ever refers to them.
My second friend, A, I have known all my life. We were good friends but she is another of those rare people who was genuinely interested in how I was during fertility treatment and after my miscarriages and was never afraid to bring the subject up. Which I think is a brave and rare trait for someone not having faced infertility as such. She did battle ovarian cancer in her early 20s but fortunately had 2 children without any problems.
What random acts of kindness have you experienced on your infertility journey?
Image credit: kweez mcG