Though I have been cut by people's words regarding my infertility, I have had an amazing amount of encouragement through this journey as well. Ryan and I are so blessed by you- our family, church, and friends who have hopped on the bandwagon with us to find Baby Miller. Thank you so much. We feel very loved and supported. Below are some practical things that you have done to uplift my spirit. :)
"I’m sorry." Simple, but it’s a really refreshing response when everyone else seems to imply that you’re overreacting and need to relax. A few months back, I was having a particularly bad day at work. There was a baby shower at the office for a coworker, everyone kept telling me to get to it and have a baby already, along with lots of other unwanted advice. I eventually snapped, and had to apologize for my sharp response, so I felt down about that too. One of the ladies was on her way out at the same time as I was that day, and genuinely asked, “So what about you Denay, no babies for you yet?” I simply told her "No, I can’t seem to get pregnant." She looked in my eyes and said with a sympathetic smile, “Honey, I’m so sorry.” That was all I needed that day. She didn’t pry further with questions, she didn’t offer me advice, she was just a woman who showed that she actually cared that I was hurting. I don’t think she’ll ever know how much that meant to me, but I’ll never forget it.
Let them know you’re thinking of / praying for them. When you have a person on your heart, I think it’s always a good idea to let them know. There’s probably a reason that God put them in your thoughts at that particular moment. Quick text messages, cards, emails are a huge blessing. When you’re thinking about getting pregnant every day, it’s nice to know that someone else is thinking of it too. :)
Follow up. Once a person shares this struggle with you, it is (usually) not taboo anymore. It’s ok to ask them how an appointment went, how they’re feeling, how they are responding to medication, etc. Infertility is lonely struggle. Showing a simple interest in the details of this journey goes a long way.
Give positive feedback. "You’re going to be great parents one day....I’m so looking forward to seeing who God gives you...I admire ________ as you go through this hardship...You’re an encouragement to me..." You get the idea. It’s easy to be down on yourself when your body's not doing what it’s supposed to be doing. In addition to that frustration, you’re in a constant battle of ugly feelings like bitterness, jealousy, anger, discontentment, and plain ol' sadness. It’s very encouraging to me when people express the positive way they’ve been impacted through our journey of infertility.
Non-verbal Responses – Words can be overrated. Paul knew what he was talking about in Romans 12:15, when he said to "weep with those who weep." There is something incredibly comforting about someone wrapping their arms around you and letting you cry. It’s even more comforting when they cry with you. When I've been at my lowest and most vulnerable emotional point, there is nothing that has helped me more than someone else sitting right next to me with tears in their eyes too.
One of the major ways to support that I left out of this post is prayer. There are so many things to bring before the Lord! In my next post, I will share some specific things to pray for that would silently, but abundantly, bless anyone struggling to get pregnant. :)