Any woman struggling with fertility or early pregnancy loss will have stories about the sometimes difficult or thoughtless comments people have made about their ability to have children, or how they be coping with their difficulties.
For many, it feels hurtful, rubs salt in the wound, or perhaps appears insensitive, but please try to understand that such comments or statements are not intended to do so! It may a sign that we need to stop and help educate others on how we are feeling or what we need from them to help, rather than hinder our healing process.
There are certainly a few things I have learned about myself and others:
Many couples have been incredibly fortunate to have never dealt with infertility or pregnancy loss. Their understanding of what we are going through is only through what they see and believe. Their comments do not intend to offend; it is their way of hoping to provide some support, even though it may not feel that way it at the time.
Everyone copes differently…
Some will try to liken their own situation to ours, but the reality is that everyone has different stories and ways of coping. Whilst we cannot tell others how they should be feeling, we try to, because human nature wants to understand to provide support.
Educate rather than exacerbate…
Rather than get offended, upset or aggravated by seemingly thoughtless comments, just stop and explain your feelings. If someone is mindlessly talking about their pregnancy, whilst you have struggled with loss, let them know that it’s a sensitive subject. If someone tells you how to cope and its way off centre, take the time to explain what you need from them. Sometimes a little guidance is all we need, and a friendship can be saved!
I have lost enough through this process: I certainly don’t want to lose any of my friendships or hurt my relationships. Sometimes it takes that one moment to stop and reflect before reacting. That’s what I keep telling myself.