Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Other Side

Wasn't that guest post from Wednesday awesome? Emily did such a great job answering a lot of questions that have been on my mind recently.  Lauren has really put together such an amazing collections of posts about infertility all in one space, so head on over and check it out, if you haven't done so already.  I was talking to her earlier this week and she passed on this great blog post for me to read.  It got me to thinking.  As I read through all of these amazing stories from different bloggers, I am noticing a running theme about how to interact with your infertile friend, but the post linked above does a great job explaining what its like to be on the other side.  I really wanted to take a moment to write about my own experience and to give a little perspective of what its like to be the one with the baby bump.

These might not apply to everyone, so keep that in mind, but this is just what I've experienced.  It's my experience of having friends and family with infertility, and my own route to getting pregnant and being pregnant.  I was terrified of infertility in the years leading up to getting pregnant.  Both my aunt and uncle on my dad's side were unable to pregnant naturally.  My aunt never did end up having kids, and my uncle and his wife eventually gave me 2 much younger cousins through IVF.  Due to my family history, an irregular period, a chronic illness, and never getting a positive on an OPK, I sought help.  I eventually had an HSG and was supposed to go on Clomid the day I found out I was pregnant.  I really feel like I lucked out, and sometimes I feel really guilty about it, so just know this:

1. We (your fertile friends) might feel really guilty.  Sometimes I feel like my infertile friends would make a better parent than me.  It's confusing to deal with.  There is no rhyme or reason, but your pain affects us in different ways.  I truly thought I was going to be in the infertile club, and I feel absolutely terrible for ever making a "big deal" out of my own fears now.

2. We think (an excruciating amount) about how to break the news to you that we got lucky.  I did my best to inform my infertile friends about my pregnancy before they heard it from someone else.  I painstakingly thought about how to approach the conversation.  I did not look forward to it at all, but not telling you personally seemed more disrespectful.  I'm really sorry if I used the wrong words, but my intention was always to protect your feelings.  Same goes for stupid things I might accidentally say a long the way.  If I say something really stupid, its probably because I'm frantically trying to come up with anything to make you feel better, unhelpful but with good intentions.

3. Don't assume that just because we got pregnant that there aren't other issues we're dealing with.  You never know who might be experiencing something really scary or painful, even if they got pregnant.  This is important to me because I have a chronic illness, which happens to also be an invisible illness, meaning that no one can look at me and know I have it, just like infertility.  Getting pregnant was really scary for me and I thought FOR YEARS about whether my body would tolerate being pregnant.  So far it has, but it hasn't been easy and it hasn't been without pain.  I know I'm really fortunate to be pregnant in the first place, and I won't sit around complaining about it, but just know that you can't always know what another person is going through.  I need just as much support and encouragement dealing with my disease as you do with yours.

4.  Most importantly, know that we genuinely care.  We want to see you happy, we want to support you, we want to remain friends.  We want to raise our kids with your kids.  More than anything, we want to learn how to navigate this with you.  Please allow us the chance.


  1. Great post! :) And you know... my true friends have done a really good job of taking my feelings into consideration, not saying those horrible things, or telling me they are pregnant in a gentle way. It's been the acquaintances or strangers (or FB-only friends... you know, those people who think they're your best friend just b/c they're your FB friend?!) that have said the most hurtful things. Sometimes my real friends see one of my posts of what not to say to someone like me, and i'm like, 'No!! Not you!! You've never hurt me like that!" Haha! :) But this is a great post. Thank you!

  2. This is great, Katie. Thank you for taking the time to share your side of things. It's important that we know where the other side is coming from. I remember reading that blog you linked (the one I sent you). I liked it at first, then I got angry about it, and now I've come full circle, and can appreciate the words, and see the value in them. Infertility is weird, and it can often blind us into thinking we're the only ones suffering. Clearly we are not. Thank you for reminding me that we all have a varied array of struggles. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your ups and downs.

  3. This is an amazing post!!! It's definitely difficult being on the other side of infertility or any other disease or illness as well. You are so right that we all have struggles and all need love and support at some point in our lives. It's definitely tough to know the right things to say, if there is such a thing!


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