First of all, I blame about .1 % of this on my childhood. When you’re younger, you learn the little rhyme ‘Cassandra and Ian kissing in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.’ For many, it was that simple but others, it wasn’t. The equation felt more like ‘First comes love, then comes marriage along with fertility drugs, planned sex, level of jealousy to might be getting the baby in the baby carriage.’ Trying so hard to do something many know as an ‘easy task’ is frustrating and insane at times and could make a woman feel like she’s alone on this journey. If you know a friend or a family member who is going through the TTC journey, here are a few things you can do to be that an even better friend.
- Please understand that trying to conceive is not fun. It’s not pretty and can be very stressful. It’s not just having sex. It may seem like it but it’s not. It’s buying 10 or more ovulation kits to find out when you’re fertile. That could take a month or two. Then it’s the planning of having sex. The day of, there’s no cuddling. Ass and legs need to hiked up with a pillow under your back so you can direct the traffic of the sperm. If you have an irregular period, then there’s meds and plans. It’s the waiting game physically and the worrying game mentally. It is not a lightweight situation. It’s also a very private situation. Outside of my immediate tribe and women were going through it, no one knew about the struggle. It was a struggle everyday. Pregnancy announcements on social media, every other co-worker getting pregnant and holidays were triggers for me. So although they may say they’re fine and okay, give them that reassurance that you are there for them and that you’ll listen.
- No we don’t want to ‘take your child for a week’. Who wants kidnapping charges! No we don’t feel like it we’re lucky because we don’t have any children. Saying that someone is lucky for something that they’ve repeatedly prayed about cuts deep in the soul.
- Know that when you find out you’re pregnant, your friend or family member IS happy for you. Despite the fact that they are going through their struggle, they will try to keep a smile on their face and be there for you. Don’t feel guilty for posting your announcement, your pregnancy highs and lows, and your excitement. They may have days where it’ll be hard to see those things but they do love you and want you to be happy. I remember a friend of mine saying that she cried not wanting to tell me because my husband and I had been trying for a long time. I told her that although I appreciate her concern, I wouldn’t want her to not be excited because of me. She should have been jumping for joy about her bundle of joy. I was honest and told her it always hurts to read about another person getting pregnant but that shouldn’t take away from her happiness.
- Lastly, adoption is an option if you have money. Let’s be real -it’s harder to adopt than to have a child. The average cost to adopt a child through an agency is $39, 996! For an independent adoption, it’s 5K less than that. That’s it. Unless people have 40 grand lying around, the choice of adopting is not always an easy one. I understand when someone brings up adoption after years and years of trying. I know it’s coming from a sincere place but at the same time, for a lot of people, it’s not realistic.
If you know someone has been trying to conceive and it’s been a long time, know that there’s been a lot of tears and questions asking themselves why they are going through. Be a friend and listen to them. You don’t have to say anything. Just listen. Let them vent and get it off their chest. Remind them that they are loved and not broken. This journey is theirs but you can help them through it. Until next time my people.