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I'll never forget something a friend told me while I was in the throes of infertility treatments. "Mark my words," she said, rocking her baby girl, "even though you're doing IVF, you're going to one day get frustrated when your child acts out." In other words, I should take comfort in knowing that even though I was having difficulty conceiving, I'd one day be just like every other harried mom.
Her words, though well-meaning, made me sad. After all, I had spent months focusing on shots, doctor's visits and bloodwork, all the while trying not to get my hopes up. I couldn't even allow myself to visualize myself holding a baby -- let alone getting irritated with one.
That's the thing about trying to maintain friendships when you're TTC. So often, it's hard for friends who haven't gone through it to relate. Our community members agree. Here's what some of them have to say:
"I kind of lost a friend after my miscarriage. We weren't super close, but the silence from her was noticeable. It wasn't until she was set to move to another state that she finally sent me a Facebook message. She admitted to being an awful friend and not reaching out to me after my miscarriage because she didn't know what to say. I really did take it personally that she ditched me in my time of need. I think some people are uncomfortable with grieving people because they don't know what to say or don't want to make it worse." -- chouli77
"I have a friend who was trying to conceive at the same time as me. We had IUIs together, had them fail month after month, and really relied on each other for support. She ended up getting pregnant and sent me an email that I didn't take well. Looking back, it was probably an overreaction on my part, but she said that her doctor was really great and that maybe if I switched over to him, I'd have better luck. I told her that although I appreciated her thinking about me, the process would be the same. We had more back and forth emails and eventually I never heard from her again. I guess it's easy to forget about those who were making the journey with you once you got to where you were going!" -- sototallyfrustrated
"We were trying for number two for over a year-and-a-half. I got comments from one woman like, 'We tried and got pregnant the first month.' She thought it was funny. I haven't talked to that woman since. I think it's hard for those who have not experienced [infertility] to appreciate what it feels like."
"I was 38 weeks pregnant and my Facebook status read that I was tired, in pain, and ready to get this baby out of me. I didn't think it would offend anybody, but a childhood friend who was suffering from infertility wrote that pregnant people should not complain and just be happy that they are pregnant at all. Well, hormonal me decided to send her a strongly worded email, and we've barely spoken since. I should have just ignored it and chalked it up to frustration and jealousy, but for some reason I couldn't let it go." -- elizabeth1217
"I have a sister who had terrible difficulties with miscarriages and another who had dangerous pregnancies and required loads of bed rest. I get pregnant if someone says the word out loud near me. I have babies like there's nothing to it and recover fast. This definitely affects my relationship with my sisters. I didn't feel comfortable being excited about the second trimester (my sister had a 22 week loss) or about being able to run around at the end. Frankly, it wasn't them, it was me. I suppose it's like survivor's guilt." -- oldnewmommy
Has infertility affected any of your friendships? Chime in below!