When you're struggling with infertility, there are so many things that you don't want to face - pregnancy announcements, congratulating people on their pregnancy, baby showers, basically anything that relates to still not being pregnant. And there are often occasions where people don't realize that their innocent questions or well- meaning comments are actually painful to bear.
Questions about starting a family come up a lot for women and is another heartbreaking reminder of the pregnancy you are doing all you can to have. It can come for a complete stranger making small talk with you, coworkers, or even family members who aren’t aware of your fertility struggles.
In order to help you cope with this painful reminder, try creating a response that you feel comfortable saying. This will be your go to response and will help you feel more in control when these questions catch you off guard. You will likely need a couple versions depending on your relationship with the person asking. It could be something such as:
That's a really personal question and not everyone is comfortable answering.
We’re hopeful it will be soon.
When there's news to share, you’ll know.
We’ve had some challenges with starting a family. It’s not something that’s easy for me to talk about.
Know that your reaction to these questions and any baby-related events are valid. When you want something, it is incredibly frustrating and upsetting when you are doing everything in your power to make that happen and you still don’t have it. You may even feel betrayed by your body for not being able to do something that we think of as being natural.
Take care of yourself during this stressful time. Do things you enjoy. Be mindful of what makes you feel good and what doesn't right now. If you're not feeling up to attending a baby shower, don't go. Get support for yourself.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by fertility challenges, contact me today for help.
Laura Winters, LCSW is a therapist specializing in infertility and prenatal/postpartum stress. Laura's practice is located in Chatham and Mountain Lakes, NJ.