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I just wanted to get your advise. I have a new friend who is dealing with infertility and really really wants a baby. She's a birth and delivery nurse and has wanted to be a mom more than anything else her whole life. She and her husband have been trying for 8 years I think and are doing IVF now. She said she doesn't want to adopt. She wants to give birth and if she can't she will move on with her life and be childless.

I know it's a very painful thing for her and I just wanted to ask for advise as to what should I say/not say to her. I want to be sensitive to her and not make things more painful by saying the wrong thing. Advice?
 

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The people that have been the most supportive are those that have been there to listen and offer empathy but not pity. IF is very painful and it must be even harder considering the line of work she does. I have a habit of expressing anger at pregnant women- not so much them, but the fact they are pregnant. I always appreciate when someone doesn't act shocked by the words that sometimes come out of my mouth. I am just expressing my emotions. IF brings with it very STRONG emotions. She may change her mind about adoption in the future or maybe not.

I think you are a wonderful friend for asking this question. I wonder if you could even ask her the same question. I know I loved knowing there were people who cared enough to listen to my tales of IF. Unfortunately, we keep it quite secret as there is a lot of shame attached to it and many people are insensitive about it.
 

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Don't tell her to relax. Relaxing isn't going to maggically get her pregnant. Don't tell her "It will happen!" At this point she has already faced that it may not happen. Don't tell her that "it just isn't the right time" or "maybe this is g-d's plan", nethier of these are helpful and just make her feel like a failure.

Be supportive, understand when she doesn't want to go to gatherings with lots of kids, be gentle and honest with her. Don't withold pregnancy news to spare her feelings, but be gentle when you tell her.

Don't expect she wants to hold babies. Some infertile women love holding babies. For others it is just too painful. And either way it is never going to make them feel better. Holding someone else's child is not that same as holding your own.

There is a great entry on this blog So Close It is funny, and slightly tongue in cheek. But true.

Put yourself in her shoes. If you had all the love you have for your kids, but no kids to direct it at, how would you feel?
 

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I agree with the advice mentioned above. I would let her know that you are there for if she needs to vent/scream/cry. I had a very hard time hearing that women I knew were getting pregnant and attending baby showers. I swear if I heard one more person tell me to relax it will come naturally or somtimes its not meant to be, I would have probably burst into tears and ran away or decked them pretty good. Either way be there for her and allow her to get upset.
 
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