“What you’re doing is amazing”
Why this helps: most women go through nine months of having their body hijacked before they have a baby. When a couple is going through fertility treatments one or both of their bodies and as a side effect their relationship can be hijacked for years. But they are going through this in the hope of sharing their love with another person. It is an amazing act of love and acknowledging that can really make them feel validated.
“I know this couple who got pregnant through fertility treatments…”
Why it helps: while it’s easy to remember the exceptional stories about the people who gave up and got pregnant… We remember them because they are exceptional, but that’s exactly why they don’t help or give hope to those going through this, it belittles the struggle those in treatment are going through. So tell us hopeful stories where treatments work.
“Wanna go smash stuff?”
Why it helps: This is stressful stuff… Even without mood swings which some of the meds cause… There are ups and downs and it can make a person feel really frustrated. Whether or not you actually do go smash stuff, you’re acknowledging their struggle and that means a lot.
“You look great”
Why it helps: Weight fluctuations, pimples, fatigue, hair… This is not a particularly flattering process. If your friend doesn’t look like shit, let them know. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a compliment?
“How is it going?” — only if you mean it
Why it helps: there is still such a stigma around infertility, and sometimes all a passion wants to do is vent about their experience, to talk through their fears and frustrations with someone not directly related to the process. Offering your ear can do more good than I can explain here.