I did a post about what NOT to say and now I want to focus on how you can help a loved one going through infertility.
Be kind. It's really that simple. Before something slips out of your mouth, really think about it. How is this comment going to help them? Empower them? Give them hope?
Arm yourself with facts. Do a google search and learn a bit about what they are going through. There is a lot of info out there. Don't research this in an attempt to give them unsolicited advice, do it to give yourself more knowledge so that you can better empathize with them.
Listen. When they are struggling- listen. When they need to cry- be still with them and listen. When they are angry- listen. Certainly it's okay to tell them to keep hoping and it's okay to try to lift them up. But when we are angry/scared/sad we aren't really looking for advice. We just want someone to HEAR US. The flip side of this, of course, is to not push us to talk when we don't want to. It's probably a good idea to not ask us about babies.
Show support on Mother's/Father's day. There is also Bereaved Mother's Day for mother's of angel babies. Be kind. Remember your loved ones who are struggling or can't conceive or who have lost babies.
Please don't talk to us about every pregnant person you know. Now, this one is not universal. I'm sure there are some infertile couples who don't mind. It is pretty personal to my own situation, actually. It seems that since this whole secondary infertility business got started, everyone and their sister is pregnant. And not just that, although it's certainly hard enough to deal with, but I also have to hear about it from everyone. I don't want to hear about it. I don't care what friend of yours I don't know is pregnant. I don't care. Please don't talk to me about other people and their pregnant selves.
Invite us to showers. But please be okay if we decide not to go. We want to be included and thought of, but sometimes we just can't. And that should be okay. Our feelings are valid.
Validate our choices and feelings. Even just telling us that this all really freaking sucks. Don't question what we want to spend our money on or what tests we want to do and don't question if we decide to stop treatments. Just support us. That's your only job.
I hope this helps someone. I hope that what you take away from these posts is not that we infertile peeps are bitter or angry or demanding, but that we have a disease and we are struggling and trying to deal with it as best we can.