Dealing with infertility and friends

A good friend is struggling with infertility. I also struggled and had infertility treatments but eventually did get pregnant. During my baby’s first year of life she has had multiple failed treatments and now one failed IVF leading to miscarriage. I have been with her through this whole process and been very involved - she always came to me and we texted, went out, chatted etc. Except now she has told me it is too painful to see me even if I left the baby at home. She said it’s too painful to see the people who has the life she wants. I don’t know what to do now to support her or how to be there for her.

  • Tara
    Aug 22, 2018

    I’m sorry for you and your friend. Sounds like a challenging situation to navigate sensitively. I personally would give her space, as I imagine I would need that space myself if I was in her situation. I didn’t have a problem conceiving, but I relate to some of this as I remember distancing myself from a few friends who I felt some envy towards, as they seemed to have it all- this was before I had my own family- they had their babies young, were settled back into their bodies/ careers/ relationships, seemed always happy and fab... of course, I see now that much of that was my fantasy, BUT I also see that this distance was healthy for both parties. I needed distance to take stock of my life, and (at the time) be grateful for the life I had (in fact, the ample freedoms and adventure I sometimes miss today!). Basically, if being with you and others is triggering her upset and sadness, then maybe the best way to be there for her is to accept her decision and give her some space. I imagine, whether she ends up conceiving or not, you will have a chance to rekindle your friendship down the road. Hope my thoughts are helpful. Good luck.

  • Caylyn
    Aug 22, 2018

    I went through this same thing but was in the shoes of your friend.... I went through 4 years of miscarriages and IVF before getting pregnant. Within those 4 years I formed bonds with probably 10 friends who also had infertility, but they each got pregnant and slowly transitioned “to the other side” =motherhood. And I no longer felt that bond anymore. It was sad to see them as parents and I was definitely jealous. My advise is to “gently” let her know you’re there. Send her texts saying “miss u” “would love to bring dinner over and hang” something like that. Even though it makes her sad to see you as a parent now it usually feels even more sad to feel “forgotten”...

  • Aida
    Aug 22, 2018

    I have been in your friends shoes, it’s such a hard time, give her the space, just let her know your there when she needs you. I recently found a mentor/mentee partnering for those going through fertility issues and those that have gone through it. It is nice to have the support without the pressure of the established friendship, you could offer it to her as a resource, it’s called Fruitful. Hoping she becomes a mother and in no time reaches out to you again as a friend, just be there ready, I’m lucky I had someone there, I still remember when we reconnected how awful I felt for pushing her away, but at the time that’s what I needed and she was so happy for me and we moved forward with a stronger friendship. Good luck to both of you!

  • B
    Aug 22, 2018

    I just had the same thing with a friend. Sucked for me as well since I was a new mom, in a new city, and needed a friend. But I told her that I was going to give her space, and she should reach out when ready. It seemed to be what she needed. Now she’s finally pregnant and reaching out, but honestly I’m a bit bitter about it, and eventually we will have to do something to fix the friendship.

  • anonymous mom
    Aug 22, 2018

    It’s a tough situation to be in but don’t be selfish. It’s hard to be a new parent but (as many of us know) it’s so much harder when you’re going through the treatments and having failures and setbacks. It’s likely your friend is going through an extreme darkness and depression. Just let her know you are there for her and will be there for her when she’s ready to reach out. And as someone else said, periodically send a text or a note just saying you’re thinking about her and you love her very much. ❤️💕

  • Elizabeth
    Aug 24, 2018

    I definitely think you need to give her space. It’s hard because sometimes the space makes it harder to rekindle. My twin sister has dealt with fertility issues. She got pregnant right away when then miscarried 6 weeks later and I found out I was pregnant literally the week after her baby would have been due. Initially she felt envious but my anxiety about my pregnancy helped her realize she needed to be there for me. We are best friends and talk every day though so there was no way we wouldn’t get past it. After going to the doctor she discovered her husband had low motility and they have had 3 failed IUI attempts now and have been trying to get pregnant again for about 3 years. She doesn’t go to any church baby showers but generally does ok if it’s a close friend. One of our mutual friends who was a bridesmaid for both of us but went to law school with me has been very standoffish with her since getting pregnant just because my sister told her that her period came the day she told her. Just continue to be a good friend and know that it isn’t about you! Recognizing that you don’t know what to say to make her feel better is helpful. My sister does often say the toughest thing is that people who already have their babies love to tell her about their struggles but she just doesn’t feel like anyone who is still TTC is close friends with her anymore.

  • Kim
    Aug 24, 2018

    I also know what she is experiencing. You name it, & it happened to me during my 9 years of fertility treatments. Make sure you communicate to her that you care for her & are respecting her space. Let her know you are always there for her as well. Send her a text maybe every 2 weeks or 1x per month saying you are thinking of her & that you are there for her. I also did see really nice infertility cards at Halmark the other day. When she is ready, she will reach out. You are a wonderful friend to seek guidance from others & eventually your friend will realize this too.