Saturday, May 4, 2013

Say What You Need to Say

Warning: This post contains self-indulgent whining.

Ugh! It's 4:15am and I am wide awake with a terrible mix of head cold/allergies. I quietly snuck out of bed with my tissue box and iPad and made my way to the living room couch because I love my husband and he shouldn't have to be awakened by my lovely sneeze/cough/blowing nose medley on a Saturday morning. This is made all the more frustrating because I cannot take my lovely cocktail of OTC medicines to knock it out.  I'm a big fan of the Zyrtec/Neti Pot/ Aleve/ Benadryl at nighttime mix. It works wonders for me, but since we are in the midst of our transfer cycle the options available are tylenol and toughing it out. (Feel free to comment with your personal home remedies below! A friend just told me about garlic lemonade and it is on my list of things to try today.)

So, I feel pretty wimpy. My nose is red and raw, but I know that this will run its course in a couple of days and I'll be good as new. I'm pretty good at talking myself out of a personal pity party and will shake this off, but at 4:15 on a Saturday morning it feels a little bleak. :)

Since I'm awake, I thought I'd jump into a blog post that's been rolling around in my head for the last couple of weeks. I have been thinking about how isolating infertility can feel at times, especially from those you love the most. I have recently received an amazing outpouring of support from friends and perfect strangers in the IF community but realized that many times the ones closest to us don't reach out because they simply do not know what to say. Let's face it, it's a bit of a tricky minefield. No one wants to say the wrong thing, so many people just remain silent. 

I remember when Ken and I were about to become engaged and I was meeting his family, his sweet grandmother who I ADORE avoided calling me by my name for fear she would call me by the name of his ex.  I was never hurt by this because I knew her intentions were to avoid an awkward situation and potentially hurting my feelings. Eventually she dropped the "hers" and "shes" and "sweethearts" and adopted using my name. It still makes me smile to think about it. So I started wondering, how many people have read the "Things not to say to an infertile couple" posts online and decided that rather than put their foot in their mouth, they would keep it shut?

Rather than tell people what not to say, I thought I'd post the things that people have said to me that I have loved:
  • I want to be supportive, but don't know how. Tell me how I can. (I love the honest and direct approach!)
  • I love you (simple works!)
  • I'm praying for you
  • I'm thinking of you during your treatment
  • I'm rooting for you! (everyone loves a cheerleader)
  • Thank you for sharing what you're going through (when you leave yourself emotionally open, this one means so much)
  • I'm excited for your future!
  • You will be an awesome mommy/parents.
Bottom line, just start talking. Be honest and reach out to the ones you love who are struggling. Because it's early and I'm tired, sick and self-indulgent, I'll close with a song lyric :)

You'd better know that in the end,
It's better to say too much
Than never say what you need to say again


  1. I love this song, so I knew I'd love the post. And I did! I really liked the comparison to Grandma. So fitting and smart to compare it to IF. Thanks for giving people simple but fabulous things to say.

    1. Thank you, Em! You have a wonderful gift of encouragement. I always appreciate your kindness! :)

  2. Great post! I really love that you focused on what TO say rather than what NOT to say... such a positive spin! I wish I had a good remedy for you but I am usually miserable and cursing the lack of OTC drugs when mid-cycle. Love that Neti Pot though. Feel better!

  3. Poor thing. Hope you feel better soon. What great advice. My sister hardly ever talks to me about our infertility because she is always afraid she will upset me or say the wrong thing. It is hard for everyone involved.