According to the WHO around 17.5% of the adult population – roughly 1 in 6 worldwide – experience infertility
IN THIS EPISODE, STEPH AND MICHELLE HEAR FROM AUTHOR AMY KLEIN & GREEN BAY AREA MOM CONTRIBUTOR SHARING THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH INFERTILITY.
It is National Infertility Awareness Week, a movement founded in 1989 by an organization called Resolve – whose mission is to empower families and change the conversation around infertility. In 2010 National Infertility Awareness Week became a federally recognized health observance by the department of health and human services.
Join Steph and Michelle as they discuss support for families going through infertility. Guests Amy Klein, the author of The Trying Game and Green Bay Area Moms contributor Jolene Chevalier join to share advice for those struggling with infertility.
Episode 99 :: Show Notes
More from Author Amy Klein
Supporting a friend going through with infertility
How do you support a friend going through infertility?
The first thing that you need to know is that you don’t know anything. Anything! Whether or not you have children you can’t understand infertility is like until you are in it. Infertility takes over your life. I felt sick because of the hormones and I couldn’t make plans, because I did not know when I was going for treatment. I couldn’t travel, couldn’t go to weddings or birthday parties or baby showers – and many of those I did not want to because I was not feeling happy. I was actually feeling jealous of happy people, people with kids, or people who didn’t care about kids.
The best way to help friends and family going through infertility is to provide a sympathetic ear for them – without judgement.
- Don’t’ ask a million questions about treatment.
- Don’t tell them stories you heard of miracle treatments or miracle babies.
- Don’t say why don’t you “just adopt?”
- Don’t tell them how how lucky they are to be able to sleep in without kids.
The best way to help a friend going through infertility is to say, “I’m sorry, I know it’s very hard for you. How can I help?”
You can find out if they want to talk more about their journey, or if they don’t want any questions at all (like, “Are you pregnant yet?”)
And most importantly, don’t force them to be happy for you – say, if you’re pregnant, don’t ask the to plan your baby shower. From the outside it may be hard to understand infertility and baby envy but the best you can do to be there for someone is to, well, just show up.
A Note of Encouragement for any listeners walking through infertility themselves
For anyone going through infertility, miscarriage or even secondary infertility, my advice to you is to take care of yourself. I don’t mean “self-care” only as in spas, exercise and beauty treatments – many who which aren’t allowed when you’re doing IVF anyway! I mean to take care of yourself and your boundaries. If a friend or family member isn’t healthy for you during this time, distance yourself. If you can’t go to a baby shower or wedding, then don’t! You have limited emotional resources during this time, and you have to make sure that you’re protecting all your resources.
That being said, I wanted to remind you that this is a finite period in your life. It feels like it lasts forever, but it’s a season of your life — and so if you remember that, it makes everything easier, until you get the child you dreamed of!
About Our Guests
Amy Klein is the author of The Trying Game, How to Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind (published by Random House). It’s based on my New York Times “Fertility Diary” Column, which followed her four years of infertility. Amy had ten doctors, nine rounds of IVF, four miscarriages and finally had her daughter, who is almost eight years old.
Learn more about Amy: www.kleinslines.com
Jolene grew up in Luxemburg, WI. After going to college in Stevens Point and working for a year in the Milwaukee area, she moved to De Pere, WI to get married, start a family, and pursue her career. Both the youngest of six, Jolene and her husband always wanted a big family. After struggling to get pregnant, their family was jump-started by having identical twin girls, Eden and Ellie, who are turning 10. Then came Jude, who will be 8 in August, and James who will be 5 in June. Jolene and her husband run a successful entertainment company, www.howtoconcerts.com, planning large scale entertainment events across the country. Because she has to travel often for work, Jolene has used a breast pump while flying, driving, walking and talking, and has the war stories to prove it. Her keys to success (aka survival) are the members of her support system, starting with her husband and extended family, and ending with good coffee and a sense of humor.
Just Add Sprinkles Host
Steph is the CEO & Founder of City Mom Collective; growing the network after founding its original site, Scottsdale Moms Blog, in 2009. Now living in the greater Minneapolis area, she oversees the national network by spearheading growth strategies while shepherding and encouraging an ever-increasing number of moms managing individual hyper-local parenting websites. She is married to Alan and is the mom of three girls, Nora, Elsie, and Audrey. She loves throwing a great party, connecting people, and cooking with a glass of red wine in hand.