It seems that almost everyone around me these days is either pregnant or a new mom. With this, I have also noticed that many moms don't really know what to say or do around those of us who have struggled with infertility or experienced pregnancy loss. Let me just start out by saying that I'm not referring to anyone in particular, in fact, most of these come from things my friends have done right. This is just to serve as general guidance for new and pregnant moms that aren't really sure of the best things to say or do around friends or family members who are going through infertility or pregnancy loss.
1. We'll start from the beginning. We never want you to avoid sharing the excitement of your pregnancy news with us; we recognize more than anyone how much of a blessing pregnancy is and we want to celebrate that with you. However, it is usually best to do it in a one-on-one setting or a phone call if face to face can't be worked out. When you share it this way, it allows us to be excited with you, but honest in our emotions at the same time. When we receive this news with a group, we're usually trying to force some extra excitement to blend in with the crowd and suppress the honest feelings until a later time.
2. In our day to day conversations, don't avoid talking about your pregnancy or new baby. We truly value your friendship and are very much invested in your life, so we want to know about the excitement that comes with your pregnancy or new baby. However, it's best to save any complaining for other friends or family. We understand that pregnancy isn't always fun and that being a new mom isn't always easy, but realize that most of us would give our right arm to be facing those types of trials rather than the ones we've been dealt. After the past 14 months, I can honestly say that I would rather face 40 weeks of morning sickness or a year of sleepless nights.
3. Along that same line- while we want to know about your pregnancy or new baby, make sure the topic doesn't dominate our conversations. We know your pregnancy or new baby is your world, but try to talk about other things as well- work, family or even the latest episode of Bachelor Pad (not judging). Ask how we're doing... not incessantly, but it's great to open up the door in case we feel like talking.
4. Don't take it personally if we decline the invitation to your baby shower. While, we are happy to send a card and gift wishing you all the happiness in the world... sitting through a couple hours of baby-centered conversation really takes its toll.
Lastly, I know that motherhood isn't always sunshine and rainbows... but don't ever forget just how much of a blessing it is to be a mom. I know that somewhere between the pregnancy pains, swollen ankles, colicky nights, endless feedings and mind numbingly long car rides with a screaming baby it can be very easy to take for granted the life growing inside of you or that you're holding in your arms. I have no doubt that being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but know that there are so many of us out there that would trade places with you in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. In no way, do we want anyone to feel sorry for us or feel like you need to walk on egg shells; but rather offer sincere encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, fashion advice, a walking partner, an ice cream date and continue to be the the great friend you've always been. We know that when the Lord does decide to bless us with a healthy baby- you'll be the first one in line to celebrate with us.