There she is. Do you see her? She’s that woman grabbing a head of lettuce at the grocery store smiling at you as you pass by. You notice that she doesn’t have any kids with her, but you do not see her longingly gazing at your little one in the grocery cart. Yes her, she has struggled with infertility now for seven years. And while it may not be apparent, she cries herself to sleep almost every. Night. She is not jealous of you and your children, but she does question God “When will it be my time?”
…Please don’t forget her. Please just see her.
There she is ..She is the friend that you have not heard from in a while. Little do you know she has been secretly struggling with depression for the last few years. You have no idea why it happened, but all of a sudden she changed. She probably blatantly avoids women’s gatherings and lunch dates by now. Though you have always been too intimidated to ask why, she may be so hurt emotionally that she mentally just can’t take it anymore.
…Ask her about it. Offer to take her to coffee.
There she is.. She is your over the top coworker who makes jokes about EVERYTHING. She laughs at the world around her and brushes off any worries. With her deep southern accent and sarcastic tone, she could turn even the worst day into a fun one.
If you suspect something is wrong and see something is off, ask her about it. Take her to dinner.
There she is.. She is the hardworking business woman. She is the CEO or owner of her own company who you may think is waiting to have children due to her success. She seems as if she has it all together, in your eyes. You may even think (or say)that you would LOVE to trade in a day of spit up clothes and baby food for her life, but little do you know she would trade in ALL of her days of career success and business wear for ONE of your days of spit up clothes, baby food, and laughter of littles.
Ask her about it if you think she is struggling. Offer to take her to lunch.
There she is…She works full time at a job she loves and is overall a happy person. She is the friend that throws everyone’s baby shower and has lots of ideas. She’s the first to bring a meal to someone in need, and she always coordinates weekly lunches with your group of friends.
My friends were always SO surprised to learn that I was the one struggling with infertility. At church, I was the greeter that wore a smile. At work, I was the super peppy, mostly cheerful coworker. With my friends, I was always encouraging and SO joyful to find out they were expecting a child. I was the first to volunteer to host their shower with the best of the best from Pinterest. I would coordinate the planning with other friends of ours, discuss how excited I was for our friend, plan fun games, and make yummy goodies. I know you are wondering if I was being fake, and truly I was not. During my infertility struggle, I was always so ecstatic for my friends to be expecting and having babies. It was only after going home following their showers or those girls lunch dates where the exciting announcement was revealed that I wondered “Why not me?”.
And behind closed doors, I pleaded with God, “Why not me? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I give my husband a child of our own?”
SO often we get so caught up in our busy days with the little stuff, that we don’t even notice our sisters that are struggling with infertility. She comes in many packages. Some may be easy to spot, while others you would never guess. As women, we must be sensitive to our sisters around us by what we say. Because the reality is, we do not know what they’re going through or what their story looks like.
So ya’ll, please be sensitive to our sisters who are walking that hard road around us. I have walked that road before and it is NOT easy. We hear every negative comment about parenthood and see every eye roll. We know you mean well, but we SO long to live that hard day with screaming babies and disobedient toddlers. So please don’t say things like “You’ve got it made! You can sleep as late as you want without interruption! That must be so nice.”. Because I promise you, it is really not. Every night our sisters go to bed with empty arms and broken hearts. Please don’t just ignore our sisters struggling with infertility. Reach out to them, include them, ask them to babysit, and LOVE them. Nothing is “wrong” with them. God just has different plans or a different time for their life than yours. But please oh please, don’t forget them.