Read This If Someone You Love is Going Through IVF

Gentle reminders on how to be there for your loved one.

Photo by karolina skiścim on Unsplash

Don’t say, “relax.”

Undergoing IVF is not a relaxing process for most people; uttering that little command does not induce relaxation. It’s just minimizing the very stressful, strenuous process that is IVF. I know you probably mean it with good intentions, but it doesn’t help your friend walking this road. It’s a stressful time and a stressful process, and telling someone to “relax” when they’re in the thick of it does nothing for them.

Do say, “I love you.”

When you send them a text message reminder of how they are loved, it warms the heart. It makes them feel seen. It’s even better when you let them know that you’re not expecting a response back, but you want them to know that you are carrying them within your heart.

Don’t say, “I’m sorry.”

I know it comes from a good place — you’re sorry that they’re hurting. You’re sorry that they’re going through this pain. You’re sorry that this road to parenthood isn’t the easiest thing in the world for them. You’re saying sorry because you want them to know that you care about their pain — but sometimes, it makes people feel as if they’re being pitied, and nobody needs to add pity to the mix. IVF is their road to walk — and they cannot go down it with feeling as if they or anyone else should apologize for their story. There’s no need for apologies.

Do say, “I’m here if you want to talk.”

It’s nice to know that there are ears that will listen, should one want to divulge everything that’s stirring within their heart and their head. It’s nice to know that the ones whom you call family and friends want to be there for you and that they are comfortable with you leaving your worries and your hurt and your fears at their feet. Sometimes people don’t want to share, but the gesture, no matter if they take you up on it or not, is beautiful and appreciated.

Don’t say, “Why don’t you just adopt?”

Adoption is a beautiful, wonderful, admirable thing to do. Some might say that families who adopt are angels who walk upon this earth. But adoption is a very different thing than having biological children and should be treated as such. Children aren’t prizes to be exchanged to suit your needs — and so, adoption should be something to enter with a whole heart, not trying to fix a child-sized hole in one’s heart.

Do remember that you don’t have to say anything at all.

Sometimes, silence is best. Silence is comfortable — and gives whoever is walking this road the option to be without talking about doctor’s appointments and blood tests, and the next steps. Silence doesn’t mean that you don’t care; it just means that you’re giving your friend the space to share when and if she wants.

I write essays and poetry about life lessons, love, relationships, and self-awareness. More info: Find me on Instagram: @meganminutillo.

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