Family, friends, acquaintances and work colleagues are constant reminders of your fertility struggle. It’s a much clichéd joke that people begin asking “when are you having a baby?” at your wedding reception. And most couples field that inquiry at each and every family, social and work gathering. It’s never easy to manage others’ expectations, especially when it’s something so private.
As you pursue fertility treatment, the majority of your circle embraces your journey. After all, they want the best for you. And you need them to be there as you navigate the peaks and valleys of your quest toward parenthood.
When you’re going through something as important as IVF you need the support of your family and friends. That support comes in the form of meals when you’re feeling not quite your energetic self, a shoulder to cry on when you begin to doubt the success of your outcome or a shopping and lunch date with your bestie when you need to get out of your head. Support can even be an opinionated loved one keeping their thoughts to themselves.
How to Let Your Loved Ones Know You Need Support
So for the most part you‘ll find your loved ones have your back all along your IVF journey. But what does that look like? What should you expect? Each couple’s or individual’s journey is unique but here are some ways there are certain areas in which your loved ones’ support is invaluable. Here’s what they need to know.
Ask Them to Listen and Let You Vent
Sometimes you need to vent your frustrations without any more response than someone just listening. The IVF process often feels stressful, isolating and overwhelming. Sharing your frustrations and fears and all the emotions that seem to overtake you at times allows you to process the events and ins-and-outs of IVF.
Read Up in The IVF Experience
To achieve super-supporter status ask them to read up on the process. Bring them pamphlets and information form the doctor’s office or show them our blog on the website. Not only is this a wonderfully supportive act but knowing a bit about the process lets your friend or family member know what’s next and just what you’re going through.
Ask for Help
Whether it be a meal, someone to accompany you to an appointment or make a cup of tea your loved ones are only too happy to oblige. However, they aren’t mind-readers, so the asking is up to you. You know when someone says “let me know how I can help!” Well, go ahead and let them know! Putting yourself first is essential during fertility treatment.
Someone to Hold Your Hand
Going through IVF isn’t easy at all. But the successful culmination of the journey is well worth every tear. A loyal and supportive friend is the best balm for the not-so-great days, and rest assured you will have them. Having a loved one who is just there by your side, holding your hand and drying your eyes is the best form of support.
What to Do About Those Who Are Less Than Supportive
Not everyone understands how significant your IVF journey is and no matter how well-intentioned friends and family are they may fall short when you need them most. Of course there are always certain members of your circle who are unable to be supportive, for whatever reason. Trust that emotions run high and the best thing for both of you may be time apart right now. Practicing self care is very necessary to the journey and that includes maintaining necessary boundaries.
How do you know when to put those boundaries in place?
- When you come away from a conversation or encounter with someone feeling absolutely heartsick and sad then that person is toxic (at this time) to your IVF journey.
- If your friend or family member tells you something that is contrary to your doctor’s advice (“you didn’t try long enough on your own” ) say “later” at least for a bit.
- When your so-called friend begins regaling you with horror stories that undermine your confidence in your journey, you don’t need that right now.
In short, if someone makes you feel like falling into bed and crying yourself hopeless, cut ties. At least temporarily. Many times people come around once they think about what they’ve said or done and are sufficiently mortified. Those who don’t may not be your people after all.
We Support Your Journey
The emotional side of IVF often wears on those involved. Keeping your head in the game and your heart open to hope is as integral to your success as the physical side of the process. That’s why LA IVF believes in holistically approaching your IVF journey. For more information on how you can get the emotional support you need contact LA IVF.