How to Support a Friend - Whitinsville,MA

Updated on August 06, 2010
J.E. asks from Northbridge, MA
11 answers

Okay ladies... I have a really good friend that has suffered with a very severe case of endrometriosis (sorry about the spelling) and can not get pregnant on her own..she just recently went through her first round of fertility treaments and the IVF was not succesful....I realize there is really nothing I can do but thought maybe someone would have suggestions on anything I could do to make her feel better, if that is possible or something that would let her know I was thinking about her ... I just feel terrible for her and have 3 of my own so I know she probably feels as thought I can not relate to her..thanks for any help!

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answers from Boise on

I agree with Bethany. Be there for her to vent, and if she doesn't need to, do something fun to help her take her mind off of it. Also, be understanding that being around kids may be a bit difficult for her (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't).

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answers from Dallas on

Just let her vent when she needs to. This is a very private pain/frustration because you feel like no one knows what you're dealing with. After losing a baby to an ectopic, it took us 12 months to concieve again and it was so frustrating. The best "cure" for feeling like to me was my sister listening to me and crying together until 3am. I needed it. I HAD to talk to somebody! Yes, let her know that you're thinking of her and maybe send her a nice encouragement card. She'll appreciate the thought. She's lucky to have a friend like you that cares so much!

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answers from Indianapolis on

Having been through a serious health crisis myself recently (cancer), the best advice I can give is to ask her. Sometimes that's the hardest thing to do, but if you approach it sincerely and say something like, "I really want to help you as much as possible, but I just don't know how", she may be able to give you some guidance. She may also not be sure herself, but being a constant presence (daily phone calls asking how she's doing, etc) can go a long way.

We have friends in a similar situation. It was rough at first, now they're better. They love spending time with our kids until they can figure out what they want to do themselves.

Life hands all of us curve balls, and having people to help us deal with them is so critically important.

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answers from Buffalo on

we all want to be able to take care of someone but there are somethings we just cannot do anything to solve someone's pain. Listening is the best medicine. I have a friend who had a real hard time arring her baby and the delivery was worse, she is no longer with the dad of that child and her new hubby to be wants a child of her own she is SO scared, I have listened to her fears and offered serogacy if she wants that route, I am willing (we live right next door, so she would be there through everyday of the pregnancy w/o the suffering she did b4) but other than that I am hear to listen and support her in anyway possible, she just needs to ask.

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answers from Detroit on

wow! your such a good friend. Maybe the same things that you just said on here tell her! just let her know she is constantly in your heart and on your mind. and if there is anything she needs your there for her. even if it's a girl's day out. good luck to you and keep up the good work.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You really are a caring friend to be trying so hard. Boy, if everyone with infertility had a friend like you we'd all be in a better place.

Knowing how I felt after 6 yrs of infertility, I would say that being cautious about when the news about new pregnancies is mentioned would be very helpful. It was always news that would make me cry, for a long time, and I always wished it had been given to me through email or a quick friendly phone call. Not that I ever wished the disease on anyone, it just always made me feel very sad and was something I couldn't help. But everyone is different and as Dana W mentioned just asking is the best idea.

Please know that it can take many, many, many IVF cycles to get pregnant and encourage her to keep going (if she can afford it financially and emotionally) so that she can finally get her prize. I'll put her in my prayers.



answers from Boston on

There is a great IVF support board on ivillage that you may check out yourself for tips or refer her to. I did IVF as a gestational carrier last year and even though I knew the stats on first-cycle success (not high) and wasn't even trying to get pregnant for myself and had my own past fertility history to reassure us that this would work eventually, it was devastating when the first cycle didn't work. In addition to your friend feeling disappointed with the outcome, she probably feels like she somehow failed and it is her fault (irrational but pretty common after a failed cycle) and is dealing with a roller coaster of physical symptoms as well (picture PMS x 1000). Just let her know that you are sorry for what she is going through and that you are thinking of her and are there for her if she wants to talk or cry or just be distracted with something fun and mindless (like a movie).

I read a stat that the average IVF pregnancy takes 2.8 cycles - so most women have at least two cycles before conceiving. The first round is more like a trial run, then the doc can review the data and make changes the next round. There are a bunch of variables that can be fine tuned, including what medication she takes to produce eggs, the length of time she is on different medications, when they transfer the embryos, etc. In my case, the docs changed the medication that the intended mom took so that she produced better quality eggs. They transferred two embryos and those turned into boy/girl twins who are now 9 months old.

Just let her know that you are there for her, and be understanding if she needs some time to just be alone (and especially away from other people's kids) for a while.



answers from Boston on

Wow!!! Your friend's story sounds a lot like mine. Just be there for her and listen ...maybe a girls' night out would be great...I know I enjoyed them then (and don't get enough of them now)....Good luck.

mom to one beautiful almost 9 year old boy by adoption


answers from Boston on

There is a great organization called Resolve with chapters all over the place - they specialize in infertility and everyone there can relate. There are support groups but also on-line help and referrals and medical info and....much more.

I don't think all infertile women resent their friends with kids or feel they can't relate. One thing that I HATED when I went thru infertility was when people said, "Oh, be glad you don't have kids because today my little devil did....." (fill in the blank - clogged the toilet, dumped out my shampoo, burned down the house...) or "You're lucky you don't have a child because at least you can sleep late." That stuff really stings.

There's not much you can do for her but be sympathetic. Find out if she wants to talk about it, or if she prefers not to. If it helps her to have a ride there, you might offer. Anything else that lightens her load in other areas of her life. The meds she takes can make her moody or tired sometimes too.

Perhaps even if you go in with a few friends and buy her a spa treatment (a gift cert she can use for anything - like massage or facial, whatever), that can be nice. Even a nice "thinking of you" card can be nice.

She also needs to leave a normal life - she doesn't always need people talking to her about her infertility. Share other interests, make her laugh, etc. Not when she's devastated, but in between treatments. None of us want to feel like we're walking around with a big "I" for "Infertile" on our foreheads - we are more than a uterus, you know? Maybe a "Girls' Night Out" with dinner and a funny movie or chick flick? Figure out if she's allowed to drink alcohol - sometimes you can, sometimes you can't, sometimes it matters where you are in your cycle. Plan around that as needed.

There are some things she can do nutritionally to help balance her body out to help the treatments take and contain the endometriosis. I would be happy to help with that but I'd have to work directly with her. It won't conflict with anything she's doing medically.



answers from Boston on

Mostly just be there for her, but whatever you do, please don't tell her to, "Just relax and it will happen..."



answers from Boston on

My sister had the same problem, I did not get pregnant easily either, but did get and have 1 successful pregnancy. [2 miscarriages after]. Talk with your friend, listen to her needs, I know how much it hurt to want to be pregnant and not getting there. My sister was ecstatic when I did get pregnant, I told her the same day that I told my parents. She stated she felt like a leper when everyone would talk behind her back about there pregnancies and not just tell her. yes she may get a little emotional and have apity party BUT it made her geel like she could become part of things. Good luck to you and your friend

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