First, I want to say thank you to each and everyone of you who took time to share words, a prayer, or encouragement after my last post about our struggle to have a baby .  You all were so wonderful also about respecting our words. We are overwhelmed and grateful for each one of you! Thank you.

 

There are so many tough moments during this infertility road that it’s hard to know what to say to someone struggling with it. Everyone means well when they offer advice or encouragement, but it can sometimes cause hurt unintentionally. I just wanted to voice what I have learned so far through this process so that it might bless another going through it or their friends who have a hard time knowing what to say.

 

 

It feels :: I totally know this phrase comes from the best place when I hear it, but it can be hard to hear. As a Christian, I believe God only knows when and where and how and if we are going to be blessed with a child. I love that you mean well, but you don’t know that it is going to happen soon.

 

Better option :: I think the most wonderful thing to say to someone struggling to conceive a child is ” I am hoping for you” even ” I am hoping for you when you feel like you can’t hope anymore” those words hit my soul to the very core in the most tender way. Hope for your friends when they are struggling to hope for themselves.  Prayer is always great too.

 

 

It feels ::  Again, I know all of these suggestions are just because people want to help. Yet this one can really hurt my heart with frustration. Especially the second one. When I hear those words I can honestly say I have visualized giving someone a high five in the face with a chair. (Ugly, but true)  I want to say dear friend, if you were going to over 7 appointments a month and having to take medication or supplements daily, could you not think about it? How could I not stress about it? Unfortunately I have no way to really not think about it.

 

Better Option :: Offer up something to get my mind off of the current hardship. Let’s go get our nails done, sip on some tea, take a walk in our sweatpants. Just the pure action of offering your time is wonderful and will help me get my mind off of all of this.

 

 

It feels :: Gosh I love when people have joyous victories and beautiful children at the end of this journey. It’s such a praise to the Lord God for answering prayer, but these words can sometimes be really discouraging when I can barely think about getting through this month. Goodness 9 years sounds so scary to me. Know that I don’t want to diminish your journey or time in struggling with infertility but “time” is sometimes hard to take in. Keeping it general has helped my soul.

 

Better Option :: Girl, I have been there and now am on the other side. It’s day by day challenge and I am hoping for you.

 

It feels :: I am so grateful for those who follow our journey via this blog and my social media streams! You are such a huge source of strength and comfort! But staring at my (or anyone else’s) midsection is just plain awkward. And second, maybe I did just eat one too many cheeseburgers that week! It’s important to remember that we, like all new parents, long for the element of surprise. . . I have really grieved the loss of this along our journey. We keep our family and friends updated as we ask for prayers as we walk this path. It’s hard to know that we will most likely miss out on the, “Surprise! We’re pregnant!” part of the game. I sometimes feel like I can’t invite family or friends over for no reason, because everyone’s wondering if there’s a big announcement coming!

 

Better option: Don’t ask infertility treatment/ovulation dates (and please, don’t try to ascertain them by dissecting blog and social media posts). And for the love of all that is beautiful in this world, PLEASE don’t stare at my midsection (or anyone else’s for that matter). 🙂 We’re excited to surprise y’all when and if the Lord blesses us the way we hope he will.

 

 

It feels :: Truthfully, the ugly emotions and tears—this has been the toughest part of this walk for me. I just plain and simple don’t feel like my normal self. Whether it be my heart is just breaking month after month or the fertility treatments, I seem to have a hard time being my normal upbeat self. Especially around those closest to me. I avoid contact and long conversations, because some days I am just really close to crying my face off in public. Overall I honestly do feel peace and joy most of the time. Yet, the anger, bitterness and pain are all still there too. It’s crazy how you can be so trusting in the Lord’s plan, but so sad at the same time.

 

Better Option :: All that to say. Please don’t take it personally. I promise it’s not you, it’s me. I do want to be held accountable and not get the get out of jail free card just because of this trial, but know that I am trying hard somedays just to get through. Also, just ask me what’s on my heart once and awhile and I promise I will try to give you the honest answer.

 

Know that this isn’t an all inclusive list and that I probably said these things many times before I was walking this road. We all make mistakes, say the wrong thing and hurt feelings so know I have no expectations, just wanted to write a post that may or may not be helpful for those who don’t know and to hopefully share some laughs with other women hearing the same things.

 

  1. Shannon A

    Thank You, Thank You for sharing!!! It’s SO hard to communicate to people about this. It at times seems like an uncomfortable subject for everyone, which can sometimes hurt more. I’m struggling in the infertility journey as well. And it’s now a for sure thing that I will not be able to conceive & carry biological children. That’s a grief I don’t have words for, that hubs and I don’t have words for sometimes, but it hurts more than I could ever explain. Thanks again for bringing light to this struggle, and for your openness & honesty. I will be praying for you to feel loved and light even on the hardest of these days. xoxo ~Shannon

  2. LARA

    I love you and your beautiful heart!

  3. Natalie Norton

    This is sincerely enlightening to me. I haven’t ever struggled with infertility, and I am always at a loss when it comes to comforting and encouraging others (i.e. you). I love your tender heart. I love your ability to see the good and loving intentions of others, AND I love your willingness to say, “I know you want to help. Let me show you how.” You have no idea the way your courage and clarity are blessing the lives of others. I love you, dear friend.

  4. Em

    This post is a blessing. I’m praying for you my friend.

  5. Victoria B

    Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it is so hard to say something to someone you care about but you don’t know what they need to hear. This post is honest, helpful, and amazing. I am truly hoping for you on this journey.

  6. Brandi Major

    This is so helpful. Thank you.

  7. Emily Koska

    I love this!! You put such beautiful words to emotions I feel on a daily basis. I’m right there with you chica! Thank you for sharing your wonderful heart with the world.

  8. rachel williams

    Gina, I am so broken that you have been chosen to go through this journey. It’s a tattered road filled with so many parts of grief you didn’t even know existed. And YET, I know you know God can and will use it to change you like you’ve never known change. I am truly and one million percent a different person because God allowed me to experience this trial, several times over. My family is beautifully designed the way GOD wanted and not the way I ever ever ever in a million years envisioned. And I believe one day you will look back and say the exact same thing.

    Thank you for being so open and honest, I will be praying for you.

    Much Love,
    Rachel

  9. Jen

    Sending prayers and love to you, Gina! xo

  10. Kristine

    YES, Gina. I believe it’s so important to teach others how best to support us through the hard times. Your honest, beautiful words will help so many people, on both sides.

  11. Mary

    Thank you for sharing this! I have several friends dealing with this right now and I never ever know what to say. I want to take every ounce of pain away from those I love so I immediately go into problem solving or fix-it mode because I just want to make it better. Usually I end up saying the wrong thing.

    Still hoping for you, every day.

  12. Amber

    thank you for this. praying for you and this journey.

  13. Josie

    You have such a kind heart! This is inspiring and so helpful for all the people around you! Sending prayers!!

  14. Stephanie Huxter

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  15. Emily

    G, this post is so kind. You are so kind. I love that you completely understand that most of the comments come from a good place, but that the speaker just needs to alter their actions a bit in order to bless anyone in this situation. Such good words.

    I’m praying for you, and always hoping that He will bless you with a little babe soon. Always thinking of you, friend.

  16. Julie

    Hope, hugs and prayers………<3

  17. Kate

    G, this is a beautiful and important post written with your characteristic authenticity and grace. I must add that my all time favorite line, ever, is “And for the love of all that is beautiful in this world, PLEASE don’t stare at my midsection (or anyone else’s for that matter)”. PERFECT!!! Thank you for making me smile 🙂

  18. L

    Thank you for this. I am struggling through this right now too, and so far nobody knows except for my inlaws. It’s been very difficult and painful, especially since we’ve now been married for a couple of years and people are starting to ask us “when are you going to have a baby?” ALL THE TIME. I’m still not ready to make any of this public knowledge, but still… thank you for this post.

  19. Hannah Braboy

    This helps so, so much. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Lesley Stefanski

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have a dear friend going through the same thing and never really know what to say, but have come to the conclusion of saying “Don’t stress/think about it/it will happen soon” talk is just a bunch of filler. Now I say I hope it does, but I’m here for you for support in love while you wait.

  21. Heather

    Thank you!! These are exactly the same things that bother me!! I know they mean well, but they just don’t understand!! Praying for you as I understand what you’re going through!!

  22. Emma

    To the most inspiring woman I have ever met,

    Thank you for sharing. I am forever hoping for you! I appreciate and really respect how real you are!

    xoxo

  23. Cathy

    Thank you for writing this. I often don’t know what to say, so I say nothing at all, and that makes me so sad. When I went through my medical stuff I remember those struggling for ways to take the pain away from me, and they just couldn’t. We want to heal others, but it’s God’s job, not ours. Thank you for this reminder that Love is enough.

  24. Carissa Swartout

    Gina, Your honesty is so refreshing and I love the way this post is written. Thank you for sharing from your heart, being honest and open. I know so many feel this way, I have, and this post is written so elegantly and truthfully. It is so refreshing. You are a beautiful lady!

  25. Sara

    I AM HOPING FOR YOU!!! xo

  26. Nancy Ray

    You are so beautiful, inside and out. I certainly am hoping for you and praying for you! So thankful we serve a faithful, faithful God.

  27. Kristin Brown

    The best thing anyone has said to me in this infertility journey was that they were praying for me and for our little baby to be ready to come from heaven to us. It helped me visualize the baby who is waiting to come in a way I hadn’t let myself yet. I still think of that often and feel comforted.

  28. Tara G

    I may not know you, but I am thankful for you and your openness about your journey to conceive a child. As time has gone on- I have realized there are probably more people than we realize that face this long, dark road towards pregnancy and motherhood and how taboo it is to discuss a woman’s fertility struggles. (I hate the word “infertility” – I feel so strongly about the words we use and how they effect our emotional, mental and even physical condition.)

    All in all, thank you. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for remaining a faithful servant glorifying God through the challenges He has given you. Thank you for helping naive men and women (like myself) understand how better to support our sisters in Christ that are hoping to conceive.

    I hope and pray I can encourage you and help illuminate a ray of hope because I do hope for you to bear a child.

    In the spirit of honesty- is there a way we can help friends discuss their “next choice” – to adopt? I know there is a deep sense of depression and mourning that comes with even saying that word to someone so desperately hoping to conceive on her own… how can we better support our friends as they make the choice to “stop trying” and start adopting? Is there anything we shouldn’t say? Anything we *should* say??

    Sincerely,
    Tara

  29. Charity

    I love you Gina! Your honesty and boldness in writing this post is beautiful.

  30. Emily Ley

    I love you to the moon and back and all the way around again. So much. This post blessed my heart.

  31. Athena

    I hope you know how magnificent you are. I am here for you – however you may need me – and I will consistently hope for you. Love you. Pray for and with you. And lift you up in the light of all that is yours and all that is yet to be. You’re such a gift, Gina. Such a remarkable and incredible and perfect gift. Keep being YOU. <3

  32. Victoria Derrick

    I am hoping for you!

  33. Autumn

    I know what you are going thru. In 2009, there were days when I thought I’m never going to be a Mom. I think the worst part is the not knowing….always being in that state of possibility only to be let down at the end of the month…every month. I love that you are talking about this,, creating a dialogue for those who were blessed not to go thru this struggle to see what is truly helpful and for those that have or are to know they are not alone. You are loved and blessed and God willing one beautiful day, a tiny but oh so bright soul will call you Mom-this is my deep hope for you and every person going thru this. Sending lots of love your way.

  34. Ruth

    This gives me so much hope! Thanks for sharing your kind and thoughtful words . Even though we (after a few loses) have a son it’s still hard when you’re trying for another and everyone around you is pregnant. It’s isolating at times, but your words bring me peace and lots of hope as I go through my treatments as well!

  35. a person

    While I can appreciate your journey, I think you are being a bit too detailed and expecting a lot out of people. I will never understand why people expect privacy (on their private matters) when they willingly give up very intimate details about their life to social media, blogs, etc. My advice to you is, if you don’t want to risk someone saying the wrong thing, don’t give them the opportunity. Your expectations of others are very unreasonable. Good luck in your journey.

  36. Shanna

    Such a beautiful article. The struggle is something I felt no one in the world would ever understand. The pain, tears, feel of worthlessness. So glad you wrote this. Now that we finally have our miracle and are truely blessed with another on the way, I would really like to help others that are in this pain.

  37. Kensey

    Wonderful post! During my struggle with infertility, I heard so many of these comments. And while I knew there was good intentions, they were painful! Great suggestions for friends/family. A verse I had hanging on my desk at work : deut 28:3-4. Blessings to you and your husband!

  38. Jana

    I love this. One of my closest friends is battling this battle and I’m sure that I have done something or said something that has not been a help somewhere along the way. More so now I know to support her… just like you have stated. Beautiful article!

    I do have a question for you. We are expecting our third child and I don’t know how to tell her respectfully. Do you have any suggestions?

  39. Rachell

    Awesome post!

  40. Meredith

    I have no words! I have been down that dark road of infertility and its rocky! Prayers for peace amid the tears!

  41. Heather

    I cannot thank you enough for this post. I am also struggling with infertility and sometimes the hardest thing getting through this is how to interact with people. Reading your words and seeing that I’m not the only one who feels this way is so powerful. Thank you!

  42. Julie S.

    This is a beautiful post. I truly am hoping and praying for you!

  43. Holly

    This is exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  44. Lauren

    Lifting you in prayer and to the only One who truly understands! Praying that God will hold you in His hand and comfort you as His child. 🙂 Love you, sweet Gina!

  45. KRISTI

    I totally have to agree with one of the comments on here from ‘a person’ “While I can appreciate your journey, I think you are being a bit too detailed and expecting a lot out of people. I will never understand why people expect privacy (on their private matters) when they willingly give up very intimate details about their life to social media, blogs, etc. My advice to you is, if you don’t want to risk someone saying the wrong thing, don’t give them the opportunity. Your expectations of others are very unreasonable. Good luck in your journey”

    Seriously if privacy is what you are looking for, then do not give people the opportunity (by divulging your deepest struggles via social media. to ask questions or make comments to you). You giving very seemingly intimate details of your life and then expecting others to give you privacy quite unreasonable, and rather ridiculous. Good luck with your journey!

  46. Shefali Lindsey

    I am hoping and praying for you, friend.

  47. Gina and Matt | Hope for Ali

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  48. What to Say: Part Two | Hope for Ali

    […] and Jeremy and today I would like to share part two from Gina and Matt.  On Gina’s blog she shares what to say to someone who is struggling with infertility and I love her gracious words […]

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