After years of infertility, our circle of friends shifted toward other couples with similar life experiences. The thread of heartache that connects people with infertility can be a strong foundation for friendships, and we had an incredible circle of friends with that commonality.
While it was a hard club to be a part of (after all, one no one really wants to be infertile...), it's also been a difficult one to leave. And to be honest, it's still hard to know exactly where we fit in. Some of those friends are still distant, and others have kept in touch. I've written about it before, but it's been a tough, emotional ride for us as we've found ourselves treading these unknown waters with friendships we care so deeply about.
Being able to experience pregnancy after struggling with infertility, grieving the loss of having biological children and growing our family through adoption has provided me with such great insight on how I can be a better friend to others blessed with a growing belly.
As someone who has been on the other side, I can tell you there are real struggles with both. There are challenges with being unable to conceive as well as being able to experience pregnancy. Perhaps I was naive, but I assumed the former was harder. Now I've learned neither path is necessarily harder; they're just different.
For years I've shared about how others can support those struggling with infertility; but today, I''m offering ways to support your pregnant friend. Because you know what? They need it, too.
My first few months of pregnancy were plagued with sickness and fatigue. The only thing that consistently sounded good: Casey's General Store donuts and Hot Tamales. I can't even tell you how many pounds of Hot Tamales I ate (I stopped keeping track after my first jumbo bag, and then I eventually stopped eating them after my Gestational Diabetes diagnosis), and many of them were gifted to me by dear friends.
2. Get a pedicure
Get your pregnant friend out of the house and get a pedicure with her! My sister and dear friend Miki gifted me with a Saturday of girl-time and a pedicure a few weeks ago. And lemme tell ya something...Having pretty, polished toenails is a commodity pregnant people don't take for granted!
3. Be interested in what she's going through
Give your friend a call or send her a text and ask how she's feeling. My childhood friend Tara was so wonderful about checking in during moments I needed to hear from someone the most. Sometimes, just texting with a momma who has "been there, done that," can be the boost of encouragement you need to get through another day.
4. Send her to a massage
If your girlfriend is blessed with a pregnancy that just so happens to throw out her entire back (like me!), there is perhaps no greater gift than sending her on a pregnancy massage.
5. Pray for her
Pregnancy can be worry-filled for some women, especially when the miracle they're carrying comes with high risks. One of the best things you can do for your pregnant girlfriend is offer to intentionally pray for her and that precious cargo she's carrying.
Top 10 Uses for Baby Bump
To My Infertile Friend
What to Expect When You're [Not] Expecting
Our Journey to Addison