How to Support a Friend through IVF (gifts & acts of kindness)Jun 07, 2022
None of us are immune to experiencing bad things or having hard seasons in life. While going through hard times we tend to feel alone, when it's far from the case.
Going through infertility can particularly be an isolating experience. Unless you have a friend who’s going through exactly what you’re going through at the same time, it feels like nobody can possibly understand.
As the friend of an IVF warrior, it can feel so personal. You don’t know how or if you should ask about it, you don’t know the right thing to say, and you can feel helpless. As much as you want to offer words of encouragement for someone going through IVF, it can be next to impossible to say the right thing.
So how can you go about showing a friend and loved one the support that they need through IVF and infertility? Below are a few ideas you can use for friends both near and far, free or with a cost. The end result is the same: to make sure they know they are not alone, they are supported, and that you're thinking of them.
The #1 thing I can tell you is to stay away from giving any advice as it is rarely actually helpful.
Instead, use this list of ideas of things to do or give to someone who is going through a hard time. And please know this, if you're reading this, you're already a good friend because you care!
If you are looking for ways to show support to someone who lives close by, you can choose to do one (or more) of the below:
- Check in on them over text or stop by to visit.
- Give them a hug (but only if they are receptive to receiving a visitor)
- Invite them to your events, showers, kid's birthdays, other events. They want to be there, they just might have to say no. So let them be the one to say no vs excluding them.
- Do some chores for them, bring groceries, do the laundry, walk their dog, mow the lawn
- Offer to be there when they do shots, or even give them their shots if their partner is out of town
- Bring baked goods or a meal over especially around the big days like egg retrievals, transfers or the day they find out big news.
- Be the organizer for a meal train with a group of trusted friends
- Porch drops- bring something over without the expectation of being entertained. Oftentimes your friend might not be up for seeing anyone, she might not feel like showering, putting on a bra, makeup or even a messy bun. This is a way to do something nice for someone without adding any extra stress on them. It can be a meal, flowers, a gift basket filled with treats, even just a card.
The pineapple is the unofficial symbol of infertility. Rainbows are a symbol for miscarriage mamas who are waiting for their rainbow baby. So any of the items below that have either of these can be thoughtful and meaningful.
- Warrior jewelry from another IVF Warrior at JojiiandCo
- "One in a Million" Necklace
- Circle necklace
- Bracelets (Mantra bracelets or a local favorite here in South Carolina: The HeartKnot bracelets)
- Self care items
- Lip balm
- Bath salts/ bath bombs
- Face masks
- Prayer beads
- Fresh flowers or an easy to take care of plant
- IVF related gifts:
- Infertile Tees has an awesome selection
- Rainbow Waiting Mama Rainbow decorations
- Peak & Valley Beads 1 in 8 bracelets
- Coffee mugs/Water bottles
- Specialty Teas/Coffees
- Gift Cards to their favorite store (Target, Starbucks, Amazon, Panera, Nordstrom, Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, etc)
- Prayer Journal for Women (52 Weeks)
- Inspirational quotes to frame or hang up
- Mascara (waterproof)
- Books - Throughout the years I've received so many wonderful books. Depending on the current season your friend or loved one is in, here are a few to consider!
- Infertility related:
You can also take multiple items from above to put together a Care package– maybe throw in a lip gloss, a cute water bottle, lotion, a face mask, a bath bomb, a candle, with a a book and a card. Custom curated care packages are especially personal!
No matter if you live close by or not, spending some time to do some research can be one of the kindest things you do. Dr. Natalie Crawford has a great youtube channel and Resolve.org is an awesome advocacy group with lots of educational resources as well. The more you know about what your friend is going through, the less time they have to spend educating you.
No matter what you decide, just know if you feel like your friend is distancing from you while going through this hard time, it is not about you. She is going through one of life’s biggest hardships and is handling it best she can.
Remember that however helpless you might be feeling, she is feeling exponentially more helpless with what she’s going through. All you can do is be available to support her, and whenever in doubt, remember that “I’m sorry” is a full sentence.
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