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How to Cope With Infertile Friends

Mommy Dearest: Babyless Friends

Mommy Dearest,

I am a mother to a three-month-old little girl whom I adore. I was blessed with a successful pregnancy on the first attempt with my husband, but sad, a few friends of my friends have not been so lucky. Having tried clomid and several rounds of in vitro fertilization, it is becoming increasingly difficult for my childless friends to see me with my baby. One friend has already cut me out of her life because it is too painful for her to be around any infants and I fear I am losing another one to the clutches of non-motherhood. I desperately want to keep my friends, but don't know how to do it without causing them pain every time they see us.

— Fertile Myrtle

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Fertile Myrtle,

No doubt you are in a tough spot. Your fertility challenged girlfriends may be envious of your life and seeing you and your sweet babe might be too much for them to handle. It has been my experience that women desperate to get pregnant often reach a point where the only people they feel comfortable discussing the issue with are their spouses and doctors. Keep up your efforts of reaching out to them and leave the topic of pregnancy and babies out of the conversation. They will talk about it if and when they are ready to do so.

Try to plan a girls' night with other women where you can reminisce about the old days and have fun without kids on the brain. And until your friend reaches out to you, sit tight and pray that their prayers are answered with a beautiful baby.

— Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on TeamSugar.


Join The Conversation
kmckay kmckay 8 years
bren- i went through the same thing. my coworker/friend and i were struggling together with infertility. it was nice to have someone to share that with. after 2 years, we found out we were pregnant within 5 weeks of eachother! we were so thrilled to share everything together. i had a miscarriage and she carried to term. it was SO hard watching her grow and experience what i knew i should've been. sorry you had to go through it too. i wouldn't wish it on anyone either, but i completely relate to your comment.
domino2728 domino2728 8 years
One of the worst things you can do is remind your friend that you didn't have to try to get pregnant. It took me a year to get pregnant with my first child and I had one friend who "accidentally" got pregnant and kept saying she had no idea how it happened and comments like "what am I going to do with a baby". It was very frustrating for me. I did get pregnant and we are still friends with daughters close in age. She still works my last nerve sometimes (stay at home mom -her- vs. working mom - me). That is a whole different topic though.
kmckay kmckay 8 years
thank you chouette for saying what i couldn't say gracefully :) i am on the other side of this... i've been struggling with infertility for 2 years while all my girl friends reproduce- both planned & unplanned. almost every pregnant friend/woman i know talks nonstop about their pregnancy... its borderine impossible to be around. i found honesty is best. sometimes friends go through rough patches and need time apart... this sounds like one of those times.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
Wow wow wow fleurfairy... survival of the fittest? I don't know where you live, but where I live, we have hospitals and doctors. And when people are sick or injured, they get medical attention to make them well again. We don't just let them die because they are "unfit". Fertility is no different. Babies are not some American obsession; we are biologically programmed to want to reproduce. Obviously not everyone wants to have kids, but it is a general human urge. Not being able to accomplish this probably hurts A LOT. Thankfully I haven't been infertile, but I imagine that it would be really hard to be around babies and kids after a while. I don't think it's immature at all. This happened with a family member of mine, and she wasn't angry at me or mean. She was just always reminded that she still didn't have a baby of her own and it made her sad when we were together. Eventually, she had twin girls and things are fine now.
specialksgurl specialksgurl 8 years
As someone with infertility issues, I think that it is best to try and talk about other things other than you child with your childless friends. You can still talk about all the struggles of parenthood and all the cute things your child does, but try and talk about other stuff too. Your childless friends need your support too to make it through these tough infertile times, and if you cut them off because they don't want to talk about your child, that's extremely hurtful and insensitive. People with infertility problems need all the love and support they can get!
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
I think this obsession with babies is a problem in America. It has become such a competition. Darwin's theory stands: survival of the fittest. If you can't have a baby, accept it and move on with your life. Life can be wonderful and fulfilling without kids. And cutting someone out of your life because they have a baby and you don't is extremely immature. If they can't be supportive of your life, then god speed. Surround yourself with people who are encouraging and loving.
KimBurnett KimBurnett 8 years
Maybe if she didn't call herself: "Fertile Myrtle"...?
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
honestly, i'd say you need to move on in the friendship department. i met a woman when i was pregnant with my oldest daughter who was also pregnant. we kept running into each other and then were in the same child birth prep class. our families became friends and we did lots of things together. then one day we went to the park with the kids and out of the clear blue sky she told me flat out "i can't be friends with you anymore. i can't get pregnant again and here you have 3 kids." i can still see her pushing the stroller away and just walking off like she had said "see you tomorrow". later her son had severe kidney issues and was actually on the transplant list for a couple of years. she called me then and acted as if she had never cut me off. i'm guessing that when she realized what could go wrong in life, she also realized she should appreciate the good. you've done nothing wrong, so there isn't anything you can correct. i suggest you look for some new friends in the moms of your daughters playmates. :)
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