I follow a number of lovely bloggers who don’t seem to have a great support system for this IF/RPL battle. Some have well meaning but distant partners, some have families that lack sensitivity or even care and some are surrounded by friends who don’t seem able to provide the compassion we so dearly need during this struggle.

As someone who has the absolute most supportive husband, a close family who are always careful to protect and care for me and friends who seem to instinctively know how to be compassionate, I can’t even imagine the added stress and hurt this would cause. I have always had to avoid triggers and hurt with extended friend groups, the general public, online but not with my close circle around me. To have to navigate these triggers as well sounds like hell.

The closest I can relate is a few people on my husband’s side of the family who were occasionally lacking empathy but quickly put in their place by my husband or other family members.

So when I read about some of you having to deal with cold and unsupportive Moms, siblings who either don’t want to try to empathize or just lack the ability to and even husbands who seem to leave you to battle the emotions on your own, my heart breaks. How much more resilient and tough and broken down you must be. How exhausting to navigate the waters right around you so carefully. How hurtful to have those who should provide unconditional love and support add to the pain and judgement.

I think we can delineate the people around us who add to the hurt in two main categories. One group who just don’t know how to show empathy or support and another group that just aren’t bothered to even try. With the first group I think it is important to realize they don’t mean you harm. They may do things that are incredibly hurtful but it is coming from a place of ignorance. This group of people deserve our grace when we can give it and our attempt at education when appropriate. When this horrible road ends at last, you will be glad you did your best to give them the benefit of the doubt. The second group of people I think we are best to distance from. Interact minimally so as not to cause added drama or a ‘falling out’ but guard your heart and emotionally keep your distance.

One day this battle will end. It cannot and will not go on forever. It will end somehow with a much desired child through a path you may not have expected or even with a life childfree that surprises people with its richness. Until that day comes, I hope you are able to protect yourself from people that add to the hurt, extend grace to those that mean well and ultimately minimize exposure to those who add to the mental struggle. Just know we are all here for you. We understand the agony, the pain, the loss, the exhaustion, the frustration, the deep longing. We get it. We think you deserve to be surrounded by warmth and kindness and care. We wish we could protect you in your own ‘real life’ world but we are here for you in this online community.