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This is a plea. A plea to those who know someone who is struggling with infertility. So, if you’re reading this, this is directed right to you.

Please, for the love of everything, when someone tells you they are struggling to conceive, do not tell them to “just relax.” I know it’s the cliche, default term most blurt out because they don’t know what else to say. It’s awkward to discuss for some. I’m 10000% positive it is coming from a good place and is meant to be calming and reassuring, and you really do believe it’s true because a friend’s sister’s cousin’s aunt tried for 10 years, then one day she “just relaxed” and BAM . . . a baby.

Trust me when I tell you. No. Just, no. That’s not how this whole thing works. Telling us to relax does more harm than good. Do you know what it tells us? It tells us that we have control over this. That if we just relax, we would have a baby. So, the converse must be true then, right? That means if I don’t relax, it’s my fault we don’t have a baby.

RELATED: Infertility is Not Your Fault

Truth is, it’s no one’s fault. It’s the crappy cards we were dealt. Relaxing isn’t going to turn a bust hand into a full house, literally or figuratively.

Believe me when I tell you the amount of guilt a woman feels when she cannot produce a child is hardly describable even when not being told it’s her fault. This phrase is like a dagger straight to the already broken heart.

Sure, there are positive and uplifting success stories where relaxing is seemingly the case. But there’s God’s will, environmental factors, hormonal changes, diet and exercise changes, and many other things that can contribute to finally having a baby when it seems as though that was really the cure.

Relaxing does not stop you from producing things that make you uncontrollably self-terminate a pregnancy. It does not make you produce a hormone that it takes to sustain a pregnancy. It does not stop genetic mutations from happening between genes of the spouses. It does not fix defects of fallopian tubes. It does not cure other diseases that hinder making a life. Essentially, it does not anatomically do much of anything.

RELATED: I Did Not Choose Infertility

So, what could you say or do then? You could let her cry when yet another unsuccessful month has been confirmed. No other words are often needed. You can talk her off a ledge when the medicine makes her a crazy person who freaks out on everyone about everything. You can spend time with her (that could potentially include chocolate, wine, yoga pants, and a good chick flick, preferred.) You can pray for her and with her. But, please, please, do not tell her to relax.

I don’t mean to sound calloused or ungrateful for the attempts of compassion and sympathy. Really, I don’t. They’re all appreciated. But I feel like this just needs to be said and the education spread. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Hopefully, the next time you come across this situation you’ll offer a smile, a hug, or a pat on the back, instead of unknowingly crushing your friend with words when you were intending to do just the opposite.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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