The prefix in can mean "not," as in NOT fertile, which makes infertility a depressing term that doesn't offer much in the way of hope. The statistics were all against my husband and me when I was in my late 30's, despite the new options at our disposal once we decided to go the route of infertility treatment. As time went by, and we spent more and more money without results, it was hard not to to be depressed. But the prefix can also mean exactly what it says: inside, in the middle of, surrounded by, which means fully absorbed in and committed to, in this case, having a baby.
Couples who struggle to achieve a viable pregnancy struggle with the part of family-building that should be the easiest and certainly the most intimate and private. I first got the idea for the All-Weather Friend while entrenched in this painful world. It has taken many years to reconcile what did and didn't happen to me. My own mother and obstetrician father didn't seem to get it, much less my friends. I can hardly write about that time in my life without reliving the sense of alienation from the people who were closest to me and from whom I most needed compassion and understanding.
The All-Weather Friend page on infertility is a forum where you can find answers, share stories and blogs, suggest ways friends and loved ones can be supportive, ask questions and connect with a sympathetic community. For suggestions and tips, use the form below. For stories and blogs, use Share (third tab, top navigation bar) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting—Please contribute your thoughts and ideas!
Being a Friend When It Matters Most
Infertility seems to invite people to say and do unintentionally hurtful things. Maybe it's because there isn't an obvious injury or irreversible loss. Maybe it's because friends expect the situation to be resolved, hopefully in a happy way: You'll either get pregnant, or you'll adopt, or you'll learn to appreciate the childfree life. It's natural and right for parents to be captivated by their own babies and children—so much so that the pain of not having a child or knowing whether you ever will, while constantly confronted by those who do, is impossible to imagine.