Ways to Support Someone Who is Facing Infertility

While it may not be talked about often, infertility is common. About 12-13% of couples in the U.S. have trouble becoming pregnant or staying pregnant. As Catholics we celebrate new life and encourage large families, which can make the cross of infertility even more painful for Catholic couples.

Timmerie Geagea, host of Trending with Timmerie, experienced the pain of infertility herself, as she was not able to conceive for years after her marriage. But she recently announced that Baby Geagea is due in Advent 2020.

Timmerie expressed gratitude for NaPro Technology, as it helped her conceive despite her underlying health issues. She explained why she calls this her “miracle baby” saying, “As for so many people in our society right now, fertility can be a challenge. I have two auto-immune diseases, one of which make it difficult to conceive a baby and one of which puts me at a high risk for miscarriage. And praise the Lord I really am for the most part out of that high-risk area. Things are looking great, and it is quite the miracle.”

But Timmerie also recognized that many couples facing infertility haven’t yet or never will receive a miracle baby in the same way. As someone who has walked the difficult journey herself, she shared that some Catholics who are well meaning try to offer support, but actually add to the pain.

She said, “Even just talking about fertility can be just as difficult as the experience itself.”

Timmerie offered some examples of less-than-helpful things people have said to her as she was carrying the cross of infertility. Things like:

“Just adopt!”
“Eat this!”
“Take that!”
“Try IVF!”

She said, “People even said to me, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ As if there is something so wrong with you that you sort of start to feel like you’re responsible.”

But Timmerie also shared that there were interactions and people who made her feel supported and loved on her journey. She offered some examples of ways you can really support someone in your life who is facing infertility, rather than just throwing solutions at them.

Her three suggestions are:

  1. Just Listen: If and when they bring it up, just listen. Listen to what they are experiencing. Because many people are not willing to just listen. They are searching for answers.
  2. Pray: I challenge you to really be a prayer warrior for them.
  3. Ask what they have tried: When you do want to help provide that solution, remember that you are called to listen. And first ask, ‘What have you tried?’ And if they don’t know about NaPro technology and Fertility Care practitioners who treat underlying causes of fertility, if you feel able, subtly and gently pass on the  information. Without being pushy.

And although, even with the help of modern technology, many women will remain unable to conceive, Timmerie encouraged those facing infertility to look to Scripture to find that the Lord knows and sees their struggle. He wants to pour out his grace and comfort upon all of us, especially those who are carrying great crosses.

Timmerie pointed out, “The biblical story of women has always touched on this restlessness and wrestling with God to conceive a child, since The Fall. You see Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth in the Old Testament. … So I encourage you that this is nothing new, but the miraculous can take place in our lives.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

Trending with Timmerie airs weekdays at 6:00 p.m. Central on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.