The infertility their children are experiencing is also a difficult time to live through
For the parents of a couple who are having difficulty conceiving a baby naturally, in other words, the future grandparents, the infertility their children are experiencing is also a difficult time for them to live through.
Apart from the fear of not having grandchildren, they also suffer when they see their own children struggling to create a family! Like you, they wish for and eagerly await your pregnancy. They imagine their grandchildren and their life as grandparents just as you imagine your baby and your life as parents, and for this reason they may experience the lack of success with same amount of pain as you.
They can often be awkward and tactless. Misinformed, and uncomfortable with a subject that is still taboo to them, future grandparents do not always know how to help and attend to the couple that is trying to have a baby. They ask themselves lots of questions and feel responsible for this infertility. They wonder if they have done something wrong, if they may have passed on this infertility or sterility that affects you through their genes or in some other way.
It can be very distressing for them. Likewise, new assisted reproduction techniques can be difficult for them to accept, and may even conflict with some of their beliefs. Take the time to answer the questions they ask you and to explain carefully the possibilities available to you and the different alternatives. A more particular issue that may require quite a lengthy acceptance time is that of babies born thanks to the donation of gametes. They may find it difficult to accept another person’s genes in their family history, but rest assured that it’s only a matter of time. In the end, they won’t differentiate between their grandchildren and they will love them all equally.
On the other hand, it is important that the couple with problems conceiving a child can count on the support of their parents, as well as that of the rest of the family and friends. Therefore, don’t hesitate to tell them about your infertility, don’t make a secret of it! Express your emotions and your suffering, even if you have the impression that they won’t always fully understand it. As with friends, parents should avoid giving their opinion about choosing the method of conception, criticising or giving lessons. It is also important that they never have doubts about the couple and their ability to become parents, even if they have just been upset by a failed attempt. What the couple needs is unconditional support, respect, someone to talk to, a non-judgemental presence, with trust, love, and encouragement, since this is what will allow them to maintain a harmonious relationship between themselves and with their parents, or in-laws.
Finally, the baby that is born will undoubtedly be your great victory, but also partly theirs. They’ll be even happier and prouder of their offspring because of the long and painful path that you will have had to travel to achieve it…