March 7, 2021

Our first blog post this month was meant for you to give to your family-building partner as a gentle guide on how to support you through this journey. This guide is meant for you, giving you tips on how to better understand your other half as s/he is navigating the journey too. This post was written by my family-building partner, Drew Polin.

  1. Be open and honest with how you feel physically and emotionally.

You don’t need to protect me from how you really feel. I want to know if you are uncomfortable, if something hurts, and if something doesn’t feel right. You are not protecting me by not telling me. All I do is take a guess as to why you do not look right. I wonder if I am annoying you by asking if something is wrong. Please take the guesswork out of it and let me know how I can help whether that be not asking or talking about it, grabbing a bag of ice for you or putting a heating pad into the microwave. I want to help. I don’t want you to hurt in any way, and if you are, I want to try to help or at least be made aware that there is not anything I can do.

  1. I will learn to listen if you can learn to let me fix something.

One of the most frustrating feelings is hearing a problem or issue that you know you can help your partner solve. I have learned that the want and the need is for someone to listen. Share something with me that you are open to or would legitimately like help solving. This will help me feel like I am being useful and have some kind of purpose.

  1. Do not assume.

You may feel like you are giving me an extra hour of sleep or to work, but please notify me of all appointments that I would be able to attend. If you prefer not to have me there, let me know that too. Otherwise, it would be helpful to know what appointments are coming up and what ones are important to you that I make. I want to be there to support you. It feels terrible to hear that you went to an appointment that did not go well and I was not there to comfort, call and check-up on you.

I recognize that you have to face everything head on monthly, weekly, hourly, and by the minute. All I want is to do as much as I can to cushion the physical and emotional pain and discomfort.  Taking the guesswork out of how I can best be there for you, for us, would help me better fulfil my role to be the best partner I can be.

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