We are keeping this cycle low profile. I'm using Crayons as a way to get out what I'd normally be blabbing to anyone in ear shot. One reason for this is the awkwardness that occurs when others have done something they feel is "thoughtful and a help" when things are going badly or through what I'd like to think of as them "Just not thinking".
Things others could not do:
Buy baby clothes as a surprise for a couple in their first trimester. This goes for the following also:
* How to books
* Cute toys designed for babies.
* Kids music and movies designed solely for kids; so Hi 5, BoohBah, The Wiggles (no matter how cute Captain Feathersword is.) or the like.
* Nursery supplies, inc. furniture.
* Basically anything that is designed for "Post baby life".
* If you're not genuinely happy about the baby or the journey to get to baby status. Be honest but be nice. Say "I know it's what you want but i don't want a blow by blow description of the ObGyn." or " I'm not a big fan of kids. I wish you luck but I may not be around as much as I am now."
OK, yes, you'll get called names but people will know where you stand. It doesn't mean you are being any less supportive, just that you're priorities are different to the expecting couple. (And if you've had tmi in the face of a polite request hire Alien, watch it with them and keep repeating "I hear that's really what child birth is like."
Don't comment on how you think the couple will do as parents. Don't snap at every bit of new baby news the couple share with you, especially if it's an announcement while the couple, or single, are struggling through with the failure of a step in the process.)
* Don't offer every piece of advice you've encountered during the process either you, family or a friend went through. I don't want to be paranoid about every little bite I take. I don't want to be lectured on how if I "relax it will happen without IVF." (Yep, gonna happen, if I relax the Boi's nuts will work right. *shrug*)
* Don't give pictures of your kids as presents to IF couples. This is just rubbing it in. (OK, so that's not really fair, but hey! If I cry at the puppies in the toilet paper ad...)
If you do this it means:
* You value my uterus more than you value me.
* You can bear the full brunt of resentment when things go badly, eg. Miscarriage in first trimester.
* You have no right to feel hurt if the reaction to these gifts is a resounding "I am not taking these!!!" followed by unending tears. (Especially if the pregnant person has been spotting for four weeks, is more stressed out than a monkey on crack and is so tired that sleep is a distant memory. You don't know what is driving the reaction, it is most probably not about you. No. Honestly. Not everything is. You only get a small glimpse of what is going on. Sometimes the best laid plans are salt in a paper cut, sometimes they are a machete to the heart. )
You could instead:
* Buy books that the pregnant person would love to read, books that they wouldn't get themselves that you think they might like, books by their favourite author. (Not Kaz Cooke's Up The Duff. If people want guides let them buy them themselves.)
* Help them out around the house; especially if both are working. This is not an open invite to reorganise the house and throw out all those things you never liked. It's you offering nicely to vacuum and wash floors, or mow lawns.
* Pamper days: massages, day spas, waxing vouchers, manicures, pedicures. Things that focus on the expectant mum relaxing and feeling like they are more than a Pod for the Triffid to escape from.
* Cook their fave foods; Take them shopping so they don't need to carry heavy bags; give vouchers for dinner for two or take out on nights they are working late.
* Ask them what they would like.
Everyone reacts differently to a situation. Some optimists with strong recovery powers may appreciate baby grow suits during the 2ww. I personally would be using them as handkerchiefs and burning them if things went wrong.
Mainly; be supportive with out putting on pressure (which you may not realise you are doing, so tread gentle. Good rule of thumb, don't sign off messages as "Grandma" or "Pop" or address them to "Mum" or "Dad" until you've held the baby for the first time.)
OH! and definitely offer to pay for the over priced to die for maternity top that has your D/IL in tears in the shop. Good move and you'll win automatic "You can be in the room if you like for the birth" status. ;p (Just kidding!)
But I would like: