Follow Samantha Busch on Instagram, and you’ll see cheery photos of her, her NASCAR driver husband Kyle, and their son Brexton. But the Busches endured years of infertility struggles to get those family snapshots.
At the end of this month, Samantha will release a book about these experiences titled “Fighting Infertility: Finding My Inner Warrior Through Trying to Conceive, IVF, and Miscarriage.”
The book doesn’t “sugarcoat” the Busches’ struggles and missteps, Samantha says, so readers get an honest look at the couple’s journey through failed IVF cycles, miscarriage and a failed surrogate cycle. You’ll also find advice from therapists, fertility coaches and other experts.
Why it matters: You probably know someone struggling to get pregnant. One in eight couples in the U.S. face infertility.
- “Most people take for granted that they’re going to get married and then they’re going to have a family. But then comes the tears and the shots and the bills and the time and everything else,” she tells me.
Writing the book was “a cathartic experience,” Samantha says. Beyond just helping her process her own feelings, she hopes it validates the emotions of others who are struggling.
If you’re the only person you know experiencing infertility, it can feel isolating, she says. So she turned to social media to find a community of people who understand the struggle. She’s dubbed them her “infertility sisters.”
“In some cases, you may not even know these women’s last names, but you’re automatically close. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
How to help: If you know someone experiencing infertility and want to support them more effectively, Samantha has a few tips.
- Skip the positive spin. Comments like “it’s God’s plan” or “tomorrow will be a better day” don’t offer the comfort you hope they do. In fact, they’re often triggering.
- Just say “I’m sorry.” You don’t need to have anything poetic to offer to be a valuable support person. A simple “I’m sorry about what you’re going through” works well. (Need more guidance? Here are seven therapist-approved tips.)
- Let the person who’s struggling lead. Offer your support, but allow the other person to dictate what that looks like. For some people that may mean sharing a bottle of wine and opening up about their feelings. Others might need a dose of bad reality TV sans conversation.
What’s next: The Busches went through another egg retrieval recently and will continue trying to give five-year-old Brexton a sibling.
- They’ll also continue their work with their Samantha and Kyle Busch Bundle of Joy Fund, which distributes funds aimed to offset the cost of IVF. One cycle of the procedure can cost upwards of $12,000. To date, the organization has given out $940,000.
Photo by Olly Young