Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Worst Things to Say to Someone Struggling with Infertility

1. “You’re still so young; you have plenty of time.”
Firstly, brushing someone off is not helpful. Secondly, age will do nothing but hinder my ability to get pregnant, the older I get the more difficult getting pregnant will be.

2. “When are you going to have a baby?”
Prying into someones personal/reproductive business is always obnoxious, but when someone is struggling with infertility, it can be really painful.

3. “Well don't do anything extreme. You don't want to end up like Octomom.”
Extreme, like fertility drugs? Well, I don't ovulate without fertility drugs, so if I don't do anything "extreme" (barring a miracle) I will never conceive a baby. Believe me, I would really like not to have to take these sickness-inducing drugs.

4. “You should go on a vacation.”
Fertility treatments are expensive, so we couldn't afford a cruise to the Bahamas if we wanted to. Plus, we've tried pretty much everything at this point, we aren't really looking for suggestions, just support. 

5. “It's all in God's plan.”
Maybe everything does "happen for a reason" and all that, but this sort of implies that God has intended for you to cry yourself to sleep while you wait it out, or for your ovaries to be covered in cysts, or that you aren't fit be parents. In any case, it's just not what we want to hear.

6. “Ugh, I'm so bloated, I can't wait to have this baby out of me!” (or heartburn, or leg cramps, or any other pregnant lady complaint). You can't blame them, especially if they don't know what you're dealing with, but it still hurts to hear. In an infertile woman's eyes, a pregnant woman has everything, to hear them complaining is super annoying.

7.a. “Take one of mine, they're driving me nuts!”
Um, please appreciate that little miracle of yours. I would do anything to be driven nuts by my own child. Seriously, this one happens all the time and nothing makes me more upset. Why do all these unappreciative moms get to have babies and I can't. UGH.

7.b. “Enjoy [childlessness] while you can. Once they're here, there's no going back!”
Couples who are infertile would gladly trade their "care-free life" for sleepless nights or snot-stained clothes. Also, see above, these things are bad to say for pretty much the same reason.

8. “Why don't you just adopt?”
Just. Adopt. JUST. Adopt. It is actually an incredibly difficult and expensive process and not one that should be offered up all nonchalantly. A variant of this is "Have you considered adoption?" To which most infertiles would respond, "Yes, when you are told there is a chance you might never have a biological child, it is absolutely something you consider."

9. "Just relax, it will happen."
Well thanks for your vote of confidence, but relaxing wont increase a sperm count or rid ovaries of cysts. So no, relaxing probably wont help.

10. "Oh, you've been trying for a year and a half? That's nothing; I know a couple who struggled for SEVEN years before they got pregnant."
Oh, well excuse me, I didn't realize my feelings were completely invalidated because someone had it worse off than me. Sorry, that sounded bitter. It's just that "one-up"ing is never helpful.
  Actually, this probably all sounds a little bitter/over-sensitive to fertile people. Well, we are a little bitter, if you want to be supportive, you're going to just have to deal with it. But if you read through all of this, it means you care! Yay! That's a start :)

Here's a bonus one I just thought of:
11. "Oh, I struggled getting pregnant too. It took me almost SIX MONTHS!"
Yikes. You have to be kidding me. How might this be helpful? Answer, its not.

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