As most of you know, my husband and I had issues conceiving due to infertility issues. It was emotionally and financially draining and it really took a toll on our marriage. It wasn’t necessarily a bad toll, but rather one that put certain things into perspective. In other words, it strengthened our marriage. There is no doubt that when we decide to grow our family more that we will again be plagued by the same infertility issues we experienced previously. Fortunately for us, we’ve been down that road before, so we better know how to handle it. One thing I can assure you though is that traveling down the infertility challenge is most certainly not easy, so here are some things NOT say to someone experiencing infertility. Of course, this comes from personal experience.
1) Just relax-that’s when it’ll happen
I assure you that even though you may think this is true and helpful advice, it isn’t. In fact, that’s what people experiencing infertility hears most and it doesn’t hurt any less hearing it over and over and over again.
2) I bet if you adopt- you’ll get pregnant
Most people experiencing infertility don’t want to think about the possibility of adopting. Though some may resort to that, others want to have “their” family.
3) Maybe you’re not supposed to have children and/or it’s Gods will/timing
Stop. Don’t ever say this to someone. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you see people on bridge cards and/or welfare popping kids out left and right–some just to get more assistance from the government.
4) Maybe you should see a different doctor.
When you spend $ out of pocket to see a fertility specialist and go to a fertility clinic, I’m pretty sure it’s NOT the doctor.
Side Note- Dr. Dodds at the Fertility Clinic in Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids is AMAZING.
5) Maybe you’re not taking care of yourself (ie. lose weight/east healthier)
Do you honestly think that someone experiencing fertility hasn’t changed their diet or lifestyle (if need be) already? Use your head.
6) Maybe if you touch my belly and/or hold my baby–good vibes will rub off
If anything, this makes the person experiencing infertility want to run to their bedroom and lock themselves in. Oftentimes, rubbing your baby and pregnancy in their face is hurtful and only makes them wish they were in your shoes even more.
7) I don’t have a problem getting pregnant–that’s so weird that you do. I can be your surrogate (jokingly say this)
You should probably punch yourself in the face. There are no words for people who say things like this.
8) You work too much and/or are too busy
Maybe, JUST maybe, working so hard helps keep our/their mind off the fact that we can’t pro-create.
9) You want kids? You can borrow mine.
Again, really? People experiencing infertility want their OWN kids, not yours. Also, people may mean this as a joke-but it’s not even remotely funny.
10) Maybe you waited too long/maybe you’re too old
I heard this way to much when my husband and I were trying for a child. He is 8 years older, so people would whisper things about his age and the fact that he was closer to be 40 than I. As his wife and partner, this really bothered me to hear and I would clearly shoot down this accusation/statement. Don’t throw numbers at the situation ESPECIALLY because for the majority, the ONLY reason age becomes a factor when trying to start a family is when the WOMAN is above 40–which in our case was certainly NOT the case. Know your facts before opening your mouth.
We have since been blessed with our first child, but the pain and memories while trying to conceive him are still hard to think about. My advice to all those dealing with infertility..my prayers are with you. I’d be lying if I said that it gets easier, but please know that you are not alone. The wait, though painful and long, will be worth it (partially) upon holding your baby in your arms for the first time. Don’t give up. My advice to those who have friends dealing with infertility, please be weary of what you say and do around those people. On the outside, they may appear ok at times, but on the inside they’re hurting.