Good morning and Happy Monday!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was super low key but it was really nice considering everything happening this year. While we missed many family members we are glad that everyone is staying safe. We have quite a few people on one side of our family who were exposed to covid at work and have tested positive. Luckily everyone is okay so far, just feeling flu-like.
Today I want to share a list of things you should NOT say to someone struggling with infertility. Or anyone for that matter. But especially not someone who struggles with infertility.
When you want a baby and are struggling to get pregnant it insanely difficult. Through my own experience I feel very weepy and sometimes very "rage-y" and it is hard for me to listen to a lot of comments people make. Although people don't truly know what it's like to deal with infertility until you have actually experienced it yourself, everyone can certainly watch what they say and be kinder.
THINGS NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE STRUGGLING WITH INFERTILITY
(OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER....)
- Why aren't you pregnant yet? What's wrong with you?
Believe it or not this one is from personal experience. NEVER, NEVER ask someone why they aren't pregnant yet. Just because you've been married for an entire year does not give anyone the right to ask why you aren't pregnant yet. You can take as much time as you want. However if you have been trying this comment cuts you to your very core. Why aren't you pregnant yet, well you don't know what the reason is because you've been trying! This comment cut me deep and I know that it must feel the same for others. Also, it's never okay to ask a woman what is wrong with her. Specifically in this case if she has issues with her period. Sorry, but that is not something I want to discuss with a random family member unless they happen to also be my gynecologist.
- Be thankful you don't have to deal with X, Y, Z....
Guess what? I would gladly deal with the mountains of laundry you have for your two children. The screaming fits? I'm sure they seem like the end of the world in your eyes, but I envy them. Do not complain about your kid to me, I would give anything to have my own! I know so many people who only complain about their children and it absolutely kills me. I get that you have been at home with your kids during the quarantine. I get that it's a lot to be with your children all day everyday, but while I'm struggling to get pregnant it's the last thing I want to hear.
- You should adopt/ I will carry a kid for you
Sometimes this is said as a meaningful generous comment but it is not heard this way. Maybe we will adopt someday, but maybe not. Adopting is expensive. Also, I don't want someone else to carry my baby for me. I want to experience pregnancy. I want to carry my own baby. Part of having a baby is getting to carry them and experiencing pregnancy and having that taken away is not my first choice. If this is the route that you choose to go I have absolutely no judgement but as of right now that is not my path and when people suggest these options to me they are essentially suggesting I should give up hope on getting pregnant which is frustrating.
- You have plenty of time/ You're young
Well I'm 32 currently and don't exactly feel young anymore. Also, the last thing you want to hear when you want to be pregnant now is "you have plenty of time". There are many reasons why you want to have a baby at a certain point of your life and you feel that is the best time to have one and it is honestly not anyone else's business. Do not tell people they have plenty of time because you truly have no idea what someones timeline looks like/when they will go through menopause/etc... Unless of course you are their gynecologist then feel free to chime in.
- It will happen when it happens/ God's timing
I am allowed to want children when I want them. Fate, God, whatever you believe in should not control me being able to have a baby. Other people get pregnant on the first month they try, it is okay to be upset when you haven't been able to get pregnant after months of trying. I emailed one of the bloggers I have regularly read for years who once struggled with infertility and now has children. She basically told me I needed to trust God when I asked for advice. As someone who is not super religious and doesn't participate in organized religion, this wasn't helpful or needed advice. I needed someone to tell me that this sucks and that they were hoping it would work out for me, not that I needed to trust in Gods timing.
- What is the reason? Who is at fault?
There is something called unexplained infertility and it's no ones fault. I know I've talked about this before but my husband and I went through quite a bit of testing. My husband came back clear and so did I. This means there is no real reason we haven't been able to get pregnant, it just hasn't happened yet! I've had people push and say that there must be a reason behind our infertility. 15%-30% of couples experience unexplained infertility after they get their fertility workup, so truly there is no known reason. It is painful to have someone continue to press that something must be wrong.
- Don't be upset/ sad/ angry
Well this one is just plain stupid. Don't tell me not to be upset because I am allowed to feel however it is I feel. If I find out someone is pregnant and want to be sad I can be sad! It's not that I don't feel happy for whoever is pregnant but I am allowed to mourn the fact that it is not as easy for me as it is for everyone else. I am allowed to be angry and weepy when I get my period. I am allowed to be upset when someone says something that hurts my feelings in regards to my infertility. Telling someone to not feel what they are feeling is not okay. I have had many people tell me things along these lines and it is unbelievably frustrating.
- At least you haven't experienced X, Y, Z
Okay, I get it. You had a terrible pregnancy, you experienced a miscarriage... all of these things are terrible. I feel for you, I do. I know a lot of people who have experienced miscarriage, I get how terrible it can be but that doesn't mean that infertility is any less terrible. I'm not diminishing your pain and your struggle so do not diminish mine. It must be terrible to lose a baby that you are growing inside you, that pain must be indescribable. What's also terrible is every month for 18 months taking pregnancy tests and never seeing a second line. For 18 months waking up to your period and wondering what is wrong with you. Crying to your husband that you don't understand why your body just can't get pregnant. Wondering if you will ever be able to have a baby and if any of the treatments you will do will work. Wishing, hoping and wanting every month for 18 months is exhausting. So before you start comparing your pain and struggles to mine, stop. I won't compare my pain to yours if you don't compare your pain to mine.
I hope this post didn't come across as insensitive and rude. As I have mentioned before we finished our fertility workups. I have started clomid and one of the symptoms is feeling rage-y so I have decided to channel my rage into this lovely list that you just finished reading. If you made it to the end...thank you.
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