Infertility

Say WHAT!? // Part 1

If you’ve been trying to conceive for any extended length of time – and if others know about (or suspect) your struggle – it is guaranteed that you’ve heard some pretty crazy, insensitive, and downright insulting comments from others about your situation. Most of the time these commenters mean well. Yet, despite their good intentions, their comments come across as completely ignorant, and leave you in the awkward position of wondering how to respond. There are tons of articles on some of the most frequent infertility advice taboos, so I’m not going to get into those. Instead, I’m going to share a few of the craziest things my infertile friends have had said to them. I’m not generally a snarky or sarcastic person, but sometimes the things that come out of people’s mouths are horrifyingly amazing. Things like:

“You’re blessed, you can’t have a bunch of S#!**% kids!”

Yes. This is actually something someone said. And it’s such a terrible thing to say that it’s almost comical. Almost. Aside from the fact that you’re trash talking your own children (which says a lot more about the tree than the apple – *wink, wink*), an infertile person would take your bad kids over no kids any.day.of.the.week. Maybe it’s just your parenting that sucks. Food for thought. I hate to break it to you, but if you think your kids are “crappy,” and want to slander them – a person with infertility is not going to be the most sympathetic ear. Unless you’re offering to let us adopt them.

“We like inviting you to hang out with us because you don’t have kids, so it’s easier to make plans.”

I am so happy that one of the biggest tragedies of my life works out well for your social schedule.

“At least now you know you can get pregnant!” – said to someone after a miscarriage.

“Yay! I can get pregnant but not actually have a baby! This is going to be so much fun!!” Said no one. Ever.

All jokes aside, I do understand the basic sentiment behind this comment. But it completely invalidates the life of the child that was lost. Unborn children are not “tester babies” designed to discern whether or not a woman can get pregnant. These children are loved and yearned for. Their mothers begged God, cried over them, and physically ached for them before they ever came into existence. For the infertile community, the sleepless nights of parenthood begin long before a child enters the picture. A miscarriage is just as painful a loss as the death of a close friend or relative. If you’ve ever thought of saying something like this – do your friend a favor and keep it to yourself.

“Maybe the end of the world is coming and you’re one of the blessed ones that won’t have kids.”

Um. Okay. Moving on.

“Maybe you don’t want to be a mom badly enough.”

Most of us infertile people (who want children) spend so much time wanting to become parents that it consumes our thoughts and lives (admittedly unhealthy). We spend more money and time to become parents than our fertile counterparts with biological children. We become so engrossed in charting cervical mucus, planning intercourse, knowing our basal body temperatures, and stocking up on home pregnancy tests and ovulation predictor kits. We take fertility medicines, give ourselves shots and suppositories, have invasive surgeries, overhaul our diets and exercise routines, and avoid simple pleasures and conveniences like that fancy mojito or popping that excedrin for a headache, just in case. We will go through hell and high-water for these babies that we may never even have. We’ve never wanted anything more.

“Why don’t you just get a uterus transplant!?” (said to someone who does not have a uterus).

Great idea! I’ll get right on that! In the meantime, why don’t you educate yourself about MRKH and other causes of permanent infertility!

“God gave you infertility/God is punishing you/God wants to teach you a lesson.”

This is a horrible thing to say, especially in a world where there are so many cases of child abuse and neglect. I personally know a family in which the abusive father murdered his toddler son – the youngest of his four children! If infertility were simply God’s means of preventing bad or immature parents from having kids, why would He allow someone like that to have four children while there are countless wanna-be moms and dads who would give anything to love and cherish the gift of a child? It just doesn’t work that way. The Bible says that the Lord causes the sun to shine and the rain to pour on both the good and the bad (Matthew 5:45). If a person went into an oncologist’s office and told all the patients that their cancer was a punishment from God, given to them in order to teach them a lesson, no one would think that was motivational or enlightening. The same goes for infertility. Our bodies are broken as a result of the broken world in which we live. While there are times when God uses our troubles to spiritually mature us, God does not go around doling out diseases and bodily dysfunction for the sake of “teaching lessons.” More accurately, it is God’s kindness toward us that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

As a general rule, I hate to complain about something without offering ways to make said thing better. I know that infertility is an uncomfortable topic for all involved, which is often the reason that people say such awkward things! Stay tuned for Part 2, in which I will list some helpful things that you can say or do for an infertile friend!

What’s the craziest thing anyone’s ever said to you about your infertility?

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Say WHAT!? // Part 1”

  1. When I was having an ultrasound to confirm my first miscarriage, the tech said “At least now you know you can get pregnant!”. I cried, as she continued to very painfully maneuver the transvaginal u/s wand inside of me as she said it. She saw my tears and quickly followed up with “you haven’t been trying for that long anyway… you’ll get pregnant again with a baby that’s good enough to keep.”

    “Good enough to keep”

      1. I saw her again after the second miscarriage (Lord have mercy) and she had a different tune. “I’m sorry you don’t get to keep this one either”. Third time I saw her, I made it clear that someone else would be performing the ultrasounds.

  2. Thank you for the shout out about MRKH!! Raising awareness is our biggest obstacle (just like other forms of infertility). It is absolutely horrible what all of us dealing with infertility have to listen to, as if Infertility itself wasn’t bad enough. Awesome post.

  3. ‘Maybe you don’t want to be a mom badly enough’. What the…. This is the craziest and most hurtful thing to say to anybody. These are the kind of comments in afraid of getting if I talk to people about what we are going through. But this one has got to be the worst 😦

    1. It’s definitely hard to hear someone tell you that you don’t want it badly enough! I hate when people who have no true understanding of what’s going on assume that I don’t want it that badly or that I’m doing something wrong in the “mechanics” of conception. If you’re thinking about opening up to people about what you’re going through, start with people who understand! This will help bolster you for the conversations you might end up having with people who don’t understand. I’m happy to lend an ear if you need one!

  4. I love your honesty! My first blog post was about what people say to me all the time that is hurtful and insensitive. The one I hate more than anything is, just relax and it will happen. Seriously?!? I want to punch people in the face when they say that. But somehow I restrain myself. 🙂

    1. YES Kristi! I have heard that one and another one – “you need to hang out with people who are pregnant so that your cycles will sync up! ” whaaat!?! Lol those things do not work!! And especially if you have a medical issue that prevents pregnancy!

  5. Reblogged this on Rmac's Yackity-Yacks and commented:
    This isn’t just some random blog about some things that maybe some people said. These statements were shared by people who had the unfortunate experience of being the person they were said to. At the very least, it’s a great reminder for myself to never give unsolicited advice and that it’s usually better to keep your mouth shut in most situations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s