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?