In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week I decided to share some of the things that should NEVER be said to someone battling with infertility. These are all things have been said multiple times to me or one of my close friends. Because I did have help from some of my dear sisters, this list also caters to women that have dealt with secondary infertility, miscarriages and/or infant loss.
- When are ya’ll going to have kids? I think that this is the most common question that is asked to all couples everywhere. For some reason, we just HAVE to know. I totally understand that you (as family, friends, etc) are excited for people to experience parenthood, but I can tell you that this question leads to heartbreak every time a couple has to force a fake smile and say, “we don’t know yet” or “whenever God says so!” Every time this question is asked, it is a brutal reminder of the stinging pain of infertility. How I wish that I could say, “you don’t know how bad I want to be able to say we’re expecting!” But, I know that people would not know what to say, or feel extremely “sorry.” I don’t want your pity. I just need your kindness. Honestly, we know that you aren’t trying to intentionally hurt us, which is why most people will never tell you that it is rude to ask.
- “You should relax- that’s when I got pregnant, when I stopped trying!” I find it funny that most of the time people that have children are the ones telling the childless woman to “relax.” If this is you, if you have EVER told a friend to “just relax…” I want you to do something for me. Close your eyes and imagine life without your precious child(ren.) What do you feel? Is it hard to imagine? Would it be hard for you to relax if someone told you that you couldn’t have your children? Imagine it. This is life for us, every. single. day.
- Just pray about it. I don’t understand this one at all. Do you not think that we are praying? Do you think that just because I am going through a trial, I will neglect my faith? It would be much better to simply offer to pray WITH your friend. Sometimes when she prays, she doesn’t have the strength to even get the words out. Honestly, She is most likely putting on a strong face right now. Right now, she wants her friend to just be a friend. Not a counselor. Not try to fix it. Just be a friend. Then people follow with “but are you REALLY trusting God?” Listen, I don’t have a choice BUT to trust him. Please don’t make me feel like a bad Christian because I prayed and I’m still sad. Please.
- It’ll be okay. Let us know that you care and you are concerned. Let us know that you want us to be “okay.” Let us cry on your shoulder. Let us vent when we can’t be strong anymore. But don’t tell me, after I just miscarried, that it will be okay. While I may learn to live and accept what I have gone through. It will never be “okay.”
- You can try again. You already have a child anyway. For my precious sisters that have had one, two or however many children, yet t still desire more— I’m sorry. I’m sorry that people try to minimize what you are going through as if you should “just be grateful.” I’m sorry that they don’t understand what it is like to have to tell their child, who wants a sibling, that their baby brother (or sister) has already gone to be with God. I’m sorry that they don’t understand what it is like to have to decide in between saving for your child’s college fund, or paying out of pocket for in-vitro to have a chance at growing your family. And Sis? I’m sorry for all those times when I was the person that didn’t get it.
- Well, it’s not like you have cancer. It could be worst. This is transparent. The day someone told this to my friend, I wanted to punch her in the face. Hey, its the truth. How dare you try to minimize what we are battling, and tell us that it could be worst. How dare you try to make us feel guilty for saying that we are warriors too? How dare you try and compare infertility to anything? Infertility comes with a pain like none other. Until you have endured throwing up from fertility meds, giving yourself shots weekly, turning your bathroom into a lab from tracking your ovulation, having surgery to remove ovarian cysts or scar tissue from endometriosis, receiving blood transfusions, or spending your savings on a failed IVF- don’t tell me it could be worst.
- Just adopt/just do IVF. Adoption is not “the last option,” nor is it the “fix” to infertility. Adopting does not take away infertility. Honestly, adoption isn’t for everyone. Those children deserve parents that WANT to adopt them, not parents that look at them as “the only option.” Adoption can also be very expensive, did you know that? And, just like adoption- IVF is not always an option There are many, many factors to infertility. IVF may not be the answer. IVF is NOT a guarantee. Nor, is it always covered by insurance. It is VERY expensive. Just the medication cost alone may make this unattainable for couples. This is why we need you to be aware of the statistics. We need you to tell these companies that we deserve better insurance coverage. 1 in 8 couples. Who do you know? Fight for them.
- Don’t have a baby right now, you can have a child anytime! I get this a lot because of my age. However, I know people 5 years younger with multiple children. So, if I can have them anytime- why not now? I think the most insensitive thing to say to a woman that wants a child is “not to have a child.” Now Sis, I am not talking about your family members or close friends that genuinely have your best interest at heart. So don’t show them this and say, “stay out of my business!” I do believe that you should make wise decisions in regards to when you decide to “try” for kids. If your marriage is in a rocky place (which infertility or pregnancy loss can often bring) you need to take time to rebuild it. Have a child won’t fix that. If you are struggling financially, maybe you should wait until you are a bit more stable. XOXO
- Be glad you don’t have kids yet, I HATED being pregnant and ever since I had kids I can’t do x,y or z. I hear you. I know that pregancy can be rough on your body. I know it’s not peaches and cream. I know life won’t be easier when I have kids. I know it will have rough moments and it’s own struggles. However, I know that my heart’s desire is to be a mom and you telling me to be glad that I can’t fulfill that HURTS. I want to tell you that it hurts, but I don’t want to seem like an overly sensitive friend. I also want to be supportive of you and your journey through parenthood. I don’t want you to feel that you can’t be open and honest about how you are feeling with me. I also want you to share the positives with me though. Don’t just tell me all the negatives because you feel it will make my journey easier. It doesn’t.
- At least you can get pregnant. To my sister that is grieving the loss of your precious angel baby(ies.) I am sorry. This doesn’t make losing your child any easier. I know that your heartbreaks every-time people want you to look at the “good.” My heart breaks because you have vocalized how you feel that people forget that you are a MOM that loss her CHILD. Your child died. There is no way that anybody would walk up to a parent at a funeral and say, “well at least you can get pregnant!” I am sorry they say this thoughtless statement to you.
To all of my sisters- I am sorry for every single time your heart has been broken by a statement on this page. I’m sorry for every statement that is not on this page. The only way to stop the hurt is to educate and bring awareness to an issues that has been “taboo” for way too long. Please share this, if not for you, share it for me. I am 1 in 8.