Unfortunately, infertility is often a taboo subject. Time to break my silence…
I first drafted this post over 4 years ago. It’s been revised at least a dozen times and set aside. It was almost deleted just as often. It’s personal. It’s not my usual blog topic. As if infertility isn’t hard enough, I didn’t feel like I could share my thoughts and feelings. While I’m not ready to share the complete details of our infertility story on the blogosphere, I wanted to share what thoughtless words people sometimes say. I know people don’t think they’re being hurtful, but that’s the problem. They don’t think before they speak. This is for my friends and all the women who unfortunately have a similar story to mine.
THINGS WE NEED TO STOP SAYING TO WOMEN EXPERIENCING INFERTILITY:
When are you going to have a baby? Six years ago if it were up to me!
Have you tried… Yes, we’ve tried it all and more than you could ever imagine.
What’s the matter with you? Ew! I know what’s the matter with you! You’re just rude!
Why don’t you do IVF? Do you have $20,000 to give me? It doesn’t always work and some woman are morally opposed to it. Besides, I’m sick of feeling like a lab rat.
It took us forever, too! It’s supposed to make me feel better that it took you 7 months?! It’s been almost 7 years for us.
If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. Oh, hush it!
Relax and it’ll happen. Are you a fertility specialist? Infertility causes stress, not the other way around.
Have faith! Why do you think that I don’t? Faith has nothing to do with my body’s abilities.
Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. No, it doesn’t and everyone’s journey is different.
It must be you since he already had a kid. Nope. There are so many more factors than that…
It’ll happen. It may not. It probably will not…
Why don’t you just adopt? Once again, do you have $20,000 to give me? It doesn’t always work, adoption fall through. Trust me.
You’ll get pregnant after you adopt. See above…
You’ll get pregnant after you stop trying. Tried that too…
I’ll be your surrogate. Unless you’re my sister or BFF, this is just a creepy offer. Besides, if I had the extra $20,000 it would go to my IVF or adoption fund.
If he can’t get you knocked up, I’ll give it a shot. Just. Don’t. Ever. Say. That. Again. I’ve heard this over 20 times… Ew!
You don’t really want kids, think of all things you’ll have to give up. I would glady. I’m sorry that you feel like you’ve missed out on life.
If you really want kids, you can just have mine. Let’s run to the lawyer now to make that official.
Shouldn’t this be easier for you to deal with by now? No, some months are easier than others. We all heal and hurt differently. I’ve talked to older woman who experienced infertility. Once their friends started to become grandparents, the pain returned double-fold.
I didn’t tell you that I was pregnant because I thought the news might upset you. Please, revel in your blessing. I understand what a miracle it truly is. Finding out from someone else would hurt more.
THINGS WE NEED TO STOP SAYING TO WOMEN EXPERIENCING SECONDARY INFERTILITY:
At least you already have a kid. Stop. Yes, they know how special that blessing is, but it doesn’t mean the loss hurts any less.
WHAT WE NEED TO SAY TO WOMEN EXPERIENCING INFERTILITY:
I’m sorry that it’s been so difficult for you.
I’m here to listen.
What can I do to help?
Please stop judging, stop offering unsolicited advice, and think before you speak.