One of the hardest parts of dealing with infertility is listening to everyone else tell me what to do as if they are an expert on creating life. While I have not been overly open with friends and family about my situation, many are still aware that we are having a few “general issues” due to my endometriosis. Regardless if they know about someone’s struggles or not, I am absolutely floored at what some people will say to others about trying to conceive. A few of my “favorites” –
1 – Just because people get married and are in their late 20’s or early 30’s it doesn’t mean they are able (or are even want) to pop out a kid right away. “So when am I going to be getting that grandchild?” or “how long have you been married? you should have popped out a kid by now!” I mean, I can’t…..
2 – Never ask someone how long they have been trying OR if you know it’s been a while, why they aren’t pregnant yet. I already stress myself out with every month passing, I don’t need you reminding me of it too.
3 – “Everything happens for a reason.” Yes it does, including me smacking you when you say this.
4 – “If you just stop trying so hard, it will happen.” You’re right, the adhesions will just stop growing in my body, I will suddenly start releasing eggs, and implantation will finally happen all because I stopped trying so hard. Why didn’t I think of that?
5 – “I don’t think you’re timing it right, just have lots of sex right around the middle of your cycle and it will work.” – You can just go screw yourself with that comment. A lot and in the middle of your cycle of course!
6 – “You’re still young, it will happen.” Or my favorite version that I get every time I see a new doctor or specialist, “Oh wow, you’re young…” – Endometriosis and infertility don’t care about your age and you reminding me that I am a few years younger than the average person is just salt on the wound.
7 – Don’t tell them that infertility isn’t that big of a deal and that it “will all work out in the end.” And most importantly, don’t call them bitter or pessimistic. As someone who has sat in countless appointments and talked about my situation with numerous doctors and specialists, I am realistic. I am fighting low odds and I pray every day for a miracle but minimizing the problem just makes it worse.
8 – Please don’t complain about your pregnancy. I haven’t been pregnant so if it is the worst experience ever, I wouldn’t know. BUT I do know that just being around pregnant women can be hard for someone struggling with infertility and listening to you complain about something we would kill for is pretty hard to chew. You’re growing a little human and we would be kidding ourselves if we thought it would be rainbows and sunshine the whole time….
9 – Finding out others, especially those close to you, are pregnant might be one of the most difficult things for an infertile woman to hear. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT tell them to calm down (this should be a general rule in life, but that’s another blog…) or ask “I don’t understand why you’re not happy for them?” There is excitement but with that comes emotions many will never understand so be supportive instead of judging what someone should or should not be feeling.
10 – Don’t ask too many questions. Just don’t.
11 – Finally, never ask a woman who is struggling to conceive if she is pregnant. I don’t care if she’s sick, not drinking, tired, or what – making her say “no” out loud is like kicking her in the stomach for the next hour straight.
Resolve has a great article that discusses these and a few more, check it out here: http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family–friends/infertility-etiquette.html