I’ve struggled with this post for a long time. I start to write it, and then I delete, and then I start all over again. The thing is, I know that the people who say the things I’m talking about say those things with the best of intentions. I know they aren’t meant to be hurtful. Still, what happens when they are said is that I feel hurt, and someone walks away from the conversation thinking they’ve been helpful. So, while I don’t want to offend anyone, this has been a big part of my infertility experience, and I want to share it in the hopes of educating people on the best way to talk to your infertile friend. I don’t ever want people to feel like they have to tiptoe around me when they talk, but I think that people often just don’t know what to say. While I can’t speak for everyone, here’s what drives me nuts…
- You could stop all of this and just adopt. Yeah. I could. The thing is, I’m not ready for that step yet. Adoption is also extremely expensive…and not covered by my insurance. Are you offering to pay for it?
- Everything happens for a reason. Ever notice how people only say this about bad things? No one ever says, “Everything happens for a reason,” after you get engaged or get a promotion. They say it after you break up, or lose your job, or can’t have a baby. It really doesn’t make anyone feel better. The reason I’m not pregnant is because I have endometriosis, not some great cosmic plan.
- You’re trying too hard. Just relax and it will happen. I’ve got to tell you that this one really burns my cookies. What exactly is trying too had when it comes to making a baby? You do know that if I stopped “trying” I wouldn’t get pregnant. I’m not really in the market for an immaculate conception here.
- It’s not the end of the world. Worse things have happened. Wow. Way to diminish the sucktasm that is infertility. Did you know that women who go through infertility have the same stress levels as those who face terminal illness? Of course I know it’s not the end of the world. Most things aren’t. My dad’s cancer isn’t the end of the world either. Neither is war, famine, or death. They still really suck though.
- I just know it’s going to work this time. I know this is meant to be supportive, but it really just puts more pressure on me, and it ends up making me feel like shit when it doesn’t work.
- My friend/aunt/sister/cousin/coworker tried drinking green tea/clomid/IUI/IVF/standing on her head after sex/cranberry juice and she got pregnant/didn’t get pregnant/had 8 babies/gave birth to an elephant/died. Again, I know you are trying to find a way to relate, but hearing other people’s crazy baby-making stories doesn’t really help me any…especially when you don’t even know the true details of what happened to them. Most of the time I get half of the story, and it has nothing to do with my story.
- I know how hard this is for you. No. You don’t. I’m sorry to be blunt, but unless you’ve been through this yourself, you have no idea how hard this is.
Have I completely pissed you off yet? I hope not! Please know that I probably would have said some of these things myself if I hadn’t had the experiences I’ve had. So, what should you say? These are a few of my favorite things that people say to me…
- How are you feeling?
- I love you.
- I’m here for you if you ever want to talk.
- Do you want to go get a non-caffeinated non-alcoholic beverage with me?
- I’m thinking/praying/hoping for you.
- That really sucks.
- I know I can’t say anything to help, but I’m here if you need me.
Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, I hope you don’t all quit reading my blog! I really do love you all, and I appreciate the support you give me by reading about all of my infertility nonsense, especially since most of you aren’t going through it yourselves.