(Here are the previous posts in this series)
When we first began going to the fertility specialist, I remembered a friend had mentioned they had difficulty getting pregnant. I reached out to her to have someone know what we’ve gone through in this crazy treatment world! It has been so great to have someone know what I’m talking about when I discuss my estradiol levels and how many eggs are at what millimeter. Anyway, she loaned me a couple books. One of the books had a chapter entitled:
When people you love say stupid things
I flipped right to it. I had been having many of these situations when I read the book and it was nice to have a laugh about it and realize those awkward statements are normal!! The longer it takes you to get pregnant, the more stupid things you hear people say. Thankfully, the longer it takes you to get pregnant, the more you realize people aren’t being malicious or intentionally hurtful. Fortunately for those people – infertility is not their reality. They don’t know where you’re coming from so they don’t know how hurtful it is when they give you “advice.”
If you have said one of these things below, please know that I love you and I forgive you. I am not trying to condemn you or make you feel bad, but want to educate you to understand why those statements hurt and to avoid saying those things to others.
“Just relax and you will get pregnant.”
For someone that can’t get pregnant, this statement feels like it is just heaping more condemnation on them. So am I not getting pregnant because I’m stressed about not getting pregnant?!? Also, for people like me who have diagnosed medical conditions, it just burns me. I’m like – my body doesn’t WORK properly to get pregnant on my own.. relaxation has nothing to do with it!
“You’re so young!”
I understand the hopeful intention behind this comment. But what it really says to someone living it is “you don’t need to worry about this yet, it’s not a big deal.” Additionally, like in the first one – for someone with an actual issue, age has nothing to do with it.
“I know so and so who tried for years and then BAM! Got pregnant on their own. I’m sure that will happen for you too.”
This is one of the most hated by women walking through it I think. Yes, it is way cool that this happened to your friend. And you know what? It could always happen for me. But it probably won’t. And this statement somewhat just discounts the current pain by saying – don’t worry! You’ll get pregnant once you stop worrying about it.
“Oh you’re lucky… want my kids?”
Seriously? Because yes, I do. As someone struggling to get pregnant, I am not naïve. I know that motherhood isn’t rosy all the time. I know that it will be hard and I am sure sometimes it will be joyless and seem like a monotonous routine. But all in all, children are a blessing! Everything that is worthwhile in this world can be hard. And people saying this come from the camp of “the grass is always greener on the other side.” When you have children, you only remember the good parts about being a family of two. But it’s a totally different story when you don’t want to just be a two-some anymore.
Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion to this blogpost:)
– Photo Credit: Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post