Loving Your Friend Through Infertility – Avoid Cliche Statements (Part 2)

(Check out the previous posts in the series here)

Yesterday I posted Part 1 of “Avoid Cliche Statements.”  Here are a few more things NOT to say:

“You will get pregnant, I just know it.”

Sometimes this can be encouraging to people.  But for someone that it is seeming like it won’t happen for, it can just make you sad. Because God is the only one who knows, He is the only one who can actually grow a family. And for some, He doesn’t give them biological children. For some, he doesn’t give them a family at all. Now (anecdotally) I think most people who desire a family are eventually blessed with one by some means or another. But telling someone “I am sure you’ll get pregnant” can lead that person to hopelessness if it doesn’t happen.

“Fertility treatments eh? So are you going to wind up with sextuplets like octomom?”

This is the only encounter with fertility medications for many people. This exposure makes them wildly ignorant about the different types of treatment available and how families are really made. 1 in 8 couples struggles with infertility and many of those go to clinics, using fertility medication or IUI or IVF. There’s a large chance you know a family who used medication or another form of treatment to help them conceive their children.  The world only hears about the goofy Jon and Kate plus 8 or crazy octomom – – because they are RARE.

“Just do IVF!”

Anything that starts out with the word “just” is going to end badly. People hear fertility treatment and automatically think IVF because that’s all they know. But IVF is a very intense, very controversial and VERY expensive (roughly $12,000-$20,000+ a treatment/ a month).  Most people who do IVF have to do it at least twice and the money alone adds up. I won’t go into IVF right now, but it causes chaos in a woman’s body, can bring up a lot of ethical questions and still is NOT a guarantee. This is not the answer to fertility issues.

“You just need to try… (fill in the blank)”

This could be going on a vacation, a certain “technique,” a particular doctor, medication or anything! Once again, anything that starts with “just” is a quick fix. It’s not only unhelpful, but can be hurtful.  Yes it’s okay to make recommendations. Especially if infertility is new to your friend and you have some knowledge or experience, help a sister out! But for someone who’s been there for a while and has done her homework – you’re not going to be telling her anything new (or anything she probably hasn’t already tried yet!)

“Just adopt – then you’ll get pregnant!”

There is so much about this statement that is hard and untrue. Yes, apparently everyone has a friend (or a friend of a friend) who adopted and then got pregnant. But the heart behind this statement is that adoption and getting pregnant are very different. This statement comes from the thought that pregnancy and biological children are the ultimate goal and adopting is more like the means to get there.  In reality, adoption is a beautiful way to grow a family and it should never be entered into just because someone is hoping to get pregnant because of it. Yes, people can seek both ways to grow a family at the same time – – and that’s good! But adoption is bringing a child into your family, it is not just a “good luck charm” to get pregnant. Additionally, any promise of a pregnancy can lead your friend to despair. Because the moral of it is you just don’t know!!

So… now that I’ve nixed most statements… I know you’re thinking – what the heck am I supposed to say?!?

(Stay tuned)

About jkl

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
This entry was posted in Infertility, Loving Your Friend Series, Sanctification and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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