What NOT to say to anyone…especially a woman experiencing infertility
(Though you probably don’t know she’s struggling because she doesn’t talk about it and has a smile plastered to her face.)
10. “So, when are you going to have kids?”
I’m sure people meant well when they asked me this question…but after a few years, it just STUNG. I myself was guilty of asking a friend this (who, unbeknownst to me, had also been trying). Sometimes it takes one to know one. I didn’t mean any harm at the time, as I’m sure countless others hadn’t either. This question ranks up there with “So, are you ever going to get married?” and “You still aren’t dating anyone?” JUST…don’t.
9. “You aren’t getting any younger, you know. Don’t wait too long.”
Oh, my gosh! Thank you so much! I had NO idea how time works. Thanks for adding to my stress, friend! Biological clock: 1, Annie: 0.
8. “Just relax and it’ll happen!”
Much as I would’ve loved for this to be our reality, we needed medical intervention to have Nugget #1. Though I’m sure relaxing is the preferred route! Infertility looks different for everyone.
7. “After you have sex, you should put your feet up and stay there for at least 30 minutes.”
Had I asked for advice on the technicalities of making a baby, this would have been great! (Although I’m not even sure of the veracity of this statement???) UPDATE: Ok, so our fertility clinic DID actually give me similar advice…but if you are not a) an employee of a fertility clinic or b) asked for advice on this topic…Please don’t. Just don’t.
6. “You know your mom and dad are waiting to become grandparents.”
This didn’t even come from my parents (who never pressured me once)! One of my (and my husband’s) greatest regrets is that our moms never got to meet our daughter stateside. This comment did not help.
5. “You just got married? Ok, it’s time to have a baby now.”
This one makes me laugh because one of my first graders said it to me. If you are over the age of 6 though…do not pass GO.
4. “How long have you been married? You still don’t have kids? It’s time to stop thinking about yourselves. It’s all about the kids!”
I am not a violent person by nature but my knuckles really itched at this one.
3. “Are you pregnant?”
Soooooo many reasons, so little time. I will say that after being asked this multiple times while wearing the same dress, I got rid of the dress.
2. “Oh my goodness! Congrats!” (Hand must be placed on belly while saying this.) “Um…no.”
<Let’s pause here for a moment.>
At this point during the conversation, the proper response from person #1 would have been, “Oh, my bad, sorry!” followed by a prompt and painless exit. Instead, this is what followed:
“No? Are you sure??????!”
Am I sure that I’m not pregnant? Yes, yes, I’m sure. Why am I sure? Because I obsessively take pregnancy tests every time I think I’m late and I’m watching the dates on the calendar with eagle eyes and scheduling the baby dance like it’s a dentist appointment (sexiness factor: 0). I’m stress eating and I’m naturally shaped like a pregnant woman even though I’ve never been pregnant a day in my life and NOW YOU HAVE JUST SKYROCKETED MY STRESS!!!!!
1. “You must not be that hot if that husband of yours still hasn’t gotten you pregnant.”
Are you cringing in your seat right now? Folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up, if I tried. Yes, these lovely words were spoken to my face. I, of course, as per my modus operandi, stood there open-mouthed and slack-jawed. I was stunned, hurt, confused, and speechless.
Sometimes, there are no words and the best answer is silence.
Did she know we were experiencing infertility? Of course not. I’m sure no one in their right mind would say things like this if they KNEW what people were going through. (Which leads me to my point…if you don’t know…or even if you do know…don’t make the comments. Please.)
If you can take anything from my experience, take this: laugh at your situation as much as you can. Walk away if you can’t!
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Want more? Read more about my journey through infertility.