There are plenty of reasons why infertility sucks. Most obvious, you can’t have kids. That sucks, but it seems that at the end of the day, or at least at the end of MY day, that is really a secondary suckage. Most of the time, I am consumed with the day to day suckiness of it, the poking, the prodding, the outrageous mood swings (and weight gain) caused by the medication and the constant questions and well-meaning, yet unwelcome, comments. Now, it turns out that I can add surgery to that list of sucky things to contend with on the road to having biological children.
But really, this post is about the comments. One of the things that sucks about infertility is that people really don’t know what to say and people who otherwise know you and know how to behave are at a complete loss. This loss causes them to get ‘foot in mouth’ disease. I feel bad for them since they know not what they do. So, I thought I would post a few comments that you should refrain from repeating around any potentially infertile person:
“Just relax” – ummm. . . yeah, you’ve just been told that you might never conceive a biological child. Something most of us never even think about, or spend years trying to protect against. But hey, you are right. I’ll relax, I think I’ll just go put on some Frank Sinatra and have a martini and chill in my barko-lounger.
“If you take a vacation, that might help. I know so and so who couldn’t get pregnant and she and her husband went on vacation” – REALLY? A vacation will help? Gosh, maybe going to Aruba, Montreal, Paris and London in the past two years don’t count? Maybe they don’t have enough pregnancy nutrients in their water? Where do people go where they have magical fertility air and get pregnant? Maybe they’ve got a Sandals resort where that is one of their guarantees “come stay with us, get married, get pregnant!”
“I know a couple that couldn’t get pregnant and they got a dog and then got pregnant!” I shit you not, someone said this to me. I get the point, but really, I had two dogs. We now have one. They also did not come with magic fertility potion. Maybe they are defective. Maybe there is a specific fertility dog?
“I know a couple who adopted and as soon as they did they got pregnant” Now, there are tons of stories about this and I have to admit it happens, but see, we aren’t adopting in hopes we’ll get pregnant so this is just a pretty asinine thing to say to someone who is adopting. Adoption is not second choice, or a means to have a biological child. That statement is just idiotic, yet people feel perfectly comfortable saying it anyway.
“It’s just not your time yet” And, what? It’s the crackheads time?
“You know, it’ll happen when you least expect it” – I’m never expecting it anymore. Still hasn’t happened.
Here’s a gem, actually said by one of my nearest and dearest “I don’t know how I’ll feel if I am in your situation, but right now the only reason for me to have a child is so when I look at it, I’ll see my husband” Okay, I hope it works out for you, but that is really a stupid reason to have a child. But see, I didn’t say that to that person. I didn’t say “then what, what if it doesn’t look like your husband? Will you hate it? What if you love it and cherish it and it turns into an axe murderer?” But see, I didn’t say that. I said “uh huh, right, good” because I have learned that its better, more times than not, to keep your mouth shut instead of saying truly ridiculous things.
I had another friend who was questioning my sex life and telling me about when she thought her pregnancy occurred and how important it was to have passionate sex where you just ‘connect’ and that should help. Where do people come up with this stuff? I know they mean well, I know they love us and are concerned for us, but enough! I had to tell her, although I thought she would have understood this by now, that me getting pregnant has nothing to do with me and husband even being in the same room at the same time, it has to do with the Dr. having very good aim!
So there, gentle reader, are Miss Notguilty’s etiquette tips in dealing with infertile friends and other types of loved ones. Infertility sucks for the infertile people, it doesn’t have to make you suck too.