Going through infertility sucked. What made it worse was the insensitive comments made by others.
Please never, ever tell someone going through infertility the following:
- Just relax and it will happen.
- Go on a cruise, and you're bound to come back pregnant.
- When we stopped "trying", we got pregnant. Ok, really? So you stopped having sex and got pregnant? Miraculous.
- Why don't you just adopt? Oh because that's so easy.
- It will happen when the time is right.
- You're so lucky you don't have kids, they're such a handful.
- Go get blessed in church on Mother's Day and you'll become a mother.
- I know how you feel. <--- Usually said by a woman with regular periods who is 2-3 months into her trying to conceive journey. Never tell someone how you feel unless you've really been in their shoes. I would never say that to someone going through IVF or who's had a miscarriage because I've never experienced anything like that.
If you say these comments to your infertile friend, I guarantee she'll want to punch you in the face. But you won't know she feels this way because she's probably a sweet person and will just smile and nod in your presence, and then vent about you later to her husband. I've heard all of these lovely remarks and more.
I cannot tell you what you should say to someone struggling with infertility because we're all different. I always appreciated a simple "I'm so sorry. That sucks." The best comment I ever received was "what can I say to you to make you feel better?" That question showed me my friend really cared and wanted to help.
Now, comments during pregnancy are a bit more cut and dry. I can tell you what every pregnant woman wants to hear: You look amazing/ you're glowing/ pregnancy suits you so well. Basically, we'll take any compliment directed towards us. While compliments do come our way, so do many negative comments. I understand these remarks are "well-meaning" but we're hormonal and we'll definitely take them the wrong way.
Do not say the following to a pregnant woman:
- "When is your baby due? Ha, they must have calculated your due date wrong because there's no way you're making it to December."
- "You're how far along? Are you sure? You're awfully big..." (note: I'm sure being called "small" hurts just as much, if not more.)
- "You sure are taking 'eating for two' seriously." This was said to me after I ordered breakfast for my husband and I.
- "Are you sure you're allowed to run?" Random dude, I guarantee you no one cares about the well-being of my baby more than I do, so don't question my actions.
- "You know you can't sweat that baby out of you." Said by another random dude at the gym while shaking his finger at me...
- "Your life will be over as soon as the baby is born. Your marriage will fall apart and you'll never be happy again."
- "Was the pregnancy a surprise or planned?" Umm, it was a surprise that the infertility drugs actually worked!
I don't know why seeing a pregnant belly gives people the urge to judge you and make remarks. But I know this is only the start. In about 10 more weeks, I'll receive a host of parenting tips and critiques of my mothering style. Bring it on. After all, I have that smiling and nodding thing down pat from my infertility days