We hear of people struggling with infertility all the time. They can’t get pregnant. They’ve tried without success to have a baby. Maybe they just got married and thought pregnancy would naturally happen. When it didn’t, worry sets in. Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve been married for years and just decided the time was right. Only when you start trying, nothing happened. Or maybe you’ve been trying for years without success.Did you know that infertility dates back to the Bible with stories such as Hannah, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Rachel? These stories are reminders to each one struggling with infertility that they aren’t alone. Only women struggling with infertility know how alone it feels. That deep grief that won’t go away.
Learning to cope with infertility doesn’t happen overnight. It is a daily, hourly, and sometimes down to the minute before we can actually take a breath and breathe. Only someone who’s gone through the inability to conceive can possibly understand what this is like. Oh, I know, people think they understand, but you can’t. It simply isn’t possible.
Confessions from someone who knows…
They are everywhere. You know what I mean. Everywhere you turn there is a pregnant woman. They seem to be following us everywhere we go. They can’t understand that deep hollow we feel in the pit of our stomachs every time we see them.
The Timing isn’t right.
Ever heard that one? Or maybe something like this, “You just have to be patient.” Oh, how those words are a thorn to every woman struggling with infertility. Of course, we know to be patient. But then again, do you struggle with infertility? If not, don’t tell us about being patient because we could rewrite the definition of the word.
Babies, Babies, Babies
Where do all these babies come from? No matter how far we try to walk in the opposite direction, everyone we know seems to be getting pregnant. Could people please stop getting pregnant? “Thank you,” I say with relief.
If you just stop trying, you’ll get pregnant
Oh, how many times I’ve heard this. Don’t you think we’ve stopped trying just to see if this would work? Yeah, it doesn’t work. Thanks for your thoughts, but until you’ve experienced infertility; can you keep your unwanted wisdom to yourself?
Relax, you just need to relax!
Ever heard this one? If only we hadn’t thought of this. If it was just as simple as relaxing. As if a woman dealing with infertility hasn’t already researched ever possible method of getting pregnant and little did we know we just needed to relax.
Adoption is Your Answer!
This is one statement that is frequently said to couple struggling with infertility. As if we haven’t given adoption a serious consideration. Maybe you should consider the fact that we might not want to adopt, we want our own child. Or maybe we can’t afford to adopt. There could be many reasons why we haven’t adopted and none of them are because we haven’t considered the option of adopting.
Adoption for many is a last result that is an option that is possible. Even for these, the grief of not being able to conceive is a process that can only take time. Adoption is an option only the couple can decide if this choice is right for them.
You’re still Young!
I’m not that young and you don’t have a clue how, when, or if it will happen. Why are you giving me advice? Too many people think they are helping when they really don’t know what they are talking about. On subjects of infertility, people should understand that if we wanted to talk about it, we would.
Have you tried…?
This is the worst because people are assuming you haven’t already tried every possible method. Women struggling with infertility have done it all… and I mean all! The very question evokes frustration as we immediately think of every crazy thing we’ve ever done to get pregnant. Of course we tried… whatever you were going to suggest!
Each of us could list our own list of statements not to say to a woman dealing with infertility. The truth is that we know all too well the grief of not being able to conceive. We try crazy methods hoping that will be the one thing that gives that beautiful baby.
I hope that someone reads this and recognizes how desperately infertile women need others to have a little class when speaking to them. Think before you speak. Remember that not everyone can have children by snapping their fingers. Know that if she’s infertile, she’s tried everything. She is a pro at trying innovative positions to better help that little baby be created.
So thank you! Thank you for all your advice that you throw our way. Thank you for those seemingly helpful words of comfort you gave at the worst possible moments. May you remember when you’ve waited for something for years that hurt, grief, and frustration that we feel every day. Maybe then, you would understand what it is like to really struggle to conceive.