- “You’re so lucky your wife can just have all of your babies”. Oh yeah, thanks. Lucky me... I was told this by the receptionist at a recent acupuncture appointment. I had just told her that this next try would be my 10th and last attempt. As she updated my file, that was her response.
- “Now you don’t have to deal with horrible morning sickness and stretch marks”. Umm, I already have stretch marks and I would LOVE to be nauseous. I-WOULD-LOVE-IT! Here’s the thing, it’s never a good idea to try and convince someone who is heartbroken and spending thousands of dollars trying to create a life, that it sucks being pregnant. It’s the one thing we would love to have happen to us. It’s basically the best thing in the world that could happen to us. We welcome the cankles, the sleepless nights and the aversions to food. Trust me, if and when it happens, you won’t hear us complaining.
- “Your body won’t hold on to a baby if it’s not healthy enough to keep the baby”. Well kick me while I’m down, why don’t you. So not only have I miscarried, but it’s my body’s fault that I miscarried. Ugh. Damn you, stupid body.
- “Statistically, if you haven’t gotten pregnant by the 4th attempt, it’s probably not going to happen”. *sigh* A person facing infertility is WELL aware of all the statistics. So you spouting them off offers zero help… Nada. None. Zip. Zero.
- “You better hurry, you’re not getting any younger”. Well, no shit. With all the movies that make a mockery of people who say things like this, it amazes me that these kinds of sentences still fall out of the mouths of otherwise fairly intelligent adults. Unless you’re my mom (who always forgets how old she is), most people are well aware of their birthdate and age. And let me just say that as the days tick by and time quickly passes, I need a reminder of how old I’m getting like I need a hole in the head.
- “I don’t know why it’s taking so long. My husband just has to look at me and I get pregnant”. Really, that’s great. Congratulations! You win the fertility blue ribbon. The thing is, I don’t have unlimited access to fresh spe.rm. I have to buy that shit and it’s expensive as hell. Oh and when I’m given it, my uterus not only naturally contracts because there’s a metal object being shoved into my vag.ina… BUT my body also tries to kill the little guys who make it because they’re viewed as foreign contaminants. But good job on all those kids of yours. Be sure to high-five your husband for me.
- “Maybe you just need to lose more weight”. This one makes my head spin and I’ve only been told it once, thank God. Listen up finger pointers, being thin does not equal being healthy! I know that’s how Americans view health, but it’s a distorted view. I mean, crack heads are thin but are they healthy? Not so much. What I wanted to yell at this family member was – YES, I am a full-figured woman! I also quit smoking almost 2 years ago for this venture. I exercise. I meditate. I go to acupuncture. I’m strong. I eat healthy (most days) and I don’t abuse drugs, prescribed or otherwise. I’m healthy damn it. I’m just a voluptuous Latina with huge boobs, so get off my case!
And last but not least… The one I detest.
- “This is God’s will”. I don’t even know where to start with this one… Do not tell someone that it may just be God’s will that they aren’t meant to carry a child. Even if that’s what you truly believe. After months and sometimes years of trying, we already began to feel like the world is against us, so telling us that our God is willing this to happen and that maybe we’re not meant to carry a baby, well that’s just mean. It’s an insensitive thing to tell someone, even if hurting them is not your intention when you say it. For many of us, our faith is all that’s holding us together, so telling us that our faith in what our bodies can do doesn’t matter because it’s not part of God’s plan… Well, it leaves us feeling hopeless.
These are all things that have been told to me by friends, family and medical professionals over the past 20 months, as we’ve worked to make Gracie a big sister. I’m sharing this because I think that when you aren’t the person facing infertility, when you’re not in the infertile trenches with these people, it’s very easy to say something hurtful even when that’s not your intention. Having said that, there’s also things that you should know not to say, even if you have zero personal experience with struggling to conceive. Some things just require a little common sense.
And a tiny bit of sensitivity.