Sunday, April 18, 2010

What NOT to say

I think it's important for a husband and wife to have TIME to be husband and wife. Going from the transition of dating to marriage is serious. I wanted to make sure we focused on US and OUR marriage before running around like crazy planning for a baby. (I mean heck, we just got done planning the wedding). I also feel that a marriage is between two people and God. No one else. This is why it will be quite rare for you to ever read a post from me about marital things.

With that said... there are things people need to learn JUST NOT TO SAY...EVER. Here are some examples:
1. Never ask a woman her age or weight.
2. Never ask a woman why she is single.
3. Never ask a woman/couple WHY they are without children. It's rude, and not your business. We live in a world where people assume that you're infertile if you are child-free. HOWEVER, some people make that choice to be child-free.

In addition to this, there are things that should NEVER ever be said to a woman dealing with infertility. So here are some of those things...

1. "How long have you been married? No children?"
-- It's been my experience that people who utter these words truly have no clue about you and really deserve no comment at all what-so-ever.

2. "Stop stressing. Go on vacation. Have some wine. It will happen."
Ummmm... no. Not quite. Going on vacation isn't going to make my ovaries or uterus perform properly. Going on vacation isn't going to land me in aisle three of BabyLand. And when you want a child so badly, it's part of your HEART and part of your SOUL. It's a DESIRE. And it doesn't go away. That desire can be confused with stress.

3. "What if you try to lose some weight?"
Really? So if I weigh 94 pounds I'll have a child? Good to know. Taking on the roll of doctor is never wise. It's been my personal experience with infertility and my team of doctors that a healthy diet and weight being maintained is more important than dropping a few pounds before conception.

4. "Just stop trying!" This also goes along with "I knew this one couple who...."
which is also known as the encouragement urban legend. It's almost as if people become automatic fiction authors. If it were really that simple to "stop trying" ... chances are people would take the advice.

5. "You're still young. You have time."
Actually, age is a huge factor with infertility and options. Get the facts before uttering these words.

6. "Ugh! No kids? Want mine?"
This statement is usually made with a little laugh afterwards. As if an infertile woman wants someone who is frustrated with parenting giving them advice. Don't offer your children to me. It's sweet, but a bit sick.

7. "My husband just looks at me and I get pregnant!"
Really? Do I need to elaborate on how wrong this comment is???

8. "Well, it was just a miscarriage - it wasn't really a baby, just a fetus."
No, no, no, nooooooooo, NO. Sperm + Egg = baby. It's that simple. Going through a miscarriage is a terrible experience. There is pain on every level and you just don't "bounce back" from it next cycle. It's a life. And it's lost. It's hard.

9. "Just don't become like Octomom!"
I really don't know what this means. Is someone saying you don't deserve more than one child? Or are they saying they don't want you to have multiples?

10. "You guys make good money. Why not do IVF?" IVF is something my husband and I haven't even begun to touch yet and with good reason. I read the following sentences in another blog and couldn't agree more: IVF is a long and arduous procedure. It taxes a womans body and her emotions in a way only someone undergoing it can understand. It puts strain on your marriage. It's very expensive. It is often not covered by health insurance and there is no guaranteed outcome. Not to mention the ethical issues to tackle with embyro creation and freezing and what to do with them once done...

11. And last but not least.... the ever so common ... "JUST ADOPT!"
For the record: I am NOT against adoption. I think adoption is a wonderful thing. HOWEVER, some women want to experience all of motherhood. I want to experience every month of pregnancy and all the milestones of being pregnant. I want to give birth. I want to nurse. I also want a child of my own flesh and blood. Would I ever adopt? Yes. Definitely.

My frustration when people say "Just adopt" is that it's almost an insult - in my opinion and experience - anytime this has been said to myself or my husband... it almost felt like our struggles weren't taken seriously. I think adoption is a wonderful and beautiful thing. I have several friends who are adopted and know several people who have adopted. Adoption is GREAT! It's just not the greatest thing to bring up to someone with a fresh wound related to infertility. I'll probably post more about adoption in later entries. I need to pray about it before I post about it though.

I do believe God has a plan for everyone.
I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball to see what was in store for us and our struggles.

So to my friends out there dealing with infertility... have you ever experienced anything like this? Did I miss anything?


Samantha said...

I have heard all of thse in the 8 yrs I have been trying. I am usually an easy going person but when people make these comments to me I want to explode. I have been so hurt by comments. I know everyone don't understand what we are facing but they should at least use a little common sence. They say just forget about and you will get pregnant. I don't think forgetting about it is going to make me ovulate. I HATE HATE when people say take my kids..I want to explode. I love reading your blog!!

Faithful Leigh said...

I'm glad you like reading it. I feel bad this post seemed a bit snarky, but it seems like I'm definitely not alone!

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