My husband and I dealt with infertility for years…six, to be exact (and that’s just with the first kid!). Every new Mother’s Day brought a new round of questions from family and a new set of emotions for me.
During this Month of the Mother, let me give you some advice for the next time you talk to your BFF who is struggling with infertility. Please enjoy the below as a fun, light-hearted (ok, maybe tongue-in-cheek!) way of helping you understand what NOT to say!
The 10 Worst Things You Can Say to Your Infertile BFF
10. Gee. I just think about getting pregnant and BAM! (Wow. Thanks for the update on YOUR fertility. Sorry…I thought we were talking about MY infertility. My bad!)
9. You’re so lucky. You don’t know how hard it is to [fill in inappropriate comment like “change diapers,” “never sleep,” “buy clothes all the time,” here]. (You’re right. I don’t know. Thanks for that loving reminder.)
8. Maybe you’re just not supposed to have kids… (Hello? Was there a secret early morning “Qualifying Mom Exam” that I did not know about? I hate it when I oversleep!)
7. How is getting pregnant coming along? (Hmm. Kinda thought that I could only be one of two things: pregnant, or not pregnant. Since I haven’t mentioned it to you, dear BFF, assume the latter. Were you worried that I might not know the basics of how to “get” pregnant? Was that it?)
6. So-and-so tried for 10 years to get pregnant. Finally, when she gave up, it happened. (That’s great for so-and-so. What does her body have to do with mine, anyway? Oh. She has the secret sauce ingredient to “getting” pregnant, does she? Hmm…she does have a lot of cute new purses. I haven’t tried buying purses yet….maybe I should try that? Any excuse to shop!)
5. I know this person who took [fill in name of random vitamin here], and she got pregnant just like that! (So, when I told you that I couldn’t even go to McDonald’s with you for, like, 5 years because we couldn’t afford anything but the reproductive specialists, drugs, tests, and treatments, you had this gem of an idea hanging around that whole time and didn’t share it?)
4. I know exactly how you feel. (Really? Like the time when I really felt like I wanted a mocha with all of the fat, including extra whipped cream, but you got me a skinny latte? Like that?)
3. You know, I heard about this couple that adopted. As soon as they got that baby home, they were pregnant! (Statistically, I am pretty sure that happens in less than 1% of couples who adopt….but I was never that great at math. Maybe it was 100%?)
2. Everything will happen when it is supposed to happen. (True. But the waiting…it’s not easy. Kinda like when you order some cool new thing from Amazon and forget to ship it 2 day. It can be agonizing!)
1. Just relax. It will happen when you’re not trying. (Yes. I agree. I lost 40 pounds when I relaxed and stopped trying. The house magically started to clean itself when I stopped trying. Dishes wash themselves now that I have stopped trying. It’s pure bliss. Thanks for the great advice! Let’s do this again really soon!)
What SHOULD you say? How about, “I have no idea what to say.”
What SHOULD you do? Be a shoulder to cry on, an open ear to listen, and mouth that offers no opinion (how refreshing!), as we have too many of those coming at us already on this topic!
My family is now complete (I think!), but my heart goes out to those who continue to search for their own personal answers to this issue.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart (and on behalf of all of my fellow friends struggling with infertility) for thinking twice before speaking once. I wish you and yours a Happy, Thankful, Blessed Mother’s Day. Rejoice in all you have and all you are blessed with!
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