April 19 through the 25 of 2015 marks National Infertility Awareness Week.
Being on this infertility journey (now for the second time) for the past 2 years, I feel like I can definitely give some advice about what's appropriate to say and what you should never ever say ever ever ever to any infertile person or person trying to conceive.
For today, lets focus on common things people say and why you shouldn't/why it's hurtful.
Just relax. Let me explain simply- Infertility is a disease. It can be caused by a multitude of things but infertility itself is recognized as a disease. So for example, if you knew someone with diabetes, would you tell them to relax and it would get better? If your family member had cancer, would you tell them that relaxing would make it go away? No? I thought not. So don't say that to someone who is struggling to get pregnant. Thanks.
Don't complain about your pregnancy. Look, I know pregnancy sucks. I get it. It's not a picnic. But don't you have friends that are pregnant or that CAN get pregnant that you can complain to? Don't go to the infertile people complaining about how much you hate being pregnant. It makes you look like an asshole.
Don't question their feeling over being able to have a 2nd (or 3rd or 10th) child. Your idea of our family isn't what matters. Saying 'you already have 1 kid, why do you need more' is not helpful or kind. I am sad because my plan for my family and my dream for my family is heartbreakingly difficult. And it's hard to let go of a dream. Not to mention that so much of infertility is secondary infertility, meaning a couple conceived easily and then when they tried for more children there was a problem.
Why aren't you trying IVF/Why don't you just adopt? Oh man, I never even thought of that! I'll get right on that. Let me go check out my money tree in the back yard. Shoot. Wouldn't you know it... it's bare. IVY and adoption cost lots of moolah. And chances are, whoeve you are making that dumb comment to has already looked into every option. You are not helping.
There are worse things that can happen. Lets not play that game, okay? Maybe my problems pale in comparison to someone else's. Maybe your problem seems dumb to me compared to my ovaries not working. Lets just not go there. Treat everything with kindness.
That about sums up April's 'ways to not be a turd to an infertile person' seminar. It honestly seems like common sense to me, but you'd be surprised how terribly often these things come up. It's almost shocking. And it is always hurtful. Please be kind.