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Friday, January 24, 2014

Some things I have to say...

Let's start this post with an activity.  Go to your search bar and type in "things not to say to infertile couples" and read all of it.  Okay, maybe not all of it.  But most.  A lot of it is repetitive, but a lot I haven't heard...yet.  This is just something that I have been thinking about for awhile because while I know it's coming from a good place, that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. 

I have been fairly positive about our infertility struggles, but just like any one else going through a number of issues, I have bad days too.  I have days where I am bitter and angry and can't bring myself to look in the mirror.  Those are the days where hearing some of these really get to me.  These are my top "things not to say to infertile couples" in no particular order.  And if you have any better ones, please share.  The public needs to be informed.  In no way do I mean to offend any of my friends with this post.  It's meant to be informative.

"If you just relax, it'll happen." or "I'm sure you'll conceive while vacationing in {wherever}."
 Yes, some couples work themselves up and stress themselves out to the point where their bodies just don't want to act the way they want to.  So after a period of time {not being specific because there is no medically set period of time}, they may conceive.  HOWEVER, infertility is not diagnosed until after one year of trying to conceive.  One year.  In the world of trying to have babies, that is 11-12 times of unsuccessfully trying to have kids.  It's heartbreaking time and time again.  It's not constructive. 

"I had this dream/feeling/vision/etc. and you will get pregnant."
 I know that there are some people that are so in tuned with whatever they believe in that they have prophetic dreams.  I belong to a religion that believes in modern-day revelation.  I'm not saying it's not possible, but this sentence gives so much false hope.  As I have shared before, I know I'm supposed to be a mother.  My Patriarchal Blessing tells me that.  That is my revelation.  It doesn't tell me how and that's the struggle.  So when I'm told that someone had a dream about it, it just hurts. 

"If you adopt first, I know you'll get pregnant."
I'm not sure what science validates this, but I'm pretty darn certain {only a Psychology major here} that adoption does not equal future pregnancy.  This ties in with the stress comment.  Those that do end up getting pregnant after adoption are the exception, not the rule.  Yes, we want to adopt, but because we feel that is our path, not because we're hoping to conceive after.  Would it be wonderful if that happened?  Of course!  We want children no matter how they come into our lives.  But we're not adopting for the chance that we could get pregnant after.

"You're so lucky you don't have kids yet."
Really?  Are we really so lucky to not have kids.  My womb is SCREAMING to have children, and I don't want to remotely feel the effects of pregnancy.  But everything in my body says, "okay...time to have kids."  I see posts from my brother and his wife about things that our nephews say and I eat it up.  I love seeing posts from my friends about the trouble their kids get into and I always comment, "I can't wait to be in that situation."  It's true.  I want more than anything to go through the trials of being a mother.  More than I want to go through the trials of not having kids.

"You don't want kids.  You already have dogs."  
Okay, don't for a second think that our desire to have children in any way lessens how much we love our furry children.  Jolie has been with me for almost 6 years.  And Bear...well, Bear is Michael and my first furry child together.  We love them and they crazily and unconditionally love us back.  Bear gives hugs at the most perfect moments when everything feels like it's going wrong.  And Jo just likes to snuggle up to you to stay warm...but I know she does it because she likes to be close to us as well.  Our furry children can never replace our desire to have human children.  Ever.  It just means we can put them in time out in a cage without DCFS being called.

"You can travel and explore since you don't have kids yet.  Take advantage."
Yes, this is something that we are taking advantage of.  I was talking to my "other mommy" in Augusta the other day and she said that we're just doing what adults with grown children do, but in reverse.  All of their kids are grown and out of the house so now they get to travel and be adventurous.  We get to do it now.  I will say, I am on the fence with this one.  It's not a horrible thing to say.  But it still doesn't make the fact that we can't have kids right now better.  So the jury is still out on this one.

"Why do you want kids?  You would have no time to yourself."
I have only gotten this once and it was from someone that I didn't care much for, but that doesn't mean it didn't hurt.  Again, my body is screaming to have children.  Or love them...who knows.  Every fiber of my being yearns for the chance to take care of someone else and to love them and teach them and watch them grow.  And I know the teenage years will probably make me want to strangle them {I know it was that way for my mom Ü }, but it still does not put out the fire of wanting to have a legacy.  Wanting to have someone to pass on what we know and love.  Wanting to raise good people that will make the world a little better. 

"You're still young."  
Can I just say, this comment is the freaking worst. In the history of dumb comments...I honestly want to scratch the eyes out of anyone that tells me this.  I'm 28.  Sure, I'm still "young."  But everything in me has wanted children for so long.  Again, this is not a constructive comment and it doesn't give me hope for the future.  After 30, the chance of getting pregnant diminishes each month.  And as you get older, the baby is at higher risk of developing disorders.  Again, how is this comment helpful?

With all that out of the way, I do want to say a few things that some may not know. 

I will be forever jealous of each of my friends/neighbors/acquaintances/enemies that gets pregnant.
This is a very accurate sentence for probably most anyone struggling with infertility.  With that said, please don't be offended if we don't want to help plan a baby shower or even attend.  I went to a dear friend's shower last year and every minute of joy for her was an equal minute of pain for me.  That feeling that I may not have that joy eats at me often.  That doesn't mean I don't want to be near you.  I have so many amazing friends that are pregnant and I love seeing the excitement and love on their faces.  One-on-one I can do.  But twenty females in a room clamoring over colors and bibs and diapers and onsies is brutal for me. 

Prayers, prayers, prayers.
As a collective, prayers can work miracles.  I truly believe that.  But don't pray that we will get pregnant.  Pray that we have comfort and guidance to get through this.  Pray that we will always know love around us and in our hearts.  Pray that somewhere out there is a little mistake being conceived.  Okay...maybe don't pray for that exactly.  Ü  Just pray that we will be okay.  Send letters, cards, flowers, whatever so we can know that we're being thought about.  This doesn't just go for me.  This goes for anyone that is struggling.  I think often times people forget about our {collectively infertile couples} struggles to have kids because they aren't really seen.  It's not their fault at all.  Just as you would remember someone if they lost a family remember, we are constantly losing the ability to have kids with each month that ticks by.  Mother's and Father's Days are the worst.  So just don't forget us. 

We still want to be involved in our friends' kids' lives.
...if you want us to of course.  We actually spent New Year's Eve with several couples and we were the only ones that didn't have kids.  I can honestly say, this was the first time, in a long time, I really didn't think about not having kids.  We had so much fun watching them celebrate early, running around, and throwing paper in the air.  I love to take pictures so I captured all of the joy.  It made me happy.  There may be times when I don't want to be around kids, but that doesn't mean that we don't want to be included because we don't have kids.  I love kids. I love the innocence and the wonder.  I love their little messy faces.  And when one gives me a hug...it's like I'm instant butter.  I completely melt inside and everything is just a little bit brighter.  The happy moments outweigh the crappy ones every time.

If I can take anything out of the experiences we are having, it's that I feel I've learned to be a little more sensitive to people's situations.  Again, most of these comments aren't out of malice.  They aren't meant to be hurtful and I'm sure they come from a good place.  Just remember that our struggle is constant.  Nothing will take it away.  Even after we become parents, it is still a constant part of us for more children. 

I read a few sites before putting this together that have a lot of good information.  You can check them out as well.
Infertility Etiquette
Things You Never Say to a Person Struggling with Infertility
Infertility: 16 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman Who is Childless but Not by Choice
9 Things Infertile Women Want Women with Children to Know
12 Things Not to Say to Someone with Infertility  {For the record, I don't agree with their choice of words 'with infertility.'  Infertility is not something we have.  It's something we struggle with.}

1 comment:

  1. If you read some of my earlier blogs from my bitter days, I have one just like this, but a lot longer that I stole from another blog. I will have to go back and see if I can find it for you. Oh wait! Can you even read my blog? Send me your email! :) Here's the least favorite one I was told: Why don't you just adopt? As if that will just fix everything?! The truth is that unless you're cursed with infertility, you can't even begin to grasp the whole concept of it and all of the emotions, financial burdens, and all around devastation that it causes. And don't worry. Once you finally have a child and start feeling great then decide you would love to have another, it starts all over again, but this time I even had a doctor tell me, "Oh! So you have a child! Then you do ovulate!" No, I don't!!!! Ugh. Won't be seeing her again. Sorry for the novel.

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