God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If you can't say anything nice, then don't say...

After posting my latest blog on facebook I decided to post a quick blog to those who need a quick lesson about the right things to say. I don't blame you (all of you who messaged me saying one of these things below...) if you haven't dealt with the pain of TTC and apparently failing you would have no idea how the following statements are hurtful. I'm not mad. We're still friends. However, this is the easiest way I could tell a list of friends that I would rather them not say anything at all vs...


13) "There are too many people in the world anyway."
You're right, so that's why I shouldn't have a baby... let's not even mention the THOUSANDS of moms who continue to have child and child when she's not taking care of the children she already has?! Should I wait to have a child until a family member or friend dies? Who in the world has the job of regulating how many people live on it?!

12) "Maybe You're Doing It Wrong!"
Really? God couldn't have made things any more puzzle piece. After the 3rd grade it kind of looses the mysteriousness about it.

11) "At Least You're Having Fun Trying!"
Yeah totally. The last time my husband and I tried, I was drying the dishes when he arrived home from work with an armful full of flowers and told me he loved me and he just shoved everything off the counter right then and there and... Life isn't a movie. Honestly, the last time my husband and I made love it was at 3 o'clock on the 16th day of my cycle after checking my temperatue. I had been cleaning all day and smelled of bleach and he was no better. BUT, it was 3pm on the 15th day! So it had to be done. Yeah, romantic.

10) "A couple I know adopted a baby, and then one year later, boom, she was pregnant!" OR "I knew a couple who had given up trying to have a baby and just after filing for adoption, the woman got pregnant!”
This couple must really get around because it seems like almost everyone I know knows this couple! However I am wondering where does the line end? If I wanted to be pregnant, should I pick out the child I want to adopt? Turn in the application fee of a couple hundred dollars? I mean, really... do you see how hurtful that is not to me, but to that poor child. Nothing screams "2nd best" more than that!
From another blog I read, they claimed this discussion would go like this...
"Joey: Mom and Dad, why did you adopt me?
Mom and Dad: Well, we really thought that, if we adopted a baby, then we'd get pregnant.
Joey: But I don't have a brother or a sister. So it didn't work, right?
Mom and Dad: No it didn't. But we've got you. And you're the next best thing!"

9) "Enjoy being able to travel, sleep late, have free time, etc."
For you mother's out there, I know have children is hectic, but would YOU trade them in for sleeping in? Do you see how it doesn't even come CLOSE to comparing?! I get it. Be thankful for the time alone with my husband... and I am... however, when I hear you complain of messy hand prints on the wall or having to wake up extra early int he morning to feed your baby, your complaints just don't compare to the pain of a empty house and feeling like you have failed your husband.

8) Have you tried accupuncture - meditation - standing on your head after sex, etc.?
Not all at the same time! But yes, truuuust me I've tried every wives tale in the book hoping they would work in and heal my breaking heart or my soon-to-be empty bank account after paying THOUSANDS of dollars for IVF or adoption. Eating a table spoon of cinnamon every day, standing on my head, not taking hot showers for either of us, cutting out foods, etc... all been done.

7) "I wish I had that problem!" OR "My husband just walks in the room and I get pregnant!"
Please, if you need to say this, say it over dinner so I could put that salt on my mashed potatoes vs my wounds. This one shouldn't need explaining, but it does. I get it. You're hyper-fertile. I'm not. Good for you. Next time you're struggling with finances, or death of a parent, or sickness, I will be sure to tell you I wish I had that problem!

You might as well give me this:

6) "Oh, you're still young. It'll happen."
You have no idea how mad this one makes me. Most likely you got decide when to have children. Life goes by in the blink of an eye. Also, please don't give false hope. It may NOT and I'll just postpone the pain til my 40's instead of dealing with it now.

5) "I think that people who have infertility treatments are selfish/immoral." Or "Just don't be another Octomom!"
I hear the latter comment more than I would like to say. Such a disappointment. If I wanted that many children, as long as I could take care of them, who are you to tell me no? Just because I may be getting fertility assistance does NOT mean I am going to irresponsible with my possible multiples. Thank you for sharing your beliefs, but they are obviously different from mine. I didn't decide to do any treatment on a whim, believe me, and I took the time to really search my heart in what I believe in. I'll respect yours, you should at least try to respect mine.
From another blog...
"I don’t see how I could open up all the difficulty and depth that
comes with doing IVF to someone who is willing to make such an inane
comparison before understanding what we are going through. Comparing a
regular person who seeks IVF to Nadya Suleman is like comparing someone
who is having marital problems to the girl sleeping with her stepdad."

4) "Why don’t you just adopt?” OR “Why don’t you just do IVF?” OR “You should try In-Vitro, supplements, this doctor I know...etc.”
For one "JUST" adopting or doing IVF doesn't exist. Both are an extremely LONG and extremely EXPENSIVE matter. A lot of international adoption agencies won't let you adopt until both husband and wife are over the age of 25 and it costs around $40,000. Would you JUST give me a loan? Also would you ask this of a couple who is fertile? Of course not! Many people dream of having their own biological child, it being selfish or not. IVF costs around $12,000 and on average requires SEVEN cycles of treatments. That's an average of $84,000!!! I've researched my doctor, and we're working on it. When you are officially trying to conceive and having problems, it is extremely complicated. Please let my trusted doctor suggest the next step for me.
Again from another blog I adore...
"And I wonder if couples who already have one or two of their own biological children and are considering having another ever have this suggested in such a dismissive way. After all, if anyone should consider adoption, it should be those who have already been blessed, right?
Try naturally: Check.
Go through testing: Check.
Clomid and timed intercourse: Check.
Injectables and IUI: Check.
IVF: Check.
Adoption: Check.
and only when you complete the checklist are you allowed to grieve your inability to have a child. No matter where you stop, you're still allowed to grieve."

3) "You want kids? Please, take mine!" OR “Being pregnant isn’t fun..."
Another one to say at the dinner table for that salt. You really don't mean to give me your children, and you'd be surprised how often I've thought about it to be honest. I understand being pregnant isn't fun, but you shouldn't really say anything like that to someone like me. Wouldn't you agree that the pros outweigh the cons?! I would give ANYTHING to be throwing up at one a.m. with my back feeling pain like knives and my whole body swelling and aching if I knew I was growing a little one. So yeah, hurtful. Please save these comments for your other friends who have children, they will most likely sympathize with you. I won't. I can't.

2) “Maybe you aren’t meant to be a mom/dad.” or "Worse Things that Could Happen"
This one hurt in the beginning stages of TTC, now I just get angry. I'M not supposed to be a Mom?! I am in foster care classes and hear every week of children being burned, murdered, raped, abused, sold and trafficked... and I'M not supposed to be a Mother?! Nothing worse has ever happened to me, and if I'm feeling the worst that I have ever felt in my life, you should really just be a friend and support me instead of making me feel even more selfish and idiotic. To me right now the worst thing in the world that could happen is another woman getting pregnant.

and the #1 thing NOT to say to a friend TTC...

1) "Just Relax"
At this time, I almost hate nothing more than these two words. I am struggling with a medical problem, would you tell a cancer patient or someone with AIDS to "just relax"?! Even if you would, have you ever tried to relax on command? RELAX!!! Are you? Are you?!!! Why not?? Yeah... it's pretty rough isn't it? Especially if you are being poked and tested and given medications and are just... exhausted. If it were just relaxation that would get a woman pregnant, I don't believe rape victims would get pregnant. Talk about stressful...

There you have it! The top 13 hurtful things to say to a friend or loved one trying to conceive!

Again, I'm not posting these things in anger... I do understand your confusion on what to say if I decide to speak with you about my struggles. I can imagine your mind grasping at straws for something to say that would comfort me. If you're really trying to comfort me, just don't say these things. I'm trying to help a wedge to not be between our relationship. If you can't think of anything other than this list to say to me, just nod and hug. Please.

Thanks to:


  1. Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed your writing even if I'm disgusted that people would actually say these things.

    Since this one wasn't on the list: I pray that you get everything you want and more. Or, my dad likes to say this one in every situation a human being might encounter, "keep your chin up." :D

  2. I'm sure I'm guilty! And I'm sorry! And I'm praying daily you'll conceive and have a healthy child! And I'm ready to help with the Septuplets! And could you please pray I'll have menopause? Please, pretty please!

    (OK the validate word was Preogo....hmmmm)

  3. Carla, you're so sweet.
    Connie, you too, and actually I don't remember you saying any of these... but many many have! To be honest if you would have said it Connie I would have just told you! lol

  4. I understand how insensitive people can be. When I miscarried my first, you would not BELIEVE the kinds of things people told me. I walked around angry a lot - I'm not strong enough to take those things with a grain of salt. Hang in there, I am thinking and praying for you. And even though my small group has no idea who they are praying for, they're praying for you too. :)

  5. This was one of the posts I came across a while ago and keep coming back to. Really love this list and it is so true. I HATE the word 'relax' and my own father told me that if I couldn't have naturally may be it wasn't meant to be. That kids from IVF tend to have something wrong with them. NOW I know he comes from a place of worrying about my self hate and fears and depression and all that. And in some warped way he thinks this will make me feel better about the situation, but it is SO misguided.