In my 3 years I have been TTC number 2, I have been lucky to have an incredible amount of support from my family and friends, but I have also heard my share of comments that were a second a way from a knee jerk reaction punch to the face! LOL! If you have been TTC, I’m sure you can relate. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think most people are intentionally trying to hurt you. I do think many people feel uncomfortable with the subject and don’t know what to say so they say things they think will comfort you and most of the time they do the exact opposite. I have learned that the best thing that someone could say to someone dealing with Infertility and Miscarriage is “I’m sorry” or just listen and be a shoulder to cry on. A simple hug goes a lot farther then “it wasn’t meant to be.” Here are some of the worst things you can say to someone who is struggling with Infertility or had a Miscarriage(s).
- Don’t tell me, “It wasn’t a healthy baby.” Unless you are a Doctor, I do not want to hear this. Please do not diagnose why I had my miscarriage. I will leave this up to my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) or OBGYN to diagnose.
- Don’t tell me to, “Just relax.” This one is probably the worst thing you can say to someone TTC! Saying “Just relax” often minimizes the diagnosis and makes the women feel like she is doing something to cause this. After my 3rd loss, I literally stopped working to reduce my stress. Additionally, I have tried Yoga, meditation and acupuncture to relax, yet I still haven’t had my rainbow baby! Infertility is a disease people! It affects both women and men and has many causes many of which “just relaxing” won’t cure. If anything saying “just relax” causes more angst to hear this, so please take the issue seriously and not say this!
- Don’t tell me, “At least you have one good one.” or “Be grateful for the one you have.” Ummm, I’m pretty sure I know I have an amazing child and am extremely grateful for him. That doesn’t mean I can’t want another! All this does is makes the women feel like she is being selfish for wanting another child. Couples dealing with Secondary Infertility are grateful for the child(ren) they have.
- Don’t say, “Just adopt.” or “Have you ever thought about adopting?” YES, I have thought about adopting and there is no such thing as you can “Just Adopt!” It is a very long process, extremely difficult and expensive as well. Plus, it is not a silver bullet and has a very difficult application process that many couples (even the most fit parents) do not get approved for and many times when they do, it can still fall through. So there is no such thing as “just adopting.” Additionally, many woman may not be ok with not having a chance to have a biological child. Hearing “just adopt” especially from the woman who has 2 plus mini-me’s of her own is “just not cool!”
- Don’t say, “You’re still young and have plenty of time.” Although, I don’t hear this as much anymore because I am nearing 40, I heard this a lot when I first started this journey 3 years ago. Even young couples have issues conceiving.
- Don’t say, “You can have one of my kids.” Really? This takes the cake! Be careful what you say, I know many women/men who would love to take that baby/child off your hands and love the hell out of them!!!
- Don’t ever question who’s fault it is. I have had this happen more often then not. “Is it you or your husband?” People love to meddle in others peoples business. Although I have no problem with sharing my diagnosis, I learned that many women/men do not want to share. What does it matter anyway who is causing this awful diagnosis?
- Do not say, “I know how you feel, It took us 3 months to get pregnant.” Exsqueeze me? Baking Powder? Did she just say 3 months to get pregnant? This is where I walk away! End of conversation!
- Do not say, “I don’t know what that’s like because my husband can look at me and I would get pregnant.” Oh haha! I’m cracking up. Well, don’t you deserve a gold star! Seriously? Why would you even think its ok to say this? During my journey, I have seen a million pregnancy and baby announcements. It is hard enough to see them on Social media, but to have someone tell you how easy it was for them to achieve what you have been praying for and doing everything thing in G-d’s name to achieve it is just a slap in the face.
- Do not say, “It wasn’t meant to be.” or “G-D has other plans for you?” Oh, I am so happy to hear you are the chosen one who relays the message that the drug addict with 5 kids gets to have another child over me. Although, I pray and pray and continue to have faith in G-d, I promise you that my Infertility and Miscarriages are not an act of G-d. It is science and that is all. I will continue to have faith and pray that I find my Golden Egg!
- Don’t say, “Trying is the fun part.” Ummmm, no……..it’s NOT! Yes, sure if you’ve been trying for 1 month it’s a freaking blast, but 3 years timed sex is more like a job. Nothing says sexy like, “honey, I know we’re exhausted and worked all day, but my OPK (ovulation predictor kit) that I just peed on and temperature says we should do the deed right now at 12AM.” Yep, true story! When it’s forced, it loses its luster. Of course the timed sex stopped for me after we started IVF. That’s when the real fun began! Because poking yourself in the stomach with a ton of needles full of hormones is truly the fun part of trying right……. says no woman ever who has done IVF or a medicated IUI.
- Do not say, “At least you miscarried early in the pregnancy.” This is a very tough thing to hear especially after having 5 losses that were all early before 10 weeks. I was attached to those babies and loved each and every one of my angels as soon as I saw those 2 lines on my pregnancy test. The emotional impact this has on a women is extreme. One of my favorite sayings is “A person is a person no matter how small.” I didn’t just lose my baby at 8.5 weeks, I lost a baby I would love for a lifetime.
- Do not say, “It happens to a lot of women.” I had this happen a lot after my 1st loss. Even my OBGYN at the time made me feel like it was no big deal. At the end of the day, 1 Miscarriage is too many in my eyes. Yes, I know that 1 in 4 pregnancies have this happen, but no one wants to hear this. I have now had 5 losses and I am now 1% of women. Let’s not forget the fact that I am 1 of 8 who deal with Infertility. Yes, I’m a walking statistic! Since I have had 5 losses I find I don’t hear that one as often anymore. Point is, it doesn’t matter how common Miscarriage or Infertility is, no woman wants to hear that after dealing with the heartache that comes with these diagnoses.
- Do not say, NOTHING! I have literally had people not respond after I told them about my Journey. They literally said nothing and changed the subject! It was quite awkward to say the least. Avoiding the topic because you don’t know what to say can be just as painful as hurtful words. When you don’t know what to say, just a simple I’m sorry goes a long way.
- Do not say, “Isn’t it time to throw in the towel?” I have been TTC for 3 years now and have been through 5 losses. Have I thought about giving up? Have I lost hope at times? Have I cried myself to sleep because of the empty feeling I have? The answer is YES to all those questions, but I am not ready to give up! Hearing those words come out of someone’s mouth (especially from someone you love) is hard to swallow. Instead of asking when they are throwing in the towel, ask what is the next step. Remember, you and your partner are the only ones who can make the decision on when enough is enough! Do not let anyone steer you away from your dreams. I have decided to give it all I got until I have no more left in me.
Infertility and Miscarriage are extremely difficult to go through. It is utterly exhausting and all consuming to say the least. Not only does it cause lots of heartache physically and emotionally, but many times cost a lot and requires a lot of patience. Someone who has never experienced Infertility or Miscarriage could view some of these comments as harmless and some people think they are trying to be helpful, but the person dealing with the Infertility issues and/or Miscarriage certainly may not. Providing your Infertile friends/loved ones with the emotional support they need is crucial during this delicate time. At the end of the day, the best thing to do is to let them know you care and you will be there for them. Let them know how sorry you are. Let them cry on your shoulder. Let them vent when they need to release their heartache and frustration. Listen to them. Support their decisions no matter what they are. Give them a hug!
Having a good support system when you are dealing with Infertility and Miscarriage is extremely important. I know it has helped me tremendously to know that I wasn’t going through this alone. So try to empathize with their difficult journey they are going through and let them know you care.
Love and Baby Dust,