Stupid things people say to those battling infertility

A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.
~Bob Edwards

A friend called yesterday and asked how I was.  I told her things could be better that I found out that morning that the Clomid didn’t work this cycle. Not many people in real life know we are trying to conceive, nor about our struggle with infertility, but she’s a good friend so she does. Please remember this when you read this. She’s a good friend who would never hurt someone on purpose and only wants to be nice and helpful.

However…. do you know what she said to me? ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?

She said while she hasn’t been in my shoes, she kinda was. She was married before and couldn’t get pregnant for years (I’ve heard this story before). She eventually got divorced (not because of that) and found the true love of her life and got pregnant right away (she has two kids). She felt it was meant to be and God was telling her the person she was originally married to wasn’t the right person.

(Of course it has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t believe they ever got tested and her ex husband could have been shooting blanks.) *rolls eyes*

She then said the last time she talked to me she prayed for guidance from me and really felt like what she got back was that it might be detrimental to my life to get pregnant.

Then she asked me if I had ever thought that not getting pregnant might be a blessing because she truly thinks that I might die if I do. She asked if I’d ever thought about adoption (she was adopted) and that maybe God was wanting me to go that way.

I, of course, immediately started crying and told her that I couldn’t talk about that right now and I had to let her go for today and I’d talk to her later.

OMG. I know she was trying to help me not be upset about the failure and I know she truly meant well, but no one has ever said anything so hurtful and insensitive to me before. She basically said that either Huzzy and I aren’t meant to be together and/or that she thought I’d die if I got pregnant. The latter its sounded as though she was sure about.

I was, and am, still hurt beyond belief. I was hyperventilating and actually started dry heaving from it.

I know what she said isn’t true about Huzzy and me.

I know that people CAN and DO die from childbirth. But the chance of that is low, so it’s not something I choose to worry about. Not only that, but I truly TRULY believe that if God didn’t want me to get pregnant, I won’t (and that could be what’s happening now, but I won’t know until we exhaust all avenues). And I believe that if I’m meant to die, it’ll happen at the time it’s supposed to… whether that’s childbirth or driving a car or walking to the mailbox. I don’t think you can do anything to change your “time.”

What’s the worst thing someone has said to you as they were trying to help?

Oh and for my friends who haven’t had to battle infertility, here’s a link to a great post about things you shouldn’t say to someone battling infertility.  And if you are wondering what you CAN do/say? Here’s a link to things you CAN say/do for someone battling infertility.



10 thoughts on “Stupid things people say to those battling infertility

  1. I am so sorry that she said those things under the guise of being helpful. It is mean and hurtful and, most importantly, NOT TRUE. Next time you talk to her, if you want, you can tell her that my second miscarriage nearly killed me (I actually thought to myself, “I can lay down on the couch and just go to sleep, and this will never hurt me again” but made Greg take me to the ER instead, mostly because I thought he would feel responsible if I died) and that it meant NOTHING in the long run. I am shooting giant, Swiss cheesey type holes into her stupid theories. Do not let her words upset you for another second. She is your friend and, although how she thought her words would be comforting and not hurtful are beyond understanding, did not mean to make you cry like that. I don’t know why people think that they are trying to help when they say stupid, UNTRUE, crap.

    You can tell her that if she wants to be supportive, she needs to listen to you and not project her own issues onto you. Her job is to hold your hand, offer you a tissue when you need to cry, tell you that there is a way for this to happen for you, and that she’ll support you in any avenue you choose to explore. If she cannot do that, explain that you aren’t going to discuss TTC with her anymore, and would appreciate it if she didn’t bring it up again either. Anything that people say that comes across as if you’re not doing something right or are somehow responsible/defective is a) untrue and b) not helpful. You can choose to not talk to them about it anymore, or you can tell them what you want them to say. Because that’s the only way to stop the hurtful stupidity. Again, if they don’t abide by your rules, you shut them out.

    I did say to someone once, after they said something really idiotic, “I wasn’t aware that today was say hurtful things to your friends day.” then I said something about her ugly outfit, I think. Not really my best moment but it felt good at the time. The worst for me, actually, was the REs at Walter Reed. They wrote a request for bloodwork that I had to walk over to the lab. It said on it that I was a “habitual spontaneous aborter” (which is what they branded me because I had non-specific infertility and 3 miscarriages to that point) and of course when I gave it to the phlebotomist, she couldn’t read it. I eventually had to read it aloud to about 5 lab techs who had gathered around to try and figure it out. It was for a CD3 test, and really that is probably all that needed to be on there.

    Going through this process is difficult enough.

    Sending you big happy thoughts and hugs.

  2. Regardless of her good intentions, she should have been more sensitive about what she was saying. How awful for you! Those backhanded comments are the worst. Stay strong, Sister! Lots of prayers and internet hugs from me to you.

  3. I think it’s going to happen when God is ready for it to happen and you shouldn’t give up. I would have exhausted all the options if Clomid hadn’t worked for us. I used Clomid for two cycles before we got pregnant. I think that “doing it” every other day and whenever we felt like it was the only reason we got pregnant. The days they tell you to, I felt like was too late/too soon. I’m praying for you and Huzzy! You’re gonna make a great Mama! You’re so fierce!

  4. I’m so sorry. I’ve never been in your shoes, but have had fertility issues. I’ve miscarried twice and for some reason my mom loves to rub my face in it and say its my fault. You and I are not to blame for what we’ve been through. And I know both of us will get kids eventually. Don’t give up. You’ll get your baby. Its not your fault. Keep trying and ignore the mean things people say.

  5. *Hugs* I know I’ve probably said some stupid things to people who couldn’t get pregnant and were trying so hard. I’ve read both lists, but my own mind seems to take over when things like this happen. I hate thinking I’ve hurt anyone, myself. I try to be supportive and encouraging.

    Every time I read your posts, my heart aches for you. I’ve met you once and I just had a feeling you would be a great mom. Every time I read I feel the yearning for becoming a surrogate grow stronger. My husband says no to that though. I don’t think he could imagine me being pregnant with someone else’s child and being able to give them that child when everything is done. He has no clue how much I want to help people in your shoes by giving them that option. Marriage is full of compromise though and this is one thing I have to compromise, at least for now.

    I hope and pray these treatments work for you and your husband. God has a plan, we just don’t know what it is. You will find out his plan for you soon 🙂

  6. I’m so sorry she was so insensitive. That was DUMB what she said. Ugh! It annoys me when people say they pray and then try to be prophets. If God hasn’t already been pressing your heart on the matter,.then what she said was wrong! The one saying that I don’t like hearing is, ” of we stopped stressing and trying and then it happened!” As if there is a formula, one size fits all approach to trying to conceive.

  7. I tend to think anything someone says that references God is probably a bad idea. I always hated hearing about “God’s Timing” or “God’s Plan,” personally. It made the assumption that we were believers, and DH is an Atheist. Has she come around and apologized, or even realized her mistake?

  8. Ugh. People don’t have any idea how hurtful their comments can be to those struggling with infertility. Even well-intentioned people very often say mean things – my family went the whole “in God’s own time” route and jokes about my husband shooting blanks (ummm….we used a donor. blanks didn’t even figure into the equation!) Actually, the “Just adopt” comments were the worst. “Just” adopting is more involved, invasive, and expensive than fertility treatments!
    Hang in there. Infertility sucks.

  9. Hi , I have been myself struggling with infertility for about 3 years now…My sister, sister in law are both pregnant. When we had a family reunion, I regretted how My hubby and I attended it. The only thing they could talk about about was their pregnancies..I felt sorry for myself and one day, we had to leave cause I could not take it anymore…..I have PCOS and one thing that upset me was what my sister in law kept telling me . She told me that my cysts will become a pregnancy….I felt bad about her statement, and I felt like she was so stupid to tell me that….why would she tell me that my cyst will become pregnancy ?????? i was so upset and still upset about that.

  10. Pingback: 2013: You were… there | Wife of a Sailor

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