When we first started this journey years ago we promised each other we were not going to tell anyone about our infertility issues. I was completely okay with that. Completely… That was until I realized how many couples are suffering just like we are. Nobody wants to talk about it, we didn’t wanna talk about it. We were embarrassed, ashamed, sad, angry, resentful, and so many more indescribable feelings. We had no idea that there are so many couples out there struggling with infertility. I sat in my Dr’s office one Friday morning in tears, I cried. Not because I was there and in that situation. I cried because in that very moment looking around that room I realized I was not alone. Majority of the people I have met through this process do not speak publicly about their infertility. Why? Why do we have to keep quiet, why should we feel embarrassed and ashamed? We shouldn’t! People who make us feel that way should. I won’t feel that way anymore!
I have embraced our infertility struggle ever since that day.
My family is my rock, my sisters are my strong when I want to be weak and throw my hands up and walk away. They are more supportive and understanding than I ever gave them credit for. No offense Sis. They know everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly! It wasn’t until we decided to move forward with IVF did we start letting certain things go public to people outside immediate family. We were very quickly slammed with one of the most hurtful and absurd comments from someone very close to us. We got a very harsh reminder why we wanted to stay quiet about all of this in the first place.
Not To Say:
- Don’t gossip about your friend’s condition. For some, infertility treatments are a very private matter, which is why you should respect their privacy. If we confide in you, that doesn’t mean we want you to tell everyone else.
- Don’t be crude. Don’t make crude jokes about their vulnerable position. Crude comments like, “I’ll donate the sperm” or “test tube baby” are not funny, and they only piss off your friends. They are rude, disrespectful, and just down right immature! I promise, we do NOT need your sperm! Nor should anyone laugh and say “test tube baby!
- Don’t minimize the problem. Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Comments like, “Just enjoy being able to sleep late, travel, etc.,” do not offer comfort. Don’t tell them to relax. Comments such as “just relax” create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. Don’t ever say this. Not ever.
- Don’t complain about your pregnancy. For many facing infertility, it can be hard to be around other women who are pregnant. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Not complaining can make things a little easier for your friend. Cough Cough! My Sis! Lol
- Don’t ask whose “fault” it is. Male or female factor. Just because a friend has told you he or she is experiencing infertility as a couple, does not mean he or she wants to discuss the details. This is totally irrelevant. Does it really matter whose fault it is?
“Test Tube Baby”
I don’t care who you are, friends or family. Do not ever laugh and refer to a baby as a test tube baby in a way that is making fun of them. Grow up. Seriously, grow up and get a clue. It is rude, disrespectful, and down right hurtful. No one going through invitro should ever have to encounter that. My husband did. It was a very sad afternoon when he told me. He came in and I could tell something was bothering him, I waited until we finished our regular “Hi babe, happy your home. Kisses” and what not before I asked what was wrong…
I asked. I was not prepared for his response. It immediately led to tears rolling down my face. I wasn’t hurt, I was angry. Angry at how much it hurt him. Angry at how much hope he had in being honest with everyone. He was the one that was so reserved about being honest in regards to our fertility issues and decisions. I understood why, he knew how some people would be about it. He knew the snide remarks and immature comments we would get. I respected his decision. He also respected mine when it came to telling my family and what friends we did tell. After the anger subsided I got hurt, so incredibly hurt. I knew how excited he was about moving forward with invitro and how he wanted to share it with everyone he cared about, he had chose not to share it with certain people before and the FIRST day he does.. He is dealt such a painful reality of why we didn’t in the first place. After I spent way too long crying I stood in our kitchen and looked at me and said “I am not ashamed, I am not embarrassed, I will not allow anyone to ruin our happiness. My only fear is what if they look at our children differently? What if they treat our children differently? What if they love our children differently?” I CRIED EVEN MORE!
I will never be able to explain the feeling we felt in that moment. As much as it hurt, it also brought a sense of peace. We accept that not everyone will be respectful or even be mature about it and that is okay. We now know who to involve in our journey and who to share it with after we are blessed with our miracle.
If you are someone who can’t be supportive or respectful then you just shouldn’t say anything about it at all.