Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm Sure I Heard You Wrong!

Over the past several months I have had the privilege of getting to know some amazing women who are struggling with infertility as well.  We share Tweets, emails and encouragement to help with the daily struggles involved with this journey.  During these conversations I have come across several things that have been said to them at some point during their infertility trials that were truly hurtful.  So after a few months of our first installment of things not to say to someone experiencing infertility here is the next addition.

     Toddlers are such picky eaters.  You’re lucky your dog is your baby – Don’t get me wrong I have had pets for many years and I love them dearly, but in absolutely no way is that a substitute for a HUMAN BABY!!!  Being able to easily dump some food in a bowl to feed my cat does not take away the pain of not having a child.  I don’t wake up in the morning relieved because I don’t have the stresses involved with feeding a picky toddler.  Believe me, anyone who is struggling with infertility knows the difference between a pet and an actual baby and does not believe for a moment that is an acceptable substitute!  Don’t mistake the fact that someone has pets instead of children as them being interchangeable!

Think of all the things you can afford since you don’t have kids – I am here to tell you that not every couple who is “child free” is buying expensive toys and gallivanting off on luxurious vacations.  The reality is that many of them are living pay check to pay check like the rest of the world.  People who don’t struggle with infertility don’t understand the expense involved with creating a family through assisted reproductive technology (ART) or adoption.  Those on this journey are likely putting every penny they have into trying to expand their family and I can attest that it is not cheap!!

Is your wife/husband OK with you not wanting kids? – First of all, making the assumption that someone is child free by choice is the first mistake.  Though there are many people in the world that truly don’t wish to have children and make the conscious decision to live child free, this is not the case for many couples.  For those who are child free not by choice, there is likely a lot of pain associated with the situation.  Insensitive comments don’t help with the work they have put into just being able to cope. 

You’re in your 30’s now; when are you guys going to get started? – First let me start by saying you are 100% in none of your damn business land!  There are many circumstances as to why a woman is not pregnant.  Maybe she just got married and they would like some “alone” time before starting a family.  Maybe she has had cancer and no longer has the parts required to have children.  Maybe they suffer from male factor infertility.  Maybe they just truly do not want children.  Regardless of the reason, this question is not of any concern to anybody but the couple involved.  I assure you that for anyone who wants children and has extenuating factors as to why they don’t or can’t have children, this question can be extremely hurtful.

At least you have time to watch a movie or read a book. – Yes, I would much rather be sitting on my couch reading a book or have the ability to watch an entire movie without a baby crying than to have a baby.  Thanks so much for putting that in to perspective for me.  I feel so much better knowing that I can have a life of leisure because of my infertility!  Infertiles want nothing more than to experience the hustle and bustle of being a parent and would trade going to the theater in a heartbeat to hold that baby in their arms.

You’ll understand what I am going through when you are a mom – Ouch!  That is definitely a painful one.  I can say that this may be one of the most painful quotes that I have heard.  It’s a stabbing reminder that I am once again not a mother but I also am not able to understand about children because I don’t have them.  Yes, I may not be able to grasp all aspects of raising children, but it does not make me incapable of understanding their needs either.  Your exasperation with your child’s behavior, your fatigue from being up all night with a sick child, or the sheer frustration you have with their busy schedules is something that as an infertile I long for.  I want the blessing of looking at that little rug rat and wanting to pull my hair out because of something she did.  I want to have all the good and bad that come with being a parent.  


  1. These are great. I am sad to say that I have had a few of them too! People are so insensitive!

  2. My dog is a picky eater. Not so much picky as if he has anything that has grain, it has bad consequences that I'll have to clean up... plus, he gets 9 different pills a day. Oh and guess what... he's 130lb Great Pyrenees. I'll clean baby blowouts any day over what he can do if given grain.

    That last one though? That's a shot through the heart. I hate that one. It brings tears to my eyes every time.

  3. What a great post! Fx for you!


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