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Aibu to ask people to share unhelpful things said and done by "friends" when hung through infertility hell

(255 Posts)
Hestheoneandonly Fri 11-Nov-16 08:56:16

That really. Been suffering secondary infertility for quite some time. Sister suffered primary infertility for many years although happily had a DC this year (yay). But during that time I've been gobsmacked at people's thoughtlessness and insensitivity. Neither of us kept quiet about our struggles so it wasn't ignorance but some of the things I've heard people say or seen them do inc

DS really needs a little brother or sister

At least you can go out without worrying about a babysitter

Having two is so hard (I can guarantee it's not as hard as infertility)

You can always adopt

It's probably for the best at your age (piss off DM)

Just relax and it will happen (do you have a death wish)

Just be grateful and be thankful you have DS (yes it appears you actually do have a death wish)

I just wanted to tell you about the next easily achieved/we weren't really trying pregnancy to your face (just text me, even the most cursory glance at google would tell you this, yes I'm happy for you but would have appreciated time to sob uncontrollably in the privacy of my own home first)

Rocking up to my 40th birthday clearly pregnant having not bothered to prewarn me (thanks -yes you did wreck my night).

At least you have a lovely dog (yes really)

Are we the only ones with insensitive friends?

MatildaTheCat Fri 11-Nov-16 09:00:26

Said to friend who had many unsuccessful rounds of IVF: ' I'm thinking about having another baby, what do you think?' That was her SIL who had 3 and could get pregnant with her dh just being in the house.

DamsonGinIsMyThing Fri 11-Nov-16 09:02:16

Please don't start treatment before the wedding. I don't want you to be a pregnant bridesmaid.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 11-Nov-16 09:05:23

Quite a negative thread - I'm sure people were only trying to be helpful.

Why is is a terrible thing if people say at least you have other children?

MrsChrisPratt Fri 11-Nov-16 09:08:09

People say this shit all the time. I have tried very hard not to take it personally as some of the people closest to me in my life have done this....

Just relax....(yeah that'll help the fact DH has 40 times less sperm than required to get me pregnant naturally)

Maybe work is stressing you out too much (see above response)

Maybe you run too much (again see above,and thanks for somehow making it my fault)

It only takes one! (scientifically incorrect!)

When will you give up and try adoption? (said by friend at 5 weeks pregnant,having had her implant removed 7 weeks prior...clearly no understanding of the process of IVF and how many attempts it can take)

And many more....then when we got pregnant with twins after 4 IVFs, 2 of which hospitalised me, then lost one of the babies at 9 weeks....

Oh well, it'll be easier with one

I'm so glad I can talk to you again, we have something in common now. It was so awkward before when you weren't pregnant (Wtf??? I've always been supportive of you and your pregnancy)

At least you're still pregnant,that's better than before! (yeah but one of my babies still died)

In response to an emergency scan as there was concern I was losing the second baby:

Cam you not rearrange that, it's really inconvenient?

When are you going to relax and enjoy it?


FleurThomas Fri 11-Nov-16 09:10:03

My sil's husband telling me 'so proud of my wife getting pregnant so quickly, and after a month too. Such an achievement' when the bugger knows my dh and I have tried for years. So then I snippily said at least I'm married with a decent career in a dig to his sister. We have never talked again lol.

MrsChrisPratt Fri 11-Nov-16 09:13:06

Wow fleur that one is pretty bad. Glad you gave it back with both barrels.

There is a huge difference between someone trying to say the right thing and getting it a bit wrong (totally forgivable and almost admirable compared to some friends who just drop you/totally avoid the subject) and then being a massive arse! What an idiot.

MargaretCavendish Fri 11-Nov-16 09:13:26

My sil's husband telling me 'so proud of my wife getting pregnant so quickly, and after a month too. Such an achievement'

Obviously your own struggles make this a mindblowingly insensitive thing to say, but even without that it's mindblowingly stupid! An achievement?!

TopKittyKat Fri 11-Nov-16 09:15:56

I think that unless you have experienced infertility, people just can't don't understand.
It's often not insensitivity that makes people say the wrong thing, it's a combination of ignorance, feeling the need to say something positive (even though it is never a positive to the person experiencing infertility), and not thinking before they speak.
I'm rather horrified that I wheeled out the 'just relax, it will happen' to a friend years ago. It was only when I went on to experience fertility struggles that I realised how wrong it is to say something like that.
I've had many of the phrases said to me above but I know that the people saying them (my friends and family) didn't mean to upset me.
It got the point that I would only talk about it to others who had been thought it themselves so I knew they wouldn't say anything upsetting.

D0nnaLyman Fri 11-Nov-16 09:23:40

I got really scared when you couldn't have children, but I got pregnant straight away and now we're not sure we're ready.

You can't sit on that side of the staff room, that's the pregnant side! 3 DAYS after 4th IVF cycle failed, which she knew about.

I'd really think again if you want to be pregnant - it's awful!

As a mother, I think your mum is probably really upset you married DH because you can't have children - thankfully my mum is not a complete dick.

At least you don't have to worry about contraception anymore, I have to be so careful, DP just looks at me and I get pregnant!

You know that thing where you just have sex once without a condom.... no. I don't. As you well know

I don't know how anyone can say they are tired if they don't have children. Yep, cos working 14h night shifts, then going for a scan every other day, leaving around 4h sleep plus IVF hormones is not knackering at all!!!!!

God that was therapeutic. On the other hand I have some incredibly lovely, caring friends who have made the whole thing more bearable. Sorry you are going through it all flowers

OrianaBanana Fri 11-Nov-16 09:29:13

Your miscarriage is a good thing as it shows you can get pregnant after all (after a year + TTC).

Your miscarriage is a good thing as the baby obviously wasn't healthy.

It obviously just isn't meant to be. Yeah, thanks.


honeylulu Fri 11-Nov-16 09:32:54

"Maybe you should go to the doctor" - Er, after five years trying, miscarriages, complications, surgery .... why did people think "going to see the GP" hadn't occurred to me?

FleurThomas Fri 11-Nov-16 09:38:15

yes, sil's husband is a dick. my dh was so, so angry but mil convinced him not to say anything else because my comment would be enough to shame him. It wasn't. He has constantly made similar or worse comments behind my back & eventually my dh's side of the family stopped calling him.

ftw Fri 11-Nov-16 09:40:06

'It's obviously not meant to be'

'We're going to start TTC in September because I want to see the school year out, but if I'm not pg by Christmas, I'll have to think again about blah blah blah blah blah'

'Can you organise my baby shower?'

Last two were same person. Last answer was No.

Graceflorrick Fri 11-Nov-16 09:45:18

We've experienced secondary infertility but have come to accept the positives of having an only. I really recognise that people are just trying to be helpful and just generally haven't thought it through, even with ridiculously stupid comments. It's not generally an attempt to make you unhappy.

I was recently told that I was 'rubbing my wealth' in a friends face because I arrived at a party in my new car.confused Apparently because my DH also has a brand new car, I shouldn't be 'showing off' in mine. shock

I can't really get angry about what I don't/ can't have. I'd love another, it hasn't been possible - I've moved on and I'm enjoying what I do have.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 11-Nov-16 09:47:54

The thing is op, if you take away all the 'insensitive" comments you refer to, people are left with very little option than to just shut up and say nothing - which many would find equally unhelpful or gives the impression that people just don't care. It is very hard for people to know how to respond and often they're just clumsily struggling to 'help'. And I say that as someone with pcos who tried for no.1 for over 2 years and two sisters with primary infertility (niece born from IVF, nephews were adopted).

I suppose the most unhelpful comment I've heard is 'perhaps it's just not meant to be and your life is destined for other things'. hmm

MauiWest Fri 11-Nov-16 09:48:25

Some people are idiots, others mean well and are just trying to be supportive. They are trying to acknowledge your pain, and are just awkward. We also feel things differently. Why do people always say "at least you have the others" when you lose a child? Maybe it makes it easier for some mums, but for others having others definitively make the pain much worst, and dealing with the loss a lot harder.

More people than you realise deal with infertility problems, but most tend to keep that to themselves.

You are BU about the friend coming to your party pregnant. She probably didn't want to make a big deal out of it, and tried to keep it quiet. What was she supposed to do? Being pregnant is nothing to be ashamed of.

Ratonastick Fri 11-Nov-16 09:52:17

Said to a friend of mine going through terrible infertility struggles "if you don't try to adopt it shows that you don't really want a child that much". The worst of it was the nodding in agreement from others in the room. I've never seen my friend so distraught. I could've killed on her behalf.

Tootsiepops Fri 11-Nov-16 09:56:50

When very pregnant with my IVF baby, a colleague told me that I'd not gotten pregnant naturally because I hadn't been positive enough about it.


NomadDaisy Fri 11-Nov-16 09:57:52

A month after my miscarriage turning up and just showing me her scan pic. Which only took 1 month to conceive again. Face to face is horrendous. I had to rethink our friendship after that cruelty.

Baby bombs left right and center. But I was only really really upset by the one that knew I suffered a miscarriage and infertility.

A friends dh 'I didn't even want another one right now anyway' while his wife was pregnant with no2 - oh the privilege of being able to say that!

Infertility and miscarriages really make you rethink 'friendships'. For the better though. Best to be rid of folk who make you feel bad

PurpleDaisies Fri 11-Nov-16 10:06:13

Quite a negative thread - I'm sure people were only trying to be helpful.

Yes, but often it only would have taken two seconds of thinking about what they've just said to realise how inappropriate and potentially hurtful their comments could be. I hope these threads mean fewer people will say things like...

Are you worried your husband will leave you for someone who can give him children?

Just relax and it'll happen (yes that will magically cure my endometriosis?

You're so lucky to have all that free time and no stress in your life

Havd you thought about adopting (as if this is a new and ground breaking idea)?

LivingOnTheDancefloor Fri 11-Nov-16 10:07:45

My sil's husband telling me 'so proud of my wife getting pregnant so quickly, and after a month too. Such an achievement'

My dad told DH how my mum got pregnant in a matter of weeks every time they decided to have a baby. We had been TTC for 4y at this point.
No idea where it came from, we have a good relationship, he likes DH.

PurpleDaisies Fri 11-Nov-16 10:09:42

My worst ever was a friend who had a tough pregnancy and sent me a text saying I was lucky I'd never have to go through it.

hungryhippo90 Fri 11-Nov-16 10:13:20

People are awful in this position! Ive had to just put it all down to people not knowing what they should say, or some things would be very, very hurtful.

I was told to just lose some weight and I would fall pregnant.

I was told I wasnt a proper mum until i had 2, so i should get a move on.

I was told, oh but you arent really trying!- the fertility treatment I was going through must have not counted.

I was just this week taken for coffee and told that a friend is pregnant again, she then went on to tell me about how it took her four months to fall pregnant, and it was so depressing, and she wasnt sure how she would tell one of her other friends who is going through IVF, its so hard to tell people this kind of news when they are going through a struggle like that. I just sat and nodded whilst telling myself over and over. Dont cry! Dony cry!......its her second child in 1/2 the time its taken me to not even conceive one. Im chuffed for her, but sad for myself. 8 years next month.

MauiWest Fri 11-Nov-16 10:21:29

Why is is a terrible thing if people say at least you have other children?

because that's a stupid thing to say, even if people mean well. of course everybody is different but often You want the first child only for yourself. You want the second to give a sibling to the first one, you have much more guilt and pain if you can't give them one.

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