Guide on what NOT to say to people going through infertility..(155 Posts)
I thought we can have a space to share all of the stupid, outrageous and plain hurtful things that family, friends, colleagues and even strangers have said to us.
I will start.
Before starting ivf, friend says 'you really need to consider and get your head around adoption, they will match you with a child who looks like you'.
Same friend on a different occasion 'you should really go for counselling, I think the drama with your family is causing you not to conceive, your body is preventing it'.
Same friend when I told her I was spotting "you need to get the hospital to check you properly, you can't seem to hold pregnancies'. (I had a miscarriage 4 years ago and haven't been pregnant until now).
In the 2 ww after first round of ivf, telling another friend I was nervous she said 'have you guys ever considered adoption?'
Spotting at 5 weeks after having a fet and telling newly duffed friend I was going to the hospital, Friend says 'Oh can they just put another embryo back in?'
Same friend after I ignored the above comment "you need to have more sex, that's what I did and I've been pregnant twice'.
They are the more hurtful ones but I've also heard on many occasions:
You need to try ovulation kits
Blah blah fucking blah
Anyone else care to share?
Nice one Vixxfacee
I've heard some similar clangers in my time.
"Have a bottle of wine and relax, it will happen" Err no, not for me.
"Can't you just do the whole turkey baster thing?"
"Oh it must be wonderful just being the two of you, all that sleep and those
nights out, I haven't had a nights sleep in 15 years"
Fuck right off, clearly have no clue.
I think the "just relax" is number 1 as theres always someone's aunties cousins neighbour who was barren for 10 years. They decided to give up trying after numerous fertility treatments, went on holiday and came back pregnant!
Vixx, I think you've nailed it. Absolutely unbelievable really, that something so heartbreaking can be so easily dismissed or minimised.
Here are my picks of the worst I've had:
I was confiding to friends for the first time about our infertility, and was a little bit tearful at the time (slightly drunk after about two drinks following a pointless five months booze free). The response: "make the most of it, go on some more holidays!" The most annoying thing, three weeks later the same friend texted to tell me she was pregnant so we couldn't go on our planned girls weekend! Oh ffs!
Finally told my dad, we're not close and he's a bit self absorbed. His response: "well, it's not anything to do with my side of the family", like it's bloody genetic or something. Then telling me I probably need to stop thinking about it and it will happen. Yeah, thanks for that.
Hmm, I was often told to be patient and not worry because it will happen. After all they had no problems conceiving multiple times....
A wife of DH work colleague told me this whenever we met up for 2 years, and then seemly dropped into conversation that her DH had a vasectomy and she was mid forties, but still she fell pregnant 6 months before and had an abortion since she couldn't face going through all that hassle again. I think she told me the day after we had yet another failed test. My DH asked her DH to tell her not to say anything, but she decided to go ahead.
My midwife telling me to stop worrying nd getting upset about the heavy bleed I had at 12 weeks as there was nothing they could do about it anyway. This was before the ultrascan to check on DS and see if he was still there. I changed to another one after that.
Various relatives asking why I wasn't pregnant yet as such and such was again. And really I shouldn't wait at my age.
Bound to be others but I think I blocked them out to avoid smacking someone in the mouth!
at your dad's comment. That is really hurtful.
I don't know how many times I've been told this. I hate it. Enough to have formulated bullet points in my head about it.
1. It implies that being positive would help. Therefore the reason we are infertile is because of my attitude ￼ I have been unbelievably positive every month for years prior to the IVF stage. If it did help we wouldn't be here now.
2. You are probably telling me to be positive because I don't sound it. That's because I am trying to share how scared/nervous/anxious I am about what I am going through. It's not easy to talk about this but I really fucking need to. 'Ah well be positive' is like telling a depressed person to cheer up.
3. The chance of IVF failing is much much higher than the chance of success. Would you be super positive about something unpleasant that you had to do that statistically was way more likely to fail? Isn't encouraging someone to be positive likely setting them up for a massive disappointment?
Anyway. I know they are trying to help. And it's certainly more fun feeling positive than negative. It's just not always something you have control over. Rant over
Talking to a friend about the cost of IVF and she said 'Well children are very expensive you know.'
Um. We're not buying a child. We're talking about a very very expensive treatment with low success rate!
The, "just relax, don't get wound up about it" comments really annoyed me.
"It will happen at the right time" ?!!
"My DH only has to look at me and I get pregnant"
Etc, etc. Sympathy to all of you going through this now
Ah yes, the classics 'be patient' and 'be positive'. Just a few more smiles, and a bit of saintly waiting without complaining and, you will get pregnant. Of course.
Any statement that begins "well at least..." No no no.
Zippy Oh yes! Positive thinking.
Well put. It always feels like blame even if it's not meant that way.
Also anything including the words 'My friend' and 'At least'. As in 'At least you can have a lie-in' Or 'My friend did X and now has quintuplets'
After several early miscarriages when I was really worried about an upcoming 8 week scan, my brother, whose wife was also pregnant with their first DC, said admonishingly "well it's not the end of the world either way".
When you stop trying it will just happen.
I've been told that so many times. As an aside we have stopped trying because we have two lovely children now. They are here because we kept trying.
Positive thinking goes back to it being something that you can control yourself.
Then feeling useless as if being negative is the only reason you're failing month after month.
I will add 'you're lucky you don't have periods, mine are horrendous'.
Oh my goodness, I saw the title of the this thread and instantly heard (from a few people)
* just relax!
* you could just adopt?
* you should get drunk
* stop trying then it will happen!
Clearly not just me who gets these insightful, medical comments
The other classics:
"Well obviously I was the other extreme, I conceived Babies 1&2 instantly then obviously almost terminated baby 3" that really upset me!
* "how EXCITING you get IVF yay so happy for you." Exciting? Really?
The BEST comments I have had... Some interestingly enough from other people who have been through similar...
"That's shit. How can I help?"
A friend who didn't know about my years of ttcing and IVF said "you must be so pleased you had real twins instead of IVF ones". Nope, sorry they're not "real".
Sorry to you all who have heard these disgusting comments.
Er how does them being IVF twins make them not real?!?!
Yes yes yes to all of these!
Happily most friends aren't particularly dickish but I do get the hump with 'Have you tried....?
- putting your legs in the air
- relaxing and having a holiday
- stopping thinking about it
- not drinking for a bit/ going on a health-kick
Always followed by a helpful story about their cousin's friend's neighbour who did this and instantaneously got diffed.
I know it often comes from a well-meaning place but honestly, I've been living this and researching the shit out of it for three years. You seriously think your fourth-hand anecdote is new information? Or simply not just pointless woo bollocks?
Hehe oh I forgot the "stop thinking about it" chestnut..pretty hard not to think about it when surrounded by fertile folk and their beautiful children! And a monthly reminder.... But yes of course, must just forget and it will happen
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