I do not think it is a stretch to believe that all of us who walked the infertility road have been on the receiving end of some not so helpful comments or advice. A friend of mine texted me the other day because she is in the midst of difficulty getting pregnant and needed to vent some frustrations about the things people say. There are some contributing factors so she posted a question on a forum and got some unwelcome comments.
“Just don’t try!”
Her personal favorite was “I was not even trying and got pregnant!”
I reassured her that most people are not trying to say hurtful things. They just don’t understand what it is like.
It gave me flashbacks of when we were trying to conceive and were on our fair share of unwanted advice. Some variation of “Just relax!” was the most common, but there were also things like jokes about us not understanding how the birds and the bees work.
My personal favorite was a lady who knew some about our difficulties and came up to me four months after my hysterectomy and rather rudely said, “Did they fix you yet so you can have them babies?” The vast majority of the time I feel sorry for people when they realize the ignorance of their comment, but this one instance I took slight joy in watching the color drain out of her face when I replied that I’d had a hysterectomy.
This got me thinking that for this week’s Monday Morning Conversation it might be interesting to hear some of the comments you have had the “privilege” to hear. How did you respond? Was there anything that was truly helpful?
Wow. I can’t believe the audacity of that did you get fixed comment. I am glad you gave her a verbal throat punch with your honest, unadulterated response. I would have been hard pressed not to follow that up with “at least I can adopt, but I’m your case there is no hope. Brain and compassion bone transplants remain in their infancy.”
I honestly cannot order in terms of worst to least offensive the things I’ve been asked or told. I think I have blotted them out. I’m grateful to have done so. There is no room for that junk in my head or heart anymore.
I have blocked out a lot of it as well. I know most people feel the need to say something. I know it makes them feel helpful in such a helpless situation. Their ignorance blinds them to how hurtful their words can be. That is so healthy that you don’t hang on to their words!
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I don’t think it was deliberate. So much has happened in the past two years there just isn’t room in my bathtub mind to retain much of the stupid stuff. I wish I could say it were a conscious choice but it has been a function of unconscious omission! You are much more gracious and charitable – I used to believe people were well-intentioned. Intention has limited valor when you gut people in their most vulnerable moments. We are all capable and likely all guilty of that sometimes but some folks are pretty wedded to ignorance. Compassion can be learned for most people (FASD and others with mental health and developmental issues excused from this generalization). In light of that I find it hard to make excuses for people. Forgiveness I can do but I no longer believe people are inherently good or intend to be.
I remember these comments all too well. Another annoying one to me was “go on vacation and you’ll surely get pregnant!” I’m glad to not have to hear these comments anymore but my heart hurts for those who do.
Yup! That’s another one we heard! Vacation for us included a vacation from TTC. Timed sex on vacation sort of defeats the enjoyment of it!