- Why don’t you have kids yet?
- You don’t want kids?
- Are you trying?
- When are you going to give (child’s name) a sibling?
- Just relax. All that stress is causing your infertility
- If it’s meant to be, it will be
- You can always do IVF/adopt
- So-and-so got pregnant on her tenth round of IVF
- But you're so young still
- I can understand/relate (unless you really can)
- I’d love more grandchildren/cousins/nieces/nephews/friends for my kids
- I heard those medications can cause (fill in the blank- cancer, birth defects, etc)
- You're so lucky you get to (fill in the blank)…Enjoy it while you can
- Did you try (insert weird old wives’ tale)?
- It could be worse
- Just stop trying and it will happen
Also, if you ever hear the unfortunate news that someone had a miscarriage, do not say:
- At least you didn’t know/bond with your baby
- It's better than having a child born with problems
- Thankfully, it was early
- It’s for the best
Here are some things you can say/do instead:
- Just listen
- Say “I’m sorry” (without pity)
- Be supportive
- Say “I care” or “I’m here” or “I’m thinking of you”
- Offer to help but be prepared to hear “no”
- Still include us in your family events such as kids birthday parties, show us pictures, etc.
- Tell us about your pregnancy– we are genuinely happy for you and excited. We want to know how you are feeling!
- Don’t censor yourself or walk on eggshells. We want to continue living life normally. I speak for myself when I say that infertility doesn’t consume my life, I’m not thinking about it all the time, so please continue our relationship as you did before learning of this (but maybe cut back on the bugaboo and breast pump conversations just a little – those aren’t fun for anyone without kids)
The point is: we know you mean well and we love you for that. And honestly, much of what you say is true. We know that. But sometimes, it’s hard to hear. And sometimes, we’re so pumped up on hormones that the slightest thing makes us emotional and irritable. (I haven’t experienced this but you’ll have to ask my husband for confirmation). So please, to quote my mom, “think before you speak”.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Do you have any suggestions on how friends/family can help? Share your comments below (You can comment anonymously).
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