Before you can begin to understand why there are specific things that you should not say to women battling infertility, allow me to educate you on the subject matter. Infertility is a woman’s inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy full term. I should note that there are two types of infertility, Primary and Secondary. Primary Infertility causes a woman to be unable to get pregnant. Secondary Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after being able to conceive at least once. Now that I have provided a basic definition of infertility, lets move onto the conversational etiquette that is needed when approaching the topic of pregnancy with a woman dealing with infertility.
Girl, when are you going to have a baby? If you wait any longer, you won’t be able have any.
Don’t assume that because she hasn’t had any kids by 35 that it’s a choice. Humans are so proficient at looking from the outside in and making judgments. Because you don’t see her charting her temp, planning sex according to ovulation dates, being examined by countless doctors, or taking pregnancy tests every month, only to be crushed by the results; doesn’t mean that she has chosen to delay starting a family. Trust me, she is more aware of her biological clock that you.
Maybe its God Will.
How many times have I heard this!!. My thought is always, “so God wanted you to have children but not me.” Last time I spoke to God, He loves women who are infertile just as much as He loves the next person, which means He has not put us on a conception freeze. He has not deemed our bodies unfit to carry a child. We are not apart of a select group of women who are on pregnancy punishment. Honestly, if we are going to bring God into the conversation then let us consider Sarah who conceived at 89 yrs old. If God gave Sarah an Isaac, who are you to try to convince us that He doesn’t want us to have children. A woman’s infertility is NOT God punishing her.
You have one kid you should be happy.
Who died and made you Captain of the kid count! It is a woman’s prerogative to have as many kids as she wants. Secondary infertility, I imagine, is extremely confusing. To have been able to get pregnant and then to have that ability taken from you must be hard to handle.
Maybe you should adopt.
While adoption is a wonderful option, especially because there are so many children who need loving parents, it isn’t for everyone. The majority of women want to partake in the miracle of childbirth. These women want to experience the miraculous journey from conception to birth. They want to feel and see their child growing within them and to know that this child is a product of their body. So telling them to adopt isn’t consoling, it can be like rubbing salt into an open wound.
While adoption was the best option for me, it didn’t erase my desire to participate in something that I should’ve been able to do simply because I am a woman. I love my children and I can’t imagine life any other way, but that is what worked for me. Telling a woman who is having difficulty conceiving to, “just adopt,” isn’t helpful. Additionally, adoption isn’t easy, cheap, nor without its own heart breaks.
It amazes me how some people, who have the ability to conceive are experts on infertility. They are full of advice and tips that will cause conception, yet they have never experienced infertility. That is like me trying to teach a class on engine pistons. I am not a mechanic, I have NO CLUE about engines nor how they work. When talking with women who are dealing with infertility, I can offer you one piece of sound advice, If you are not asked for you input, don’t offer it. Just be there for them and support them with love and compassion. I can guarantee you that this little nugget of wisdom will save your friendships. Onward♥