Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Infertility Sensitivity

I was talking to someone I work with periodically yesterday who knows a friend of mine who is pregnant.  He knows that we know each other and so he was asking me how she was doing.  Then he says, and I quote “When are you going to have a Lisa Jr.? (insert my friends name here) is getting ahead of you!  You better hurry up!”

My first reaction was to jump through the phone and slug him, but I refrained.  Jesus would not want me to punch people.  Plus I don't think I could actually jump through the phone.  :)  It just really bothered me because I already feel like my friends are all “getting ahead of me” without the outside world pointing it out to me.  I realize that it is obviously not a competition, but it is really difficult when almost all of your friends are either pregnant or have small children.  You do feel left out and left behind.

I wish there was a way to educate the world about how it is not OK to say things like this.  How to do it, how to do it…I always debate how much to tell people when they ask personal questions regarding TTC.  I don’t mind telling them we are TTC and explaining to them how whatever comment they just made bothered me.  But I don’t want to make them uncomfortable.  Well most of the time I don’t want to make them uncomfortable….

I was at a work event a few weeks ago and there was a lady there who had just told me all about her boyfriend getting her pregnant and how it wasn’t planned and by her attitude you could tell she was not at all happy about the situation.  Well, she proceeded to ask me when we were going to have kids.  I politely told her in the Lord’s timing.  And then she keeps pushing, asking if we had thought about it and what our plan was.  Well, at that point I didn’t mind making her uncomfortable.  So I tell her “My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for the past year and a half and are going through infertility testing/treatments.”  There was a very awkward silence and she dropped the issue.  Oops.  :)

So what is the best way to educate people about infertility sensitivity?  Is it just being a role model in the questions that we ask others?  Is it being open with people about TTC?  Is it sharing infertility blogs with others so they can get an insiders view?  Is it posting your struggle on Facebook to widely spread the word?  I know it is different for each person depending on what they feel comfortable with….What do you guys think? 


  1. I appreciate this post because it is something that I deal with all the time. We are the token young couple at our church so we get asked a few times a week about when that baby is coming, why aren't we pregnant yet, etc etc etc! The few people that I have talked to about it, even a little bit, they all have had the same response..."oh it just takes a long time sometimes." Oh ok, easy for you to say mother of four or three or whatever they are. grrr
    I don't post my struggle boldly because it is extreemly personal..I do have a blog but don't put a ton of information on there. do we help those fertile friends of ours understand...I don't think they can understand, its just one of those things. We can explain whenever those comments are made...and then move on. I am sure I make comments about other people's struggles with out knowing all the time...

  2. I struggle with the same thing. I loved what you said to that lady though..."My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for the past year and a half and are going through infertility testing/treatments.” Good for you! I wish I could do that, and maybe I will someday soon, idk. I got asked the same thing today after a coworker told people she was 8 weeks preg. She asked "do you have any kids...when are you going to ?? you want them?" My response was "no...idk...not sure yet". Total lies but I guess I'm trying to protect myself.

  3. Unfortunately the answer to "What would Jesus do?" is never "punch someone". It's a pity, because I understand how sorely tempted you were! :) I'm sorry you've faced such insensitivity recently. You could try what I do and avoid people...but I probably wouldn't recommend it. I have realised that almost everything people say to me about babies/infertility I take as insensitive, depending on where I am in my cycle or contentedness with infertility. Knowing this has helped me to just nod and smile and change the subject after I have given the person my standard line, "In God's perfect timing".

  4. Hey, A friend of mine guided me to your blog when I was sharing my infertility stories with her. I have to so it really helps to connect with others with the same/similar issues. My husband and I had been trying off and on for 2 years when my gyn finally told me to start doing some investigation. Most of the testing happened this summer. Last month was the first month of Chlomid and a Pregnyl shot. This month was the first month that I really feel like I understood what disappointment felt like. I start all the prodding poking and medicating again tomorrow. As far as sharing with people, I tend to blurt out my issues before anyone has a chance to ask me about them. Sometimes when friends are asking me how things are going I feel ashamed and wished I hadn't told them because I don't want to hash it all out again. I'm so moody you could never tell how I'm going to react. I'm sure you understand.