Sunday, October 30, 2005

Infertility Sensitivity Training

Here is your guidebook for things not to say to people like me (reproductively infertile):

"Maybe God does not mean for you to be parents."
"Just relax and it will happen."
"Just adopt and it will happen." (I've experienced the paperwork - "just" and "adopt" do not logically go together!)
"Have you tried boxers?"
"Have you tried holding your legs in the air after sex?"
"Take my children for awhile."

And some others:
"I am so sick of being pregnant."
"There must be something in the water."

After someone has a miscarriage, DO say:

"I am sorry for your loss."

That's it. Do not say:

"Well, at least you know you can get pregnant."
"It's nature's way. There must have been something wrong with the baby."
"You can always have other children."
"God must have needed your baby more than you did."
"Technically, it wasn't a baby yet, but an embryo." (Life begins at conception, it really does.)

DO: Send a card saying, "I am sorry for your loss." That's it.

DO: Offer to bring the family a meal. Meals rightfully get distributed to people who have just had a baby. I'm all for that (hint-hint - adoption counts as "having a baby"). But going through a miscarriage is often just as difficult as giving birth and you don't have a sweet baby at the end of it. It's just devastating. Food is good. Dole it out often. My lovely friend Edan brought us a meal after I had my laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis. My initial instinct was to decline, thinking I didn't deserve it. But, I said yes and this was so meaningful to me (plus, it was delicioso). Edan also brought me flowers on Mother's Day. This was almost unbearably thoughtful. Sniff, sniff.

This was a crash course. Feel free to add any "Do's and Don'ts" in a comment if you have had experiences with this.

Please, please know that if you are reading this and you think, "Oh no, I've said such-and-such," that you are forgiven. After the painful situation has passed I will remember that you love me and meant nothing but good things and comfort. I know I have said some ridiculous things to people and I cringe thinking of them (Like when I told my friend in pre-term labor how another friend almost died in the same situation. NOT sensitive!) Sometimes I will respond better than other times. This is true in any situation, isn't it?

Now, for some comic relief, here is my brother with a chainsaw. Don't mess with this guy!

1 comment:

Mary said...

I know this is a very old blog but I have been dealing with infertility for over 3 years now. We have a son who is almost 4 (we started trying when he was 7 months) And the one thing that always bothers me is when I am told "At least you have a child" by other infertile couples...and while YES we do have a child and yes I am blessed it DOES NOT make the pain any less. I am a military wife and there are women popping up pregnant left and right and who "TTC" for like a month and are pregnant..its so painful to hear these ladies talk about how horrible their pregnancy is...Ah anway not that i have written a blog...I don't know if you realize it but you have given me hope that we will be blessed with another child either by birth or by adoption. So thank you for that