Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Infertility Etiquette

I read this article today and thought it was so important, so I thought I'd share.  Infertility is something that is still taboo to talk about it.  Mostly because the majority of Americans are uneducated about the facts.  For decades its been a private struggle that women/families have had to bear alone.  But as Christians we were created for fellowship and community.  Infertility should be no different.

Borrowed from here.

The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

9 Things Not to Say, Plus 1

10.  Don't Tell Them to Relax
9.  Don't Minimize the Problem
8.  Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen
7.  Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents
6.  Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF
5.  Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
4.  Don't Gossip About Their Infertility
3.  Don't Push Adoption
2.  Let Them Know You Care
1.  Remember Them on Mother's Day

Believe it or not, all of these things have been said to me (except number one, which would have been a good thing.)  If you don't know what you say, this is a time when saying nothing is better.  Because, the well-intentioned remarks of friends end up hurting more deeply than you can expect.

And another thing, from my personal experience:
The reason you remember that friend of a friend who tried to conceive for ten years and it finally happened and now they're happy?  The reason you remember it is because it happened once.  Think about how many women tried for ten years and it never happened?  Why don't you remember that story?  Well probably because that woman couldn't share her story for fear you'd tell her to relax.  

We're out here.  No one talks about it.  

I have a few friends who are absolutely amazing.  They ask how our infertility is going (which I love).  And, they probably don't know what to say.  Yet they have the best possible response.  "I love you.  I'm praying for you.  And I hope you get pregnant."


  1. my heart hurts for you. I love you and YES, I am praying for you.

  2. I love you Meghan... I really hope and pray you guys get pregnant. You are great.

  3. my heart is totally hurting for you..I know it was a different situation completely and in no way am I trying to compare,but waiting 2 years for Claire was so hard!! I couldn't imagine being in your spot.

    Again, I know its different and please don't take offense to anything I have to say but I thought it was interesting that I have experienced 5 out of the 10 things not to say after we lost our Ella.

  4. Jonathan and I will be saying prayers for you and Josh! I'm sorry for your pain. What a great post to help educate us uneducated (on this topic) matter. Thank you for opening your heart to share.