1. It’s tough
Wanting a baby, but not being able to produce one is no easy thing. We think about it every day. Even if we aren’t in the process of “trying”.
2. It hurts when other people are pregnant
Not going to lie; it stings. There is always a sharp pang of sadness felt when someone announces a pregnancy.
3. We are happy you are pregnant
We don’t want to take anything way from your joy. Pregnancy deserves a fantastic celebration, so go for it! Don’t be afraid to share the news. Yes, it can be difficult for us, but it’s not you; you deserve to shout it from the rooftops. However, if you are close with someone who is really struggling, a private conversation is considerate. A general Facebook announcement showing off your baby bump can be fairly soul crushing.
4. We are bitter that other people are pregnant—not you
This is hard to admit, but we are sometimes bitter when certain people are pregnant. That expectant woman on the news being charged with child neglect—we don’t think she deserves to have another one. Why does she get eight, and we don’t get any?
5. We don’t want to hear success stories
Telling a woman who is battling infertility, “Well, this one girl I knew tried for eight years and then she had triplets” doesn’t help. We are going to the specialists. We are monitoring ovulation and sperm count and hormone levels. We are educated. We know the real stats and the success rates.If anything, tales of success don’t make us hopeful; they make us feel worse.
6. Don’t bring God/The Universe into it
“Everything happens for a reason” is a ridiculous thing to say to someone, especially to someone that doesn’t believe any outside forces are at work in their life. Even worse is something like, “Maybe it isn’t in God’s plan for you.” So, even if we don’t believe in God, knowing that He’s out there to make life miserable for us is not comforting.
7. We’ve heard of adoption
Adoption as an alternative is clearly something we’ve thought about, so don’t make the suggestion. We aren’t stupid. You don’t know why we have chosen fertility treatments over adoption. And for all you know, we are also trying adoption with no luck.
8. Don’t even ask
Why are you even asking about kids, anyway? It’s none of your business. The prime example is the post-wedding interrogation in which family members take it upon themselves to say, “Sooooo…when will you be having a baby?” Whether you know a person is dealing with infertility or not, you should never ask this question.
9. It’s OK if we want more than one kid
Maybe baby number one was a piece of cake. Have the sex, push out the baby. But subsequent children might be the real problem. Never, ever say to someone, “At least you already have one”. Not cool. Secondary infertility is difficult, too.
10. We do feel guilty if we already have one
For moms dealing with secondary infertility, guilt can definitely play a role. Going through fertility treatments for a second child when other women are still working on their first really does make us feel bad…and very lucky, too. But please remember, we aren’t being greedy. We are trying to round out our family and bring more joy into our lives. We struggle, too.
11. We don’t want to hear your pregnancy complaints
If you know someone is dealing with fertility issues, cool it with the pregnancy complaints. You’re allowed some. If you have 24/7 nausea or if you are on bedrest, those are valid issues. Complaining that “the baby was up all night kicking and now I’m oh-so-tired” is not a legitimate grievance. You have a healthy, active baby who is living and growing inside you; consider yourself lucky.
12. It’s no laughing matter
April Fool’s jokes about being pregnant, particularly through social media, are just plain dumb. You never know what is going on with your list of friends, so think before you act.
13. We are warriors
You have no idea what fertility treatments are like. We have been poked, prodded, scraped, pricked, tested, retested, monitored and tested again. We’ve had dozens of people examine our down-there parts. We’ve collected urine in a cup many, many times. We’ve had so much blood taken that our arms look like pin cushions. Some have learned to inject hormones into their butts. Some have partners providing sperm samples down the hall (while watching really terrible porn). We’ve had ultrasounds, pelvic exams and dye shot into our reproductive systems. And still, we think it’s worth it. We KNOW it’s worth it.
14. We’re thankful you’re here
Even if you say the wrong thing—we want to thank you for the support, encouragement and just being there as we continue the struggle.