12 Stupid Things People Actually Say to the Infertile
Sometimes you have to wonder about the basic humanity of some folks, to say nothing about their intelligence. Here are the top 12 stupid things people have actually said to those suffering from infertility, including what I wished I could have said in response. Honestly folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
1. “Are you sure you’re doing “it” right?” (Well gosh, maybe not—can you show me or share in graphic detail how you do it?)
2. “You’re over-stressing. When you least expect it—BAM, it’ll happen.” (Yeah, that’s how infertility is cured!)
3. “Maybe this is God’s way of saying you aren’t meant to be a parent.” (And what was God saying to all the parents who have abused and neglected their precious children?)
4. “You’ll get pregnant once you adopt.”– Said to a woman who had just shared that she had a hysterectomy and to another women who was 55 years old. (Perhaps a refresher in middle-school biology is in order.)
5. “Think of all the money you’re saving on birth control.” (Yeah, I’m feeling real lucky saving a few bucks on condoms while spending tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatment.)
6. “It’s time to just get over it and stop being sad.”– Said to a women who had a hysterectomy 3 days before Mothers Day by a family member who had four children. (I hear there is a sensitivity training course at the community college, and they’ve agreed to waive the fee for you.)
7. “You’re lucky you’re adopting so you don’t have to go through all this.” –Said by a husband complaining about his pregnant wife being emotional. (Yes, so true because adoption is an emotional walk in the park compared with pregnancy.)
8. “Aren’t you worried that the IVF drugs will give you cancer?” (Why yes, actually I am, as well as worried about how they will affect the child. Thanks for reminding me because I actually had forgotten to worry for the last 10 minutes.)
9. I don’t understand why you’d want to go through all the pain and expense of fertility treatment when there are so many older kids in foster care that need homes. (You’re right that those older kids need families, but I’m not necessarily the right parent, and I want to be pregnant and raise an infant from the beginning. By the way, have you considered adopting a few of those kids?)
10. “You don’t want this!”– Said by a very pregnant coworker point to her belly. (Oh yes, actually I do, and I sure as heck won’t complain about being eight months pregnant.)
11. “I think it’s weird and kind of gross to see moms in their 40s?” (Well, thanks for sharing.)
12. “Geez, I hope she can carry this one correctly. She didn’t manage to do it right the last time!” –Said to the teenaged adopted children of a woman with a surprise pregnancy that had lost twins at 22 weeks 7 years previously. (No problem, this time I read the “How to Carry a Baby Manual”, and by the way, thanks for making my children feel so special because teens can always use that. It brings out the best in them.)
So what comments have you heard that just makes you want to bang your head against a wall? Any good comebacks that you said or wished you had said?
First published in 2015; Updated in 2017.