"There's Nothing Wrong with You," and Other Things Not to Say to Women Who Are Trying to Conceive

"There's Nothing Wrong with You," and Other Things Not to Say to Women Who Are Trying to Conceive

After my husband and I announced to the world that we are having a little girl, my fellow blogger and old childhood friend, A. Hab, sent me a lovely email containing many congratulations and words of reassurance that having a daughter wouldn't be as scary as we were anticipating. Her message asked about how I was feeling and if the family was excited over the news. Then she mentioned she had come across an article that focused on the worst things one could possibly say to someone TTC (Trying To Conceive). As a concerned (yet curious) friend, she wanted to know if any of these things had been said to me. In order to answer her inquiry, I opened the link and read through the list.

Yeah, my jaw hit the floor and bounced back into place. The phrases in the article were so incredibly similar to what my TTC ears had heard for the 20 months it took us to get pregnant, I felt I had written the article. So here is a list of my top 5 "favorite" TTC lines that I hope you'll think twice about before voicing them to those trying to become mommies.

1. "I just know you will get pregnant one day. You just wait and see."

  • How I heard it: If I had a dime for each time someone said this to me... Honestly, I believe friends and family say this because they're trying to be encouraging. Yet, it gives false hope. When you are TTC, you have to accept the possibility of NOT being able to get pregnant. I was one of the fortunate TTCers who actually was finally able to incubate a future human while taking two types of fertility meds, but it didn't make it any easier to hear that line. Think about how difficult it would be to hear this and never get pregnant.

  • Why it bothers those TTC: No one has a crystal ball or the ability to see into the future. So unless you are God Himself, there's no way you could possibly know the fate of anyone's fertility.

  • What you can say instead: "It must be a difficult situation for you, so if you want someone to pray for you, just ask." OR "I went through the same thing when we were trying to have Baby Boy, so let me know if you need someone to talk to."

2. "Kick back, relax, and don't think about it!"

  • How I heard it: This is another one of those "if I had a dime" statements. Asking me to relax when I'm so focused on a goal is like asking the Rainman to skip Judge Wapner at 4:00.

  • Why it bothers those TTC: There are so many things that factor into a TTCer's stress levels: job, bills, home and yard upkeep, family situations, friendships, (lack of) time off... and the list goes on. So even when a TTCer is not immediately focused on FSH levels or getting that fertility prescription refilled, there is always something on her mind. We'd like to be able to forget about it, but the longer we go without a fertilized egg, the more we obsess over it.

  • What you can say instead: "Let me take you out for sushi and a glass of wine! A girls' night out just might be what the doctor ordered."

3. "When I was trying, we drank lots of green tea picked by Amazonian monkeys, only wore organic cotton underwear, and had lots of tantric sex. We swear by our methods!"

  • How I heard it: OK, I admit, I didn't hear these exact words, but I did receive lots of unwarranted advice that made me downright uncomfortable -- from both friends AND family. I'll never be able to scrub certain images from my brain that so painfully penetrated my imagination through such conversations.

  • Why it bothers those TTC: Do you really think your best friend wants to picture you and your husband doing the dirty in some wild Kama Sutra pose? Someone get me my shrink!

  • What you can say instead: "We did some pretty unconventional things that helped us get pregnant. If you're ever interested in hearing about it, you have my number."

4. "You've been trying for, what, three months now? Just tell your doctor you've been trying for a year and get yourself on meds! He won't know the difference."

  • How I heard it: From a friend who had no trouble getting pregnant when going off birth control. Maybe she felt guilty, especially since after six months of trying, I still wasn't even ovulating normally.

  • Why it bothers those TTC: My reasons here are two-fold.

    • I'm very uncomfortable with lying to a medical professional. It might be because I'm married to one and it pisses him off when patients hide the truth. Lying to your doc can come back to bite you in the ass.

    • Women who think that 2-3 months of trying is a "long time" don't know what the emotional pain of wanting for a child actually is. Going on meds that soon doesn't automatically put you into the infertile category, and it makes those who actually are very bitter. It's practically cheating, and I can't see myself doing that to my fellow TTCers.

  • What you can say instead: "Ask your doctor what they think is best. You can always get a second opinion if you aren't on the same page."

5. "You don't have anything wrong with you."

5 Things Not to Say to a Woman Trying to Conceive
Credit: jujucalhau.

  • How I heard it: Yes, this was actually said to me a few years ago, and it still makes me want to throw things. It was from a friend whom I imagined going through the TTC process with side by side, but she was one who went on meds after only a couple of months of trying. When I voiced my opinion (see the two reasons from the previous quote), she defended it with answers that made her sound as if she were medically doomed to ever get pregnant. And then when she said there was nothing wrong with me, it seemed her perception of my ovaries' capabilities matched those of Michelle Duggar. I'm sorry, but what part of I didn't have a period for 130 days seemed "healthy"?

  • Why it bothers those TTC: Knife. Heart. Twist. Repeat.

  • What you can say instead: I don't really have an alternative for this one, but just because someone doesn't vocalize their medical hang-ups and bang-ups doesn't mean they don't have them. Never assume someone has it easier than you.

 

V. Dub

 

From the 3 May 2011 entry on my blog www.v-double-u.blogspot.com.

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