Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What not to say... someone suffering from secondary infertility.

If you missed the miscarriage version, check that out here. To read a list of things people have said to me after my second loss, click here.

While I've had all of these said to me once or twice, reading fellow infertiles rant about it just makes me so angry for them. Why do people say these things? The comments I receive are almost all about my losses, but these still upset me too. As I said in my last post, I've dealt with a lot over the past year and a half. Some people are sweet and helpful even when they don't understand, some people say the wrong thing on accident, and I've come across a select few who just love to make snarky little comments because they're vindictive narcissists. Some people just love to rub the salt into your wounds and make you feel ashamed, inferior, and like a failure. Whatever the reason, you should know better than to say any of these things, and if you have said any version of them, you should really apologize. These comments are also just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.

1) Why can't you just be happy with the kid you have?

This one I will legitimately never understand. Like, what makes anyone say this? Every time I've had someone say it to me, it was someone with more than one child. Why did YOU have one more kid? Because you wanted one? Most likely. Most people want more than one child, and that is perfectly okay and normal. What would you do without all of your children? If you really wanted more than one child, or a big family, what would you have felt like if you couldn't have that? You would have been devastated. What you are implying is that wanting another kid makes me selfish, and that since I am infertile, I obviously don't deserve a second child. I can assure you that I do not take my child for granted. If anything, I cherish her even more because I know I may never have another child. Is it wrong of me to want her to have a sibling? I don't think so. Therefore, this is an ignorant statement to make. If you say it, prepare to lose a friend or be bitched out. You deserved it.

2) Just adopt (this one isn't really mean, just not helpful at all, and very dismissive).

I'm sorry, have you ever actually researched the adoption process? Not only is it long and not guaranteed, but it is expensive as hell (which is sad). I'm talking $30,000 or thousands of dollars more. Now, if you want to give me the money, then I will drive my ass to the nearest adoption center and start the process. Happily. Until then, don't suggest it.

3) You have one kid. You're not infertile.

The definition of infertility is "not being able to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after more than a year of trying". So basically, someone who had one child and has tried for seven years to have another is still a fertile myrtle in your eyes? I've been off birth control for over a year and a half and have had two pregnancies, both of which were not successful. I have fertility issues. I've worked my butt off. But to some, I'm still super fertile. That is hilarious to me. Secondary infertility is still infertility. Recurrent pregnancy loss is still infertility. If you believe that you can only be infertile if you've never had a child, or never been pregnant at all, then you have a lot of research to do.

4) Your infertility (or loss) makes me uncomfortable.

This one doesn't even HAVE to be said. I've been places where there were quite a few of us talking. Eventually, someone asks me about my struggles. It never fails - most of the time one or two people will just get up and walk away. It's disgusting. I've had a few people tell me I make them uncomfortable. I totally understand that, but I get uncomfortable too. I get uncomfortable when I'm around pregnant women. I get uncomfortable when a pregnant woman rubs her belly constantly, complains about how long pregnancy is, talks about how blessed she is in front of me, etc. I get uncomfortable in many situations now. I have dealt with so many situations and I only get up and walk away when it is a situation that has made me uncomfortable for months and keeps going, without fail. Other than that, I sit there and deal with it even if I don't want to. Telling someone to stop talking about their infertility or loss, a family member's death, or any other stressful/painful situation because it makes you uncomfortable is hurtful and selfish. To just get up and walk away in a very obvious manner is rude. I have a fellow RPL sister who was told by her mother that she made her sister uncomfortable when she talked about her losses, so she needed to stop and be sensitive to her. Her sister was pregnant. Yet, her mother didn't care to tell the sister to stop complaining about her pregnancy, bragging, etcetera. This stuff isn't fair. No, we shouldn't just sit there and talk about it constantly, but a conversation helps us. Our situations may make you uncomfortable for a moment, but every day life hurts us. We are uncomfortable constantly. This world celebrates fertility, showcases it. Infertility and loss is still shameful and embarrassing, even though it has come a long way over the past few years. Help break that stigma. Just let us talk about it, work past your slight discomfort and try to understand. Us hurting does not hurt you.

Secondary infertility is hard. Pregnancy loss is hard. The last thing we need is a stupid comment. Most of us, including me, get several. More people would be open with their struggles if people weren't so hurtful. There should be no shame in infertility or loss. Please educate yourself on infertility and loss for your friends and family members. Just because you don't hear about it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. Just because you know about it and it isn't being talked about, doesn't mean it isn't hurting. Just because we're smiling doesn't mean we aren't sad. Be helpful, not hurtful.

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