What NOT to Say to Infertiles!

Where do I begin!?  Since the first miscarriage more than 7 years ago, I always I wished I could hand out a list of things people should not say to me with regards to babies, pregnancy, etc.  So here’s my chance.

Over the years, there were way too many times I found myself wishing I could punch someone in the face!  Instead I simply distanced myself from people that made stupidly, inane, pithy comments, used generic words of comfort, and/or offered supposed words of wisdom/advice without ever having any experience or knowledge of infertility.

With time, and with distance comes greater clarity, I have come to realize that at the heart of all these stupid comments is simply the fact that folks just don’t know what to say, and in turn they rely on words that they’ve heard or think they are supposed to say.  Or they simply say something trite in a vain effort to add-value. All the time with no insight or way of knownig that these words are hollow and usually cause more pain than comfort.

If you’re as frustrated with what people have to say to you about the business of having children, then share this link with anyone and everyone. Feel free to copy and modify based on your experiences. Or make your own version.

If you are a friend, relative, partner, neighbor, medical provider of someone coping with infertility or trying to start a family, then take note.  Just because you have had a child or a grandchild through simple conception, does not make you an expert on babymaking in today’s world. In fact, it only distances you even further from the world of infertility.  As well-meaning as you may feel you are, what you say may be inadvertently hurtful; or worse… it may be adding to the person’s sense of isolation.

When in doubt, simply listen empathetically, without feeling the need to give advice. This will probably give your loved one more comfort than generic words. At the end, your goal is to be there and comfort your loved one. So think of their need… and fight your need to fill the silence or add value.  When in doubt, just ask they person, “what can I do to help?” or just say, “I don’t know what to say, but I do want to listen and hear more about what you’re going through.”

List of comically tragic, and painful words that people need to stop saying, to Infertiles as well as anyone in a painful life situation:

It’s God’s Will