Saturday, July 30, 2011

Part 1 - Avoid trying to fix or lighten the problem

Before I share the positive things that have personally impacted me, I have to share some of the things that have not been too helpful. I think that most people subconsciously feel the need to give some sort of advice to fix, or at least lessen the weightiness of the problem that their acquaintances or loved ones are going through. It's a natural response. But infertility is a medical issue, and there is unfortunately no such thing as a quick fix for this problem. A great majority of the responses I've received come across as more belittling than helpful. Below are a few examples of "tips" that I've been given. :)

Relax / Just stop thinking about it. 
This is the most common response, hands down. It's also the biggest myth ever. lol. There is no proof that relaxing can somehow make ovaries produce eggs, perfectly time sex, or make a man with low sperm counts suddenly produce more. Saying this insinuates that it is the infertile woman's fault that she can't conceive, because she is simply too uptight. The truth is, we're not stressed out about getting pregnant all the time. There are some key days when anxiety and frustration really hit hard. But when you are working with a doctor and making decisions about your health that will change your life, isn't a little stress natural? Offering the quick solution of relaxing, is belittling and not encouraging.

You should just adopt, and then you'll get pregnant. 
Ryan and I want to adopt. We always have. But that doesn't change the fact that I'd like to see a little someone with Ryan's eyes, laughing and running around my home. I want to feel a baby growing inside my womb. I want to nurse. Call me a psycho, but I even want to experience labor and delivery. lol. Mentioning adoption so casually, can sidestep a person's fear and grief that they might not get to experience these gifts of life. 

This suggestion also makes less of adopted children. It makes them second-string children that will fill the void until you get what you really want, which is a biological child. Especially for those of us who want to adopt, it is hurtful to speak about adoption as though it is just a means to an end.

Another thing to consider is that many can't afford adoption. It can cost anywhere from 5 to 25K, depending on which route you go with. While many couples would love to move on to adoption once they've reached the end of fertility treatments, the hard reality is that many can't afford it. 

You're young and have plenty of time. Just enjoy being with your husband.
Well, I may be young and I may have plenty of childbearing years ahead of me, but I may not have any. People don't usually go into the decision of trying to have a child lightly. Ryan and I went back and forth on the idea for a good month or two before we both felt comfortable moving forward. Much like couples that are 5 or 10 years older than us, once we decided to try, we knew we wanted it more than anything. :)

It'll happen when you least expect it!
So...I should try not to expect getting pregnant, when I'm having unprotected sex for the purpose of getting pregnant? ::confused face:: What does that even mean??? lol. This response is very common, even my OBGYN said it when I told her that I still wasn't pregnant after 9 months. ::head desk::
Take prenatal vitamins! Have more sex! Lose weight! Try organic food! Stand on your head and let gravity help the sperm!  The list goes on. :) But as with most other heartaches in life, your loved ones need you to be listeners, not advice-givers. So what things should you say? Glad you asked! That's our next topic to cover. :)


  1. one question sis,
    whats an OBGYN? :p

  2. hahaha! Obstetrician/gynecologist = doctor for all things woman oriented. :)

  3. Good job, Denay. Even though we know most people just want to try to "help" and "encourage", their words can sometimes leave a sting of unintentional hurt. It's nice that you have given examples of things that are not only "not so helpful", but also actually painful. Many people just need to know more about what to and not to say...and thanks to people like you spreading the word, and people reading your blog and spreading the word, those people will be enlightened one by one. Praying, Ana

  4. This is really sweet of you to put this into words Denay!! I really have enjoyed your blog so far and I've only read the first two posts!! It's almost like I don't want to peek to the end, but just read it as you wrote it. :) Praying for you and Ryan as I read!