Infertility

Say what?

November 15, 2011

You just never know when an insensitive comment is lurking around the corner.

Take today for example.  A friend of a friend posted this on Facebook, “Some days I just wanna get my tubes tied.” Several other people commented things like “haha, me too.”   Really?  I thought I must have read that wrong.  Read it again.  Nope, it was like I thought the first time.  (I also thought, “Hmmm…wonder if any of these superfertiles would like to surrogate for me before they get their tubes tied?”)

I’m sure she didn’t mean to offend anyone, but stop and think about what you are saying.  And, besides what did this mean?  She’s a young mom to a toddler, so did this mean that this was her newest pregnancy announcement or that she was fed up with her baby?

Either way, it made me upset that someone could be so flippant about something like that.  So, I had to comment.  She can say what she wants, but she said it publicly, so I thought I could reply in a courteous way. So, I wrote, “You should count your blessings that you have tubes and other parts that work so that you are able to have children. Take it from one of the millions of infertile people like me.”

Later, she commented again, ignoring my comment, and said, “It’s actually not  [my son] that’s driving me crazy. Watching 3 kids every day is the best birth control.”  Hmmm…this isn’t getting any better.

Yes, I know I’m overly sensitive to these things.  I know that.  But, these are inflammatory comments. Also, you’d be sensitive too if you had been what I have been through. It’s not a laughing matter.  Also, I always feel like people should be careful what they wish for.

Here’s why this is a problem for me.  It’s totally fine that she’s frustrated with three small kids.  From what I understand, that would be tough.  So, there’s a million things you could say about that that would not offend those of us dealing with infertility.  But, first to mention sterilizing yourself and then to talk about being around kids as birth control. It’s a slap in the face to those of us who desperately want children, who have lost children and are still childless. This silly comment from a random person on Facebook was enough to bring me to tears today.

I know that ever since I have been going through this ordeal, that I try to be more aware of what I’m saying.  For example, I used to say, “That’s retarded.”  How completely inappropriate, right?  What if someone with special needs had ever overheard that?  I’m sure it would have made them sad or mad.  There’s already too much pain in everyone’s lives to be causing unnecessary frustrations. After thinking, I felt bad that I had ever said that.

She has the right to say whatever she wants.  My only hope is that for those that who do care about the feelings of others, to be careful what you say.  Think about what you are saying.

What do you think?  How do you handle these situations? Have you ever looked back and realized that you have done the same thing?

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  • Thinking of you. I got a comment about watching kids being birth control in person one time. I wasn’t in charge of the kids in question. The woman who was in charge, saw me and my husband watching her family, and claimed that seeing the way her kids behaved must be good birth control for us. This was just a couple months after my second loss.

    We were actually waiting for the family to finish their photo-op at a state park attraction so we could have our own photo-op, but after that comment, we just walked away. I didn’t say anything to the woman, but if it happened again today, I think I would say that I’ve had 5 miscarriages, and seeing kids exuberance just makes me want some of my own even more than ever.

    I’m so sorry you had to read these comments today. (((Hugs)))

  • Oh yes. the old ‘this should be like bc for you’, or ‘really, this is what you want’?
    I am proud you stood up and said something. It obviously didn’t phase her but maybe it did someone else that will read it.

  • Jana

    My cousin, deciding she was done with finding a man and, got herself pregnant with a sperm donor. She sent the family an email saying, “Here’s hoping I get knocked up this weekend”. I could have reached through the computer and strangled her! She knows that I have been trying for 7 years to get pregnant, with 6 IUI’s and one cancelled IVF cycle. How dare she! I’m still hurt by this comment.

  • I used to ask people “are you guys planning to have kids?” before we started trying and struggling 2 years ago. I clearly remember one friend looking pained as she mumbled some response to me, and although she’s never confided in me, I suspect she’s going through IF.

    My husband and I get the “seeing our kids must be great birth control for you!” comment all of the time. Ugh.

    Good for you for saying something to your friend on FB!

  • Jen

    Amen sister. People just do not think before they speak. Maybe I, too, am hypersensitive, but it drives me nuts when people say things like that, when they complain about their kids, and so many other things. Don’t worry, it will happen when God is ready for you… YEAH RIGHT! And God is ready for that 15 year old to get knocked up, but not this mature, financially stable, 38 year old who desperately wants a child. people are clueless.

  • Good for you for standing up to her. I have my cousin’s wife doing a facebook status about pretending to be pregnant (bearing in mind that she’s already had 4) and then haha not to worry friends and family at the end. I nearly said “Pretending to be pregnant isn’t cute” but I just didn’t have the guts.

  • I hate that, but good for you for speaking out! Even if the original person didn’t get it, hopefully your comment helped someone else feel less alone… and that’s the goal I have when I put myself out there. (And just the satisfaction of putting them in their place, of course!)

  • This is hard. Yes she has the right to say what she wants, but at the same time, I think a bit of sensitivity on her part would help. You have every right to share your thoughts back too. I guess we just can’t expect that people will really understand. Sending hugs.

  • Karen

    I guess I’ve just lived long enough now to understand people will always manage to say/do stuff that hurts me. All I can change is my own behavior and how I react to something hurtful. Someone who has not gone thru the struggle to conceive…someone who has not gone through miscarriages….someone who has not had to live with not being able to have children can never possibly even begin to understand the depths of my pain. And there are other battles people go through that I cannot understand, but I can try to be careful in what I might say or do….and at the very least own up to it when I’ve said something carelessly.

  • I’m proud of you! My little sister wrote on FB “It’s too hot to be pregnant when it’s 107 outside.” And I wrote “It could be worse” and then erased it, because I didn’t want to start a fight.

    It’s the same on FB with my friends who want to get married. I have really tried not to complain about my husband, because I feel lucky to have him. Even if he makes me nuts.

  • This has happened to me so many times and it hurts so much!

  • Infertility has made me a more conscientious person as a whole with my words and my feelings towards others. I never knew how hurtful words and opinions could be when there is no thought behind them. I am a way better listener than I used to be and try not to react to anyone with anything but understanding now about their issues.

    It took infertility for me to learn this, so I guess that’s one good thing that I gained during infertility.