Saturday, November 19, 2011


Oftentimes I've thought to myself, "did they REALLY just say that to me?"  If I had a nickle for every time I have had someone say a hurtful, insulting comment to me throughout my infertility journey, I'd be rich!  I know many people mean well, and I understand that, but I have wished that there was SOMETHING that they could read so that they could realize how insensitive and hurtful they were really being.

This past year I have done my fair share of explaining to people why I get offended or hurt by their harsh, often well-meaning, words.  No words I have spoken ever seemed to make sense to anyone, and I was constantly searching for the right way to tell people to BACK OFF!

It wasn't until I started seeking avenues via Twitter that I found a  group called RESOLVE.  Someone had posted a tweet that contained a link to a post on RESOLVE's website about "Infertility Etiquette."  The headline caught my eye, and I HAD to read. I began reading, and every emotion, every painful word that has ever been spoken to me ran through my mind.  What I would have given to have a copy of this "Infertility Etiquette" for all of those people who just didn't get it.  I even read the post about etiquette to my husband, and he said, "wow. that really puts it into perspective."  So, since my husband approved of the etiquette post, I decided to share portions of it with you throughout the next few.  Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the post on RESOLVE's website.

"Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money.

A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways:
  • They will eventually conceive a baby.
  • They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children.
  • They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.
Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don't know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support."

Stay tuned over the next few posts for ways to improve yours or help another person with their infertility etiquette.

1 comment:

  1. Resolve sounds amazing! I'll have to check out their website. Isn't it cool how twitter offers so much helpful info. I love it :0)


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