Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Some ‘gentle’ knowledge for you all.
I am going to attempt to be as user-friendly as I possibly can while writing this, but I can’t make any promises. What I feel is inappropriate commentary, is simply a curiosity for others. And I get that, trust me. However, I was always taught that if I was uneducated on a topic or never experienced a certain situation, then I just need to keep my mouth closed and keep my ears available for listening.
I’m going into my 5th year (on and off) of trying to conceive a baby naturally. Well, as naturally as possible. I wrote about finding out about our “unexplained infertility” in another piece, but I’ll quickly explain our process thus far. After unconsciously trying for about 6 months (and being off the pill for many, MANY years), I decided to make an appointment with my OBGYN. He did routine testing and suggested that maybe I just needed something to jumpstart my ovulation. Fast forward to many failed rounds on Clomid and Letrozole, we are at a standstill. We are still trying, but since there is nothing wrong with either of us, we are trying as naturally as we possibly can. Come next summer if there is still no baby, we will move on to more invasive options.
During this time, I have acquired A LOT of questions from people. Some positive, some negative. I take many of the positive advice and will work some of that into my routine. I take the negative remarks/advice and turn it into an Infertility Etiquette piece! Unless you actually go through the motions, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE.
Here are some things you SHOULD NOT SAY / ASK a woman/couple who are trying to start a family.
This is the most common piece of “advice” that I get, literally every day! I’m already a pretty laid-back person and can easily roll with the punches. If I relax anymore, I’ll be in a coma. However, as much as I feel relaxed during this process, it’s still always on the back of my mind.
“well, my friend did….”
Let me tell you, I LOVE a good success story, please keep them coming. They keep me motivated and it’s nice to hear of a happy ending after someone endured all this bullshit. However, while telling your story, try to refrain from saying things such as, “my friend did this so you should try it!” or, “my friend had sex outside, in the rain, holding candles in one hand and a fertility statue in the other. She SWEARS this is how she got pregnant...can't hurt to try.” I say this because, 9 times out of 10, a woman has already tried this, and unless you see a child in her hands, it did not work.
please don’t call a woman crazy.
This only happened to me once. Actually, I was told I was miserable but that’s a different story for a different time. I’m not a Dr. by any means, but it’s common sense that adding extra hormones into your body will cause some mood swings. One minute you’re happy, the next your sad, then two minutes later you want to kill everyone in sight. You’re hot, you’re cold, you’re hungry, you’re nauseous. This is not an easy process! And adding insult to injury does not help. We already know we’re moody. I literally felt myself changing into a monster and it was not fun. But, you do what you gotta do!
don't assume their finances.
We are very blessed to have health insurance that covers our infertility treatments, BUT it doesn’t cover much. I also know of many women who do not have insurance at all and have to pay for EVERYTHING out of pocket, (and people tell us to not stress and relax…) I have seen many women take on side jobs to help pay for their medical procedures. I have also seen women start crowdfunding with sources such as Go Fund Me accounts. You may not agree with why they’re doing this, but to them, any help they can get in making their dreams a reality is AMAZING. I had started something similar last year (it was actually for my ITP treatments so I wouldn’t HAVE to spend any money out of pocket that was set aside for my infertility treatments) and as quickly as it went up, it went down. I only had one negative backlash, but it was enough to make me feel like a pile of shit. No one can force you to donate money. But please do not say that infertility is not a disease, because it is. But if you do see a friend of yours who all of a sudden started making little crafts to sell or maybe started working for one of those MLM companies, don’t give them a hard time. I also started selling the whitening toothpaste from NuSkin to help cover some of the costs. Either support that or stay out of the way.
To all the other women who are going through this or who went through this, I applaud you. And to anyone who is going through this but feels alone, please reach out. You’ll be surprised as to how many women have reached out just to gain some more knowledge. I’m always open to an adult conversation to help spread awareness that this is real. This isn’t something that anyone wants to go through. But I can tell you this, you’re NOT alone.
HAPPY HUMPING! (Sorry, I felt like I needed to add some humor to this piece. Shit just got REAL.)