Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Infertility and crazy comments week…

This has been THE week of bizarre IVF comments from folks that I know well and a few of them, well, not so well.
From our sweet grandmotherly neighbor: “Oh, you’ll have no problems getting pregnant next time since you're pregnant now”, (I tried gently to explain that we were treated for male infertility and IVF/adoption are the only options for children—I’m still not sure if she understood)

from the gal that we purchased a baby changing table from: “you should have gone to a blessing service at church—it’s all about faith AND also go to lots of baby showers, that will ensure that God blesses you with a child because you are blessing others” (what do you say to that one???…I just nodded and looked at the floor)

or the one that hit me as I was face down on the massage table at the chiropractors last night: “did you get to design your baby i.e., choose the sex of the baby and it’s hair color & eye color” ?

It’s so difficult (and incredibly painful) to trudge through years of infertility and all of the social awkwardness and stigmas that come with it, but once you actually have a successful treatment (and or/adoption for many) it’s like you automatically become some kind of ghastly science/social experiment or even worse, a faith experiment. Don’t get me wrong here, I am in no way disparaging these good people and their kind intentions, nor am I knocking religion or faith. DH and I are both Christians and have prayed many years for God’s will regarding a family and also for graciousness of spirit when responding to all of the well meaning---but decidedly cruel 2 legged "social disasters" that come our way.

I just wish people would consider the appropriateness of their words. I know all of us have said things that can never be retracted and it’s such a horrible feeling to know that your words “pierced” someone else. You can tell by the look in their eyes after you’ve opened your mouth and the stupid words just come tumbling out that you’ve lost something in your relationship that you’ll never get back. I remember hurtful things said in anger to my parents or siblings over 20 years ago…I think the memories can haunt you forever even after you’ve apologized and tried to make amends. But what about those who appear to have no clue that what they’ve said is inappropriate or hurtful?

I like what Pastor John MacArthur teaches about the tongue (James 3:1-5) the full sermon transcript is available here

"Everyone of us is carrying around a concealed weapon." All we have to do is open our mouths and it's unconcealed.

If you're a normal person, you spend one fifth of your life talking.

You speak about 18 to 25 thousand words a day. Some people have said that men speak 25 thousand words a day and women speak 30 thousand words a day,

We could probably put together a 54-page book every day of our words.

In one year, we would probably produce about 66 800-page books.

So, I guess the question directed to myself today is: what words are being written in my book? Obviously, I can’t control the content of the "books" being written around me, but I do have the power to direct the words that will be imprinted on my pages. So, onward I march…into the battle of words, hoping and praying that I respond with grace and kindness (and don’t take personal offense) to those well intentioned people who always manage to say the wrong thing. AND, deep within me I still wonder, am I too sensitive about infertility? Maybe so, but we “fertility challenged people” shouldn’t be subject to such a relentless torrent of stigmas and inappropriate comments from others.


  1. Thank you for this post. I need to constantly be reminded that people don't mean what they say. I know in my heart of hearts that they don't intend to be rude or insensitive, but it still hurts so it's easy to grow angry. Better to be the well worded book though right? Great post!

  2. first of all congratulations on a successful course of IVF.
    some people can be so sensitive and even well meaning folks. One thing though, we can't control what others say but we can control our reactiont to them.
    I just ask God for the grace to keep mute when I am tempted to reply in a rude tune.

  3. It would be a lot easier if people actually thought about what they are saying before saying it... That never happens anymore. Even I am guilty of it, although I try not to be.

  4. I really appreciate this post, although I hate that you've had to hear some crazy comments lately. It's a shame that we have to deal with those in all stages of this journey! These days it takes a lot to shock me with a comment. I think I've just about heard them all (but I'm sure someone will prove me wrong). :(

    As you pointed out, though, it sure does make me more aware of controlling my own tongue. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Argh...the things ppl say....totally shows the different worlds that fertiles and infertiles live in.

  6. People can be really insensitive sometimes unfortunately. Thinking a little about the other person before they speak would help. Stay strong!


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