In celebration of National Infertility Awareness Week, here's a list of what not to say to someone going through fertility treatments.
"Why don't you just adopt?"
I may choose adoption down the line, but my desire to have a biological child is the same as any of the other 800 bazillion women out there getting pregnant and starting families. So, why don't you adopt some manners?
"Just take it as the universe's sign you're not meant to have kids."
Be honest here. Haven't you ever seen a pregnant, smoking woman riding a motorcycle without a helmet while eating sushi -- tuna, no less -- and thought, "Really? She's going to be a mom?" Not everyone with children is fit to be a mother. The universe might not know that, but I do.
"Isn't that really expensive?"
Yes, it is. While we're talking about it, how much was that five-bedroom house you just bought, and how much did you throw down for that Lexus? My money is none of your beeswax, just like yours is none of mine. Unless you're treating at Panera the next time we meet for salads, in which case, thank you in advance.
"You already have one child. Why do you need another?"
This is not my situation, but I've heard this doozy gets thrown around a lot. A lot of parents want more than one child, mostly so family team sports can have an even number of players. Also, so there is more than one person to decide one day that it's best to move you into an old folks' home.
"Are you going to be like Octomom?"
Yes; yes I am. I am going to be exactly like her. In every way. I'm so glad to be having a conversation with someone who really gets me.
"Maybe you're just too old to have a baby."
You're never too old to give up on your dreams. You still haven't given up on wearing leggings as pants, and that has nothing to do with age. Just poor taste. So, thank you for inspiring me to reach for the stars!
"I bet when you stop with the treatments, you'll get pregnant."
OMG! I am going to get my Harvard-trained physician on the phone right now and let him know you've cracked the case. The conversation will go something like this: "Doc? It's me. Listen, we've gotta cancel the IVF. That's right. I know I have 18 follicles ready to burst, but this lady in my book club said the highest success rates do not come from medical advancements, but from doing nothing."
"Just enjoy your freedom!"
I know you truly mean well when you say that. I understand that couples without kids can go on vacations with much less planning than those who do have them. But making the argument that being able to pack up and head to a Sandals resort on a whim is a better place to be in than having rightful heirs to my prized snow globe collection is... wait. Let's call this one a tie.
"I could never give myself all those shots."
Really? Even if you had diabetes? Or were in anaphylactic shock from a stray almond shard and required an EpiPen? I'm not doing this recreationally. There is something wrong with my lady-plumbing, and I am taking medication to try to correct it. And it actually hurts less than the mental anguish I'm suffering as a result of your ignorance.
"Just relax and you'll get pregnant."
So, it's my fault, huh? And all this time I thought it was because my high FSH levels were indicating that something might be off with my egg reserve. You should really share this little nugget of wisdom with people on the kidney donor list, too. I they'll find it really helpful. Also, you win a seasonal fruit basket for being the 1,000th person to ever say this to me.
And the #1 thing you should absolutely say to someone going through infertility treatments:
"I support you."