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People Say the Darndest Things on Infertility

There was a television show “Kids Say the Darndest Things” which was hilarious. They interviewed kids and would say typical child misunderstandings. Maybe this could embarrass a parent but they were kids who did not know any better.

People talk without thinking or are clueless how to act in some situations. This is a continuation of the series of posts on things my wife or I have heard on foster care, infertility, miscarriage, adoption, and suicide. We have heard most of these more than once. I really am not trying to call anyone out or embarrass and I have said stupid things way too many times. My hope is if you catch yourself thinking anything similar, you’ll stop and find something more useful to do.

  • You know your baby has no soul.” – I am no expert, but I have read the Bible. I do not recall reading this passage; perhaps because it does not exist. The Bible explicitly says otherwise “For all have sinned..” (Romans 3:23) “… that whoever believes in him…” (John 3:16).
  • If it is meant for you to have kids, it will happen.” – Follow this ‘logic’. If you are meant to have them then you could go without sex and still get pregnant? I heard this occurred once but is not generally regarded to occur otherwise. Kids whose parents die should not have adoptive parents? Do you leave the infant at the scene of the car wreck? God controls birth rates but cannot control medicine or IVF? I’m unsure what people are trying to say here.
  • Kids are a blessing from God. What have you done wrong?” – I am no saint, but I am forgiven yet you think the despicable tyrants with children are blessed. Thanks. 
  • This is nature’s way of population control.” – Instead of anthropomorphism, I prefer the scientific gospel explanation. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) because of living in a fallen world. Yes, I know life is not fair and I will not blame “mother nature”.
  • When are you going to have kids?” – She is taking Clomid. We use the Basal Thermometer Method to organize when we “do it” (because it does not feel intimate or passionate when counting hours and temperatures). We follow a doctor prescribed schedule for months. Maybe you can tell me when we will have kids? Seriously, family planning is intimate and, after trying a while, this question reinforces the belief it may never happen.
  • You know how babies are made, right?” – Yes, see above. It is rude say this and not funny. If you think this, even if you are good friends and mean nothing ill by it, keep it to yourself.
  • You can always adopt.We adopted, and it is not like going to Publix and picking up a carton of milk. Adoption is a hard process and made more difficult by adoption laws, fickle birthmothers, many expenses, and a lot of other stuff.
  • You have your career.” – Great give me your baby and then you can go get a career. This is a way of minimizing or dismissing the couple’s desire.
  • Just think of all the freedom you have with no children.” – We would rather be tied down with no freedoms than to be childless.
  • Who’s fault is it you can’t have kids.” – Does it matter? 

I have a special section for pregnant friends and family. It is bad enough when we hear strangers saying things but when the person knows you are trying or have tried for years to have a child, these are rough:

  • I just wish this baby would come already.” – We don’t want to hear this especially if you have over a month left. REALLY? You want your baby right now? Many couples have experienced just what you are asking and can tell you the results are not as good.
  • I hate being fat.” – Most infertile couples would gain weight to have a child. If you are making healthy choices, most of the weight is your child, its placenta, and your body preparing to feed it.
  • I hate morning sickness.” – Infertile couples would spend 9 months hugging the toilet seat 24 hours a day if it meant they could have a healthy baby.
  • Sex just isn’t the same.” – You are having a baby. The sex worked correctly. Try the regimen we go though above and then we can chat.
  • Are all of these doctor appointments necessary?” – Yes! Infertile couples would love to be at doctor appointments discussing their growing child. Doctor appointments discussing different options to have a child are not fun and usually not covered by insurance.

Infertility nearly wrecked our marriage. If you know us or know all the things we have survived, you know I do not say this lightly. Please be careful what you say to people. You do not know what they may be experiencing. Saying these things, or anything similar, can hurt deeply.

Ask questions about how to talk about Foster Care, Adoption, Miscarriages, Infertility, and Child Loss. I will have a post on what people have said for each one. Ask what is appropriate or how to help a loved one through it in the comments below or private message. Have you heard other cliches?

Thanks to Donna Lloyd for helping me remember some quotes.
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Published inParenting

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