July 19, 2013

PCOS to Pregnancy: What not to say to a woman struggling with infertility

In all the years we've spent dealing with infertility, I've heard it all. Some people know our full situation and other's don't. You encounter so many people's thoughts and opinions on your situation. Some of them are helpful, some are hurtful, and some will just make you full of rage! I realize that putting my personal life out of the internet, I'm opening the door for comments, but even before I blogged, I heard it all from everyone. Let's break down what I've come face to face with over the years:

"I don't know what to tell you, I'm just a Fertile Myrtle!"
This comment is one of the worst and one that makes me the maddest! Another variation of this is..."we just decide to get pregnant and it happens." If you have said this to someone struggling to get pregnant, please stop now and promise to never say it again. Your comment isn't helpful and all is does it remind me that I'm not blessed and lucky like you.

"Just stop trying and it will happen"
Okay, so yes, this has happened for some people. Sure, stress doesn't help the situation, but I have a medical condition. When you don't have periods or ovulate, just winging it isn't going to bring the best results. Yes, miracles happen, I know, but the chances of me getting pregnant on my own verses a completely normal, healthy woman are slim.

I think this one hurts the most. When you have friends and family that know your situation but never want to talk to you about it, it hurts. I spend a lot of my time crying over our situation. It would be helpful if these people acted like they cared. I realize that you may not know what to say, so you think saying nothing is best, but I promise, a hug, an "I love you", an "I'm sorry", anything to make you think you really cared about what I'm going through would be better than nothing.

The next one is an actual I comment I received from one of you...
"*hugs* I didn't have any hurdles when we were trying and it was hard for me to be patient. I can't imagine what you are going through. I hope you get positive news at your appointment."
In that comment, I felt her hug and love for me! I've never even met her and I felt like she really cared. She said she didn't have any hurdles, but she said it in a way that wasn't insensitive. She found a way to relate to me as a woman yearning for a baby and used that as a connection. This comment is just proof that even if you don't struggle with infertility, there are still ways you can have a conversation with someone who does.

In the midst of all the negative or hurtful comments, I have received such an outpouring of love and prayers from so many of you. Thank you! I really hope that this series has been helpful for those of you struggling with infertility and eye opening to those of you who don't struggle with it. Perhaps it will make it easier for you to love on someone struggling.

I'm Jenny, the mama behind the blog Cloth Diaper Revival.   I'm a stay at home mom to Noah and a wife to Chas, the cloth diapering dad.  I used to be a 3rd grade teacher until I was blessed with the birth of my first child, Noah. I'm currently trying to conceive my second child while struggling with infertility due to PCOS. This series covers my journey and my experiences along the way.


Sadly, even referring to yourself as blessed, doesn't help those with PCOS who have not had a successful pregnancy and birth. Are they not blessed?

Not at all! I only say that I feel thankful because I know so many women who haven't been fortunate to have a successful pregnancy and birth. I feel like I get judged by some of these women that haven't been in that situation because I do have a son. I just wanted to acknowledge that yes, I know that having my son is a gift, but that doesn't make yearning for another one any easier.

To Anon: I'm quite certain that was NOT the point. I have PCOS and struggled to get pregnant with my last two. I was very fortunate. My distant cousin also has PCOS. She hasn't been so lucky as of yet.

If anything, people who get lucky and DO get a baby with PCOS should give hope to others like us that are still struggling. We show that no matter how hard or how painful it can be, it can still happen.

To Jenny: No, the wanting doesn't get easier. It doesn't matter if you have one or none or one hundred. The longing is still there, regardless. I'm still hoping that this month is your month!

I'm sorry you're hurting. I hope that the comments I've made haven't been hurtful. I feel so blessed right now to be pregnant again after our loss, which hurt so much worse than the months we spent trying. I don't know how pcos feels, but I hope that it does get better for you and that good things come your way.

Jill, you haven't said anything wrong that I can think of. Thank you for your comment! I have been routing for you, especially after your loss. So happy for you (but still a little jealous) :)