Anything that starts with JUST or ends in AT LEAST……..won’t fix infertility OR comfort someone who is struggling to fall pregnant.
If I had a dollar for every time I was told to JUST relax on my 7-year fertility journey, I’d be a millionaire. And if it had been true, I would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.
There are a couple of things wrong with this statement. You see, firstly, I am your typical type A personality – motivated, goal focused, and process driven. On top of that, I was raised by a single mum of 3 children and can count on one hand how many times I saw my mum sit down and JUST RELAX. Combine my personality with my upbringing, and relaxing is something that I find extremely foreign.
Now that I’m a little older and a little wiser, I’m getting comfortable with the concept. But if you tell a woman who is working her butt off to fall pregnant. A woman who is researching fertility supplements, monitoring ovulation, reading the books and doing ALL the things, to JUST relax? You may want to stand a little further back.
Not only is it condescending, but in this day and age, how many people do you know who have the time to just relax.
JUST relax is NOT the solution for infertility.
JUST go on a holiday.
After we’d been struggling to fall pregnant for 6 months, we went on a holiday to New Zealand. When I confided in one of my girlfriends of our disappointment month after month, she said, you just have to go on a holiday. I’m sure it will happen then. The whole time we were away, I was thinking……we’re on holiday, so we’ll fall pregnant now. I made sure we had lots of sex (even when we didn’t feel like it). I was waiting for it, expecting it. I’d put so much pressure on this holiday.
In the end, I didn’t fall pregnant, and it ruined our holiday.
I am proof that JUST going on a holiday is NOT the solution for infertility.
JUST make it fun.
I thought making a baby would be fun. You JUST have sex, right? We started trying to conceive on our honeymoon. Now that was fun. But after the first few months, after calculating my ovulation date and having sex at specific times, it lost a little of the excitement. Sex became a chore – like taking out the trash.
Then after restricting my diet, doing acupuncture, cutting out alcohol and trying disgusting fertility teas and supplements, it stopped being fun. And then after jabbing myself in the stomach with a needle and going through IVF, it became unbearable.
The only people who think that all of the shit we put our bodies through is capable of being fun, are clearly sadists.
Infertility is NOT fun and this is not the solution either.
Anyone who has ever said this has watched too many movies or read too many gossip magazines. Yes, it may have looked easy for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, but it’s not as easy as JUST adopting. It’s not like Amazon, where you put in an order and a baby gets delivered. Adoption can take years of heart-ache and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So before throwing that around as a solution, perhaps a little more research (and compassion) is in order.
JUST keep trying.
Ok, this is a little insulting when someone is going month after month, blow after blow. There is nothing else to do but keep on trying. That is ALL you are doing. Despite it killing you, breaking you, and exhausting you. You ARE trying.
Whether you’ve being trying for 6 months or 6 years, JUST keep trying, is still really unhelpful advice.
JUST stop trying.
Well FUCK!! What is it – keep trying or stop trying?
And just STOP trying? Like its some sort of switch you can flick on and off?
Unfortunately, this advice is probably one of the most common AND the most ridiculous. For anyone who actually says this, I would like steps on HOW exactly you stop trying. When this is all you’ve dreamed of your whole life, you’ve already invested years and thousands of dollars, HOW is that possible? If you give the advice, you need to give further clarification.
And for me personally, this advice is quite annoying, because I actually DID fall pregnant when we stopped trying. But in my defence, the only reason we stopped trying was because we got our baby. THAT is the only way I can see that you’d be able to flick the switch off, and stop trying when you really are trying.
So there you have it –
Just relax, go on a holiday, make it fun, adopt, keep trying, stop trying.
And THEN it will happen.
Believe me, if it was THAT easy, it wouldn’t have taken us 7 years, 9 IVF cycles, two miscarriages, and a surrogacy arrangement.
For some of us, having a baby isn’t a matter of JUST.
And then we move to the AT LEAST comments.
AT LEAST the doctors haven’t found anything specifically wrong with you. No, this does not make me feel better about my unexplained infertility.
AT LEAST you are getting pregnant. Yes, I feel luckier having fallen pregnant, only to suffer loss after loss.
AT LEAST you can afford IVF. Oh yes, I’m so blessed I can afford to put my body through trauma and inject myself in the stomach.
AT LEAST you found a surrogate. Yep – even though I have dreamed of seeing my bulging belly grow and feeling my baby kick inside me since I was a little girl, I’m so grateful I have found someone else to experience that for me.
Trying to be grateful and see the positives in the treatments and the things we are putting ourselves through is a nice idea. But at the end of the day, we don’t have to feel lucky or positive or grateful.
We don’t have to feel guilty, because someone else has it so much worse than us.
You get to say that this sucks.
The simple fact is that there will always be someone who doesn’t know what to say. So, they will tell you to JUST________ or AT LEAST___________.
But at the end of the day, it is ok to admit that you JUST don’t know what to say.
Here's what you CAN say. It's simple really.
It is ok to say that you’re sorry.
And ask if they need a hug.