Unbearable: ‘You Just Need To Stop Trying’ & Other Things Not To Say To Someone Trying To Conceive

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

I’ve gotten to the point in my conception journey where I dread discussing it with friends and family. In the beginning, I had no problem admitting that we wanted to have another child. In the first couple months, it was all exciting and full of hope. Back then, I didn’t mind the odd question of when we were going to give our daughter a sibling. “Hopefully soon,” I’d reply with a smile.

But as time went on, the conversations took a negative turn. I began avoiding them altogether. My infertilty became my own personal struggle. I kept the whole thing private, strictly so I would stop hearing the following phrases.

  • You just need to stop trying. I cannot put into words how insulting and belittling this phrase is. I’m thrilled that your next-door-neighbor’s cousin’s secretary got pregnant right after she’d finally given up or decided to adopt. But the fact of the matter is that some people do have to try to get pregnant. Some people have to try for years, with the help of doctors. That’s just the way it works sometimes.
  • Everything happens for a reason. I appreciate your belief in destiny and fate. I hope it gives you some comfort when your favorite team loses the big game. But thinking that I’m going through a whole lot of turmoil and emotional trauma for a reason doesn’t make me feel better. Surprising, I know.
  • Stressing about it just makes it harder. Thank you for this bit of wisdom! I can’t believe my doctor didn’t tell it to me earlier. I’ll definitely remind you of this next time you’re having problems with a life-altering decision. I’m sure it will make it easier.
  • Why can’t you just adopt? Adoption is a wonderful and admirable process. It’s also a very personal decision. And adopting can be just as long and tedious of a process as fertility treatments and IVF. But in the end, deciding that you want to have your own baby instead of adopting is private, and not something that other people get to randomly ask.
  • It’s all part of God’s plan. Even better than, “Everything happens for a reason,” now even God doesn’t want me to have a child. In fact, apparently he planned for me to be miserably depressed.
  • My husband just kisses me and I get pregnant. Yay for Fertile Myrtle. I’ll remember that when I’m peeing on fertility tests and laying on my back for a half hour after everytime my husband and I get it on. On a schedule. In the right position.
  • What’s wrong with you? Well, there could be a whole host of problems. None of which I feel comfortable discussing with you. None of which I think you actually want to hear.
  • At least you guys get to have lots of sex. First of all, I’m married. I get to have lots of sex no matter what. And yes, sex is always fun. But trying to get pregnant is a lot more than sex. Trying to have a baby, and failing at it, that’s not really what most people would classify as fun. It’s heart-wrenching. So forgive me if I’m not thrilled about all the great sex.