Anyone out there whom has dealt with infertility or is currently dealing with infertility knows that there are certain things that people say or ask that hurt. How do you deal with that? I struggled for a while with certain things that were said to me and I did not know how to cope with it. For a while, I clung to any comment that hurt or made me feel like my infertility was of my own doing. Below are some questions that I have been asked that have sometimes hurt my feelings or that I have seen and heard many other women say causes them pain to hear. I have listed Bible verses that I have found and written down for these questions and how my husband and I choose to answer them. If anyone is reading this and is not dealing with infertility but has asked someone with infertility these questions, DO NOT FREAK OUT. The questions below are truly innocent questions and if others are like me, they are hurt by the situation of their infertility and not necessarily the question and definitely not the person asking. Think about it like this. If I ask you how your day was and your day was truly horrible, you may feel sad or angry or upset by that question, but you are in no way upset at me for asking how your day was- the question simply brings up memories of a bad day. I am going to do this post in two parts. This is part one. Part two will focus on statements that we sometimes get after a miscarriage.
“When are you going to have children?” This is a question both my husband and I have been asked many times and it took us a while to get together an answer that explained our situation and that we were comfortable with saying. My husband and I have been married since May of 2013. I finished school and we both are in jobs that we are very happy with. From the outside looking in, it’s the perfect time for us to have children. Family, customers, and friends have asked the question, “When are you going to have children?”. What many don’t know when they ask is that we are struggling with infertility. When we first started having problems, I would clam up when someone asked me when I would have children and my husband would take over the answers. I truly just could not deal with it. Such a simple and innocent question hurt. Should it have hurt? No, it shouldn’t have. It was not the question that I was upset with, it was my situation. Ecclesiastes 3:11 is a good verse to remember when you are asked that question, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” My advice to others going through infertility is to talk with your spouse and decide how open you want to be with this question. Every couple is different and the way my husband and I handled it may not be what other couples are comfortable with. My husband and I decided that with family, we would let them know that I have PCOS and that we are struggling but we have been trying to have a baby. If they then want more information on what exactly the problem is and what we have tried, my husband and I decided to be transparent with that information. When I have someone new ask me, such as co-workers, ask if I have children and when I plan on having children, my response is typically that I had one child that I lost and we would have another when the time was right. Many times, that response takes care of all of the questions that would typically follow up if I had replied as I used to of “I don’t know when we will have children.” It took me a while, but I finally realized that none of this struggle is my fault. It was when I made that realization that I had more peace when people I encountered asked me when I would have children. This is simply an obstacle and as Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.” I will have a baby when God wants us to have a baby.
“Just relax and it will happen.” This one can be a little tricky. I feel that this is the question that has taken hold of me and bothered me the most. In some of my online groups, I see a post about that comment being said about once a week. For my case, we relaxed and tried to let it just happen for a year. It wasn’t until that progesterone test in February of 2016 that we really started to worry. Yes we had been taking ovulation tests prior to that, since July of 2015, but we weren’t too concerned. We honestly for a little while thought that maybe we just kept missing our fertile window, I mean it does happen. We didn’t fully understand what it meant when we were told we didn’t appear to be ovulating. This comment can hurt because it feels as if the person asking it is downplaying a real medical condition that is preventing me from becoming pregnant. Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” When someone tells me to relax, I try to remember this verse and I try to do as it says and be strong and not be afraid. I am reminded that I am afraid and dismayed at times and I question God at times. My advice to any couples struggling with when someone says to relax to you, remember that most likely, they are saying that to comfort you. Most couples without fertility problems don’t necessarily understand the medical or even anatomical aspect of your problem and don’t really know how to respond. If this comment upsets you greatly like it has me, remember Joshua 1:9 and don’t let your fear overtake you. Letting fear take a hold of you is a very easy thing to do in a situation like this.
“Why don’t you just take the fertility drugs?” My husband and I are currently on our 24th month of trying to conceive and have not yet started using fertility drugs. Why? There are several of reasons. One of the most common medications given to someone with PCOS to help conceive are metformin (which is also a medication for diabetes and one I do take) as well as Clomid. In May of 2016 we were offered Clomid. We debated for a while if this is something we wanted to do at the time and decided against it. (I will be making a post regarding what influenced our decision at the time and where we stand with that decision now as well as some of the risks and side effects of medications such as Clomid). That decision was a difficult one but it was right for us at the time for a variety of reasons. As we are now opening up the Clomid discussion again, we are leaning on Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” The decisions we have made are not easy. Choosing the paths we take with our treatment also can take a toll and that is why I am trying to pray about our decisions more, that way I can have peace with what we decide by knowing it is the right decision. If you are trying to conceive with PCOS and someone asks you why you don’t just use the fertility drugs, you can handle it one of two ways. One way is to just be honest- there are many risks with taking fertility medications such as Clomid and you would like to try some other things first. For my husband and I, we tried metformin and surgery and we were upfront with our families. The other way you can handle this is to say that it is a private decision between you and your husband and you aren’t comfortable discussing your treatment plans. Again, talk to your spouse over what you are and aren’t willing to share and who you are or are not willing to share information with. Every couple and every PCOS situation is different. Do what you feel you need to do and if you are a believer, pray about your decision. Never feel like you have to do what your doctor suggests. You can get a second opinion and you can ask for some time to make a decision or to try another treatment option first.
Stay tuned for part 2: Words that Hurt with a Miscarriage.