My wife and I’s journey to become parents was a bit of a long one. Not necessarily in the actual trying part of it (we got lucky on that one) but certainly in the time I took to research our reproductive systems, logistics of creating a baby with donor sperm, the legal side of things, and even my own body. This process, honestly, was about 2 years from start to finish. From when I first started my research until we got our BFP (big fat positive on a pregnancy test).
In this time I got involved in many different online groups that were solely focused on women TTC (trying to conceive). While I learned a wealth of information from these ladies I also saw many things that made me cringe. A lot of it had to do with misinformation, but we will get to that on another post. But there were many things that were said that you just shouldn’t say to a woman TTC. Granted, I know most of these were said with good intentions. I don’t believe most of them were said out of spite or maliciousness. But hopefully this post makes you think twice about making one of these comments to someone struggling with fertility or even someone just starting out.
1. It’ll happen when you least expect it.
When you are TTC, it literally consumes you. So trying to “not expect it” is close to impossible. Even if you put down the OPKs (ovulation predictor kit) and the Basal Body Thermometer, quit checking your CM (cervical mucus) and just stop tracking all together. You will STILL be expecting it. It’s always going to be a thought in the back of your head. So saying this is just a waste of your time.
2. Just Relax
This is my biggest one that I hate. Kind of like the previous one it is very hard to just relax. Someone will come at you and tell you their brother’s best friend’s cat’s cousin just quit trying and relaxed and boom! They were pregnant. It was merely a coincidence. Relaxing can certainly help your mental state of course, but I’m betting a person TTC is already trying to relax the best they can so telling them to do that is probably just going to stress them out more.
Also, if you are ovulating regularly then you really don’t have to worry about the relaxation part of it anyway. Stress CAN delay ovulation but if you are having normal cycles, it’s not something you need to be worried about. The only thing you need to worry about is relaxing enough to achieve the big O when the big day comes to make sure all those little swimmers get up to where they need to be. If you can do that, you’re golden.
3. God didn’t Mean for you to have Kids
Ok, I’m about to get religious with you all. I am a spiritual person and I believe in god. However, I do not believe for one second that God would purposely put a person through that kind of pain. If he does, he’s not the kind of God that I want to believe in. Honestly.
When you are trying to have a baby, generally, you are not just doing it for s**ts and giggles. You are doing it because it’s one of your deepest desires. Something you want more than anything in this world. And for someone to tell another person that their creator doesn’t want them to achieve their deepest desires is so incredibly wrong. Please don’t say this. Ever.
4. Shouldn’t you lose some weight (or gain it) before you start TTC?
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t bring up someone’s weight like ever. Just don’t do it. Odds are the person knows their weight issue. Trust me, as a big girl, I know I need to lose some weight. Do you really think I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say “oh how perfectly healthy I look!”. No, I don’t. So no matter how “concerned” and feel you are doing it in their best interest. Just don’t.
When I was doing my research I was also trying to lose weight. It didn’t happen. TTC consumed me. We were also planning a wedding. That consumed me. It was a really difficult time to focus on it. Plus, I was ovulating like normal so my weight didn’t seem to be hindering the actual TTC process. It’s been proven that overweight women can have perfectly healthy pregnancies and so can underweight women.
I can guarantee whoever you try to say this to is trying to work on it. They really are, for the health of their unborn baby. So this comment is really unnecessary and almost rude.
5. Are you sure you want one?
Usually people follow this one up with things like “I haven’t slept in 7 years” or “mine just smeared poop all over the wall” or other woes of parenting. More than likely the person TTC has a general idea of what goes into parenting. The good and certainly the bad. But obviously they think it’s worth it. So yes, before you ask, they are sure.
6. You have 1 boy and 1 girl. Do you really need another?
I’ve never really understood this concept like I guess procreating is all about making sure you get one of each gender. I just can’t wrap my brain around it. But really, no matter how many kids a person has, if they have the means to have another you really shouldn’t comment on their family size. And the reason someone wants another or one to begin with is really none of your business or concern.
7. Just be Happy with the Ones you Have.
Of course the person trying for more is happy with the ones they have and loves them more than life itself. But is it really so wrong for them to want another? For their kids to have siblings? No. It’s not. And just like the one above. It’s none of your business what their family size is.
8. Be Glad you don’t Have Kids.
I think this one is just plain insensitive. So a person is suppose to be happy the one thing they want in this world is not coming to be? Or not coming as quickly as they had hoped? No. Rude.
9. You can always Adopt.
I’m pretty positive most people TTC who have been in the process quite some time know about adoption. Adoption can be a lengthy and costly process. So is it really such a bad thing for them to keep trying for a miracle while they do more research on that process and obtain those funds to do so? Is it really so bad for someone to want to experience creating their own flesh and blood? Pregnancy and birth are such a unique and special experience. I know there’s several people out there who want nothing to do with it, and that’s perfectly ok. But it shouldn’t be a bad thing for people to desperately want to experience it as well.
10. You are too Young/Old.
If a person has the means, it doesn’t matter if someone’s fresh out of college or over 40. When someone chooses to create a family is none of your concern. (catching on to a theme here?)
11. You can just have One of Mine.
No, we definitely don’t want one of yours. We want our own. That’s kind of the point.
Ok. So that’s it. So hopefully if you are ever talking with someone about their TTC struggles, I hope none of these slip out. The best thing you can do for them is to just be there. Be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and someone to cheer on their successes.