Wondering on Wednesday?

Probably, by far, one of the most frustrating pieces of “advice” people gave me while going through infertility was to stop stressing, and it will happen.  When others would say this to me, it was like they alone had the magic answer to my problem.  If you know anything about infertility though, you know that stress alone is never the only contributing factor as to why pregnancy doesn’t occur easily.  I realize stress can play a role in this circumstance, but I also know that stop stressing and it will happen was not the magic answer to our prayers.

However, I did start praying that people would stop giving me unmerited advice and stop telling me to stop stressing.  Stress is a part of our daily lives.  Stress is something every single person has experienced. We know that there is both good stress and bad stress, that people handle stress differently and that stress can affect us physically, mentally and emotionally all differently too.

Knowing that I am a worrier by nature and stress easily, I do wonder sometimes how my stress played a role in our infertility.  However, that is the key to this…I know it had to have played a small role but I know it was not the bigger piece to our puzzle.  I feel like this is a question I will never know the answer to, but often wonder.

Most people are in denial about baby making.  We are taught when we grow up that we have sex and boom you can get pregnant when in fact, making a baby is a very complex thing.  We only have a small window of time each month where a baby can actually be made.  Everything has to be in sync for this to take place and this is right down to the right environment of the women’s uterus for an embryo to stick and for a baby to then start to grow and thrive.  Bottom line is, there are many factors to infertility and stress alone is not the main culprit for a couple struggling.

It truly saddens me every single time I hear that another person was either given this advice or I hear it being said in conversation.  It is truly cringe worthy and I’m having a harder and harder time keeping my mouth shut when I hear it being said.  I feel like I need to step up to the plate and educate people on what is the reality of someone struggling with infertility and the potential causes.

I am wondering also, why this piece of advice is given so often being the first thing someone says when the topic of infertility arises?  Do people actually think they are being supportive giving it?  I am going to caution you that it is one of the least supportive things you could say to someone struggling with infertility.  In actuality, upon hearing this from you, the person on the receiving end has shut down internally because all they really heard is “You think this is my fault”. Being a direct recipient of this advice myself, and if you are a person who has given it or gives it or is about to gives it or is even thinking it, I am going to forewarn and advise you to just knock it off! Stop saying this to someone struggling with infertility.  It is simply and awful thing to say.

For those of you currently struggling with infertility or have struggled in the past, I am wondering if you have been given this “advice” by someone (if you haven’t, I would honestly be shocked)?  If so, how did you interpret it?  How does it make you feel hear upon hearing it?  How do you handle it when it is said to you?  Also, what are your overall thoughts about how stress and infertility go hand in hand? I want to know!!!

In the meantime, check out this article on Mediation and Relaxation techniques posted on the resolve.org website:

http://www.resolve.org/support/Managing-Infertility-Stress/meditation-relaxation.html?referrer=https://www.facebook.com/

I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this middle of the week wondering Wednesday discussion!

 

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3 thoughts on “Wondering on Wednesday?

  1. You’re right on the money. I’ve heard a LOT of people say that, especially to certain friends I know who tried a long time. Heck, I might even be guilty of saying that. But wow, you are right that it does kind of blame the mom for stressing out (as if we moms can help being stressed. I mean, hello!!). Usually people don’t know what to say, and being sympathetic should not include that phrase. What would you say? Maybe “What can I do to help?” Or just give them a hug and say, “I’m here for you, friend.” and “I”ll pray for you and your husband.”

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    • You are completely right in that people do not know what to say. This tends to be a pretty unspoken about topic overall and I think up until recently, I rarely heard anyone talk about it openly. It is hard to be empathetic in a situation one knows nothing about if they haven’t truly walked in the shoes themselves. That being said, you are right on the money on what to instead say. Sometimes saying nothing at all is appropriate and just giving that person a ginormous hug and along with that simply say, I’m here to support you in any way you need me too. You could say, I’ve never dealt with infertility firsthand or known anyone I am close with that has dealt with it either so I don’t really know what to say, except I am sorry you are struggling. Praying is a wonderful thing to say to someone. I actually had an amazing friend pray with me during this time and it was very uplifting. There are tons of articles out there on what NOT to say to your infertile friend. Personally, trying to offer me that “don’t stress and it will happen” bit not only makes me feel like you think it’s my fault, but it also makes me feel like someone is trying to give me an answer or a quick fix to a problem that is complex, not simple. It’s hard, I know people do mean well and may even feel awkard or not know what to say in this circumstance (I do get that)…it just makes me wonder though why this is the first thing someone typically offers in advice to another who is struggling. What in our society makes someone think that eliminating stress will make a person have a baby?

      I appreciate your comment, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I’ve seen a lot a posts and articles lately about fertility issues and struggles and I think it’s GREAT to see this once taboo subject being acknowledged. It actually does happen, and yes, we need to learn about it and learn how to help each other.
        When someone says an insensitive comment, I’m usually too shocked to say to them, “Did you just hear what you said?” … but I’m always tempted. Otherwise, how will they learn?

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