I was discouraged the other day when a friend who had gone through a lot to get pregnant (numerous miscarriages, surgery, a couple years of waiting) announced the joyful news that she was expecting and another woman who had also gone through a lot infertility-wise made a remark along the lines of, “I can’t believe you ever worried that you wouldn’t get pregnant. What you went through was nothing compared to what I went through.” I was paraphrasing. It didn’t come out quite that harsh but it was close.
On one hand, I can see where she was coming from. Her infertility was never explained, it took over five years before they were able to become pregnant and that was though IVF. And everybody who’s gone through infertility knows that it’s difficult to hear when someone else is pregnant.
On the other hand, I kind of wanted to slap her.
Although everybody who can’t conceive naturally within a year of trying religiously is bundled under the fun label of infertile, all of our stories are widely different. Some of the issues are easily fixed within a couple months while others wait years. Some of the issues are explained and some aren’t. Some of us end up experiencing the joy of pregnancy and some of us do not. But just because your journey was longer and what you presume as more difficult, doesn’t make the pain of infertility any less for another person.
Please recognize that and keep your hurtful comments to yourself. We’re in this together and we all need support not resentment.
image: Sydney Poulton