Please don’t get me wrong, I know that the following sentence is meant with all the love, goodwill, and sympathy in the world, and I know that people are just trying to relate and help you feel less alone. However, “I know how it feels, it took us *insert months here* to conceive” is one of those sentences that makes me want to get up and scream “IT’S NOT THE SAME” very loudly in your face. I know you’re just trying to relate to what’s going on in my life, and I know it’s because you haven’t been through it that you’re desperately searching for the right words to say, but just please don’t say anything.
Unless you’ve had fertility issues yourself that sentence can be incredibly hard to hear. I get that trying for a baby for ‘so long’ must have been tough for you and believe me I understand I really do, but it isn’t the same. I know I sound harsh but you haven’t been poked and prodded within an inch of your life to try and find out what’s ‘wrong’ with you. You haven’t had the endless heartbreaking doctors appointments followed by hysterical sobbing in the car before you can drive away. You haven’t had to see that look in your partners eyes when you tell him that you’re probably never going to be able to give him a baby. You haven’t taken pregnancy test after pregnancy test knowing full well they’ll be negative and then cried on the bathroom floor because they only confirmed what you knew anyway. You have never put your body through hell with diets/changes/medications because ‘they might work’ to then find that they’ve failed. What you’re saying to me is really not the same.
However, I am grateful that you’re trying to be sympathetic, I honestly am. It’d sort of be like you telling me that you’d broken your leg and me replying with “I know how you feel I twisted my ankle once” it’s similar but not really the same at all. I don’t want to come across that I’m being rude or that I’m ungrateful for any support that’s given, it’s just hard a lot of the time. All the time actually, and it never seems to get any easier.
Some times silence is a valid response to a friend telling you about their fertility struggles. We wont judge you I promise. In fact we’d prefer you stayed quiet and just gave us a hug instead of you saying something that could potentially upset us. We know it’s meant with good intentions and that you would probably never want to upset us on purpose, but these things happen. We all say the wrong things occasionally and that’s okay, that was the whole point in me writing this ‘series’ – to educate others so that they can comfort instead of upset.