This is a pretty long post, but one that anyone trying for a baby will probably relate to. It’s all the phrases which people say to try and make you feel better about your lack of a baby.
I do appreciate that it’s bloody difficult to know what to say to someone who is trying, especially if you’ve never experienced it yourself, and I do appreciate people trying to help, I really do. I’m also sure that before I was trying I said all of these things to people who were trying too, but i’m going to to throw them out there anyway…
My personal favourite has to be – ‘Just relax and it’ll happen’.
I know from personal experience that one of my pregnancies happened whilst I was more relaxed, as I was waiting to start taking Clomid, but telling someone to relax when they’re trying to get pregnant is like trying to tell someone not to shout whilst you slap them round the face with a wet fish. It just doesn’t happen.
‘At least you can get pregnant’
This is one which anyone who’s sadly experienced a miscarriage can relate to. There’s a lot of truth in this comment, so I appreciate the sentiment, but knowing that you can fall pregnant doesn’t help when you have nothing to show for it. Falling pregnant and miscarrying three times hasn’t made me feel better about being able to fall pregnant, it’s just made me bloody upset and scared that i’ll never be able to carry a baby to term.
‘My friend/sister/wife/cat tried for years and then had twelve babies in a row…’
This is an exaggeration, but basically when people try and be helpful by telling you someone else’s story of their triumph over adversity. Again, it’s wonderful that there are good news stories out there, and the media tell us these all the time, but when you’re in the depths of trying for a baby, it just feels like a kick in the teeth that someone else was lucky and you weren’t. It’s not that I don’t want other people to be happy, i’d love for everyone who wants a baby to have one, but it just brings it home once again that they have got their baby and I haven’t.
‘You can always adopt’
This is a tricky one, as I really don’t know how I feel about adopting yet. I’ve spent a long time thinking far ahead in the future about all of the baby stuff, but until I know what’s happening with all of our tests and ops I haven’t properly thought about adoption. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do, but it’s not for everyone, and the idea that you can just adopt if you can’t have your own baby doesn’t always work for everybody.
‘You’re welcome to have my kids!!’ (usually said when their children are scribbling on the walls/screaming/eating insects in the garden/not sleeping etc…)
Strangely, I find this one probably more upsetting than the others. I’ve spent enough time around children to know that even the most patient and loving of parents can have their patience tested by their kids sometimes, but when you’re trying for a baby you don’t imagine the crying, the shouting and the sleep deprivation – you just want what that parent already has – a child of their own. And the thought that even jokingly they’d give up their baby, always gets me – that just for a split second that parent has forgotten how amazingly incredibly lucky they are to have a healthy, happy child of their own.
‘You’re only 33 – you have plenty of time’
Again, this is a funny one. I know that nowadays women can have healthy babies well into their late thirties and forties, but that still doesn’t stop me wanting to have my baby sooner rather than later. Society has shown women that we can have children later now if we choose, which is great, but nature hasn’t quite caught up yet. I know that once I hit 35 my chances of things not working are much higher, so even though I have a bit more time, that biological clock shouts at me on a pretty regular basis.
Like I said, I really do appreciate people trying to help, but just wanted to throw a few of these out there. And if you’re reading this and know someone who’s trying for a baby, maybe just give them a cup of tea and a hug instead….