My husband and I haven't been super public with our current situation, but a handful of people know, so we have had some really great and some truly terrible conversations about this whole baby-making process. It's not a fun topic by any means, but here are my do's and don't's for these conversations.
  1. Do not say: "Well, I know it'll happen for you someday! It will!"
    I appreciate the sentiment, but you don't actually know that. Maybe we won't ever be able to conceive. Maybe we'll adopt. Maybe we'll be a family of two. But to say that you're so sure it will happen just reminds me of how unsure I am, and God knows I think about that enough without additional reminders.
  2. Do not say: "Are you the one that's the problem or is it your husband?"
    Oh here, let me give you all of my medical records to peruse 😡That is just the worst thing to say. Also, I feel like there is way more judgment when there are male fertility issues present (thanks, society) and it's absolutely not anyone's business.
  3. Do say: "This sucks. I'm sorry you're going through this."
    It's similar to when someone passes away; just acknowledging that the situation is terrible and you feel bad for me goes along way.
  4. Do not say: "You can just adopt!"
    That's a super personal decision that you absolutely cannot be casual about at all. Also, do you have a spare $30,000 lying around to fund that adoption? Didn't think so. While adoption is great for some people, it's not some sort of infertility band-aid.
  5. Do be mindful of invitations to baby showers, gender reveal parties 🤢, and kids' birthday parties
    You should still invite the person, because nothing is worse than your friends/loved ones opting you out of things before you even get a choice. For some people, it's too hard to be around these baby parties, and they'll decline the invite. For other people, it gives them hope or it can be a nice distraction. Give them the choice; they already feel isolated enough, don't pile it on even more.
  6. Do not say: "My friend's sister's hairdresser's tarot card reader's optometrist was struggling to get pregnant but then she did X and it worked!"
    Thanks, Dr. Phil. People with infertility see specialists who (hopefully) know what they are doing and have medical training/studies/knowledge to back up those choices. I'm not interested in your distant acquaintance's weird-ass bedroom habits.
  7. Do say: "How are treatments going?"
    Only do this if they have already told you personally about their struggles. Be receptive to their answer; if they change the subject, don't press for more. But sometimes I do want to talk about those things but I feel bad bringing it up in case the person doesn't care or feels uncomfortable, and all I want is a "How are you holding up?"
  8. Do not say: "Just relax and it will happen!"
    Go fuck yourself. Would you say this to someone with a broken leg? Or with cancer? Only if you're a damn fool. Infertility is a disease and it's shitty and treating people like it's their fault for not doing something right is completely abhorrent.