Sunday, April 25, 2010


We all know by now that when you are going through a tough time, there is nothing like the support of people who have been through it. Without blogging and twitter and support from adoption and infertility friends, I am not sure I would have made it through the past few months.

With so much great support, you begin to open up and trust that you can talk about your feelings and that it is safe. You may even start to think you can talk to people outside of your support system. Which is great. It's great to be able to open up and not hide what you are going through. Infertility can be so isolating.

But, beware that when you open up to people who have no idea what you are going through, they can say awful things. Awful things that make you fight back tears until you can be alone and cry.

This past week was one of the hardest weeks I have had during our adoption wait. The children had off from school for spring break so I was working long hours and I was exhausted from the roller coaster of emotions that came from being profiled. Someone mentioned that I looked tired. I told her that it was a tough week for our adoption wait. I told her we were being profiled and it didn't work out. For about a second it felt good to talk about it. She then starts telling me a story about how one of her cousins just found out she is pregnant. That she didn't think it was possible to get pregnant because she did fertility meds to get pregnant the first time and they weren't even trying now. I couldn't figure out why she was telling me this story. She went on and on and then basically ended it by saying, "So, I've been praying for both of you." What?? What was the point of telling me that? Clearly I am never going to accidentally get pregnant. She is well aware of my lack of uterus. So, her story was to tell me how other people have it rough too? And her "rough time" story is someone getting pregnant accidentally when she didn't want to?

There was also a person who when I told her I had endometrial cancer, told me about her friend who really had cancer. Unlike my fake kind. I know how lucky I am that it was caught early and that all I needed was surgery. But, it doesn't change the fact that I lost my uterus to cancer. I honestly lost count of the number of times leading up to my surgery that she told me I was fine and acted like I was making a big deal out of nothing. All I had said was that I was scared of the surgery. Even my oncologist said he didn't know how advanced the cancer was until he went in. I was scared. But, I had to endure multiple conversations about how there were people in hospitals with real cancer.

I told one of the parents about it all over the phone. I needed to give everyone notice because I would be closing for two weeks to have the surgery and recover. The very next time I saw her after telling her I was having a hysterectomy, she told me she was pregnant. She went on and on about it and told me about how they bought onesies to decorate to give to their parents as a fun way to tell them they were pregnant. They hadn't even told their parents yet, but she had to tell me then? I barely held it together while she talked and then cried so hard as soon as she left. It wasn't that she was pregnant that bothered me. It was that she decided to tell me then and go on and on without any regard for what I was going through. She really thought I wanted to listen to her talk about her morning sickness?

You know what another person said to me when I told them? "I don't get it. What's the big deal? You couldn't have kids anyway, right? I mean, no offense."

Do you have any idea how many people have told me their abortion stories? Just in the past year two people have told me that they've had multiple abortions and that they were on birth control each time they got pregnant. I am not in any way judging their choices, but for pete's sake, why do people feel the need to tell me these things? Both times the women ended the conversation by saying something like, "Fertility is wasted on someone like me."

After seven years of trying to start our family, I've heard it all. I wish I had realized a long time ago that all my feelings are normal. That there are other people out there feeling the same way. That I didn't have to be alone for so many years.

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24-May 1, 2010.

If you would like more information about making #infertility a trending topic on twitter, please visit The Long and Winding Road.


  1. I've been where you are with the frustration and sorrow over people who "don't get it".

    AllI can tell you is this: it gets easier over time.

    I'm no longer bothered by pregnant parents, stories of abortion, lack of compassion, and the oh-so-popular-exlamation/question: Why would you want to adopt a teenager?!?"

    I tell myself they don't mean to be insensitive. Being fertile themselves, they don't understand the pain - they can't relate to it. Unless someone's hopelessly infertile, they don't understand. For most infertile couples, there isn't a magic "pow" that's going to happen...and for every story of a "miracle" baby (my brother's wife being one of those stories", there are countless stories similar to yours and mine.

    As my mother - who still tears up over my infertility - likes to say: "This, too, shall pass." It WILL get easier.

  2. Oh my god. I am so sorry. I think people sometimes lose the thread when someone gives them their own painful news. They try to fill up the air and give no thought to what they are saying.

    We got a lot of of "But you're still trying right?" and "I know someone who adopted and right after, they got pregnant!" Dio mio.

    Hang in there. There are a lot of people rooting for you!

  3. I am SO sorry! I really don't know what to say, that is so horrible. I sometimes (not always) take pleasure in the fact that these people are stupid. Sometimes I just cry. I've found most people aren't really listening, they're just waiting for their turn to talk. When I learn that's who they are, I avoid talking with them about anything important. I wanted to say good luck, but that doesn't seem like the right phrase, so I will just say I hope your adoption comes through very soon!

  4. Uuuuugggghhhhh. Why are some people so incredibly insensitive/boneheaded? I'm sorry about all of those comments. Sometimes people should just keep their mouths shut!

  5. I have to admit, I don't get it - not because I'm not sensitive about the topic of infertility, but because I have not been through what you, or anyone else has. To sit and pretend like I understand seems insensitive to me. But it amazes me that people feel the need to offer advice who haven't been through it, or make comments that show complete disregard for what someone has been through. I'm so sorry this woman seems to just be clueless, insensitive and rude. Even though people don't go through the same battles in life, we can have empathy for each other's battles!

  6. ugggh I swear people can be so freaking insensitive due to ignorance. Sounds like youve heard it all. Didnt think people were that ignorant

  7. This is absolutely terrible. I don't know why people think that because we have troubles having babies that people think we want to hear about their morning sickness or other crap. This is supposed to make us feel better? I'm so sorry you had to go through this.

  8. The really stupid thing about all of what those people said is that they probably sincerely THOUGHT they were being helpful or trying to cheer you up.

    I'd love to slap all of them for you.

  9. Wow! I am just speechless reading these stories! I am so sorry! It really hurts when people have the worst timing!!

  10. You have got to be kidding me? Where are these people from? The lack of caring and consideration is appaling!!! I am sorry.

  11. This post really hurt to read. Lisa, I am so sorry that people are this insensitive. The things that people have said to you are just outrageous and honestly? I feel sorry for those people. They obviously have no idea what it's like to go through what you've been through and they are stupid enough to think you'll want to hear about their pregnancies/babies/abortions/etc. It's sad to realize that people really ARE that stupid. They don't even mean well, they are just dumb.

    One of my very good friends had colon cancer and needed a hysterectomy as a result. What I am going through is tough, but when I think I just can't fight anymore, I think of Lisa (her name is also Lisa!) and I keep trying to move forward... and she always is the first one to remind me to never give up and the first one to ask how I am. Thank God we have each other. If we didn't, we'd all be surround by rudeness and insensitivity. And no one should have to go through this isolated like that.

    (((hugs))) I admire you so much. You are stronger than you know.

  12. There are so many people in this world that are MORONS! Good grief! Just because you can procreate, doesn't mean you deserve to be a parent! How insensitive of these people. I'm sorry that you had to face that head on. That just kills me that someone tells you things like that. I'm sorry for their stupidity! You are in my prayers and you are so freaking strong!

  13. So sorry. I know it is not easy. I am always amazed at the stupidity of others who truly do not "get it". Whether with infertility and/or adoption people can say the most incredibly stupid and insensitive things. I think sometimes people just don't know what to say and they might mean well, but nothing but hurtful words come out and they have no clue what their words have done.


  14. I am literally enraged on your behalf. Your story is EXACTLY why there needs to be better education and awareness (and a fucking sensitivity chip installed on people).

    I love you to death, you know how amazing I think you are. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Your strength gives me courage.


    PS: May I post a link back to this post on my post today?

  15. (Hugs) I am so sorry. I am so awestruck by her tactlessness. What audacity!

    (I found your blog through Busted Plumbing on FB.)

  16. I just don't understand people sometimes and the things they say! How could they all not realize what they were saying, and what it would do to you! I'm so sorry for all you've gone through and for what you've had to listen to!! It's not fair that those of us who have trouble conceiving or can't conceive have to deal with insensitive people.

    Thank you for the link to my blog and for putting my button up!! Hope we can make #infertility trending today!

  17. I wish awareness alone would solve this problem. But some people just don't understand how to have conversations tactfully. On any subject. Period. End of story. I'm afraid to tell my mother about my infertility because I know she'll just 'one up' me. I'll have to listen to all her stories of her miscarriages. And stories about anyone she knows who might be going through anything similar. She doesn't mean to be malicious - she just thinks that's how you hold a conversation. And I think she views our relationship as competitive just like her relationship with her sister. The consequence: Anything bad I go through, she (or someone she knew) went through worse. I've known this for years but every now and again I slip up and tell her something because I need Mom comfort. I made that mistake with my divorce. I will not do it again. I don't want to tell my mother anything until I'm either pregnant or in menopause (which will be arriving early).

  18. I know it hurts at the moment, and we can't control our feelings just our reactions to them. That's a fact. Feelings come and go. But their stupidity can't screw up your "happiness" or your present mood. Don't let them. You will always bump into insensitive, rude and stupid people. You can't avoid them, unless you lock yourself in the bathroom for the rest of your life. So the only way of dealing with them is to just ignore them, or if you feel like it, tell them that what they are saying is stupid and it doesn't help you at all in your situation.Tell them that it hurts you , and let THEM feel bad about what they just said. Not you.But don't let their stupidity leave a mark on your mood or your day or on you!!!
    Screw them all, and try to get the best out of your life and days! Lots of love to ya!
    Infertile or not, we only live once and our life is too short and our time is too precious to waste it on idiots!:)

  19. I'm visiting via BustedKate, and wanted to tell you I couldn't agree more with this post. During my five-year struggle with infertility, I heard so many insensitive comments that I could've (and probably should've!) filled a book. Why is it that when someone knows you're having trouble conceiving, it's like an open invitation for them to tell you how fertile they are? There were many times I had to restrain myself from slapping someone - including my own mother-in-law! - who said something like, "All my husband had to do was hang his pants over the bedpost and I'd get pregnant." Ugh!

    I guess people just don't know how to respond - but they need to know that when you're not sure what to say, silence is often the best option!

  20. Stopping by from Busted Plumbing & all I can say is wow, it's unbelievable that people have been so incredibly insensitive to you. You're a stronger woman that I, I don't know that I could have held it together & not screamed some education into their closed minds! Just wanting to send you some love & hugs:)

  21. Oh sweetie, how many times I have been in your shoes, I can not count. It's like people just don't GET infertility and all the emotions that are attached to it. I have read a little bit about your journey and you seem like an amazing person. Best of luck in your adoption journey. I hope you get to hold that new little memeber of your family in your arms soon.

    Followers welcome @

  22. Wow I can't believe people say these things. But what I can't believe is how you have kept your composure through all of those hurtful words. I give you a lot credit. I don't think I would have acted as graceful as you. You are awesome.

  23. There is nothing I can add to what has been said before by your other blog visitors. Because I am, in some senses, a step removed from where you stand, I have been known to cut someone off in the middle of their stream of hurtful babble and just stay "Stop. This isn't helpful." But when I was the IF woman, I did much the same as you and held both my temper and my tears, to be the one who walked the higher path.
    Check out my Fertility Support Tips on Twitter: this week I will gear them toward awareness of infertility.

    Lisa (ICLW #65 and on Twitter @yourgreatlife)

  24. People really don't think before they speak sometimes! Horrible! They try to relate in some way, but in the end they sound just dumb and insensitive. I'm sorry **hugs!**

  25. Oh my God ... I feel your pain. I hear the stories and how that they want me to come to their baby showers and they fully know what is going on with me. (TTC:7 years) I am sorry that people don't think. Thank you for your story .. I don't feel so alone. Thank you.

  26. OMG, some people seriously astound me with their lack of tact and common sense when talking to those of us dealing with infertility. *huge hugs*