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Infertility Ettiquette


It’s been 2 amazing years since my daughter was born. When I look back at my pregnancy with her I can’t believe how stressful it was. At first, we didn’t think the pregnancy would be viable and I had to go on progesterone injections for 3 months to sustain it. I was very lucky to have 2 nurse friends give me the injections on opposite days. After that, I found out my daughter had an Echogenic focus on her heart. Fortunately that turned out not to be life threatening.  Then, when we thought we were out of the woods we found out I had Placenta Previa and was placed on modified rest.

Oh wait, it gets better. After my previa diagnosis I flunked my glucose test (I guess I didn’t study for it, ha!), so I had to take the 3 hour test. And guess what? I flunked that too. So I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes and was put on a diet. And you know what? That didn’t work. So I was put on insulin. That meant I had to go in for monitoring twice a week. Finally they decided to take my daughter by c-section a few weeks early but they wanted to do an amnio first. So, I went in for the appointment, got all prepped and they decided to do a last minute ultrasound only to find out my previa had moved! What???  No amnio and I had to wait another 2 weeks for my c-section. But it was OK. I was happy she was doing well and growing.

I finally got to meet her 1 week before her due date and even after all that stress and uncertainty I would do it all over again. You see, trying to conceive my daughter was no easy feat. We had 2 miscarriages and went through years of infertility.

We were pretty private about our struggle, but I learned a lot during that time. Since you never really know what someone is going through, don’t assume. Just because someone had a successful pregnancy, doesn’t mean they have the ability to easily conceive again. I had my first son with no issues and then struggled with number 2 and 3.

Also don’t assume that having healthy children reduces the desire to grow your family.  If you do know of someone going through infertility here are a few pointers:

  • Don’t tell people to relax and then it will happen.
  • Don’t say “Well, you already have X amount of healthy children”
  • Don’t minimize the problem
  • Don’t say there are worse things that could happen
  • Don’t say It wasn’t meant to be
  • Don’t ask why they aren’t trying IVF. Some people take second mortgages out on their house to pay for IVF.
  • Don’t push adoption
  • Don’t ask why someone with just 1 child lives in such a big house. You don’t know what their plans are or were.
  • Let them know that you care
  • Remember them on Mother’s Day. Even just a quick phone call to say “I know this is a tough day for you” will be appreciated.

On the flip side, if you are the one experiencing infertility and people are asking you “when you are going to have a baby?”, here are a few good comebacks. Keep in mind some of these are pretty snarky but they will definitely get your point across:

  • We are still practicing
  • Why do you ask?
  • Working on it
  • It’s not for lack of trying!
  • Well, (wink wink) I’ll share what goes on in my bedroom if you share what goes on in yours
  • When dear daughter or dear son’s college account is fully funded
  • It’s too painful to discuss
  • I wish we could
  • We’re saving for a boat

Do you have any witty comebacks to share?

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  1. Love this post Melodi! If only everyone could be sensitive to others…
    You never know someone else’s journey

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this personal story. I am all too familiar with these struggles. I am blessed to have 3 healthy children after 8 extremely stressful pregnancies. Thanks for the tips and my favorite comeback is “We’re saving for a boat”!!!

  3. This was such a good article for all mom’s to read. These tips are so helpful!

  4. I have to admit, I am guilty of saying innappropriate things. I think the greatest advice is to just shut up and think before you speak.

  5. I am always sensitive to people trying to have a baby. I have had two awful pregnancies, one ending with a stillborn. I realize plans don’t always go as planned. It’s life’s greatest gift when a baby is born.

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