A Family Discussion

Christmas morning involved tears and a big family discussion about infertility. After I said we were really excited to give one of our gifts, an eager family member exclaimed, “Are you pregnant?!”

I had specifically told that person the day before that I was not pregnant. “No. I already told you I’m not, but thanks for reminding me of the fact,” I less-than-graciously responded. This snarky comment immediately produced tears, and I felt like a jerk. We quickly apologized and hugged, then the whole family talked. It was a very open and helpful conversation.

The infertility journey is mysterious to everyone, including the couple and the people around them. The couple can withdraw and become overly sensitive, while others can say hurtful things or stay away in fear of offending them. As a family, we reached two conclusions:
  1. Never ask a woman if she is pregnant. If she is, let her tell you in her own time and her own way. Don’t ruin her surprise. If she isn’t, you will cause pain. A person dealing with infertility has to tell herself and her husband every month that she is not pregnant. Don’t make her say it again.
  2. Ask questions. There is no good way to insert “so, we’re still infertile” into a conversation. However, it can be a huge part of the person’s life. Give them an opportunity to talk about it. Some couples may not be willing to talk openly about infertility. Asking a gentle question at least shows you care and gives them an outlet if they want one.
We are so blessed to have family members that are supportive of and involved in our lives. I am convinced that few families would be willing to touch the infertility topic, let alone delve into it like we did. We are very thankful.