Pregnancy vs Infertility

On my old post – Infertility Etiquette – there have been some interesting comments lately. The majority of comments are absolutely amazing, but there recently has been an anonymous commenter that has sparked a lot of thought for me and another one of the commenters.

“I am sure it is hard for someone who is struggling with infertility, however the “message for pregnant women” bothers me. A pregnant woman shouldn’t have to feel guilty about being able to have a baby. If I’m pregnant, I can mention why I’m uncomfortable without feeling bad about it because I can have a baby and someone else cannot. I understand being sympathetic to someone who is infertile, but I also don’t think it should be the elephant in the room and the pregnant woman has to pretend she isn’t so she doesn’t offend someone.

This is like a married person not talking about anything relating to marriage with a non-married person. Being married, and having babies, is part of the circle of life. If I was having a baby, I would want to rejoice in it and not have to walk on eggshells about it.”

The one part about this comment is it doesn’t really talk about what the post was about. They aren’t talking about you rejoicing in your pregnancy or walking on eggshells. The post is talking about how pregnant woman complain about how they wish it was over, or other things like that when they aren’t close to the end. It is as if they are taking their blessing for granted.

They aren’t saying you can’t complain. The aches and pains of pregnancy, plus the hormones running through your system make your uncomfortable and pregnancy, especially near the end, is a very uncomfortable thing and you cannot wait to meet your baby. I have been there! I was excited about the procedures they were going to do and almost hoped that I would be put into labor or need a cesarean so I could meet the baby I had been carrying for almost 9 months.

In a growing world of Political Correctness, infertility has been passed up. Pregnancy is something people take for granted 99% of the time, and it is those times that make the infertile couples ache. After so long, pregnancy becomes this amazingly perfect place that an infertile couple cannot know, and therefore a beautiful myth that other women complain about. It tarnishes the dream little by little.

I understand pregnant women need to vent. Everyone needs to vent sometimes. But, if you know one of your friends is having trouble conceiving or has had one or more losses, don’t talk to them about it. Their journey is hard enough without their pregnant friends complaining about how awful pregnancy is.

So, anonymous commenter (I don’t like them, if you want to say something rude, at least have the decency to sign in or leave your name and not be a coward), read the posts better, and don’t get offended by what you think it meant. You are almost as bad as the infertile couples that complain about people that are TTC for under a year and don’t know how hard their struggle is.

We all need to learn to be more patient and loving with our friends and relationships… Why not start by not complaining about one of life’s great joys?

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5 Responses

  1. I agree. I think there is absolutely no place for a pregnant woman to complain to someone she knows is aching to be pregnant herself. It is rude and selfish. "If I'm pregnant, I can mention why I'm uncomfortable without feeling bad about it because I can have a baby and someone else cannot."Why even mention it? At best that perspective is insensitive and hopefully just ignorance. It is not intended for a pregnant woman to feel bad about being pregnant, in fact quite the opposite! The very reason that you can have a baby and someone else can not demands that there be sensitivity there. If I mentioned a bunch of pregnancy discomforts to someone I knew or found out later longed to be pregnant I would feel bad about it.Having babies is part of the circle of life. Pregnancy is am amazing privilege and blessing and probably more than anyone else, an infertile couple knows that. Because it is a natural life step, there are a full spectrum of emotions involved. It's about respect and sensitivity. If you respect your infertile friends by not complaining and having your pregnancy be the focus than they will be able to respect you.

  2. You are absolutely right. A wanted pregnancy should be celebrated even by a women who is having a hard time getting pregnant. They should be the ones who especially know how important it is to be successful conceiving. They should be more sensitive to the joy of it all. It is a stressful thing for a women who is having a hard time getting pregnant; but with the support and taking advantage of all the options out there she should be focusing on conceiving rather than jealous of those who already have.

    • Believe me an infertile woman knows how important and precious pregnancy is – and while I’m sure they are happy for women who can conceive easily and wouldn’t wish their pain on anyone – it can be hurtful to hear complaints about something they would give anything to experience first hand and it does stir up some jealousy we can’t help that. Women who are fertile – please have some compassion and understanding and put yourself in our shoes every once in a while. We would gladly put ourself in your shoes if we could! You can complain and have every right to do so – just please try to have some tact about to who and where you do and remember how blessed you are in the process.

  3. I think this and the original article were great! Infertility is not something I’ve had to deal with, but I was unsure for a long time whether I’d be able to have biological children due to another medical condition. Obviously they’re not the same thing, but I would get so irritated with people who complained about their pregnancy. I remember one night having a couple over to dinner who had just learned the gender of their baby. They told my husband and me how disappointed they were. When they left, I went to my bedroom and sobbed because darn it, I would be happy to just have a baby!

    So, I agree with the author that it’s very important to be sensitive to friends going through infertility, and not do things like complain around them. I found Twitter to be really helpful in other things I could do. For instance, I was unsure of how to tell a couple friends that I was expecting, and someone suggested writing an email instead of calling them or telling them in person.

    But here’s what I worry about. I think Twitter makes it harder in some ways, too. I have all kinds of friends on Twitter and sometimes I feel bad discussing any part of my pregnancy b/c I don’t want to make some of my friends upset. Since Twitter is so public, what’s the etiquette? Is it appropriate to talk/complain/discuss if it’s not a 1:1 tweet?

    • Great points!

      And, I think complaining and talking and venting on twitter are fine as long as you aren’t singling anyone out to talk to unless they comfort or talk to you about it in particular. It is like having a one on one discussion with someone and if you aren’t talking to anyone in particular, then you are just venting to the internet and needing comfort 🙂

      I am so excited for your pregnancy and cannot wait to hear about the uncomforts you experience and send lots of love and hugs 🙂

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