Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Okay, on to the insensitive comment, or was it an insensitive gesture... probably both.

A little back story in bullet points:

  • Our parents were the only people in our families to know about our infertility and IVF, except my brother and his girlfriend.
  • We told our parents and 3 of our 4 siblings about the pregnancy right away.
  • We never had a chance to tell my sister-in-law before we found out things weren't looking so good.
  • After we were sure a miscarriage was imminent, hubs called both of our moms and asked them to relay the news to our siblings- cautioning my MIL that SIL didn't even know about the pregnancy.
  • Hubs also made it VERY clear on both calls that we had ZERO desire to talk about what happened, and that we'd prefer to be left alone until we were ready.
  • For some reason MIL thought that this was a good time to share our infertility with SIL in addition to the miscarriage. But either forgot to mention or didn't stress nearly enough, that this was not something we wanted to talk about.

So, SIL calls hubs (at work no less) and starts talking to him about the miscarriage. Hubs, obviously not wanting to talk about this at work (or at all) gave quick one word answers as she proceeded to shove her foot in her mouth over and over.

"Have you guys thought about adoption?" ...Seriously, I was still bleeding from my miscarriage. At this time the week before I was pregnant! And no, in all three years of trying, adoption NEVER crossed our minds- thank you SO much for the original idea, you're a lifesaver. And PS, adopting a baby is not going to change the fact that we JUST lost a baby that we were already completely in love with.

"We have some friends who adopted from a couple different countries, and all along we just thought they were doing the 'diversified family' thing, turns out they can't have kids." ...Um,okay but if ever we ever make the huge decision to adopt, it would not be in an effort to treat our family like our stock portfolio, thankyouverymuch!

"We've been trying for a long time too, but we haven't seen a doctor or anything. So, I know how it feels" ...Guess what? You don't have any idea how it feels. Unless you've been in these shoes and faced the same things, please don't compare... and even then, it's different.

The first two I find absolutely asinine, while the third makes my blood boil. I do not understand why people think that being able to relate somehow makes it all better. Can you not just tell someone that your sorry and not turn a horrible thing into something about you? Especially when it is really like comparing apples to oranges. I completely understand sharing with someone that you've been there, but if you do... make sure that you really HAVE been there.  Last time I checked, not getting pregnant from unprotected sex is not at all similar to not getting/staying pregnant after investing thousands of dollars and 1.5+ years into fertility drugs and treatments.

Needless to say, although I hate that the hubs had to field a call like that, we are both glad it was him and not me. I would not have been even half as kind as he was, and the holidays would have been very awkward this year. I haven't seen her since the call, and I'm trying really hard to just get over it, but I can't seem to forgive her actions. Perhaps spewing it out on the Internet will be the first step.


Lola said...

Some people just don't understand. I recently lost my twins and people keep telling me not to worry that I'll get pregnant again. I'm not worried or sad about the fact that if is going to be possible to get pregnant again or not. I just lost my babies!! I just want them back! I just wish I could wake up and see that all was just a horrible nightmare.

Jessica said...

I think it was a little bit of both! I don’t understand why people think they can just say what they want. I love how she told him about adoption as if she just turned on the switch to his brain. I’m sorry you had to go through this.

Michele said...

I'm sorry that this happened to your husband...especially at inappropriate!

I wish people did understand and knew just the right thing to say...but they don't...and they can't, because it's always different.

I do understand their desire to reach out and find some type of connection to your situation, however remote. It's a natural human compassion type of thing, but it does feel like she was really pushing the envelope trying to make a comparison on this one.

infertile-thoughts said...

Ick. Do people REALLY think we haven't thought of adoption?? REALLY? And at a time like that. Suuuuuper appropriate. That's just common sense!! Craziness. Sorry you had to go through that. :(

Joys Truly said...

I think an etiquette book should be written on what to say and not say in moments like these. People are so effing clueless. It really has surprised me in my own experience.

Sybil said...

I am so sorry she was so insensitive. Most of us created these blogs because no one else could really understand and we really needed to talk with others who do. Family really let you down sometimes. *HUGS*

TurtleMama said...

Oh god - I am so sorry that you are having to deal with SIL drama on top of your own personal grief. I also have an insensitive SIL and many times I have felt like confronting her about her insensitive, selfish actions, but I think it would just make things worse. Some people are just idiots.

Anonymous said...

OMG...some people are just clueless!! I would like to know what her 'long time' is compared to your years. Comparing stories in times like these is awful. I don't know why people do it. They did it when we went through our mc too and I am sorry, a mc for a fertile person is just not the same as for an IF either. Sending you hugs and hopefully a brain to those around you:)

Sarra said...

This story just makes my blood boil. I just don't understand how people can be so completely insensitive. How in the world did she think this was a good idea?? I'm so sorry you and your hubby had to deal with this. Especially from a family member. :(

Megan said...

Ugh. talk about word vomit. I am so sorry. I would have throttled her!

House of Duffy said...

I'm sorry, my friend. It doesn't get any easier when people continue to make insensitive comments. But I'm so proud of how you are handling yourself! YOU are AWESOME! :)

Amy said...

That's the thing though--some people really ARE clueless regarding what to say in those types of situations. It may have been insensitive, but it doesn't sound like she was purposely trying to be that way. Like an earlier commenter said, I think trying to relate in some way is a natural human reaction. She probably doesn't know what to say but wanted to make you feel like you were not alone. As for the adoption question, maybe she really was sincerely asking? I think most of the time, people who ask that aren't saying it like "OMG here is the greatest idea you've never thought of!" I think people are generally interested in if that's something you've considered. It might come across as insensitive, but I don't think it's inherently meant to be so.

Having never dealt with a situation such as yours, I find my typical response to this type of tragic event is "I'm so sorry." Is that wrong? Should I be saying something else? I can't say that I wouldn't have thought to ask the very same questions she did--I think those types of questions are a natural reaction when you find out someone is having trouble conceiving. Maybe she honestly just wanted to know more about your situation and that's why she asked about adoption? Maybe she's secretly struggling herself & wanted to know what your thought process was?

This is going to sound like a huge generalization, but in my experience, it seems like people who struggle with infertility expect everyone else to immediately know how they should act, speak, and think about the situation. And as someone on the other side of that, that's not the case. Often, I see posts discussing how stupid "fertiles" are and bemoaning people who celebrate their pregnancies in natural, normal ways, and what jerks they are for doing so. The truth is, I DON'T know what to say. I DON'T know how to act. But I strive to be sensitive and understanding. And yet, I still think if you are able to get pregnant, with the help of drugs or not, you deserve to celebrate that whole-heartedly. I think sometimes that understanding and sensitivity that's wanted by people struggling with infertility could go both ways.

L said...

Ugh! I'm really sorry your hubby had to field that call. I think it's terrible when the people who should be the most sensitive to your situation say things like that. I always wonder if they think it's okay for them to just say whatever they are thinking because they are 'family.' At least that's what I wonder about my in-laws and their awful comments :)

Sometimes I wonder if people just don't know what to say and don't realize that saying nothing would be better.