Fun things people say when you are infertile

“When are you going to have children then?”

This is a classic. I would like to suggest that this sentence is banned from polite conversation, particularly when directed at women over 30. Scratch that, it’s a stupid thing to say to any woman at any time. Pretty sure it’s ok to tell people to piss off if it is directed at you? I also keep getting consumed with an overwhelming desire to tell the questioner (esp if they have a child hanging off them) that all the children I know are snotty, irritating brats and I don’t want them. Obviously not true, but should hurt them as much as they just hurt me. Actually not sure that would make me feel better. Remind me not to really do that.

When you are holding a friend or a family member’s newborn for the first time, usually at a wedding or big social gathering: “Ooh, that baby certainly suits you!!” *wink wink*

And I am certain that you will suit that glass of wine over your head and that vol-au-vent smushed in your face and up your nose.

“You’ll be next!” (also usually at weddings/family gatherings)

I hope so. I really, really hope so, but I am doing a pretty crap job of it so far (thanks for pointing that out by the way). Please, please add to my misery by implying it is *so* easy to get pregnant. I’ll just be next then shall I? Ok! Good idea! Thanks! Actually it probably is that easy for you. Shall I just lie down so you can kick me directly in the head?

“You just wait until you have children. It’s the best thing in the world. I can’t imagine my life without little Bob/Harry/Gertrude. It’s the meaning of life.”

Urgh. Suggesting life is worth less if you have no children really gets to me. Especially because the preacher is usually popping out babies to some kind of life plan they made when they were 10. I will do everything in my power to grow my family, but if it doesn’t happen I fully intend for my life to be very meaningful and worthwhile, thank you very much.

“You had better get a move on, you don’t have forever. I don’t understand women who put their career before having a family.”

Probably part of the same sentence as the last gem. Please do feel free to just look at me and judge me. And yes, I’m sure everyone in the entire universe does want to be exactly like you.

“You just don’t understand until you have children.”

Thank you, oh wise one.

“I know someone who had trouble conceiving. Have you tried:
Green tea?
Half an aspirin?
Having sex more often?
Not thinking about it?
Eating more seeds?
Sex standing on your head?*

I’m pretty sure that it is now universally accepted world-wide that green tea tastes like puke. I can’t even be bothered to answer the rest.

“It’s so hard being a parent, I’m so tired, Gertrude is teething, maternity leave is boring, complain, complain, can you be quiet so I can whinge more about all my sprogs?”

*smacks head on table* *smacks head on table* *smacks head on table* Good God. I mean, yeah that’s bad. Care to swap? No?

Similar, but aiming the knife at a slightly different angle: “Oh, I’m so jealous of you! You can do whatever you like, you can go on holiday whenever you like. Everything was so much easier before I had kids!”

*final head smack on table to finish myself off*

“Oh, wonderful! How many months are you?”

I’m just fat.

Oops. I feel better now, sorry about that everyone. I am not 100% sure that ranting and raving has any long term health benefits, but I have certainly perked up now. Do you have any gems you would like to share? Go on, let it out! (I won’t tell anyone).

BB xx

*no, obviously, I am normal. OH GOD IS THIS WHERE I AM GOING WRONG?


18 thoughts on “Fun things people say when you are infertile

  1. ecutri

    “Just relax and it will happen”
    “You can have one of mine!”
    “You can always adopt”
    “My friend’s sisters cousins next door neighbor did IVF 10 times and ended up getting pregnant au-natural”
    Directed to the husband “Let me borrow her, I’ll show you what you are doing wrong…she’ll be pregnant in no time!”

    I’ve heard all of these and then some…pretty. freaking. irritating.

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Oh yes! Those are all great ones. I especially enjoyed, “you can have one of mine.” So tactful! “Just relax and it will happen.” So insightful!

  2. wholovesmeforme

    I’ve definitely heard the “Just relax and it will happen.” multiple times (which drives me nuts) and I’ve heard “Take one of mine for some practice.” and the “Have you thought about adoption?” and once a family member told me “Your mother-in-law really wants grandchildren, when are you going to give her some?” Infuriating and heart-breaking at the same time…

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Infuriating and heartbreaking. That really hits the nail on the head. The double standards get me too… I’m sure if half of these people were in our position they would be mortified if someone said that to them!

  3. newtoivf

    no less than 2 of DH’s brothers have offered to ‘do the job’ for him. Freakin charmers.
    I so very much one day to snap and say “oh I did think about having children but then I saw how tired, bedraggled and miserable you look and how much you moan about your kids/finances/sex life and thought better of it.” But then the world would know out loud what a bad person I am!!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Good Lord! I bet you just turned the other cheek and laughed it off… Give them a dose of their own medicine next time I say!

      I do fear that this year I am becoming a much worse person. All these set backs have just spurned me onto console myself with eating bad food and drinking wine whenever I fancy it. And my language has spiralled down badly. I’m turning into a big, fat, barren, sweary drunk. Who wants to be friends?! Yay!

  4. Pingback: My eyes hurt from rolling so hard | White wine and Gauloises

  5. dancinggirl

    Great read! I remember being 32 and a male work colleague “joking” about the fact that I really only had till I was 34 to “get started” (ye cos I would self destruct after that right??) I didn’t know then that I’d be going down the road of IVF, I’m 35 now and my fertility issues are nothing to do with my age, if I was 25 I’d still be doing IVF right now!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Ahh yes, can’t believe you didn’t know that your ovaries explode once you are 34? What a helpful man! I hope your suprecur side effects aren’t too bad still… Although at least the weather is freezing 😉

  6. There Is A Chance

    No joke! Thank you for this. Too many people have no idea what it’s like to be in these shoes.
    At a silent auction I bid on some items (board books for little ones) and a co-worker said, “Is there something you’re keeping hush about? I just noticed you bid on some baby books over there.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure if I was keeping “hush” about it, I wouldn’t say anything because I was keeping “hush,” remember? LOL

    The same person said last year at a baby shower, “It will be you next!” Kinda makes me want to ask how she knows? Is she privy to what goes on in our bedroom?

    The worst one, however, is the “relax and it will happen” because it insinuates that I’m acting childish and being impatient. My hubby even replies to that now. We say that there’s only so long a person can wait with a diagnosis like ours, we actually have a diagnosis that doesn’t allow us to give it any more time, or we’ve done everything and nothing and finally need some help.

    Like me, I think most people are unaware that someone could even experience such a thing as no eggs left before 30. I always thought 30 was the peak, the best time to have children, not the last chance before the whole dog-gone thing shuts down. Thanks for the laughs today!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Urgh, some people can be a total nightmare! Glad your hubby stands up to them 😉 he sounds like a definite keeper Xx

      P.s. I’ve really enjoyed all these replies.. At least we aren’t alone! Xx

      1. There Is A Chance

        There’s more of us than we’d ever want. I wouldn’t wish this on my enemy. It’s important we stick together and maybe someday people will be less ignorant. Eh?
        P.S. My hubby is totally a keeper : )

  7. redbluebird

    Similar to the “you’re next” comment, I had someone with a recently pregnant wife smack me on the arm at a wedding and say “Tag, you’re it!” As if getting pregnant was like a baton you could hand off in a giant baby-making relay.
    At the same wedding, a drunk friend of my brother’s suggested I try “doing it” on days 14, 15, and 16 of my cycle, because “you know, that’s when women ovulate.”
    I’m so lucky these men were kind enough to share their wisdom with me! A-holes.

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Wowzers, I think this is the best (by which i obviously mean the worst!!) so far! I can’t believe someone tagged you. It really is just too easy for some people… If only they knew how heartbreaking this all is. Your comment made me laugh though, if that makes you feel any better 😉 if not, I’d advocate a quick smack to their face next time x

  8. jessica

    Hilarious! I get the “you two need some babies” from people at work all the time who have no idea I have been trying for 3 years to do just that! When I hear that I think blood actually pours from my eyeballs! Gee….super helpful person, thanks for that advise! How about I keep taking all of these fertility meds and steroids that have made me gain 15 pounds in the past year and make me clinically insane and possibly a homicidal maniac and give me hot flashes so bad the salem which trial burnings could not compare. Ahahahaha!

  9. pregnant in my forties

    Love (and hate) these. I would like to add, if I may, from a couple of weeks ago:
    “BOTH your sisters expecting this year? So there’s only you left now, eh? eh? Best get a move on…” Grrrrrrrr..
    “You really should have children, you know. You’d be a lovely mum.” Oh, oh, you think so?

    And these might be best in the category of Particularly Crap Events to Happen When You’re Infertile:

    A colleague recently spent FOREVER moaning on about how unfair it was that both his sons had traumatic births, and they didn’t feel like they had had a “normal experience” that they could both enjoy. Eventually I lost patience and said, well at least you’ve got two boys, we’ve been trying for years and got nothing, and he shut up shortly after.

    Turned up at pregnant ex-best mate’s house for dinner, thinking it would be just me and her. Turned out her hubby was due home and they’d invited another couple, his old schoolfriend and pregnant wife. They spent the whole evening swopping bump sizes and then all four disappeared upstairs while they showed the couple the nursery. I nearly walked out.

    Also I recently got talked at by a TV presenter (not Kirsty!) who had her kids late 30s/early 40s. She ranted on for hours about this ovulation app she had on her phone, lecturing me on how I needed to take it seriously and treat getting pregnant scientifically. Completely ignoring my attempts at pointing out to her that I already have a similar app, and have been quite scientific for years, and guess what that hasn’t worked for me either.

    Sucks, totally! x


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