What not to say to infertile couple?
One in every three person is infertile that needs medical help. One of this three is sterile (permanently infertile). I am infertile with sperm count and motility rate far below standard. My wife too is infertile with unpredictable ovulation every 3-6 months. The problems of both compounded the complications.
We were married in 1973 and my wife gave birth to our first born IVF twins 20 years later in 1992. The quest to have our own children was time consuming, arduous, and often emotional.
We simply assumed we would give birth soon after our marriage and we did not change the assumption when challenged by infertility. Two years later we changed our attitude acknowledging the problems and sought medical helps.
When sign of pregnancy did not come five years later, we accepted the fact of infertility, which came with severe emotion pains. It started with surprise and shock of disbelief, then sadness, sense of isolation, lowered self-esteem, confused self-image, anger and grief.
In our Chinese culture, bearing a child is as true as the old saying, "there are 3 bad Fidel-pieties and the worst is not to have a child." I felt deeply guilty for not being able to have a child for the family.
I did not like to go to church on Mother's, Father's and Children's days. I got very nervous to hear Sermons on Abraham and Sarah and the like. Pregnancy was word among other similar terms that would put me in depression for a while. Some commends from friend would also lose my appetite for days.
Having experienced all this turmoil ourselves, I deeply understand how an infertile couples feel and how can we do to alleviate.
We were ashamed of our infertility and would certainly appreciate friends to avoid asking direct questions of, "When are you two going to have baby?" or "It's high time you two had a baby."
Do not make insensitive remarks or comments like, "Jane has just given birth to a beautiful child."
Do not offer unsolicited advice, cheap comfort, glib reassurance, or fact of any one who had a worse case. All these hurt.
Do not invite infertile couple to attend party, event, function associated with children.
Advices like, adoption, involvement in other activities or enjoy your life will not help either. Just simply avoid the whole subject unless the suffered couple initiate the discussion. Yet, you have to be careful not to over talk.
Finally, a word to Pastors too to exercise care when there is infertile couple in the congregation. We were hurt most not by people outside the church but by our brothers and sisters within. Pastor who delivers Sermons, teaching Bible, and arrange church activities should understanding and care for feelings of infertile members. Congratulation of a new born baby to church member does not have to be announced on Sunday morning service. It can be done quietly in private with few church members.
Our distress and anxiety experiences of not being able to conceive for almost twenty years may not be the same like others, but what we would not like to hear is similar. So, please do not say to woman dealing with infertility what I have written here.
Tags: Infertility , IVF , God In Fertility.
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