Author Topic: How NOT to handle infertility  (Read 7307 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

OSUJillyBean

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 205
How NOT to handle infertility
« on: August 25, 2014, 04:25:02 PM »
Backstory:  DH and I have been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years now.  He comes from a family of "fertile myrtles": everyone gets pregnant as soon as they begin trying and they don't seem to understand why it's taking me so long.  They mean well and love us both but are obviously unsure of what to say to me, the one diagnosed with the problem.  (I apparently can't ovulate and will go a year-plus without doing so).  They know we've got doctor's appointments and that I'm on serious medication for this issue.  They're usually lovely, wonderful people but sometimes ....  ::)

Our story:  FIL is into antique guns, modern guns, handguns, revolver guns, etc.  If it can go "bang!" he likes it.  All three of his sons (including DH) take after him, though none of them has quite his collection.  Last Christmas, FIL gifted all three boys with miniature pellet guns (BB guns?  I have no idea - not really my area).  They are child-sized and meant to be given to our children.  We thanked them for the gift, knowing it might be awhile before we get to use it and accepting that it might never see any use.   BIL1 and BIL2 both have kids but obviously DH and I are childless.  I believe DH put the BB gun in the gun safe as he obviously has no immediate use for it.  It's sat there ever since and I forgot all about it until last week.

We were invited to the IL's house and FIL was showing off some new gun he'd bought/found/salvaged/whatever.  He also mentioned that his oldest grandson was nearly 8 and old enough to learn to shoot.  He asked what we'd done with our BB gun and I think we mentioned it was in the gun safe at our house.  FIL mentioned that he'd bought those BB guns "For his grandkids."

I thought (but obviously did not say aloud) "Well obviously."

FIL then continued with, "You owe me a Grandchild!"

 :o :o :o

My jaw hit the floor and I got quite embarrassed.  I have yet to build up any kind of polite spine so I reminded him that I'm being treated for my infertility and that I've arranged to meet with a new doctor (all of which is true and really not his business, in hindsight).  He seemed to realize his error and laughed it off as "Oh we love you anyways, you know I didn't mean it, blah, blah, blah," but it definitely left an impression on me.

I love my ILs, I really do, but sometimes they just set themselves up for e-hell fodder.

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5263
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 04:46:59 PM »
That polite spine you have yet to develop? This is a good place to start. :) Get your DH on board, that's crucial.

My first rule would be, we do not talk about such intimate issues with anyone outside our household. They don't need to know you have doctor's appointments, a new doctor, new medication, whatever. I do think they are being rude and thoughtless, but on the other hand, they probably think this topic, and their opinions/hopes for it, are fair game because you tell them so much information and allow it to be discussed. Which is totally fine if you want to and your choice, but obviously in this case their opinions/hopes are upsetting you. So I would say, it's time to dial way back on what medical information you share with them.

The next step would be to develop something bland you say whenever they ask a question or make a comment like that. "When are you going to have kids?" "We'll be sure to let you know when we have news." "You owe me a grandchild!" "We'll be sure to let you know when we have news." "How's that infertility thing going?" "We'll be sure to let you know when we have news." The goal is to shut down conversation on the topic and make it not an interesting thing to discuss.
~Lynn2000

gingerzing

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 970
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 04:56:57 PM »
Tried three times to type out what I wanted to say on the subject and how your FIL brought it up and how it sounded to me, but it came out really wrong and probably just as hurtful.  So I deleted all of what SnarkyGinger typed. 

Agreed that they don't need to know all the ins and outs of what you are going through specifically.
Personally, I would sorely be tempted to either burst into tears (real or acted) or calmly with a dead eye/stern teacher stare say, "Duly noted." 



JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6054
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 05:16:13 PM »
When dh and I were dealing with infertility, if anyone  said anything like that to me, I would just burst into tears and leave the room and then avoid that person. And if they tried to apologize I would cry more and say just leave me alone! I did not make any attempt to filter my hormonal response.
Worked for me.
Made that person uncomfortable? Yes! Anyone saying something so  boorish deserves to be uncomfortable.
Best wishes. We finally had two dds, six years apart.

Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1251
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 05:25:48 PM »
First, POD Lynn2000 about developing a standard response to defer others' curiosity as well as intrusive and insensitive comments.

What an incredibly thoughtless comment from your FIL. As someone who had her own infertility issues, I understand how it can feel to have people say that kind of thing. I don't know what is going through their minds. Just know that you don't have anything to defend.

For a comment as thoughtless as your FIL's, if I felt strong enough, I might say, "I must have misunderstood. Did you tell me I owe you a grandchild?" And let it sit there. If the words aren't coming, silence with a side of direct eye contact also could be your friend in these situations. And as JoyinVirginia said, if your natural response is tears, that's okay, too.

My DS is an only child. When he was a little over a year old, my ex-SIL began nagging me that I needed to have more kids. Despite knowing my infertility history very well, she said this nearly every time I saw her. When the nagging didn't work, she moved on to saying I was denying DS a sibling. Thank you, ex-SIL, for trying to manipulate the emotions of a woman with infertility issues.  :o  Hurtful as it was, I replied repeatedly that we were happy with one child. I didn't owe her any explanations about why we'd made that decision, and she didn't get one.

alice

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 277
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 05:52:53 PM »

I agree with JoyinVirginia.  That is what I was thinking as I was reading the OP.

Curly Wurly Doggie Breath

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3405
  • Aussie's Rule
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 06:42:38 PM »
When dh and I were dealing with infertility, if anyone  said anything like that to me, I would just burst into tears and leave the room and then avoid that person. And if they tried to apologize I would cry more and say just leave me alone! I did not make any attempt to filter my hormonal response.
Worked for me.
Made that person uncomfortable? Yes! Anyone saying something so  boorish deserves to be uncomfortable.
Best wishes. We finally had two dds, six years apart.

Ditto.

^that s what I did too. Couldn't help it. Was very upset I wasn't with child and would genuinely cry at the drop of a hat. (now have 2 X 4 years apart)

                          The Southern Cross Flag. Australia

catwhiskers

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 07:29:06 PM »
I don't have any advice to give, I just wanted to say I'm sorry that you have to deal with this as well as infertility.

OH and I are childless by choice and I don't think either of us would react very well to any of our parents telling us we "owe" them a grandchild. :o I think you were very diplomatic in the circumstances, I'm sure I would not have been.

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2742
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2014, 08:19:33 PM »
Evil just might have looked FIL dead in the eye and said "I don't owe you squat" and left. I am not sure I would have stopped her.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3318
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2014, 09:12:21 PM »
I would be very tempted to say, "And you owe me an apology."

PastryGoddess

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4745
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2014, 11:13:39 PM »
Maybe you can look at people like that and say "That was really insensitive" in a quiet but firm voice.  Then leave the area and go do something else. 

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6574
    • Blog
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2014, 11:22:16 PM »
I would return the BB gun to FIL next time you see him, and tell him "We don't wish to be in your debt."

aussie_chick

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 370
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2014, 11:54:37 PM »
I still don't know how to quote multiple people but i park my pod with weeble, pastry and jedi who I think all provide options.
Hugs to you Op and I wish you only the best for the future

starry diadem

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 440
  • διάδημα: The Glass Hat
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2014, 01:49:13 AM »
I still don't know how to quote multiple people but i park my pod with weeble, pastry and jedi who I think all provide options.
Hugs to you Op and I wish you only the best for the future

Aussie_chick, when you click on 'reply', scroll down the page.  Underneath the reply box, you'll see all the previous replies listed, each with an 'insert quote' box in its top righthand corner. Chose the PPs you want to include in your reply,  and their comments will be quoted.
Mysterious ravens go after local farmer's potatoes


aussie_chick

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 370
Re: How NOT to handle infertility
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 03:48:54 AM »
I still don't know how to quote multiple people but i park my pod with weeble, pastry and jedi who I think all provide options.
Hugs to you Op and I wish you only the best for the future

Aussie_chick, when you click on 'reply', scroll down the page.  Underneath the reply box, you'll see all the previous replies listed, each with an 'insert quote' box in its top righthand corner. Chose the PPs you want to include in your reply,  and their comments will be quoted.

Brilliant! thank you ! :)