Are You, or Is Someone You Know, “Trying”?
Trying? How cryptic. Trying what? A new sport, a new video game, a new hobby or goal? Nope none of those things. And when we say “trying” we mean one thing. Trying to make a baby.
I’m not gonna lie. If I could go back and talk to my 8th grade Sex Ed class, I would tell them it is not as easy as they are making it sound here. And in this world, under these pressures, and to those who are getting their lives established before they “try”… they are learning this the hard way.
April includes National Infertility Awareness week. So lets just take a quick moment to chat about a few things that might be useful to you, whether you’re the one who is “trying”, or not.
The #1 question NOT to ask anybody in child bearing years…
“So! Sally! When are YOU guys going to have kids!?” (or whatever similar version of this question that comes to mind).
Yes. This question feels innocent and generally comes from a place love. But you just never know what somebody is going through. Maybe they don’t want kids, maybe they’re not ready, maybe they’re already trying, and maybe they’ve had more heartache that you can imagine when it comes to “trying” and are trying to decide next steps which could include invasive measures or just (sigh!) giving up.
Maybe try, “Sally, I’m not sure if it’s even on your agenda, but if it is I want you to know I think you’d make a terrific parent!”
The #1 way to support your friends or family who are trying to conceive.
Ready for some serious mixed messages? Well, here’s my two cents. Don’t talk about it, let them come to you with any updates they’re ready to share. Maybe it’s going well. Maybe it’s a struggle. Maybe it’s taking a toll on their relationship. The first rule in the baby making club is we don’t talk about it. UNLESS! Unless THEY want to talk about it. If they do…then be ready to listen. Don’t fix, don’t offer suggestions and especially DON’T tell them “don’t worry Sally, it’ll happen when it’s supposed to.” Or the dreaded, “Sally, you’re stressing too much, just relax and it’ll happen.” Trust me, most of my fertility gals are uber educated and practically board-certified in all things reproductive in nature. They are doing the life style stuff, they are trying to manage their stress, and they are trying to ride this roller coaster in the most dignified way they can. But some days are hard, and some days we just need to tell our BFF that we feel hopeless, or we’re scared about next steps. And we need that BFF to just give us a hug and say, “I’m here for you.”
The #1 thing I wish all couples trying to conceive would do…
Rule out the easy stuff! Basic things like thyroid, and vitamin D levels matter. And these are things your doc will order no matter how long you’ve been trying. Also. Stay off Google!
The #1 craziest thing happening in fertility medicine right now…
Did you know that there are some babies being born with THREE parents! I know! That sh*t is b-a-n-a-n-a-s. They are starting to figure out how to take the daddy’s stuff, put it with the mommy’s stuff and in the case where mommy’s stuff has gotten too “advanced in maternal age” they will take some stuff from a younger woman while keeping mommies genetic code and put it all together! Maybe there’s a little more to it than jus that, but you get the gist.
So there you go. A few things that might be useful to you in one way or another! As a reproductive specialist, I feel like we could all use some infertility awareness as its very likely that you know somebody who is struggling to conceive.
PS- One last thought. Never EVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant. Even if it’s pretty obvious. I think many of us have been burned by this one, and just take my word for it… you cannot put your foot in your mouth fast enough if the answer to that question is ‘Nope.”