Once I decided to go public with my infertility struggles I received a mix bag of responses. Most were supportive, more than I expected went through the same thing, and a few made some really sideways comments. But I was anticipating this. I was expecting a variety of responses and was pleasantly surprised how many were supportive. We cannot be educated on every subject, and expecting others to understand where you’ve been when they haven’t even heard of the diagnosis or treatment you are pursuing is asking a lot of others.
My goal in talking with others about what I was going through was multifaceted. But when it was all boiled down I simply wanted to be understood. I reached a tipping point where it was healthier for me to speak up rather than keep everything bottled in. I was very careful about how and when to start opening up to others, and I think that helped. The decision to go public with my struggle was done to reach out to others who may be struggling too. There is strength in numbers. I no longer feel I am marooned on an island separated from others. Now, I stand strong with a growing number of women who are not afraid to speak up.
We need to face facts, the more silent we are on the subject of infertility, the more likely our own pain and others will fester in that silence. One way you can develop thicker skin around peoples comments is to anticipate resistance, and believe me there can be a lot. Most of the resistance tends to come from people hiding behind a computer screen and would usually never say these things to your face. But you need to expect it if you are going to speak up. If you decide you are ready to be more open about your infertility, here are some tips to arm yourself against the worst of the worst naysayers. Please keep in mind these are mostly for entertainment purposes, so use discretion on if and when you use any of the following below.
How to Mic Drop on Naysayers about Infertility Treatment
1) On Religion
- God gave us the technology to cure medical issues, including infertility.
- Pose the question, “So you are agreeing to not take life-saving antibiotics or use any medical intervention at all because it is God’s will for you to be sick and potentially die, right?”
- Doctors are often in the position of saving lives, how is this different from assisting in the process to begin life?
2) On Adoption
- Ask them how much they think adoption costs. Let them know how fertility treatment tends to be way more affordable, sometimes it’s half the price. Some people report IVF to be one-fourth the cost of adoption. Ask them if they would pay four times more to have a child that is not their own when they could have a good chance of having a biological child.
- Agree with them if you are considering adoption in addition to fertility treatment. Tell them adoption would be amazing and enlist them to start a crowdfunding account to support the adoption costs. If they really want to help you build a family they will do whatever way they can. But the ones with the agenda of vomiting their “adoption or nothing” stance will be left with nothing to say if you simply agree.
- Ask them why they haven’t adopted yet. Or why are they not adopting all the children of the world?
3) On Selfishness
- Simply tell them you want the experience of giving birth, and ask them if they knew this was possible without your own DNA (with donor egg and sperm). You might blow their mind when you drop this knowledge. I love seeing people’s expressions when they learn about embryo adoption for the first time. Embryo adoption (also known as embryo donation) allows couples who’ve already completed their family to give another infertile couple the ability to bring life into the world. Essentially it’s like adoption but pre-birth and minus the legal fees.
- Ask them if it is selfish to have the same ability of giving birth that many other women have.
- Ask them if they plan to have children biologically. If they say no, ask them if they’ve been sterilized yet to ensure they follow through on their beliefs.
4) On Overpopulation
- Ask them how they’ve been personally affected by overpopulation.
- If they bring up how people are destroying the planet by consuming too much of the earth’s resources, agree with them. Ask them if they recycle, use solar power, never use a car, and only eat wild grown plantlife. Teach them ways to stop being overly consumptive.
- Reassure them you will not be like Octomom. Because the dummies always bring up Octomom like that scenario happens every time with IVF.
- Ask them their solution to overpopulation. They might learn they have more in common with Nazis than they realize.
I wrote this piece mostly as a way to let off steam and to laugh about some of the stupid things people say. It is mostly meant for entertainment purposes but feel free to use any of these gems as you see fit. Modify them as needed depending on the situation. These are snarky responses to get to the heart of the matter more quickly, rather than dancing around the subject. In an effort to educate people about infertility, I usually use the approach of gently guiding people with a series of questions (think Socratic Method) until people realize their faulty logic. The Socratic Method is a much more useful and tactful form of debate as opposed to calling someone a Nazi.