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Annie’s Mailbox: Comments about infertility hurtful

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I am in my early 30s and happily married. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for four years. We achieved pregnancy once, which resulted in a miscarriage. Meanwhile, our friends are having babies left and right. I no longer can handle baby showers, but I always send gifts and good wishes.

In these four years, we have encountered both well-meaning and cruel people who say awful things to our faces and behind our backs. Our struggles have served as gossip at parties, which is embarrassing and hurtful. Here are some of the gems we’ve heard: “There must be something terribly wrong with you,” “You’re selfish for not coming to my baby shower,” “Fertility treatments are morally wrong, so it’s no wonder they’re not working,” and “Maybe God doesn’t want you to have children.”

How should we respond to these types of comments? It is painful to know that our fertile acquaintances don’t feel our situation deserves respect or discretion. – Infertile Myrtle

Dear Myrtle: Some of those comments are utterly reprehensible. You have several choices of response: “Thank you for your opinion,” “Sorry you feel that way,” “I’m sure you didn’t intend to be hurtful and cruel” and the all-purpose “I can’t imagine why that’s your business.” If you have not already done so, please contact Resolve (resolve.org) at 1760 Old Meadow Rd., Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102 for support and encouragement.

Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.
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