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Nicole the Fertile Chick: What The Heck?! Moments

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This article is about the priceless WTH moments most TTC women have experienced! Those wonderful times you encounter that one person who chooses to ask you the absolute dumbest question! Sometimes, it could be because they are clueless, sometimes because they have the tact of a 3 year old, and other times…because they are just mean. Whatever the reason, the things that reel off their lips are enough to make one stop dead in their tracks in utter bewilderment. Here are a few of such moments:

When you are asked “When are you going to have a baby?” Today…tonight…in fact, right this second! This was what I was tempted to respond most of the time. As if this question was mine to answer!!! I admit that it is a legitimate question for a lot of couples, but for the TTC woman, this is one of the dumbest things you could ask!

When you are told to “Stop trying, and it will happen”. Yes, this is often said in good faith. I admit that. But when you are TTC, you just want to sucker punch the next person who says this to you. You wonder so what now? In the meantime, you do what? Sit back and watch the clock tick? For any non-TTC person, if you’re looking to offer words of encouragement, steer clear of this one.

When you are told “If it’s meant to be, it will happen”. One of the biggest faux pas statements! Steer well clear of this one, non-TTC people. Because all the TTC person hears is that you think there’s a chance it’s not meant to be…and that’s not good at all…for either of you.

When you are told “There’s always adoption”. Big sigh! Yes, we know this is true, and on a lot of occasions will willingly and gladly open our hearts to this, and not even necessarily as an option. A lot of us would happily take in children, whether or not we have kids already. But there is also nothing wrong in wanting to conceive a child of your own. And it’s wrong for anyone to make you feel like a beast for trying to do just that!

When you are told “Don’t do IVF, or you’ll end up like Octo-Mom”. Even bigger sigh! Sometimes, people choose to speak without having their facts right. Nadya Suleman had an unethical number of embryos transferred, not just once but twice! Before you offer (unsolicited) advice or cast judgment, please do some research and be sure of what you are saying.

When you are told “Why don’t you go abroad? Health care in Nigeria is so rubbish!” I suppose you’re going to pay for it, right? First of all, health care in Nigeria is not as bad as people would have you believe, and secondly, even if the infertile party appears wealthy (I use the qualifier “appears”, because we can never really know exactly what anyone’s financial position is, not even if you are their account officer), you do not know what kind of plans or commitments they have for, and with, their money. So, please, try not to go down this road. Yes, you might be well meaning and might really want the best for them, but unless they let you know it’s a consideration, it could potentially be a sore topic, especially if they can’t afford it.

When you are accused of “Not trying hard enough”! This one always gets me stomped! When people would assume that you are just not having enough sex. What is enough sex, really? Does this mean the couple should just quit their jobs, shelve their commitments, and lock themselves in the bedroom all day, every day!! What about the person who got pregnant after a one-night stand? Please, non-TTC people, saying something like this is nothing short of walking into a field of landmines. Just don’t!

When you are asked, every time you put on a little weight, “Has it happened? Are you pregnant”. No love, I’m just fat!

When you are told “There are worse things that can happen”. Interesting! Of course there are. Yes, the TTC woman should always be grateful for all her blessings and the fact that she is no worse off than she is, but this reminder from the non-TTC person (usually someone with kids of their own) does not exactly spell encouraging. So, non-TTC person, if I were you, I wouldn’t go there.

When you are told “You better hurry. Your biological clock is ticking”. Gee, thanks for the reminder, oh Sensitive One! That really helps!

When you are asked “Whose fault is it? Yours or your husband’s?” I suppose if you knew that, you would be able to solve the problem? No? Then the answer to this question is none of your business!

When you are told how “lucky” you are not to have kids. I have never been able to understand this one. If you non-TTC person are so “unlucky”, why not hand over your own kids then?! Playing the “you have it better than I” card is one of the worst ideas you could ever come up with, in this instance.

When you are told “It’s all in the mind.” Interesting. Does this mean all the TTC woman needs to do is will herself pregnant? Does this mean she is the architect of her misfortune? Think, non-TTC person, think! There are just some things you don’t say.

When you are told “I know exactly what you’re going through.” Unless you have previously, or are currently, battling infertility, then errr…no, you don’t!

When you are told how it took Mrs Jane Doe 10 rounds of IVF to conceive. Way to offer encouragement, oh non-TTC one! Unless this piece of information has a constructive follow-up statement (which it most often does not), this is the last thing your TTC friend needs to hear.

When you are told “ You don’t look like someone who should have a problem conceiving”. Wow! So what exactly does an infertile person look like? Would a hunchback or horn suffice? Am I too fat? Am I too thin? What defines what the poster child for infertility should look like? This is definitely an honorary member of the dumbest statements walk of fame!

When you are told “For me, all I have to do is look at my husband and I get pregnant”. Good for you! But unless sharing this unnecessary tidbit will also transfer this super power of yours, please keep it to yourself. This is one of the least considerate things one can say to the TTC woman, as all you’ll achieve is make her feel inadequate.

When you are told “You don’t know what God is trying to save you from.” What? Unhealthy babies? A broken marriage? Death? Non-TTC person, please don’t speak for God. Who are we to come up with a hypothesis like that?! And what are you expecting the TTC person to feel? Relief? Not so much, non-TTC person, not so much.

I’m sure the TTC ladies can attest that there is a host of other silly and inane questions and remarks that have been thrown at them. And the unfortunate fact is that this might never stop, no matter how “informed” people claim to be. All I can advice is for the TTC woman to continue to toughen her skin. For the non-TTC person, please be more sensitive, and try to do a better job of processing/filtering your words. They might mean nothing to you, but could be enough to ruin your TTC friend’s day.

Good luck, everyone. Have a great week!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Kiosea39

Nicole is a woman in her late 30s, with a passion for all things fertility related. She suffered infertility for the first 3 years of her marriage, and found it extremely isolating. After she had her kids, she started The Fertile Chick (www.thefertilechickonline.com) to create a community and happy-place for all women, in various stages of the fertility journey.

38 Comments

  1. Fanya

    May 4, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I was told all sorts during my secondary infertility period. People giving me unsolicited advice on ways to have sex so that the sperm “enters well” ; to people telling me to raise my legs up in the air and put a pillow under. I heard the one of “why is your daughter already 2 and you are not pregnant. You are busying watching shape and wearing tight jeans and tops. You wont go and get pregnant now so you can rest” Once I add a little weight, the pregnancy watchers start sniffing. It was the grace of God and my husband that kept me sane.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      LOL! So you should have been wearing only bou bous or what! Thank God for His grace my dear!

  2. Babym

    May 4, 2015 at 9:05 am

    When hubby and I would go on holidays and i will put a pic up, I would be hearing “be galavanting all over the place, u will not sit down and have kids” or “all this ur travelling up and down is not helping ur situation” serious side eye to all of them! Woe betide me from trying to enjoy my life while TTC kmt

    • tess

      May 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Gbam. Or they say ‘you are enjoying o,it’s cos you don’t ve kids yet sha’. Someone even told me one day ‘I see the nose already’. Mshew… at times though,I understand they are trying to help and it doesn’t annoy me. The worse for me is when mil says ‘pls work hard o’.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Tess, work hard at what??! LOL! Hilarious!

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      SMH! Can you just imagine! My dear, please enjoy your life!

  3. beast

    May 4, 2015 at 9:27 am

    May our Creator comfort those looking for fruits of the womb and may He bless and reward them with these fruits.

  4. DocDeola

    May 4, 2015 at 9:43 am

    One thing I’ve learnt from my experience with miscarriage is that insensitivity is often as a result of people’s discomfort with a difficult situation. People feel they need to say things or are genuinely trying to be supportive. I guess in response, we should say, “I appreciate what you are trying to do, though it’s not helping, I know (I hope) it’s coming from a good place”.

  5. mimimi

    May 4, 2015 at 10:01 am

    One friend told me ‘ you are not pregnant yet because you are not ready. How can you be ready and still working long hours and travelling all over the world for work? Same girl told me you should try again the very day I found out about a fail IVF- like seriously, that’s the daftest thing to tell someone. when you have no clue how much cost, pain and stress the person has just been through.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      “You are not pregnant yet because you are not ready.”. That has got to take the cookie! So sorry about your failed cycle. Just try to filter some of these things, or keep the people at bay.

  6. mockingbird

    May 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    please what is TTC?

    • mimi84

      May 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Trying to concieve

    • mimi84

      May 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      *conceive

  7. sunmbo

    May 4, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Someone once told me when I put up pix of my husband carrying me, she said, enjoy now o cos once u have kids, things will change. Another one said, ure still trying to maintain ur shape nd look set dats y it hasn’t happened yet. Or ure not praying enough, or Wats happening now, y e never enter till now are you waiting, and I’d say yes I’m waiting on the Lord, etc dnt put ur mind on it, like it’s possible, lol. God dey cos it will end in praise to his glory amen.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      It’s the praying part that gets me. How are they to know hard you are praying?! Who is to judge that really?! It will surely end in praise, by His grace!

  8. Chige

    May 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    What to say and what not to say is a very big problem especially if you are on the other side of the divide,being the one who has kids.. Looking through the list I’m sure many people will be like,I’ll never say this to someone TTC,but we may have said so,not exactly in the same words. The important thing is just to have empathy,even though one has never been in their shoes and can never know what they are going through. I try not to say too much on the matter when talking to my friend TTC so as not to say the wrong thing,I hope she doesn’t see it as not caring though.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Dr. Chige! Empathy is the most critical thing. Once the TTC person sees that you are coming from a good place, it is much easier to overlook some foot in mouth statements.

  9. Destined for greatness

    May 4, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I have not being there and neither do I pray to find my self in that situation. But people are so insensitive especially the African community it must be the most difficult challenge to face esp for a woman. Our biology and psychology is moded mainly and purely for that purpose so it challenges our understanding of our womaness if we’re unable to fulfil that purpose. May Gos give the strength to those waiting and grant the desires of their hearts to his glory.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      You’re so correct Destinedforgreatness! It’s like that’s the only thing that defines us as women. May the Good Lord make everything perfect in His time!

  10. Nicechick

    May 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Father please save me from TTC. 6years now

    • Ann

      May 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Dear, I feel your pain. God will surely answer our prayers in Jesus mighty name Amen. It will surely end in PRAISE.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Amen, Nicechick! It is well with you. Have you gotten a diagnosis? Pursued any treatment plans?

  11. miss Pynk

    May 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Nicole good job on bringing these issues to the open

    pynk360.com

  12. Ania

    May 4, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for this Nicole, this is the second time I’m commenting on your write ups on BN. My approach to this might be unconventional but sorry to disappoint those who say kids after marriage at all cost. Growing up I felt the pains of those TTC in marriage, its not like from then I vowed to conceive before marriage but when my fiance proposed and suggested we start trying I was like why not? His parents were not hot about me cuz of my tribe then i imagined the attention after marriage, checking everymonth to see how fertile and soon I can conceive. So January 2014 we tried,nothing. February we tried and my period for March was delayed by 13days…i knew I had dont but three pregnancy tests proved otherwise. No time to waste, I booked an appointment with a gynaecologist…I was suffering from acute hormonal imbalance, my mucus was not sperm-friendly. She put me on Duphaston which I took between days 16 and 25. Duphaston is a progesterone supplement. April no missed period but in May I had a missed period but test showed negative (morning urine was not well concentrated cuz I got up at night to pee and did the test around 6a.m,). Rushed back to my doctor to explain my ordeal, she did an ultrasound and said its still the hormonal problem and my period will come anytime from now and if it doesnt then I should buy a drug which she prescribed to force it. Left feeling so down, I was in hell but my fiance was just God-sent.
    A day before I had to take the meds to force my period, I had the reflex to do one last test and yes, it was positive. I immediately sent an sms to the doctor who said I should come to the clinic immediately. got there and she prescribed Folic acid and Utrogestan(progesterone). Well, she didnt apologise for her mistake and i vowed to change her. anyway, fastforward 3 weeks later,her replacement was so dman busy, i dodged from work countlessly just to catch up with him in vain, meanwhile deep inside of me i knew something was wrong. I didnt feel the normal pregnancy signs. One monday morning I got a clear red blood stain on my pant, rushed to the hospital and yes, i was losing my baby and projesterone injestions couldnt save it….my God, I cried, the pains-physical ans emotional, I was alone in a new town, fiance out of the country, no one to take care of me but God is great. That was just the begining of my pains. The miscarriage upset my whole system, I was bleeding twice a month, periods od 19days…how do u know fertile days in this case? In November I bought evening primrose oil cuz I read it helped with cervical mucus, and yes it does…it thined my cervical mucus and on my next ultrasound the doctor said my mucus was perfect. Still no success in conceiving so she prescribed Menogon(induces ovulation) and clomid. Took in December but didnt work, ultrasound showed matured eggs so the only possible explanation as to why it didnt work was my state of mind (I wanted it so badly so yes, when u take it off ur mind and busy with other things is a treatment on its own), over stimulation of the ovaries and low ssperm count of my partner. The clomid and menogon treatment made me sick with painful allergies all over my body.
    Gosh, this is so long already. Anyway my fiance denied menogon. In February this yearI took another round of Clomid…two weeks later I got a positive test and as I write I’m expecting my first child. What worked for me? Prayers, medical attention, supportive partner, faith that I would conceive/positive mindset, curiosity to google search every step of the way/quest for related knowledge. Nothing hurts as much as a woman TTC in vain, nothing. My heart and prayers goes out to u all out there TTC. It should happen to u before u stand a chance to appreciate.So sorry its this long. With love from Douala, Cameroon.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Wow, Ania! Good for you! I’m happy it all worked out in the end. May God bless you with a healthy and happy pregnancy, and a smooth and safe delivery!

  13. Aderonke says #Bring BackOurGirls#

    May 4, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    @Nicechick- And he sure will in Jesus name! God never fails he will meet us all at our various points of needs in Jesus name!

  14. Daisy

    May 4, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Dearest Ania I wish I could love your post a million times. Going through the same as you did and I would like to have half your attitude towards the situation but sometimes I just loose hope.I pray God listens to the cry of our hearts.Thank you for sharing and thank you Nicole for this article.

  15. Mrs. R

    May 4, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    hi, Nicole. this TTc journey isnt easy at all. i ve been ttc for about 8 months(it might not seem like long to other,but its felt like 8 yrs for me!).i honestly dont know how women cope with ttc for four,six, eight years. when all you want is a child of your own,its tough not being able to have them when you want without people being insensitive to what you are going through. after waiting patiently for year to get married so you can finally start your family….the dissapointment and despair on realising that it might not be as easy as you had thought it would be. i am happy that i took the step of getting a diagnosis,at least now i know the problem( anovulation/ pcos),i m on a treatment plan. baby dust to all ttc women.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      My dear, even TTC for 8 weeks can be too long. It’s one of the hardest things to deal with, least of all combined with insensitivity. I’m glad that you have gotten your diagnosis dear. Good luck with your treatment plan. I hope you get a BFP soonest!

  16. Tru

    May 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Nicole, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your articles. I have friends who’ve been TTC for a long, long time. As a rule I steer clear of the subject so I don’t say anything to hurt them (even if I have the best of intentions). But once or twice I have been guilty of putting my foot in it, to my lasting regret.
    Thank you for giving a real voice and platform for women TTC – nothing sanctimonious, nothing overly sentimental, just realism. xoxo.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks so much, Tru. It’s really appreciated. What really matters is for your friends to see that you’re coming from a good place.

  17. Ms. Bee

    May 4, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Nicole!!!! Another great post!

    I think some people just don’t know how to talk. A friend once told me, ” to stop trying to look fashionable all the time and concentrate my energy on trying to have a baby” (huh?, duh! should I look like the world is about to end just because I’m TTC???). I was very upset at her initially, but later found out that she had a older sibling that is TTC. In the end, she had a good intention but it just didn’t come out right.

    • nicolefertilechick

      May 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks Ms. Bee!! But wait oh, stop looking fashionable ke??! Wonderful! The kind of theories you hear. I’m glad her intention wasn’t as caustic as it sounded, but please make sure you live your life to the fullest, and be as fashionable as you want to be 😉

  18. Ms. Bee

    May 5, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    @ Nicole….Yes, life to the fullest with 2 kids…To Him alone be the glory!

  19. EVA

    May 5, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    This made me laugh. Brought back those sad memories. Oh dear! laughter was so far away from me then. The Lord makes All possible in His time!!! if only we can let God and stop worrying. Nigerians are very insensitive to this issue and weight! i was TTC and over weight. double whala for dead body abi! lol I heard all the above and even more. To all those TTC please keep the faith it will happen in Jesus name amen.

  20. Moib

    May 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Well done for your write up.
    I actually never know what to say to friends and family who are TTC, so I actually say nothing, like its a no go area, but now I know things to never say.

    I tried to conceive for three months and dunno if that qualifies me to speak, but I know that during that time my world crashed and I found it difficult to smile..
    Then a doctor told me that I wouldn’t be considered until I had tried for a year. But he asked me to relax and prescribed Folic acid and Vitamin E.
    I eventually got pregnant after 3 months and would never know the reason for the delay in those 3 months.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I tasted the pain and can only imagine the rest of what those still TTC would be going through, but somehow, I find my self relating with the situation, recently I have been looking out for your posts because somehow, I can identify with the situation.

    My prayer is that God in His miraculous ways would come through for all those TTC, He alone knows and understands. Your Joys shall be full in Jesus name, amen.

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