Dexter. I’ve been rewatching the first season, and I realize now one of the many reasons why I love it so much. I really identify with him. Not the serial killer part, but his emotional awkwardness. He has to fake emotions in order to fit in, as he has no feelings of his own. Now I wouldn’t say that I’m THAT far gone, but I do often feel as though my emotional responses aren’t “normal.” I have comforted many a friend as they cried about MY situation whilst I sat dry-eyed. I have recounted some of my darkest days to others while seeming as detached as if I were talking about the weather. I have stood in the diaper aisle of Wal-Mart wondering when the tears were going to come…reading about other women weeping over Pampers in their local grocery stores told me surely that was the “typical” miscarriage reaction. People have implored me to remember my babies through plants or trees or even through giving them names. The thought that none of those things ever crossed my mind…well, chalk another one up to my oblivious insensitivity.
Now believe me, I do cry. Put Marley & Me on television or give me a Nicholas Sparks novel, and I’m bawling unabashedly. It’s easy for me to cry for someone else’s situation (especially when it involves a furry, four-legged friend). There’s just something about the vulnerability and egocentricity of crying for myself when others are around that I just can’t handle. However, just because I can go out in public and talk about my situation without tearing up, Dexter-style, I’ve found that people think that means I’m “okay” enough to be subjected to all sorts of interesting commentary and advice. I’ve read numerous articles online regarding this verbal phenomenon, so I decided to consolidate the information (plus a few of my own gems) into a list of things NOT to say to me, or anyone else suffering through recurrent miscarriages or infertility, for your own personal safety. *Each faux pas is followed by my unspoken reaction for a little sarcastic relief. (Read at your own risk…)
10) Kids aren’t that great anyway. *Then give yours to me.
9) Maybe you’re just not meant to be a mom. *Ouch! Below the belt!!
8) You’ve gained some weight! *Yes after five pregnancies with no time in between, you tend to gain a few pounds. And the grief eating doesn’t help. Oh, and YOU’VE gained a few pounds. (I didn’t say the reactions were mature…) Haha
7) Have you tried XYZ? It worked for this lady on the internet… *Oh, I’ll tell my doctor with years and years of experience who has read just about every study known to man on fertility issues and attends all sorts of conferences. I’m sure he’ll be happy to have a cure.
6) Oh well, you can always adopt. *When this comes from someone with their own biological children, it’s a knife to the heart. The inability to have a child with mommy’s lips and daddy’s eyes is a huge grievable loss, a vanishing dream, not just some small inconvenience.
5) I know how you feel. *Not a good idea to say to ANYONE going through anything remotely tragic.
4) God has a plan. *Not helpful unless God has told you what it is and you’re about to impart that knowledge upon me. I know it’s true, but hearing it doesn’t change anything.
3) When are you going to give up on having a baby? *When you buy me a baby.
2) Well, there are worse things that could happen. *Great line for a new Hallmark sympathy card! You should submit the line right away before someone else steals it!
1) Nothing. *I’ve talked about this before – no need to say it again.
I don’t say ANY of this to induce guilt, because if you’re sensitive enough to think I might be writing about you, you’re sensitive enough that you wouldn’t have said any of these things! Also, I know that most of these comments and questions are born out of genuine concern or to fill the uncomfortable silence. I rarely take them to heart or hold them against anyone because God knows I’ve said some TRULY idiotic things when I didn’t know what else to say. The best things to say? I love you. I’m praying for you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do. That means more than all the well-meaning advice in the world.