Infertile Women Are Afraid of Facebook


facebook logoPregnant women of the world, it's time to think before you Facebook. You're driving your infertile friends to the dank wasteland that is life without social media.

That's not very social is it?

While the number of women struggling with infertility and turning to the web to read blogs on the topic grows steadily, those same women shudder each time they open up their Facebook to yet another "Peanut was kicking me all night! Can't wait for the due date!" status update.

They're tough chicks fighting for what they really want, but infertile women are terrified of Facebook. And the rest of the world compounds it by hiding behind a computer screen.

A host of infertile couples admitted to the Washington Post recently that they suspect their friends put up pregnancy news on Facebook just so they don't have to break it in person -- and risk dealing with their feelings about it.

Hold the phone. Are we that insensitive a lot?

Talking about your pregnancy when a friend is infertile is never going to be easy, but if you're truly a "friend," then a certain amount of humanity has to go into this discussion. That means having the gumption to pick up the phone and make the call.

Once you do that, it's up to them to make the next move. Which could mean blocking your Facebook feed for the next nine months or so.

You're guaranteed never to keep everyone happy with what you say on Facebook. Hence the ability to "unfriend." If you get married, your single friends are going to be feeling the twinge. Support a Senate candidate, and your crazy conspiracy theory uncle's bound to get his knickers in a twist that candidate X is controlled by space aliens.

If your plan is to lay out every bout of morning sickness, every kick, and every baby shower registry update, it's your right. Your mother-in-law two states away may even be requiring it. But the least you could do is warn a sister first.

How do you prepare your infertile friends for your Facebook updates?

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PonyC... PonyChaser

How about having it go the other way?  When I was pregnant, my best friend knew that she was infertile, would never have a child naturally.  She revelled in my pregnancy - frequently asking me how I was feeling, asking to see sonograms, etc.  When we found out that she was infertile, I cried with her, listened to her feelings about it, let her vent to me.  I thought that's what friendship was - enjoying each other's triumphs and comforting through the tough times... not "blocking" your friend when she's going through the happiest time of her life.

CoolR... CoolRelax

People are that afraid of status updates? For real? Gimme a break.  Funny how some folks are so "sensitive" that they end up totally controlling what someone else says/does/types.  Passive aggression at it's worst.  Of course you should be sensitive to a friend who's hurting because of infertility - but that's taking it a little too far.

RanaA... RanaAurora

So, I'm broke, so don't talk about things you buy. I'm fat, so don't talk about swimsuits. I can see how it would be a hard thing, but at the same time, it's something the infertile woman needs to work out, even through counseling, if she finds she can't even stand seeing her friends happy.

Slieu... Slieurance

I am afraid to tell some of my friends that I am pregnant, because of their reactions. I don't want to feel bad that I am pregnant, while they are unable to have children. I want to be really happy about this baby, and not have the same issues I had with my first pregnancy.

Javi0... Javi05Eli07

I wonder if these inferile people go out in public, watch TV and movies, or even have friends and family.  If they are scared of facebook because of people updating about pregnancies they must be terrified of the things I mentioned.  Unless you live in a community that has everything you want and need but is also a community of people who can't have kids then you are pretty screwed about not running into someone who is pregnant or just had a baby.  I understand they are sad and possibly angry they can't have any of their own but the world is not going to stop and cater to them.

nonmember avatar Monzie

I posted the news that I was pregnant on Facebook so I wouldn't have to make 50 phone calls to family and friends all over the country. And my friend who happens to be struggling with infertility was one of people who was most excited by the news. Honestly, how is it insensitive to share happy personal news on a general social website whose main purpose is to share just these sorts of things? I mean, I'm not going to rush over to some infertility forum and brag about how I got pregnant at 41 the first month I tried. But am I really expected to censor myself on Facebook? So, when my friend buys a fancy new car, can I pout and block her because I drive a three year old Subaru? When my step brothers post photos of the deer they just shot, can I demand that they remove them because they offend my vegetarian sensibilities? Sheesh. Time to grow a thicker skin, folks...

Erin1108 Erin1108

Wow, some of these remarks are kind of harsh. It's a little different to say, not be able to have a child than the relatively easy fixes you are throwing out there. Equating losing weight, or the inability to buy a new car to not being able to conceive a child is not only ridiculous, its pretty heartless. While I am not one of the women who "blocked" any of my pregnant friends, I can say that it is their right if they can't handle it. I have been happy that everyone of my friends got pregnant and had healthy babies, but I won't lie and say it didn't sting a little. Until you know what it's like to watch everyone get pregnant, or finally get that positive, only to be told there is no heartbeat and miscarry, then don't tell us "infertiles" to try to be happy all the time for everyone. Part of being a good friend is supporting them, yes, but isn't the point of this story that you should tell your infertile friends before they have to see it on Facebook? Seriously, take 5 minutes and call your friend. Let her know. And understand, that while she might not be as thrilled as you are, more than likely she is happy for you. She just might not show it the way you want her to. But if you are her friend, ask her if she wants to be included in the things she might not (ever) be able to experience (depending on your closeness of your friend). I'm infertile. I've been trying to conceive for 2 years and have lost three babies.

nonmember avatar Mother of two

These infertile women are pretty self-centered. Probably good they don't have kids.

hayde... haydensmommy009

I agree with the first post from ponychaser!!

purpl... purplepolkadots

Erin1108, I have been in your shoes, I am so sorry for your losses, and I agree with your post 100%.  To most of the other commentors, I'm sorry, but this is something you can't quite understand the pain of until you have been there. 

I do not think that pregnant or mothering women need to censor their facebook posts.  However, it would be very nice for a pregnant woman to call her close friend before an "I'm pregnant" announcement.  Part of what's so hard about being infertile is that you think you are feeling just fine about it, and then you feel gobsmacked by news that another woman is pregnant.

RanaAurora, it's not that the infertile woman can't even stand seeing her friends happy.  She's probably very happy for her friends, because no infertile person would ever wish infertility on anyone else!  Have you ever considered what it would feel like, as a woman, that your body doesn't do what others do so naturally?    Infertility has made me feel so inadequate.  (Not my pregnant friends, infertility.)  That's more than having no money and wanting to be rich, more than being fat and not wanting to be.  It's so much more than a hard thing.

And mother of two, wow.  Your lack of compassion is startling.

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