Did You Really Just Say That?


Image: Jennifer Moo via Flickr

Is this a blog about infertility?


Ok… then, I suppose its time for another post about really stupid things well meaning people say. Every infertility blogger worth her stirrups must devote ample time to bemoaning how fertiles offer advice or condolences that make her feel broken, guilty, and even sometimes fighting mad.

Rather than relay the ludicrous responses and awful pregnancy advice all at once I am doling the nonsense out in small doses, allowing us to savor the experience and make the good times last.

I begin the new series with my absolute favorite senseless comment of all time.

Its a classic because it happened in an environment and context that are as unusual as the comment itself. In fact, I’d be willing to bet all the money we’ve spent on IVF that its a phrase far less than one percent of the population will ever hear:

“You don’t have fallopian tubes? That’s great!”

Yep. Someone actually said that to me. Someone oozing with genuine excitement when it was exclaimed.

It’s not what you might be thinking.

It was not a jealous friend with kids crawling all over her who can’t afford birth control. Nor was it uttered  back in our pre-baby making days after an “accident” (we had a handful of those days).

This priceless gem of nonsense was imparted during a discussion with a third party benefits representative. Sigh. I was jumping through the umpteenth hoop in the intermittent leave approval process and my doctor had not adequately explained why my condition required treatment. Apparently we needed to provide more detail on why IVF was medically necessary.

I wanted to tell the enthusiastic representative helping me “IVF is not like elective plastic surgery, you don’t choose to spend thousands of dollars and put your body through a procedure that might not work for fun or vanity. No matter what the news says these days, we aren’t making a designer baby nor is anyone else. I’m not trying to become Decamom here either. I need this, dammit”

But instead I sheepishly replied “I don’t have tubes. Is that what you mean?”

Then she said it.

“You don’t have fallopian tubes? That’s great!”

Truthfully, the representative’s thoughtless comment was hilarious. I even felt a little sorry for her as she realized what she said and immediately apologized.

I deeply appreciated her genuine excitement that my claim was going to be approved. She was just looking out for me, trying to help me successfully navigate the system and she found her silver bullet. Clearly I would be rubber stamped. No problemo.

For the first time since I was diagnosed and the tubes were removed something good had come from it. I was a winner. My prize was the ability to take up to 5 days off a month to travel and try to get knocked up without using all my vacation time.


Four years ago the senseless comment may have stung. Today I can laugh at my sad little consolation prize and appreciate my hardened but well rounded perspective.

One thought on “Did You Really Just Say That?

  1. So funny what comes out of people’s mouths when they don’t know what to say!

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