I don't want "no stinkin' baby dust"

There is a sharp divide when it comes to women who want to get pregnant. There are those who are new to the scene and those who are seasoned veterans. If you go to an online forum for these types of issues, it may seem difficult to figure out who is who. But, once you're in the know, it's easy to spot the "newbs."

How, you might ask, could this be so?

One phrase. Two words.

Baby dust.

Women, most of whom are naive as to the real difficulties of infertility, often use this phrase as a closing in posts or email. They send their wishes in the forms of "baby dust, xOx0 baBydUStxOxO, **sticky baby dust** or some other crazy abomination. The premise, I suppose, is that wishing someone "baby dust" means you are wishing a pregnancy for them. Sticky baby dust, it stands to reason, must be for a successful pregnancy.

I don't want to sound callous but, well...I don't want your baby dust... sticky or otherwise. Here's why.

1. The idea that babies are created from your wishes is craziness. Seriously, take a biology class. There is no dust involved. I won't go into it, but you are plain wrong. There are too many people who look at the infertility community as exhibits in a zoo, specimens to be examined and cataloged. Can't we, as members of the community, at least support nomenclature that gets it right before someone else mangles it?

2. When I think of coal dust or diamond dust, I know what those are made of. What, exactly, is baby dust made out of? I don't like the logical extension. Not one bit. It's disturbing, unnerving and downright wrong. Besides, who are you to parse it out? Weren't you around because you are looking for a pregnancy, too?

3. It's a cheap cop-out. Instead of thinking of something sincere to say, you come up with a general statement that you think will make me feel good. It doesn't. Maybe it makes you feel good, but it makes you sound stupid and thoughtless. Tinkerbell is nowhere to be found, and she would have fairy dust any way. Give it up.

4. It marginalizes the hurt, the experiences and the true depth of what infertility actually feels like. Many people wonder when they can "rightfully" call themselves infertile. The definition of infertility is anyone who tries and fails to conceive pregnancy for more than 12 consecutive cycles. However, at the point at which you give up on baby dust, you are probably a member of the infertile club. When you know in your soul that no vapid salutation will lead to your pregnancy, then you know you understand the pain of infertility.

5.  It cheapens the bonds that women forge when we are fighting in these same trenches. Some of the most remarkable women I know are women I will probably never meet. I count some of them as dear friends. We never wish each other baby dust. We wish each other sincere condolences when we suffer a loss. We offer each other hugs, love and support when our burdens are too much. We offer each other a listening ear and a virtual shoulder to cry on when it is needed. Most of all, we offer each other the gift of kindness, acceptance and friendship. All of these are sincere emotions, borne out of a shared grief for the struggle with infertility.

I know some might say I am defensive, and perhaps I am. But, if you are in the trenches long enough, you get some scars. Don't mess with the ladies I love and respect for the struggles they have faced. Don't offer a platitude veiled as kindness. If you are really infertile, you know all you need to offer is whatever is truly on your heart.


  1. Good call. I don't like baby dust either. I prefer my dust in its bunny form, as I breed Dust-Bunnies Of Unusual Size. (Hi. I am a lurker trying to lurk less.)

  2. Ugh. People talking about baby dust is the worst. What are we 12? It's basically like giving away glitter.

  3. Oh my god, I love you. This post is fantastic. I freaking hate baby dust too. That goes along with the people who told me to "think positively and positive things will happen to you! Think it true!" Wow, they were SO RIGHT. I must just be super negative to have had the string of crap that has followed us throughout our infertility experience. It is totally up to me! (ha, ha, HA, just kidding.) Thanks for this post, you made me laugh on a day when I desperately needed it.


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