As soon as I got married, people started asking: “When are you going to have kids?” While my husband and I got pregnant with our first child easily, the second time wasn’t so easy. As time went on, it seemed like twice a day someone would ask, “When you are going to have another?” Most of the time, I just made a nice comment, that we hadn’t thought about it, or that I was too busy with my training. Little did they know that I was heartbroken after month after month of failed treatments followed by pregnancy loss.
Once, when I was at a fertility conference, a friend who was also a fertility doctor asked when we’d be having another child. Oh boy. I’m not sure if it was the hormones or the fact that I had just had a miscarriage, but I snapped back at her that we’d been trying, and as a fertility doctor she should have known better than to ask. With tears in my eyes, she realized her mistake. And it really struck me that even fertility doctors don’t get it – unless they’ve been there themselves.
It’s like when you ask someone, “How are you doing?” Do you really want a truthful answer?
What are we supposed to say? It’s as casual as asking what you’re having for lunch or what you are doing for the holidays. People don’t realize that what they’re asking is personal or hurtful.
I guess there are two approaches on how to answer when someone asks you “the question.”
Option 1: Be courteous, tell them you don’t know, hadn’t thought about it, sometime soon maybe. Maybe they’ll get the idea it’s none of their business.
Option 2: The truth. In a nice, respectful way, let them know you have been trying and have been having trouble. That you’ve sought out help, and wish you weren’t in this situation. It’s heartbreaking and hard to have no control over something so important. Let them know it’s difficult when you are asked.
I typically stuck with option 1. I’ll tell you what – I bet if you are going through it, you won’t ask anyone again, when, how many, or if they are going to have kids. You may wonder about it, but that’s where it stays.
It’s helpful to remind yourself that they are just curious and not trying to be hurtful.
Hang in there, friend. You’re not alone.