It's a question I'm already fielding: Are your triplets natural?
My response is always the same: Well, they certainly aren't robots.
Parents of singletons can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems a question reserved for parents of multiples.
Sometimes the questioner is another person who has been through the ART ringer, ready to commiserate with the headache that is advanced reproductive technology. Most of the time, however, it's just another nosy nelly.
Normally, I would consider these questions great teaching moments, a perfect opportunity to spread awareness about infertility. But people aren't interested in that. They want the nitty gritty, short soundbites to gossip about, not the long story about how and why I don't ovulate and what lengths we went to to get my body functioning as it should.
The question in its nosy state kills me.
All pregnancies are natural, regardless of the technology used to help achieve them.
The key word in that sentence is "help." There is still a moment of conception that doctors cannot touch. Beyond that, embryos must implant, and that is not a technological guarantee. Nature (since we're talking natural vs. unnatural) still has overall say in whether a pregnancy actually happens, regardless of the technology or lack thereof.
Likewise, a couple whose method of conception is without medical assistance but involves using some freaky sex apparatus that I can't even dream up (but I just know must exist -- tangent -- did you know dicks.com is NOT the sporting goods store's website? BIG at-work mistake!) conceives just as naturally as Duggars do. I just can't see the Duggars whipping out dicks.com's toy of the month, nor can I see them calling use of said apparatus "natural."
I digress. My point: People cannot choose to conceive. Conception is beyond anyone's control, including a team of the best doctors and your neighbor who swears by Kama Sutra page 436.
This is the precise reason asking if a pregnancy is natural is so very hurtful to those of us who have used ART for the extra help in conception. We understand how very not in control we are. We have had all the perfect pieces, all the perfect timing, all the elements that should make conception work. And it hasn't.
The people who ask about a natural pregnancy? They can't fathom that feeling. They don't know just how much nature is in control. And the fact that they have the balls to ask that painful question, to seek out gossip material -- that is what is a slap in the face.
And that is why you'll always hear me reply, "Well, they aren't robots."
Photo Credit: Albertine Watson.
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