When my son was born, I joined a Mommy & Me group. There are 12 active members and the only other mom of one recently announced that she was expecting her second child. It was like a punch in the gut.
I am not going to lie, there is a small pang of “When is it going to be my turn?” but I am not one of those infertiles that avoid Facebook for fear of pregnancy announcements or ultrasound photos.
I really do enjoy attending baby showers and I could handle it if my best friend told me she was expecting her third child. In fact, she is and I’m beyond thrilled for her and her family! I’m truly happy for anyone who can get pregnant without complication. After battling secondary infertility for almost three years, I know what a gift it is!
The common questions
What I don’t appreciate is when people ask me if we are planning to have more children, or “Are you done?” The question that makes me cringe the most is: “Are you pregnant yet?” I wish I could respond, “A) It’s none of your business and B) It’s none of your business!” But instead I offer a girlish giggle and simply say, “We’re working on it!” and quickly change the subject.
I have found that many people — family, friends and total strangers alike — believe it is within their rights and it’s appropriate to ask questions concerning my reproductive life. For a couple dealing with infertility these are not easy questions to answer. There are a lot of unknowns and it’s equal parts exhausting and depressing to recount the details over and over.
Being armed with a quick comeback or quip can help relieve the pressure of answering these questions, and will hopefully let the inquirer know just how much is their business. I suppose if people have the nerve to ask me when we might have another child then they should be able to hear the truth too. I am not ashamed or embarrassed about my secondary infertility struggles.
Other insensitive/stupid things people say:
Why are you trying so hard?
Why don’t you just relax? Take a vacation.
Oh, if it were that simple!
What don’t you just adopt?
Adoption might be part of our overall plan and maybe my husband and I have discussed it as an option, however, for us to consider adoption just because someone asked us a short, simple question is outrageous.
Isn’t one enough?
Don’t even get me started!
I know someone who…
Everyone knows someone with a story related to infertility. And trust me, anyone who is struggling with infertility has heard dozens of them. Whether the story has a happy or sad ending, we are numb to them.
Whose problem is it?
Who cares, even if testing does show a problem with one of us (and usually it’s not that clear cut), infertility is and always will be our problem.
I’m certain people aren’t trying to be rude or hurt me when they ask their probing questions and I should look at their inquiries as opportunities to educate them about infertility. I realize that their nosiness is well-intended no matter how much it may exacerbate the grief and stress I’m already feeling.