Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To Tell or Not to Tell

Infertility is a very private matter- no arguing that. Answering the very nosy and inappropriate question "So, when are you having kids?" can be a very scrupulous predicament for those suffering from IF.

Do you
1. play it cool and pretend you're not trying? Offer up some good reasons/excuses and take another sip of wine.
2. admit that you're trying (which also says, yes, we are having frequent sex; thanks for asking)
OR do you
3. drop the bomb and make the conversation get real personal and probably stagnant and say,"We've been trying for X months/years unsuccessfully. Thanks for bringing it up."

My husband and I went through all the stages. When you get to number 3, you're probably pissed off and want to embarrass the questioner- c'mon you could use some satisfaction.

When you really stop to think about the question, it is amazing that it is socially acceptable to inquire of a couple's plans to conceive. I get it. People are excited and love babies, but really? Is it any of their business to know your family planning activities?
The question in and of itself could be a time bomb waiting to go off. There are so many different responses to this question and most of them aren't good.
1. Well, I ovulated yesterday and we had sex three times. Hopefully it works! (give the thumbs up sign)
2. I just had a miscarriage
3. I just had another miscarriage
4. I can't have children
5. My husband's sterile- Wanna donate?
6. And heaven forbid- we don't want to have children!

Once we admitted to people that we cannot have children, we couldn't wait for someone to ask us. It was our chance to be vindicated. I pitied the poor person who asked the question.
I never got the chance to drop the bomb but my husband did. Jaws dropped, faces turned red, the conversation changed subject real fast.

I would like to spread the word. Don't ask a couple when they are having kids. Next time you get asked "the question" you should ask a question in return that is equally as personal:
"How many times do you have sex a week?"
"How's your marriage?"
"How are you doing after you found out your husband was cheating on you?"

Maybe that will get the message across.


Kelly D said...

When my husband and I first started trying we told everyone. When were unable to become pregnant I would plead "The Fifth" whenever anyone would ask. Now I tell everyone we had infertility issues.

Not everyone is comfortable telling people they are struggling to become pregnant. What is interesting is that the question, "when are you going to have kids" is commonplace, yet couples view infertility as a private matter. If we don't speak up people won't know. Although, this is easier said than done.

sheila said...

A classic for us was we would explain we were going through infertility treatments and someone would ask who's fault it is?.. hmm.,,,could you be a bit nosier..we were unexplained but no sympathy when someone else is looking to point the finger.

We also suffered a stillbirth at 8 1/2 months and people didn't realized that I delivered our daughter. Hello did they think the stork took her. Its amazing the ignorance and insensitvity people have.

the misfit said...

I totally agree that people should say they're infertile - for a whole lot of reasons. First, because people (especially strangers or casual acquaintances) who ask such totally inappropriate questions deserve to be embarassed. Some lesson their mothers should have taught is missing; maybe you can provide it. Second, because if more people start to say that, it will be less of a shocking secret; and, maybe, as people get accustomed to hearing it, they will start to think they shouldn't ask. And finally, because - how good would it make me feel if I heard another woman answer that question that way in my hearing? That gal would be my best friend on the SPOT.


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