People asking about your fertility…

This is a bone of contention for me. I was asked when I was going to have kids continually, for many years. It didn’t help that due to endometriosis, my abdomen swelled and at times I did appear pregnant. At the time I didn’t know that I would require IVF to have any chance of pregnancy, nor that it would be a decade-long odyssey. When people asked about my plans, I felt frozen to the spot. I was already worried about the possibility of infertility, and feeling as though I had to explain myself compounded my fears and pain. It didn’t end when I was undergoing cycles of IVF either. I was regularly asked if it had “worked.” It was akin to being re-traumatized. The pain of it all was overlooked as others made glib jokes. They also commented that I wouldn’t know what business, life nor love were until I had a child.

The queries didn’t end when I had my daughter. Soon after her birth, people started enquiring as to when I was having another. There was advice on not leaving her an only child. There were smirks and comments about how one child turns out. There was criticism and pressure all around me. I almost died trying to get myself prepared via surgery for further IVF. The trauma caused me to plunge into menopause prematurely. Still, the questions kept coming, as did the criticism of having an only child.

I can say with all honesty that as much as I love my child, I applaud that she is becoming an autonomous human being. As each day passes, she is a step further toward independence. I spend 24 hours a day with her, yet we aren’t joined at the hip. I have my interests and she has hers, and we make time for both. At every opportunity, she is off with her friends having fun. It would be co-dependant to expect her to fulfil me, to make me a whole person and to seal a gaping psyche. No child can do that. I had her out of love, with the understanding that she would leave one day. I am the same person I was before, only stronger and braver. I go out more and wont put up with toxic behaviour for her sake as well as my own. I didn’t have her to define me.

I have a friend who is expecting twins. She announced it to me the other day. I had noticed her swollen belly a while back, but didn’t comment. It wasn’t my business. If she was indeed pregnant she would tell me in her own time. She could have had a litany of maladies to explain her tummy, endometriosis included. She already has a few kids, and is tired of the insensitive jokes and commentary at the other end of the spectrum. You can imagine what she is subjected to. It is an extremely sensitive topic for many reasons, and a hugely personal one. If somebody questions you about when you are having kids, offer them no answer if you are uncomfortable. Smile wryly and move away. You already know what it is to nurture, love and toil.

 

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24 thoughts on “People asking about your fertility…

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  1. Some people can be thoughtless and insensitive when dealing with something that came easy to them. Ignorance also plays a key role in all the insensitive and stupid questions. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

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  2. That is One question I have never been asked! But Plenty of other, useless and even Unkind ones!

    From my Youth I have been Very Strong in Not Answering questions if they were not Right. …Yeah, Smile and Keep Moving!

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  3. People. We waited a few years to have Baby Girl after Little Man and would get comments and questions constantly.

    “Well, what’s the hold up?” we were asked for years.

    Hmm…how about the two miscarriages y’all know about scaring us, among other things? Sigh

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  4. Being an only child myself, I’ve always had a certain ambivalence about it all. When the Kid came along, it was most unexpected, and unlikely to be repeated! Of course he is partly shaped by this, just as we are all shaped by how we grow up. I have a Kid who is grounded and content – with all his very own quirks. What more would you want as a parent???!!!

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  5. Thank you for your kind words. My wife and I have our own issues (though not as serious as yours, I will admit) and want kids, but just not yet. There are other things that have to happen first. It’s a stress when people constantly push you and want to know when, when, when. It was almost enough to cause me to pull my hair out. Even when it was none of their business, they kept pushing. Really quite frustrating.

    Maybe someday we will have some, but not quite yet. It’s made me sensitive to others and their situations. Thank you for your words. It helps me more than you know.

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  6. People are arses! That is the truth of the matter. No matter what you do in life, what choices you make, what personal issues you have to face, someone somewhere will think its their god given right to tell you exactly what they think about the subject. These people are rude, and nosey and insensitive and we should really not spend time or effort worrying about what they say or think (easier said than done I know) Xx

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  7. I have also had the comments about having an only child, the ‘when are you due?’ question despite not being pregnant, and other ‘well-meaning’ remarks! People do not realise how insensitive they are being and anyway, it is none of their bloody business!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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