One thing I have learned over the last year is that people have almost no scruples when it comes to other women’s fertility (or lack thereof). My husband and I agreed to keep the fact that we are TTC a secret from most people. We look forward to the surprise element of announcing our first pregnancy. Still, not telling people has its drawbacks. More often than not, people have no idea just how hurtful they are being. The following is a list of things I get to hear on a regular basis:
1.” When are you going to have children?”
What I say: “Someday… when the time is right!”
What I want to say: “After trying for 8 months we had a miscarriage. It sucks, and quite frankly it is none of your business.”
2. “Well if SOMEBODY ever decides to have kids, maybe I will get to be a grandmother!” (and other similar passive-aggressive allusions to being the only woman in the world who is not yet a grandmother.)
What I say: “You’re already a grandmother to a wonderful cat!” (This drives my mother crazy).
What I want to say: “It’s not about you. It’s about us. When it happens you’ll be among the first to know, but in the mean time you just need to lay off.”
3. “You don’t have kids yet? You are so smart to wait. You have PLENTY of time.”
What I say: (I usually just smile and nod).
What I want to say: “Seriously? I’m 28 and mu husband is almost 30. We’ve been trying for almost a year. Seems to me time may already be running out.”
4. “I can’t wait until you have a baby!”
What I say: “I know! Someday….”
What I want to say: “Thanks for the painful reminder. If we had conceived on the first try I’d be holding my baby right now. And if we hadn’t lost our first pregnancy I would already be able to feel my baby kick.”
5. “We’re pregnant and it only took us one try!”
What I say: “Congratulations!”
What I want to say: “Screw you!”
I know this makes me sound bitter and angry, and quite frankly that’s not far from the truth. I went from being excited to see pregnant women or mammas holding new babies to feeling a special cocktail of emotions ranging from shame and sadness to anger and frustration. I feel a lot of worry over what the future will bring. Will I be able to successfully conceive again? If I do, will we lose that baby, too? Will we be forced to choose between spending thousands of dollars for fertility drugs and spending thousands of dollars on a chance at adoption?
One thing I know for sure: I am never asking anyone these questions ever again. You just never know the pain you might be causing.
What hurtful or offensive things have been said to you or someone you know?