“You better start soon, you won’t be young forever.”
“Aunt Wizzy, do you have a baby in your tummy?” (Thank goodness I was feeling especially skinny that day or I may have taken that as an unintentional shot at my figure.)
I dread these questions and statements. They come in all forms- both expected and unexpected, from the genuinely curious and as tips from the wiser. I never know how to answer them. Part of me cringes and rages at the question: “It’s really none of your business.” Part of me wants to reveal the deep wound I have in my heart, but bleeding all over an unsuspecting acquaintance is probably not the best route. Part of me wants to make the questioner feel as uncomfortable as I am feeling by making a cynical, snide remark. A huge part of me wishes I could just happily say “We are trying.” But that response always leads to more questions, “how long have you tried?”, “Will you continue to work at your job?”, “Are you charting your cycle?”, etc. Or it leads to more conversation about babies and conception and how the questioner conceived, etc. All roads that are very painful to talk about.
How are we supposed to respond to such a loaded personal question? And yet, it is a natural question. It is the natural progression of a marriage…for most. If you have been one to ask this question, I encourage you not to fret over whether you hurt an infertile friend. Because in reality, we (infertiles) assumed it was the natural progression for us as well. It just so happens, that it’s not. Our progression looks different and we are trying to come to terms with that. With that being said, I have said and thought some pretty rude responses to these questions and statements. I can’t believe I am going to write these down for the world to see, but maybe you have also put your foot in your mouth and need to know you’re not the only horribly rude Infertile Myrtle out there. Or maybe you just need a laugh. Or maybe your infertile friend said something super rude to you and now you see that your friend is actually quite reserved compared to what I have said to my friends. Whatever your reason for reading this blog is, I hope this helps. To aid with the humor of the situation I have decided to illustrate each response with scenes from Harry Potter, because why the hell not?
Top Worst Ways I Answered The Question: “When are you guys going to start having kids?”
- “Kids? What are those?”
- “We aren’t”
- “We haven’t quite figured out how to accomplish that yet. What are the essential requirements to make a baby?”
- “We have thought about it but we were scared we’d end up with kids like yours”
- “Why do you keep asking? Is that what you think is best for mine and Dean’s life? I’m sorry I wasn’t aware I needed your input.” (I may have had some repressed anger towards this person’s constant questions about when we would have kids.)
- “We’ve been trying for 5 years…” *Sobs*
- “Why would I want to do that? I hear morning sickness is a b**ch”
- “hahahahahahahaha…as if we have any control in the situation…hahahahaha” *That was not a happy laugh either…more like a maniacal laugh
- “After we’ve saved up enough to retire”
- “As soon as someone leaves their’s unattended.”
I typically stick to the “In God’s timing” answer, but I haven’t always. There have been times in the past that I have let my rage and hurt feed my response. Let me tell you from experience: DON’T GO THERE! Don’t do it! Turn around. Allow yourself to feel those feelings but don’t take it out on the innocent. This is one of those “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything” moments.
I’m not saying, don’t talk to people about this. We need to do that. We need those close people we can vent to and cry to. We need to be there for each other. We need to let others in so they can pray for us and encourage us. But we don’t have to do that for everyone. You aren’t obligated to tell anyone about that part of your life. Find an answer you are comfortable giving and practice it, so you aren’t caught off guard and become an Infertile Moaning Myrtle. but if you do find yourself in a situation where you let your emotions get the best of you, don’t get too hard on yourself; I guarantee there will be a lot more opportunities to practice the nice responses.