SENSITIVE POST WITH POSSIBLE TRIGGERS: The title may have triggered you already. If so, I do apologize. I believe this is an important topic to discuss, however. I’ll warn you, though… My perspective about this question is likely to surprise you.
Recently on Instagram, I once again saw the social media post stating, “Stop asking women when they are going to get pregnant.” The post asserts that because of endometriosis, PCOS, other medical conditions, or even just not wanting to have kids, the question, “So, when are you going to get pregnant” is none of anyone’s business.
Now, you might think I’m sitting over here with the clapping emoji, ready to like, comment, and share. It might surprise you to learn that I never like, comment, or share this post.
Or maybe that doesn’t surprise you. I do enjoy looking at things with a different perspective after all…
My Perspective on the question, “So, when are you going to get pregnant?”
And as for my perspective…
Well, I really, really wish the infertility & childless communities would stop telling others to stop asking about when women are going to get pregnant and have kids.
Now, you might be thinking…
What the heck, Brandi?! I usually like reading your perspective, but you’ve lost your ever-loving mind today!
Just stick with me for a moment…
Why on earth would I assert that we should not tell people to stop asking triggering questions like “So, when are you going to get pregnant?” and “Do you have kids?” Well, because I don’t think the question is actually the problem. I think the fact that there is only one acceptable answer is the problem.
In my humble opinion, the infertility & childless communities need to educate others that there are, in fact, many acceptable answers to “When are you going to get pregnant?” And one of those answers is, “I can’t.” Another is “I have endometriosis.” Or “I have PCOS.” Or “I’m infertile.” Or even, “I don’t want to have kids.” (Because I really do believe the childless not by choice and childfree by choice communities should advocate for one another. But that’s a different blog…)
I mean, we claim that we want to break the taboo of infertility and childlessness. We state that we want to break the taboo of women’s health issues. We stand up and say that our voices should be heard!
And yet, in the next breath, we assert that you shouldn’t ask questions about fertility?
Are you tired?
Not too long ago, someone asked me if I was tired. I didn’t really feel tired. I didn’t think I looked tired either. But instead of simply saying, “No,” I explained that I have endometriosis, which causes fatigue. She asked me what endometriosis is exactly. And I spent several minutes explaining a few key points about this chronic illness.
During our battle…
Many years ago, during Dane and my battle, we attended the birthday party of a close friend’s son every year. And every year, this one lady asked me when Dane and I were going to “get one of these.” In other words, “When are you going to get pregnant?”
For several years, I laughed off the question. But one year, I just couldn’t take it anymore. So, I looked at her and said, “Dane and I have been trying for several years, but we can’t have kids. We’ve been diagnosed with infertility.” The smile from her face dropped immediately, and there was a bit of awkwardness. Then, she said, “That’s okay.”
Now, she did go on to say that we could adopt. At that point, Dane and I were researching options, including various types of adoption. My point is not that she gave some type of not so helpful advice, however. My point is that I educated her about the fact that not everyone can get pregnant easily.
Some Final Thoughts…
Now, please, do not think that I am telling every infertile and/or childless woman that she must share her story with the well-meaning acquaintance, the dental hygienist, the coworker, etc. Infertility, women’s health, childlessness… These are emotional topics. And we are under no obligation to share intimate details about our lives with just anyone.
What I am asking…
Before we continue to share social media posts which ask others to stop asking questions… Well, let’s consider that stifling the conversation may not be the best way to break the taboo.
One of the hardest things about this journey is the isolation. We feel alone, like no one understands. But how are we to break the barriers if we halt the conversation, as difficult as the conversation may be?
So, my perspective on the question, “So, when are you going to get pregnant?” I want the wider world to understand this…
Only ask if you are willing to hear a true, authentic answer. Only ask if you can handle that the woman might not be able to get pregnant. Because “When are you going to get pregnant” isn’t a light-hearted question. It is a serious inquiry…
If anything I wrote resonates with you, fabulous one, please tell us about it in the comments.
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