Unbearable: You Never Get Used To Those Awkward Questions About Having Another Child

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AwkwardHaving a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

Back when I was just beginning my journey into the world of fertility treatments and in vitro fertilization, I complained about the fact that awkward questions suck. I know, talk about a revelation. But for me, it was eye-opening to see how a simple question like, “Don’t you want to give your little girl a sibling?” could completely destroy my mood. Any inquiry into the state of my uterus made me upset and uncomfortable. And when you only have one child, those come pretty frequently.

That was the start of my journey, before many people knew that I was struggling to have another little one. That was before I lost a child and a Fallopian tube to an ectopic pregnancy. It was back when the fear and hurt were new. Fresh wounds, if you will. Surely, I would’ve gotten used to these things in the intervening  months,  right? After discussing my problems with the world wide interweb, one could assume that I got comfortable with all this secondary infertility talk.

Honestly, even I started to get pretty confident in my ability to stay calm and thoughtful in the face of, “So when are you going to have another?”

Then, I took a quick business trip. I got away from my normal social circle or friends and family who are all somewhat aware of my issues. And all those questions came right back to my conversations.

After smiling at a little girl on the subway, her mother asked me if I had any of my own. “Oh yea, I have a little girl about her age actually,” I shared. Yes, I am the type of traveler who talks to people on the subway. I’m okay with that. Anyways, in what was a very well-meaning comment, the woman told me, “You have to have a boy soon. I had mine 13 years apart and it was just too much. One kid in high school before the other starts kindergarten isn’t any fun.”

Suddenly, I realized why New Yorkers don’t make small talk on the subway. I felt pretty over this whole mom-to-mom chat.

Later on, a work acquaintance asked about my plan for more kids. It was someone who wasn’t familiar with my writing on Mommyish and had only seen my business writing. I knew that she had no reason to guess that I have been trying to have more kids for quite a while now.

I had gotten comfortable with my TTC status. I got cocky in the face of those awkward questions. And then they jumped up when I least expected them and I found myself floundering, trying to come up with an answer. Really, who wants to respond to an innocent question with, “Well I lost a baby a couple months ago, but we’re still hoping…”

Yup, it doesn’t matter what part of this journey I’m on, awkward questions suck. It doesn’t matter if someone is childless by choice, struggling for a second, or simply done having kids. Having a baby is a very personal decision and it’s so often a complex issue. I guess there are some levels of social discomfort that you just can’t get used to.

(Photo: The Crazy Nigerian)