Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The other day my students were playing at their L.A.F. (lunch activity fun) time before lunch.  I was having an intellectually stimulating conversation with one of my kids...

Anyway, I'm feeling so great about how cool and interesting my students are this year and began walking back to my classroom to eat.  As I was walking, one of the adults outside grabbed my arm and pulled me in close.  I don't remember the exact words that were uttered, but it was something like, "Don't feel like you have to answer this, but when are you going to start a family?"

This woman and I have had conversations, back when I was much more 'in the closet', about how much I was enjoying just being married and how excited we were to have a big family someday and that whenever it happened, it would happen and we would be beyond thrilled.  This answer clearly bought me some time because she hadn't asked me this question in almost a year probably. 

Since I am out with my infertility I decided this was as good a chance as any to test myself on just how 'out' I was really going to be.  These were my words: "Well, you may be sorry that you asked, but honestly, my husband and I have been trying for almost two years and I've actually JUST experienced my second miscarriage."

Here's where things got reeeeaaaallll awkward...

I think there was some stumbling and stuttering over some words and another adult happened to be walking by during my sentence so now I had an audience of two.  Both told me that they were so sorry to hear that and that 'my time would come' probably when I wasn't 'thinking so much about it.'

I wanted my answer to be "actually, that's not exactly how it works for me.  I do NOT ovulate on my own.  So I either won't have any chance of getting pregnant when 'I'm not thinking about it' or trying to get pregnant will pretty much run my life." but I held my tongue.  I had clearly said enough for today.    I smiled and nodded "thank-you" and added something about them "hopefully being right" and went on my merry way smiling and giggling to myself a little.  How silly that this conversation is awkward!

I hope that the more people there are like me out there, the less this conversation will have to be so weird.  It was conversations like these that kept me silent. 

I know both of these people meant well and wish me nothing but great things and I don't blame them for asking me about having a family and I don't blame anyone for the way the conversation turned out.  It is what it is.  The great thing is that it really didn't bother me.  That helps me to know that being honest and open about my infertility was the right move for me.    

The interesting thing for me to realize is that I used to be one of the people who wondered about others who hadn't had kids yet.  I would see people in my life who had been married a while and think about why there were no babies.  I know better now than to think I could even scratch the surface of how complicated getting a family started can be.  I also know that asking a question like, "when are you going to start having babies?!" is not always such a harmless question.  

Maybe everyone should think a little before asking a question like that or making judgements about couples who are childless.  You could be opening up feelings and wounds that people don't want out there, you could hurt someone's feelings, or you could end up asking someone like me who will give you an earful that you didn't really want :)    

I hope this heals, teaches, and connects... 

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