You simply never know what some people are going through
“So, when are you having kids?” It seems like a harmless question to ask. Natural, even. But it’s one question that carries a lot of weight for many women and couples. One mom recently shared why this question is one you might want to think twice about asking next time — or, at the very least, prepare yourself for a brutally honest answer.
Adele Barbaro wrote about her own experience with infertility, and how she felt anytime anyone asked her The Question.
“-We are just enjoying being newly married
-We have some travelling we want to do first
-I’m just focusing on my career right now…..
“These are just a few of the reasons I used (with a forced smile) to mask what was really going on. I wasn’t always that pleasant. One day I responded with ‘it’s not that fucking easy, you know’. I had just got my period that morning…. again.”
Barbaro has endometriosis and polycystic ovaries, so conceiving was a struggle for her. After receiving her diagnosis, she thought she wasn’t going to be able to ever have children. She and her husband talked about treatments, adopting, and knew that whatever route they ended up taking would be a long one. They chose in-vitro fertilization.
“IVF sucks,” she writes. “It is the most time consuming, invasive, expensive and emotionally painful roller coaster I have been on. It actually broke me. You have so much invested in the process, financially and emotionally that it consumes your every thought.”
Experiencing infertility is one of the most emotionally, mentally, and physically crippling things a human can go through. Experiencing infertility when it feels like everyone around you is getting pregnant and completing their “#2Under2” picture-perfect families feels like nothing short of torture. I know from experience.
“I even started to decline going to certain get togethers and attending baby birthdays were just painful,” Barbaro writes. “I became quite bitter, desperate and depressed.” She says after about a year into treatments, she woke up and took a pregnancy test, expecting the “usual” negative. She says she and her husband were “one of the lucky ones.”
In her post, she urges people to realize that many couples try to conceive children for years. Some eventually succeed, and some don’t. “And what about the couple that doesn’t want kids? Or the couple that had a child but can’t afford to have another? Or those that have lost little ones?”
It’s easy for people to forget these things, especially loved ones who are excited for you at the thought of expanding your family. But infertility is an isolating, emotionally taxing experience that seeps its way into almost every single aspect of your life when you’re in the thick of it.
I am grateful to have a beautiful, healthy little girl — but she didn’t get here on her own. My struggle with polycystic ovarian syndrome means I needed scientific help to regulate my insulin production to convince my ovaries to actually ovulate. My husband and I are constantly asked when we’re “going for number two” and every single time I’m put on the spot, I want to either cry or scream. Next week, I’ll be back in the same doctor’s office who helped me three years ago, and I’m beginning the journey once more. Buckling up for that ride all over again, not knowing if I’ll get lucky this time, is daunting as fuck.
“So, next time you go to say that ‘throw away’ comment to the newlyweds or the couple that have been together for ten years, be sensitive,” Barbaro concludes. “Don’t ask them when they are having kids. You never know what’s going on.”