If you’re a woman of child bearing age, chances are you’ve been asked if you have kids or plan to have kids. It’s an inquiry that might appear to be innocuous, but could render serious emotional trauma. What you perceive as small talk, could actually be the catalyst to someone’s breaking point.
Sometimes you wake up in a good state of mind, ready to take on the day and all it takes is one mild remark to send you spiraling. And you try to rationalize. That person was just trying to be friendly, they didn’t mean any harm. But the truth is, is that even if that person was just striking up causal conversation, it doesn’t make it hurt any less. What they assume is casual conversation, you accept as a threat to your emotional stability.
It rings in your ears as a reminder that your uterus is still empty despite all of the vitamins you’ve been taking and tips and tricks you’ve implemented in order to achieve pregnancy.
It drives into your heart like a knife, almost mimicking that same feeling of defeat that you experience month after month at the sight of blood.
Or what if you know you can’t have biological kids because you had a hysterectomy due to your crippling endometriosis. Do you let them in on this personal information or do you just nod and smile like you do every other time you are confronted with this stifling question.
Maybe it makes you feel inadequate because you don’t want to have kids, yet society puts all of this pressure on you to fit a certain mold. Are you less of a woman because you don’t want to reproduce?
Or how about the woman who just experienced a miscarriage. The woman who is no longer pregnant, but still feels pregnant because of all of the hormones coursing through her. She still instinctively places her hand to her belly because her body hasn’t quite caught up with her mind and soul. She still feels pregnant, even though she isn’t. That question will surely send her spiraling. If you were to ask a week ago, her insides would be beaming. She wouldn’t admit to being pregnant because it would be far too early to tell anyone, but at least this time she could confidently respond with her generic, “we’ll have kids in due time.”
I underwent laparoscopic surgery on Monday which resulted in the loss of a very longed for pregnancy in addition to my left Fallopian tube. I haven’t even finished my prescription of pain meds and I’ve already been harassed about when I will another baby. The person who struck up this conversation does not know that today was my first day back at work after two weeks of hell. He does not know that I am still passing residual tissue from my surgery or that I’m still experiencing morning sickness because my body hasn’t caught up with itself. He doesn’t know that it took every ounce of courage for me to get out of bed and face the world today. He has no idea that we’ve been trying to get pregnant for months and that highly anticipated positive pregnancy test resulted in the worst heartbreak of my life. He has no idea what I’m going through. Can I blame him for asking? Is it unfair of me to hope that the universe could spare me from that dreaded question while I heal?
You have no idea what a person is battling. And while I know we can’t expect the world to be keen on our sensitivities and triggers, we can try to spread awareness. This is me spreading awareness. Think before you speak. Read the room. You truly do not know the weight of your words. Use them to spread the good, not the bad.