Tuesday, February 02, 2010

why don't you have kids yet?

not that i have many readers. but a good many of the small number who read this blog already know this. but i've never actually written about it publicly and some people don't know. baldman and i are "sub-fertile." this is a major part of our lives and i've had times where i've wanted to write about it here, but hadn't because i'd not formally "unveiled" it to the larger community. so i'm just going to state it clearly so i can choose to either write or not write about it as i'm in the mood. and i'm writing about it not because i expect or even want sympathy. it's just that it's part of our lives and i'm trying to deal with it.

i'm not going to go into the details because...well... it's private. but basically we've been trying to have a baby for over 3 years. we finally went to the doctor this year and were told that there are issues that make it not impossible, but difficult for us to get pregnant. we could use "technology" (so-to-speak) to assist (i.e. intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization) but we're fairly certain that those are not routes we are interested in going.

believe it or not, there are a lot of good things that have come out of this whole "ordeal." but sometimes it's easy to get stuck in our own little world and think of only the difficulties. at times it feels like everyone's gain is our loss. or that all that exists in the world is us and our "problems." so we are working really hard to not let this happen. we have to make a conscious choice every day to remember that there are bigger things in the world and more important things than just our issues. it's so easy to become insular. and we try to remember that there are things we can do to turn our frustration and sadness into something good.

one of the ways that we are trying to turn our frown upside down (without going to toys r us) is that we are thinking about fostering a child. we're still in the very early stages of this process so we don't know where it will lead, but i'm super excited about this possibility and it just seems like something that is so important to do. i'll write more about that in a later post.

i want to end this post with a list of some of the most annoying, frustrating and insensitive things that people can say to a couple who are having fertility issues (whether those issues are known or unknown by the questioner). i think it's important for people to know what we find offensive so people will just stop saying these things:

1) "why don't you have kids?" or "when are you going to have kids?" or "have you thought about having one of these?" (as they shove their kid in your face)
when is it okay to ask about people's sex lives? cause i kinda feel like that's what people are asking when they ask this question. by the way, there's an assumption in this question that everyone wants to have kids and that's not always true. there's also a weird sigh of relief that people have when we say that we want them but we are having issues. it's almost as if people are relieved that we're "normal" in wanting kids because there's a reason we don't have any yet.

2) "do you not want kids?"
again, there is an assumption here and a judgment. as in "why would you not want kids?" and "if you want kids, why don't you have them yet?" and, let me say here. yes, i do want kids (obviously). but that being said, i will not feel like my life is incomplete without having them. i will certainly be sad and i will mourn that loss, but i will still have a good life. many people before me have survived without kids and many people after me will do the same.

2) "just stop trying. i knew someone who couldn't get pregnant and then they adopted and got pregnant"...or..."they were told they couldn't have kids and stopped trying and got pregnant"...or any variation of this.
it's really obnoxious when people say "just stop trying" because it totally negates the fact that there are reasons why people have troubles. it's not because we don't know how to get pregnant or because we are trying too hard. yes, there are people who get pregnant after they stop trying. but it doesn't make me feel better to know this.

3) "oh, you're having difficulty getting pregnant? have you tried.....?"
unless you have dr. before your name or md after your name, and those credentials are associated with with medical science related to fertility, you're not an expert so please keep your advice to yourself. plus, people who say this generally don't know what the issues are. how do they know if it's problems on the man's side or the woman's side or both sides?? and how can they give advice when they don't even know the problems?

4) around the holidays when someone says "do you have kids?... oh you don't? you know, the holidays are really not the holidays unless you have a kid around."
most of the holidays i celebrate are about Jesus. so maybe they mean the baby Jesus at Christmas??

i'm sure there are more things that people say that annoy me but this is all i can think of right now. if i think of more, rest assured i'll probably post them.


Erica said...

I love you, Katie.

Anonymous said...

amen sista. and you and chris are in my prayers for whatever god has in store for your lives. :) blessings, kais.

Dogwood Dell said...

Well said!

IPW said...

The next person who asks you those stupid question, just punch that person in face. do it! Do It!! DO IT!!! Because I can feel your frustation a thousand mile away.

Waldie said...

thanks for the advice, IPW, but i think i'll refrain from the hitting thing since i'm in the violence prevention field.

but, i got another one today. when someone asked me if i had kids and i said no she laughed and said "ha! i guess you're still partying in the newlywed stage!"

Anonymous said...

I got the question on Friday at work also...sigh

Mrs. Dell

Theresa said...

Katie - thanks so much for sharing this. I think it's important that people who have made a choice for themselves in their lives hear perspective of those who may make different choices. Issues surrounding children are deeply personal, yet many would like to make them highly public, or assume they are (myself included some times, I'm sure). Best wishes as you find your path.