Stop Asking Me about Babies!

At the 30th Resolve annual Family Building Conference in Minneapolis on November 8th, I got a lot of questions about how to avoid others’ questions about babies at family get-togethers, especially at the holidays.  “I just can’t explain our fertility treatment another time”, said one attendee.  “One more question about when we’re having a baby and I think I’ll scream!  Stop asking me about babies!” said another.  The whole room was ALIVE with outrage on this topic.

When my husband and I returned from our honeymoon, my father’s first question on the phone was, “Did you make me a grandbaby?”  I remember looking at the phone and banging it several times on my desk.  When I finally responded, I said, “What?  We must have had a bad connection.”

Why, you ask, is it so difficult for many to field this question?  There are many answers including:

•    It may be painful to explain your infertility status or why you are “not over” a pregnancy loss.  The question may bring flashbacks of an ultrasound with a baby who has died.  Tears often follow.  This can be embarrassing or traumatizing.
•    The question is often asked with a wink and a yuckety-yuk.  The subtext is, “Hey, how’s it goin’ in the bedroom, yo?” If your butt is sore from intramuscular injections from your fertility treatment, you are probably not feeling so sexy.  Yuck.
•     It’s personal, folks!  How often do you talk with others about what goes on below the waist?  (Example, “Well, first I put my right foot in the stirrups, and then the left foot, etc.)

So what to do?  Bottom line is that you have choices.  Yes.  YOU have choices.

•    You can set up the situation in a way you can live with.  Ask someone else (your partner, your sister) to let others know that this is a question-free event.  Sometimes people will go along and keep it zipped.
•    You can answer the question with a vague truth, like “We’re working with our doctor” and leave it at that.  If you want to offer more with the right person, okay.
•    You can feign distress and spend a little time in the bathroom.  Why?  No one follows you in there and you can quiet any distress you feel.  More questions?  Repeat.
•    You can change the subject, as with my phone-banging example.  Be obvious.  Hopefully others will get the hint.
•    I always give my clients at least one crazy response when we are figuring out a problem.  As our squirrel friend would say,

“Dance it Out.”

That ought to finish that.

And finally, in truth, you do not need to attend every family get-together.  My attendees at the Resolve conference decided to fly as a group to Hawaii for Christmas.  There were some smiles about that fantasy.  But really, you can!  Spend the holidays a different way if that is the best way for you.  Take care of yourselves, my friends.  You are awesome.

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