When do you plan on starting a family?
Seems like a simple question. People began asking me this question about 2 seconds after Ryan and I said “I do.” From people who don’t know me well I get, “Do you have kids?” or “Do you plan on having kids?” I know that when people ask these things they mean well. It’s the next logical step after marriage according to society.
2 months after I lost Sam a work colleague that I don’t see or speak with very often asked me if I plan on having kids. He continued to go on and on about how it’s the best thing you can ever do. Listening to him was like a knife in my heart. I just nodded and smiled. Explaining that my dream was shattered only 2 months ago would have made for awkward conversation.
For most people starting a family is easy. You make a decision it’s time for a family, a few months later you are pregnant and 9 months after that, viola you have a family. In the bliss of their own happy families, a lot of people don’t realize the pressure and hurt that stems from asking these kinds of questions. The woman may not want to have children. She may not be ready for a family yet. She may have recently experienced an early miscarriage and was never able to tell family and friends. She could be currently trying to get pregnant. She could have been trying for the last 5 years with no success and be hanging on to her faith by a thread. She may be going through rounds of fertility treatment with fingers crossed that she will get her family. She could have experienced a late term loss or still birth and struggling with grief. She could be just like me and lost her sweet baby at 5 months into the pregnancy.
I know by writing this it’s not going to change the way the world works. These questions will always be asked. I can only hope that for those reading this that haven’t experienced loss you will think about it before asking these questions. The y seem harmless, but can have a profound impact on someone without you ever knowing.