Let’s take a break from Toddler Games, shall we? I want to talk about the topic of pregnancy. More specifically, trying to conceive, miscarriage and infertility. Yeah, I’m going to go there. Watch me. This blog just got real, folks.

Lots of people, myself included, have innocently and with good intentions made a comment or asked a question regarding someone’s family plans. But here’s the thing…and I’m gonna be blunt…it’s none of our business what other people are doing under the sheets, am I right?

Because that’s kinda what we’re asking.

We’re basically asking, “Are you having or planning to have sex at the right time in order to produce a baby at some point in the near future?” Yeah, um, I can’t imagine anyone would want to answer that if we asked it so directly. Except for me. I would say something absurd to make you feel incredibly awkward and embarrassed because YOU ASKED FOR IT.

Okay in all seriousness I know that’s not really what people are asking. But that’s how personal it is.

Let’s think about this in terms of miscarriage and infertility. Miscarriage and infertility have been quiet topics…and for good reason – they’re super personal and difficult. But I’m going to bring attention to it now and say that miscarriage in particular is a really common problem (1 out of 4 women miscarry) and we all need to be more sensitive about it. We need to watch what questions we ask or comments we make because it’s painful and our words can open up current or past wounds.

A lot of people want children, a lot of people have children. Some people plan to have more, some people plan to have none. But if it’s not happening, if it can’t happen or if people don’t want it to happen, what makes us think we have any right to know? Why do we try to insert ourselves in their personal business?

I was going to give examples of questions and comments that are inappropriate but because I’ve received them myself, I don’t want to call anyone out or make them feel bad. That’s not what this post is about. And I’ve even been guilty of asking some of them myself, either in the past or just recently. Shame on me! Point is…we all just have to understand that any question or comment related to getting pregnant, family size or sibling age gaps are none of our business unless we’ve been invited into the conversation. And it’s about being aware.

When we flippantly bring up this personal and potentially sensitive topic with someone – even when talking about our own family plans –  it can be exciting, happy and fun OR it can be awkward, hurtful, insensitive and invasive for the other person.

Because when something like miscarriage or infertility is happening to someone (whether we realize it or not), it can be a hard topic for them to talk about. Even if the person you’re talking with is very open and honest about personal issues, if they’ve gone through something like this it still might hurt to discuss pregnancy, etc. no matter how tough or “okay” they may seem.

I don’t mean to make anyone feel bad if you’ve said something to someone and now you’re thinking, “Oh no. I said/asked____________. That was probably rude, I’m a terrible person.” Because you’re {probably} not. You were just too curious for your own good. I’ve been there, too. And sometimes it’s just being conversational – it’s exciting to find out what other peers or family members are considering regarding family plans. And that’s okay if we’ve been invited into that conversation. But unless we are, it’s really none of our business. And it’s really personal. People will share whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want. Let’s not pry.

I’m not saying we should avoid talking about this stuff or keep it a secret from someone that we know has experienced loss or infertility – that’s not it AT ALL. Because it can be fun, good and helpful to share our various experiences with others. I’m just saying that we need to be CAREFUL and SENSITIVE about what we say and how we say it. If we know someone has suffered, we need to be cautious with our words. If we *don’t* know if someone has suffered, we need to be cautious with our words. You see where I’m going. Think before we speak regardless of what we know. Our own excitement might make another’s suffering that much greater.

Obviously we always need to watch our words with everything, but I think we especially need to think about how our words might affect someone else specifically in this instance. Because this “happy” topic might not be someone’s happy experience. Miscarriage and infertility are things that are not only hard to deal with at the time, but I’m sure they are something that will never be forgotten by those who’ve suffered from them.

I know from personal experience.

Sensitively yours,
Laura