Please Don’t Ask Why I’m Not Pregnant: Think Before You Speak

The below questions are all things that people have said to me in the past few weeks. Every time it reminds me that I should be 24 weeks pregnant right now:

  • “When are you having another baby?”
  • “Your daughter’s getting older, don’t you think it’s time?”
  • “Do you think you aren’t ready? I mean, no one’s ever REALLY ready!”
  • “It’ll happen when you least expect it.”
  • “Maybe you just need to try harder!”

We would know if we were expecting a boy or a girl. We would be getting baby stuff out of storage, painting a nursery in this house for the first time, and talking about names. We planned to wait longer to announce it this time — but we’d be doing it around now.

Instead, I’m writing this post.

miscarriage

With one-in-four women experiencing a miscarriage {or more than one} in their lives, you will almost certainly encounter someone who’s had one recently enough that it still hurts — and “recently” is different for everyone.

I should be preaching to the choir writing this for a parenting resource, but hear me out: some of those comments were made to me by other moms. You may think it’s good-natured teasing, or motivating, or cute and funny, but you never know what someone has been through, whether it’s loss, fertility treatments, unrelated weight gain — or someone who has no desire to have another child.

So, PLEASE: think before you make comments like these.

miscarriage

They say that miscarriage is something we don’t talk about enough. Or that women don’t get enough support while they’re going through one. I was lucky. I got so many kind text messages, hugs, and personal stories over the next several weeks — even from people who didn’t know what happened, but knew I was having a hard time and wanted to check in. I can’t thank my friends and family enough for the support and love I received while going through one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with.

But life goes on, and while my body went back to normal and I was able to go about my business like a normal person — it’s always still there in the back of my mind.

By the time my miscarriage was physically “over”, I should have been starting my second trimester.

When everyone was heading back to school, I should have been 16 weeks — that’s when I felt my first kick for the first time.

By early October, I would have been halfway through.

miscarriage

And even though I have all of those caring people in my life who are willing to listen when I need to talk, I have no idea how to respond when I get those frequently asked questions in real life, often from people I don’t know well, and who certainly don’t mean to be hurtful. But every time it kind of makes me want to either go cry in the bathroom or give a way-too-honest answer. Maybe along the lines of:

  • “When are you having another baby?”
    When it happens. When I can. Maybe soon. Maybe never. Who can say? I’d like it to be right now, but it isn’t.
  • “Your daughter’s getting older, don’t you think it’s time?” 
    It’s so inconsiderate how time never stops moving, isn’t it? When you decide to start trying and it doesn’t happen right away, your older child continues to age the entire time!
  • “Do you think you aren’t ready? I mean, no one’s ever REALLY ready!”
    Are we ready? Well, no. Our four-year-old might be, but there would definitely need to be approximately nine months of preparation before we were truly ready.
  • “It’ll happen when you least expect it.” / “Maybe you just need to try harder!”
    These two have the same answer: We’ve been trying for a year, so I can’t tell you how wrong you are. I have a calendar if you want to see it. The amount of tracking, timing, and trying we’ve done makes this whole process SUPER unsurprising — and honestly, super TMI.

Do those answers seem harsh? Maybe, which is why I’ll probably never say them out loud.

It’s likely that you know someone who could use your support, whether you know it or not. Don’t undermine it by asking questions that can’t possibly make any woman feel better — because you never know if they’ll stick there, in the back of her mind, just like the timeline of a pregnancy-that-isn’t.

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