Before we got married, we were never once asked as a couple, “when are you going to start trying?” or “are you pregnant?” when I refused a drink. The moment we became Mr & Mrs in May 2019, it was non-stop, including on the day itself. Heck, even at a funeral seeing relatives I hadn’t spoken to in years, the first thing they tell me is, “won’t be long until you’ve got a little one”. Seriously? That’s the first thing you think to say to someone, at a funeral?
I’ll admit, I once said to a friend, “won’t be long until you have a second kid” after being tormented numerous times about when I’ll get pregnant. Straight away I knew I shouldn’t have said anything, even if out of retaliation, and ever since I’ve always avoided any kind of baby talk with anyone unless they openly want to discuss it.
The simple reason we need to stop asking people when they’re having a baby is because we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Perhaps they’re already trying and don’t want the added pressure. Maybe they don’t want children full stop, but don’t feel comfortable talking about it. They could be going through fertility treatment and are currently under a lot of physical and mental strain, wanting to avoid any reminders that they’re not pregnant. Maybe they’ve gone through a loss – whether recent or a while ago, every loss is difficult to cope with and asking them one baby-related question can be a trigger. Or, perhaps they’ve suffered PTSD from their birthing experience and can’t bring themselves to ever go through it again, or simply don’t want a second child.
When we first started trying to conceive, baby talk would never go amiss by some friends who couldn’t leave it be. The first couple months I’d laugh it off, as I didn’t feel so sensitive about it given it was early days. But once we reached our fourth cycle and I felt I was suffering more from health anxiety, the baby question really started to get to me. If out for a meal, I’d be close to hiding in the toilets to have a good cry. If with family and it’d get mentioned, I’d be close to finding any excuse to make our stay short. I even started to avoid specific people who I knew would bring it up just so I didn’t have to deal with the question, so socially it started to have an impact.