"When are you going to get married?" "When are you going to have kids?" "Are you pregnant yet?" "When are you having another baby?" It seems as if these questions, amongst others have been the soundtrack to so many women's lives in their twenties and thirties. We are constantly bombarded with questions from people who have taken it upon themselves to decide it is time for us to take the next step in life.
Growing up in an overly privileged community, I was familiar with everyone thinking they should know everyone's business, and the majority of the time they did. I think as I have gotten older and experienced many of life's ups and downs, it's a concept that has gotten much harder for me to digest. Especially recently.
I married the man of my dreams three and half months ago. I was thrilled that once we finally got engaged, I would not have to hear the overplayed question of "When are you getting married?" one more time. Off we went on our honeymoon and began to enjoy our new life together. I'm realistic, and I knew the questions about starting a family were inevitable, but I had no idea how immediate they would be. Within a week of returning from our honeymoon the chitter chatter and questioning began. "Pregnant yet?" "Ready to have kids now?" "Have you started trying?" These are all questions that not only we received, but our parents were hearing too. Fast forward three months later, and the questions are still coming, they haven't stopped.
I've realized that we live in a society where people feel extremely entitled to know what is going on in everyone else's life; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Although these questions of a woman's fertility are often casual and meant in all innocence, many people never stop to think that maybe they are not meant to know the answer. These questions come loaded with expectations and pressure, yet many people fail to acknowledge the very real possibilities of what could be going on in a young couple's life. You don't know who is on the fence about having kids or who has decided it's not for them right now, or not ever. You don't know if a couple is having relationship or financial issues. You don't know if a couple has decided to take time for themselves before embarking on such a life changing experience. You don't know if this couple is one in eight couples that battle infertility every year. And while none of these are the reasons why the constant, seemingly innocent questions cause myself and family stress or frustration, the fact that I am one in six women who has experienced a miscarriage this year is.
For myself and my husband, joy turned into heartbreak when I miscarried at eight weeks, six weeks ago. Being a newly married couple we were ready to start a family and we could not be more excited to share the news with family and a very few close friends. Looking back I wouldn't have done it any differently. These are the few people that were entitled to know, and the few people I have needed and wanted there during this physically and emotionally challenging time. As the weeks and months continue to pass, the chitter chatter and questioning of when we will be starting a family has only gotten more frequent, and I have realized people are getting impatient. You see, they think they know, but they have no idea. They have no idea, that I too, am growing impatient. That I too thought it should have happened months ago, but that it did, and I am currently mourning the loss of what should have been.
I think that while it is ok to be passionately curious, we must always remember that if a person wants to let you in on something personal, they will tell you, so be patient and respectful. If you are meant to know, you soon will.