“Are you pregnant yet?” is the most frustrating question! Here’s what to say to people who keep asking if you’re pregnant – or about your fertility life, infertility treatments, or how you’re coping with infertility as a couple?
I know I am…so I created a short list of ways to deal with people who keep asking how my baby-making efforts are going.
Before the tips, a quip: “If we can laugh at it, we can live with it.” ~ Erma Bombeck.
That’s the first way to deal with people who keep bringing up your pregnancy-to-be: find ways to laugh about it! For more tips on handling difficult questions, read Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life – because this is a question of setting and sticking to your boundaries.
And, here are a few things to say to extremely curious (perhaps nosy) people…
Are You Pregnant Yet? What to Say to People Who Keep Asking
1. Identify the chronic “askers.” I have one friend in particular who keeps asking how my marriage is affected by infertility, what the results of my last fertility test was, and what my next step will be. She means well, she’s a nice woman, and her kids are the center of her life so she’s coming from the “to be fulfilled, women must have babies” perspective. But, all she asks me about are test results, marriage and infertility, getting pregnant – and it’s beginning to make me nuts! So when I see her, I’m prepared to be asked about my pregnancy journey.
2. Ask your family and friends to wait for pregnancy updates. Once you figure out who the chronic askers are, you have two options: 1) ask her to wait for your updates regarding getting pregnant, in vitro fertilization, adopting a baby, etc; or 2) avoid them as much as possible. I suggest telling people that you’d feel most comfortable if you could update them when you have news, and gently ask them to hold their questions about getting pregnant until you bring it up.
3. Don’t explain yourself to friends and family who keep asking if you’re pregnant. If someone asks if you’re pregnant yet, just say, “Nope!” and leave it at that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation – not even your sister, mother, or favorite auntie. Learn to live with the momentary silence that will follow. Even better: keep a list of conversation topics that change the subject up your sleeve.
4. Be honest with your people. Your friends, family, and colleagues don’t know how you want to cope with infertility unless you tell them. Do you want them to ask every six months, every six days, or never? Do you need a shoulder to cry on, a bright optimistic outlook, or as much infertility information as possible? Don’t expect them to guess what you need, and then be angry or frustrated if they don’t do the right them. Tell them.
5. Balance talking about infertility with focusing on other aspects of life. Don’t get me wrong – talking about infertility is better than hiding or avoiding it. But, who wants to talk about it constantly? Not me, which is partly why I avoid fertility and pregnancy message boards. And yet, I created and maintain Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility! I’ve found that this blog helps me deal with the possibility of a childfree life…if you want to be happy, then you need to figure out how much time and effort you need to spend talking about getting pregnant, and how much energy you want to put towards living your best life apart from having kids. Find your balance, my friend.
If you’re dreading family gatherings, read How to Survive Christmas When You Can’t Get Pregnant.
What about you – are you frustrated with friends and family who keep asking if you’re pregnant yet? I welcome your comments below!