I hate this question. I had this question thrown at me from every angle and my son was barely 3 weeks old.
‘So when are you planning on giving him a brother or sister?’
Why!? Is the one I just forced out of my body not enough for these people? I mean, I still felt like I had a wind tunnel between my legs and I was peppered with enquiries on when I’d have another.
However now, I hate that question even more. But I’ll get into that a bit later.
I know some women have gone through much worse labour than I. But, my labour was one of the most traumatic experiences I’d ever been through, to me, it was horrific. And I didn’t fail to tell these people about the complications, the botched epidural (they’d given me 3 times too much and in some freakish horror they’d only managed to numb the outside of my legs. I felt everything) the midwives and doctors not taking me seriously when I said my baby was coming, the after care when the midwife humiliated me in front of the whole ward (being induced I was incapable of producing enough milk), and even before labour when I lived in constant fear of my baby being still born because of gestational diabetes.
Now, I didn’t go around spouting to every stranger what was going wrong, this was mostly friends and family (I told my sister in law and she told EVERYONE else) so people were aware, people knew.
But still, I got those questions, my perfectly pink and squirmy new born, practically still wrinkled from the long stay in the womb, was in my arms and they were asking me when I planned to have another.
Okay, so a couple of my friends asked me this I think to gauge how bad childbirth actually was. I told them to ask me again when I could walk without wincing. But for the most part, it was genuine fucking question.
I beg of you, if you’re looking for idle chit chat, stay away from that question.
I was sore, I was tired, I had a tiny life form that didn’t have a goddamn clue what was going on, the last thing on my mind was having another baby. All I wanted at that point was a nice meal, a nap, for all the housework to be done by magic and to screw my husband properly for the first time in months!
Also when I eventually said, we’re going to wait a couple years till our LO was a little more independent. They laughed right in my face.
‘What do you expect? At 2, he’s going to cook his own tea? Do his own washing? Apply for a mortgage!?’
No of course I don’t expect that Claire! I mean when he’s at least able to walk around by himself, maybe even feed himself, or have a decent sleep and routine down so that I’m not stretched totally thin by 2 totally dependent children. For fuck sake woman.
Let’s move on to the whopper though.
My son is now a year and a half, and I get asked a lot when we’re going to try again. When my son turned 1, my husband and I decided to try for a new baby. That was October, by January, I was pregnant.
By March, I was not.
I haven’t told a lot of people about it. My parents know, my best friend and my sister in law but all after the fact. My husband and I took it hard, in some ways it pulled us closer and in others it pulled us apart. But I’ve been dealing with it silently, because it’s painful and if I talk about it, I lose myself all over again.
Just like most women who suffer through it. Silently
So I still get the question, I even got it, while I was still bleeding.
And it was awful.
It is awful.
So just, think twice before you ask someone, that undeniably irritating and absolutely heartbreaking question.