I've been asked iterations of this question for years now...
When I just got married it was - so "when are you having kids?"
Some people would be so bold to even point directly at our biggest grief and greatest obstacle with direct statements like "times a ticking".
These questions are laced with the big fat fear for every woman in IVF or desiring a child or struggling to conceive - TIME. The time pressure of the biological clock. The when and tick-tock questions are so confronting.
Having studied stigma as an undergrad, I know it can be defused by naming and declaring the difference upfront.
So, when I was in IVF I responded to this question very frankly... "actually we are undergoing IVF treatment now" I'd say...
A dear friend and mentor who I met through TWW responded differently and would say "why don't you mind your own uterus." Hilarious and she said it would shut down the conversation straightaway.
I decided on a different approach, because I want people to discuss infertility more and I want to widen peoples perspective on the struggles of infertility and IVF. I decided to share my reality and in return, I was mostly met with compassion.
However, some people weren't ready for my truth and I made them feel uncomfortable, but to be fair they made me feel unseen and unheard. So, fuck their discomfort - to be frank again.
I made a decision a long time ago to live my life true to myself and my values. I made a decision that I would take up space in this world and not hide parts of my reality even when they may be hard for others to hear.
I value difference and I think we all should, but not in the way in which it creates disconnection. We all have our trauma.
I pledge to do all I can to ensure that women in IVF are seen and heard.
Society places so much empathise on how hard it is to be a mum and unless you are mum you couldn't possibly understand the challenges.
Well equally unless you are a woman in IVF, or woman desiring to have a child (but can't for other reasons) or have struggled with infertility than well - you couldn't possibly understand how hard it is to not be a mum.
My best solution to help you understand is through Together We Wait.
Not being understood is profoundly isolating for us all on this quest.
One of the reasons why Together We Wait exists is to make sure women in IVF have a place to belong and be understood. We do and we are opening our hearts and minds to one another and facing the storm towards our rainbows together.
Concerning the question of "when are you having kids", if you have to ask it maybe swap it out with a more curious and compassionate question like "Do you want a family of your own?".
Oh and please stop.. because you are leaving us alone and misunderstood with a ticking bloody clock!