"So...when are we going to see you pregnant
with your first little one?
I just can't wait to see you with a belly!"My mind began racing, my heart beating too fast, as I scrambled to formulate the perfect answer. I ultimately stammered out something about L.'s work schedule and the fact that he's just working so much, we haven't had a chance to get around to all of that "kid stuff" yet. However, at that moment (and all afternoon long) I fantasized about what I would have liked to have said:
Looking them both straight in the eye:
1. "Well, actually, I'm going to be shooting myself in the ass with massive needles starting next month. Wanna help?"
2. "Actually, we've been trying to have a child but have just learned that I have no female parts - I'm actually a man." (Okay, this one is actually compliments of a very good friend of mine who suggested that perhaps I should have just told them I'm a hermaphrodite. Thanks, Cheese - I'm still laughing!)
3. "As a matter of fact, we've decided it would be much more fun to watch our baby be conceived in a petrie dish than just plain old sex in the privacy of our own home, so we're starting IVF next month. I'm particularly looking forward to being inspected by my fertility specialist as she tries to figure out how the hell to get me knocked up!"
Of course, I didn't give any of these responses, but I was left wondering why it is that this question is always so difficult to answer. In some ways, I see it as my golden opportunity to educate someone on how painful it is to be asked such an invasive question, but for some reason, I am not remotely confrontive. Honestly, I actually feel a sense of embarrassment that I'm not pregnant yet. I mean, let's get real, I'm 34 years old and have been happily married for 2 years. People are probably thinking that we need to get on with it if we're going to do this.
I'm still working on formulating the perfect response for these sorts of questions from people we don't plan to tell about our IVF experience. However, I'm once again pondering the prospect of putting it out there, just saying - this is what we're doing. Deal with it.
I mean after all, why should I hide the fact that I'm being treated for a medical issue? And, frankly, the fertile people of the world need to take a look at the fact that asking a woman in her 30's when she's going to have a "big belly" is outrageously insensitive. Yes, I realize people think this is a natural subject of small talk, particularly when they have no experience with IF.
But that doesn't mean I have to accept it.