Power of Words
In the last 2 weeks I’ve been asked question by two friends, at two separate times. Both these friends have children of similar ages to Little MPB. One is expecting their second and to my knowledge the other is not.
Question 1: Will you and Mr. MPB adopt again?
Question 2: Now that you have Little MPB, are you going to try again? Now that you’ve adopted a pregnancy will probably work because you aren’t stressed anymore. It happens all the time.
I am always very blunt with my answer to these questions – We are one and done. After all we went through, we are so fortunate to have Little MPB that we plan to just soak up every moment with him. Sometimes I give a few more details about the financial and emotional aspects of adoption or how much I’d love another child in a perfect world. And other times I just end the conversation there, without sharing more. It depends on how I feel at the time and who the person is. But the one commonality to every variation of this question is that I leave no room for doubt – because my theory is that if I’m strong in my answer, they probably want as the question again.
But, I have to say, anytime these types of questions come up, I always end up thinking about why people think these questions are appropriate? Details of our sex life and fertility (or lack there of) is not a detailed conversation I really want to have with our friends and/or family. Just as I don’t want to know the details of their reproductive lives, so I don’t ask the questions.
And I have to say, the second question/comment about trying again and having it work this time, just urks me beyond belief. Why do people think that relaxing is going to fix us? And even more, why do we need to be fixed? Even the implication of needing to be fixed is insulting – we love our family as we are and we aren’t a broken family. And, even if science could fix my body, we aren’t interested. And I cannot lie, more then anything this type of comment makes me worry for Little MPB – I worry that one day he may hear this type of comment and he may interpret it to mean that somehow he’s not good enough because he’s not biologically ours, and that is just not okay. I wish adults could think about the potential power of their words.
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The second qs and the implication that you were too stressed out which js why you didnt get pregnant hurts. The first, although inappropriate, isnt hurtful.
If I were you, I would have told your second friend that all the relaxation on earth wont help you both since Mr MPB is “fixed”? ( i know is a poor word, but I dont know what to use in the analogy for humans.. so sorry if this is demeaning)..
I hear you on how we as adults need to have a brain mouth filter! So sorry you still hear this.
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I agree with your observation about question 1 and 2. As for responding about Mr. MPB, we actually just got confirmation that the vasectomy was successful, so I couldn’t have said that yet (FYI – I had no idea it would take almost 6 months for the confirmation). But, it definitely crossed my mind!
I suspect until I am no longer of childbearing age I will continue to hear these types of comments. I suspect anyone who either has no kids or only 1 kid (for whatever reason) gets to hear these things for a long time.
Since I started reading your blog and about your struggles with infertility and adoption, I have taken a lot of time to really think about the power of my words to other women and even men when it comes to kids. I used to ask the same stock questions that everyone asks newlyweds about kids. And then the next stock question of if they will have more kids after they have had one. But now a combination of being a mother myself and feeling “one and done” and getting to know others with fertility struggles or loss of their unborn baby 5+ months into pregnancy, I now keep my mouth zipped. It’s none of my business and if people want to talk about it, they can bring it up on their own accord. I wish more people would take the time to think about these things and realize the power of their own words.
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I too was just like you before I went through all of our losses. I quickly realized that we made a conscious decision not to talk about our losses, so why in the world would other people want to talk about their similar experiences? I now just make time for people whent hey want to talk about their own similar experiences and try to support other to the best of my ability, because I know what it’s like to not have support when you need/want it.
And, I have to admit that adoption has made me hyper aware of language people use as I worry about the potential impact on Little MPB specifically.
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I think in general people crave an explanation for things….especially infertility/pregnancy loss. The “stress” component is such BS. Women living in awful conditions all around the world have babies ALL the time. I think these types of people who mentions things tend to want to “fix” the issue. And of course most of these people have never experienced the types of issues they are so wanting to explain.
That second question is particularly irksome. Ugh it must be hard to mind your manners sometimes in those situations!!!
I hear you on the just relax comments! My mom actually said that the other day. Should we loose this pregnancy as it seems we will…just relax and try on your own. It’s disheartening when even those close to you don’t understand that it doesn’t work that way. Soak up every moment with your miracle!
Yeah these are difficult questions to receive when you have any kind of “road less traveled” history for fertility. Sometimes I blow off the comments, other times I just blurt out what I’m really thinking. But I personally will never ask anyone about when they plan to have kids, or more kids, or anything along those lines because I know how it can hurt. Sorry you’ve been experiencing these obnoxious and painful questions again!
I kind of hear you but I also think a lot of people are just ignorant… They mean well but they’re clueless. I also get the comment about now you’ll fall pregnant since you already have a child and I just laugh and say no, no amount of relaxing will overcome the myriad of problems we faced.
I am so sorry you get asked these things. I hate it so much it makes my stomach hurt!!! I got asked these questions so much this weekend and then I JUST got asked if I was pregnant by a male coworker at a meeting in front of 7 other male coworkers. I told him I most certainly am not and that that was highly inappropriate… to which he just responded by laughing.
Ignorant people…. blissfully ignorant.
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