The very first time someone mentioned us having a baby, it was at our wedding reception. Our marriage wasn’t even a few hours old before my husband’s (pregnant) step-sister came up to us, pointed at her belly, and said, “now it’s time for you to make one of these!”
From our wedding day until the present, we’ve dealt with stupid comments like these. I can’t even get the stomach flu without someone saying, “OMG, are you preggo?!”
I’ve known that I want to be a mom from a very young age. I love kids. I love the idea of having a family of my own. Don’t get me wrong, the thought also scares me. It excites me even more.
We were married in 2015 and our plan has always been the same: focus on us, our careers, and growing together before we bring a child into this world. There were a few reasons for this.
First, my husband and I both have divorced families. We wanted to make sure our marriage is solid before we started trying to have a baby. This was important to me because I am truly convinced that my parents only married because my mom was knocked up (no offense, parents, if you are reading this). It might have felt like forever at the time, because a little bundle of joy can probably induce those feelings. But I wanted to make sure I was marrying my husband because I love him and would love building a life with him, not just for the sole purpose of making a baby (or already having made one).
Second, we wanted to grow in our careers and become more financially stable. Kids are expensive as heck. Many people told me things along the lines of, “you will never be financially ready to have kids, so you might as well lose that mindset.” I find that extremely irresponsible. I want to have enough money to provide for my child(ren) and give them the best life possible. Of course I am SURE there will be tons of “unexpected expenses,” but I just don’t want to stress out about them too much! I don’t think Michael and I would have been able to do that if we got pregnant when we were both Senior Airmen, and I was just starting my personal training career- making an average of about $400 per month. There were times when I was growing up that I had to go without because of financial reasons. There were times that I couldn’t do what I wanted because my family had to prioritize either putting me through dance classes (something I REALLY wanted, but never got to do) or putting food on the table. Michael and I decided before we even got married that we would be able to financially support our children and any hobbies or extracurriculars they want to do.
Fast forward to 2020. We’ve finally settled down in Florida. Michael is an officer in the Air Force and I have multiple streams of income. We finally decide… yep, we are absolutely ready to start trying to get pregnant. I weaned off of my antidepressant and birth control, and learned how to track my cycle. We even told our parents and they were super excited! A lot of our friends now know as well.
Now it’s 2021. We haven’t conceived yet, and while we are feeling impatient, we also know that it will happen in its own time.
However, I will admit that we messed up. We messed up when we told people that we are trying to conceive.
If I could go back in time, I would slap us for telling people. I think maybe I still would have told our parents, but other than that… I would have kept it to myself.
I thought the comments before were bad.
“When are you going to have kids?”
“Oh you don’t feel well? Maybe you’re pregnant!”
“You guys have been married for a few years. Any chance you’ll have a baby soon?”
Now we’ve got comments like:
“OMG is that a baby bump?” When I was actually just bloated.
“Why are you drinking water at a bar?” When I was either designated driver or just didn’t want to drink any more.
“You should go see a fertility specialist.” When we’ve been trying for less than a year and we weren’t together for a few cycles because of Air Force TDYs.
“How is TTC going?”
“Are you pregnant yet?”
“How are you doing? ;)”
“What’s taking so long?”
So on, so forth.
The sad part? Most of these comments come from people who are already mothers or pregnant. You’d think they would understand the most out of everyone.
Also can I just mention that I feel oddly embarrassed at the fact that we told some people and now we aren’t pregnant? I am not sure if I’m the only one who feels this way, but I feel like maybe people who are really invested in this look at us and wonder if there is “something wrong” with us because we haven’t conceived yet.
In some cases, when it comes to some people, I also feel like we are under a microscope. People zoom in on photos to check for a baby bump, try to figure out what I’m drinking or eating, or just try to hone in on some other clue about the status of my uterus.
In hindsight, I wish we would have just not told anyone, or a select few whom wouldn’t make these comments, and then just let it be a surprise when we finally do get pregnant.
Let this be a reminder to you, if you’re the type making these comments to a friend or family member… please, just stop. You don’t know what this person is going through or how they are feeling when it comes to your comments.
I can say for me personally, whenever someone brings up us trying to conceive (or even worse, suggests that I might be experiencing infertility – which I have not started seeking medical attention for yet as I do not feel it is necessary right now), it literally ruins my day.
Even if someone isn’t trying to conceive right now, it is still not okay to make these comments. You may not know their background. They may not want kids, or they may have already found out that they can’t have kids. Maybe they want to adopt instead. Maybe they just aren’t ready.
The reality here is that it is none of your damn business.