When somebody asks "Is it you, or your husband?" how do you answer?
That's such a good question because for some reason, everybody always wants to know who's "fault" it is that you can't have babies. It's a little bit infuriating when words like "fault" are brought up in regards to infertility because really, it's nobody's fault. I can't speak for everybody and certainly each situation is different but for us we've always chosen to be super honest. Sometimes that makes for really awkward conversations, but let's face it, they asked!
So, for us, a conversation would likely go like this:
Them: "So, you can't have babies, is it you, or Collin?"
Me: "Well, we actually both struggle with health-related issues that contribute to our infertility."
Them: "So you both have something wrong with you?"
Me: "Yes, we have lots of things wrong with us. I hate doing dishes, Collin likes to leave his dirty socks on the living room floor, and we both have a HUGE sweet tooth."
Them: "No, I mean you both have something wrong with you that makes it so you can't have kids"
Me: "Ohhh, now I see what you meant. Yes, we both have something WRONG (I like to add extra emphasis on the silly word of the conversation) with us that prevents us from conceiving (also, add in awkward terms like conceive, infertility, and ovulation for extra effect) a child."
Usually this is where things like an "I'm so sorry" or an "Are you seeing a doctor" or even just a turn and walk away occur.
It's never my goal to be rude, misleading, or to undermine the situation because infertility is HUGE. However, for me I usually like to add in some humor, an awkward dose of honesty, and an occasional smartypants response for my own personal sanity.
The bottom line is that people who don't know first-hand what infertility is all about, have lots and lots of questions and they simply don't get it. They don't understand our need for unity and support groups. They laugh at our over-sensitivity towards people with children. And sometimes they can be really inconsiderate. However, I will never understand the pain of having limited finances and finding yourself pregnant once again with no idea how to afford the needs of another child. I may never comprehend how difficult it might be to raise a child with a disability, or to have a miserable marriage. And I'm certain that I've asked really stupid and hurtful questions to people who are going through those things.
We live in a world full of different circumstances and trials, and just because somebody isn't going through our trial and we're not going through theirs, doesn't mean we should judge or be offended. When people ask us hurtful questions just remember that they don't understand what we're going through, and chances are, we don't understand what they're going through either. Most likely they're not trying to be rude, mean, hurtful, or annoying. In fact, by asking they're probably trying to be helpful, kind, interested, and caring. It just doesn't always come across that way. People in general are good...just try to remember that! That's what has helped me get through some doozies!
What about you? How do you respond to this question?