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Do You Want More Children?

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

It’s a loaded question, isn’t it? Someone asked me this the other day, and my response was: “We’re trying.” Two words: We’re. Trying. Maybe it was the way I said it, but I think I kind of threw her off with such an honest response. This was someone I had just met through mutual friends, so I could’ve just said, “Yes, I’d love to have more children.” But sometimes I assume most people who know me, or know of me through mutual friends, know that I write a blog about infertility. And, since I’m a TMI girl by nature (obviously), I'm pretty much an open book with everyone I meet.

Turns out, she didn’t know I write a blog about infertility. She just innocently asked me a natural question while we were getting to know each other, and talking about raising kids in the city.

I felt like those two words, “We’re trying,” as simple as they sound, said too much. But then again, she asked. And when you ask someone my age about wanting kids, you have to know you could be opening Pandora's box. What response was she looking for?

“No, we’re happy with just one. One and done!”

I have a feeling that response would have resulted in an awkward silence, especially from someone who has two kids.

"Yes, we’re hoping to have more kids.”

That’s pretty much the same as “We’re trying.” Awwwkward.

“Yes, I’d love more children some day.”

Considering I’m thisclose to turning 38, “some day” should’ve been yesterday.

But that’s probably the best response to give, if you don’t want to make the person asking the question feel like a jerk. I felt bad for responding the way I did. It's like asking someone, How are you? And that person going into great detail about some injury or illness, when all you really wanted to hear was, "I'm fine, thanks."

Of course I ended up revealing the fact that I’ve been seeing a fertility doctor. We both happen to go to the same OB/GYN, so in talking about that I also revealed that it was our mutual OB that convinced me to implant only one embryo (instead of two). He insisted that if I didn’t want twins, I shouldn’t implant more than one. (I’ll go into more detail about that in another blog.)

I learned a long time ago that you can’t ask women about having children. It's too complicated. You never know what’s going on in the reproductive department, so unless you’re ready for the hard truths, don’t ask the tough questions.

Obviously I didn’t mind the question, but I wasn’t sure how comfortable she was with the answer.

Do you mind when people innocently ask you about wanting more (or any) kids? Do you tell people the truth about trying to conceive or going through infertility, or do you give a canned response? Do you ever think about how you’d handle these situations? I do...all the time.

By the way, Tuesday, April 3rd is the day Naperville's City Council votes on whether or not to allow plans for a new fertility clinic in its city, as I discussed in last week's blog. There's still time to share your personal experiences with IVF by sending a letter to reach the decision makers.

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