Things not to say to your infertile (or struggling to conceive) friends - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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  • Oh, just go pick up a guy in a bar and get it over with!
  • Sucks to be you! Don't get another cat or anything! Ha! Ha ha!
  • It's no big deal. turtle can just get pregnant instead of you!
  • Have you tried relaxing?

All things friends have said to me over the course of turtle and me trying to get me pregnant.

Add YOUR favorite, ridiculously insensitive comments!
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#2 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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signature currently in transition
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#3 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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"I had a (friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/yoga instructor) who was trying for (insane number) of months/years to get pregnant and she finally (gave up/took a break/prayed to God/decided to adopt/went on vacation) and the next thing she knew, she was pregnant! You just need to stop trying so hard and it will happen, I swear!"

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#4 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kate, those are my FAVORITE, particularly when they're addressed to a single woman or a woman with a female partner. :
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#5 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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Frog.

I shared these recently on a thread in fert. You can tell from them that I am SO from CA.

"Maybe you are attracting this as a life lesson to you to teach you something."
"Have you ever thought about adoption?" (no gee what's that?)
"You should adopt because Charlotte on Sex and the City couldn't get pregnant and she adopted and got pregnant!" (WTF, it's fiction)
"Maybe it has something to do with your past life karma."

Proud Mama to Liam Greenleaf 5/31/10
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#6 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OMG, poet. That first one is both hilarious and heart-breaking.
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#7 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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Frog.

I shared these recently on a thread in fert. You can tell from them that I am SO from CA.

"Maybe you are attracting this as a life lesson to you to teach you something."
"Maybe it has something to do with your past life karma."
I can't believe someone was that insensitive

Expecting a boy? Be sure to check out MDC's Case Against Circumcision!
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#8 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Frog.


"Maybe you are attracting this as a life lesson to you to teach you something."
I had someone recently ask me this after I miscarried for the second time. She told me I needed to meditate and ask why this was happening. After all there must me a life lesson in my low progesterone levels.

Mama to Gabe 8-03 and Cyan 5-09
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#9 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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I hope it is ok for me to post. Although I am not actively TTC, I lived w/infertility for so long I understand the pp’s comments.

These may be a little different since they relate to people who are TTC and who have chosen not to have children, but they really hurt/angered me. My husband and I were together a long time before we took medical steps to TTC, so many people weren’t sure if there were medical problems or if we chose not to have children. (I didn't wear a sign!) Because I knew from a young age I probably would never conceive, we were accepting of the fact we may never have children, in some ways I related to people who choose not to have children.

-Several times friends mentioned that we ‘hated children’. If I mentioned our medical difficulties, they would say ‘oh, that is different’ - As if, people who choose not to have kids actually hate children.

-We were told it was a good thing we didn’t have children because we were so stuck in our ways and too particular about our house.

-Several comments were made about how our priorities were wrong since we would rather have things/careers/money than children. Once again…just because you make money and don’t/can’t have children doesn’t mean your priority is money over children!

-Anything that made fun of childless people and their pets. Our dogs were, and still are, a big part of our family. Maybe more so than if we had children earlier.

-Any comment about childless people being selfish. Most people I know who do a ton of volunteering in the community do not have children. They often have more time and energy to give to others outside their immediate family.

- People making comments about our lives being empty or incomplete without children. Even if we did feel that at times...others shouldn't say or assume it.

- People asking when they heard I couldn't conceive...'Do you feel like less of a woman?'
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#10 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope it is ok for me to post.
Absolutely. Everyone's welcome to post the weird, the funny, and the ridiculous things they've been told.
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#11 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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"I had a (friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/yoga instructor) who was trying for (insane number) of months/years to get pregnant and she finally (gave up/took a break/prayed to God/decided to adopt/went on vacation) and the next thing she knew, she was pregnant! You just need to stop trying so hard and it will happen, I swear!"

This one always sent me over the moon with frustration. It just totally disregards the fact that something is actually wrong.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#12 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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I personally can't STAND when someone refers to themselves as a 'fertile myrtle' or says 'I get pregnant whenever my husband even looks at me'. A lot of times people don't even know that they are that fertile, they just happened to get pregnant once or twice and now they think they are the goddess of procreation!
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#13 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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"I had a (friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/yoga instructor) who was trying for (insane number) of months/years to get pregnant and she finally (gave up/took a break/prayed to God/decided to adopt/went on vacation) and the next thing she knew, she was pregnant! You just need to stop trying so hard and it will happen, I swear!"

This is the one I have heard a lot!!! Even my PCP told me this which really kinda hurt. You don't know until you have walked in our (IF) shoes!!!!! Also, we tried the whole vacation thing too and that didn't work. Last year we had booked a vacation to the Caribbean a year in advance and thought well, we might be going prego, but it didn't happen.

After 5 failed IUI's & 6 failed IVF's we threw in the towel w/ ART and then got a NATURAL miracle BFP! Hoping and praying it is finally our take home baby!  Mother to our twins boys in heaven -lost at 22.5wks on 6/20/09 and 1 other little angel in heaven.

Our Miracle has arrived... Caden James...

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#14 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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"I had a (friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/yoga instructor) who was trying for (insane number) of months/years to get pregnant and she finally (gave up/took a break/prayed to God/decided to adopt/went on vacation) and the next thing she knew, she was pregnant! You just need to stop trying so hard and it will happen, I swear!"

This one drives me up the wall. I told a friend that I hadn't talked to in a long time about our difficulty and DIAGNOSED infertility issue and her response was similar to the above. Then she said how we should stop trying for 2 years and how it would totally happen. I took a deep breath and nicely explained that, yes, it is possible that if we just had sex all the time for next 2 years that it could happen even with our issue, BUT it was more than likely that it would not happen and I didn't really want to wait 2 years to find out and then be 2 years older heading into infertility treatments, especially since we hoped to have more than one child.

Flash forward maybe 2-3 months and much to my surprise the IUI w/ clomid and an hCG trigger actually worked and she calls to congratulate me and the first words out of her mouth after "Congratulations" is "So did you guys give up and then it happened?" She was so convinced that her theory of how reproduction works was right, that that was the first thing she asked-- never mind my telling her in our prior discussion that we were planning to start fertility treatment once we had moved. She is overall a really terrific person, but her saying that to me AFTER I had explained what our fertility issues were made me feel like she didn't hear me at all and didn't understand how much having children meant to me-- if I was going to "give up" it would have been a heart-wrenching choice and it would have taken more than 2-3 months to make. But then, she is someone who hasn't really decided if she wants kids, isn't worried about her age because she figures she'll adopt if she can't have her own (which is awesome that that's how she feels), but I would have had to go through a mourning process before being ready to move to adoption. We're just in really different places when it comes to having kids.

For a lot of people, I think they hear those anecdotes about women who try everything and then get pregnant after they have decided to stop trying and they cling to them because then they don't have to contemplate the agonizing choices and cycles of hope and despair that people really dealing with infertility have to face. It's frustrating on our end because having these stories spouted at us invalidates what we are going through and makes it appear like we are CHOOSING to put ourselves through it. Clearly, if we could just let go of this thing that is monumentally important to us (having a baby), then we would be happier! Nevermind all of the grieving it would take to get there.

Oh... how did that soapbox find it's way under my feet! : I'll just step down now.
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#15 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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"I had a (friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/yoga instructor) who was trying for (insane number) of months/years to get pregnant and she finally (gave up/took a break/prayed to God/decided to adopt/went on vacation) and the next thing she knew, she was pregnant! You just need to stop trying so hard and it will happen, I swear!"

I responded that we didn't 'try hard' for fifteen years and it never happened and that it's not 'just going to happen'. That usually shut them up.
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#16 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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I can't believe someone was that insensitive
On a marginally related note, when my sister's fiance was dying of cancer, my mother-in-law said she thought it must be karma. People can be so unbelievable, can't they? I must have given her the world's dirtiest look because she just started stammering...so I'm not quite sure what she meant by it. She tried to turn it into a good thing...like he really needed something good to come into his life and that's why he met my sister. But I'm sure that's not what she really meant. UGH.

But I am a little bit sheepish reading the posts about disliking the comment "fertile myrtle" because I used to say similar things about myself. I only have one DD, but she was conceived the night we decided to start trying. So maybe it _is_ karma that I'm having all these fertility issues when ttc #2. : I do wish I'd never assumed that ttc is easy & fun.
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#17 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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I had a doctor tell me I wasn't ovulating because...wait for it... I needed to...are you ready?.... JUST RELAX.: The doc refused to refer me to an endocrinologist and didn't order any bloodwork until I argued with her about it. :

My mother passively agressively said "Well, my ovaries work fine."

My aunt said, "Why don't you just adopt? We considered it, but then we didn't have to." (referring to her 2 kids). There are SO many things wrong with that statement I don't even know where to begin.

V

Happy Momma to DD (almost 3) Fall Coleslaw -- Simple Italian Stuffed Peppers -- - Fall Toddler Activities.- We Made a Play Kitchen Selling gently used books on all topics here.
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#18 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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"I had a (friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/yoga instructor) who was trying for (insane number) of months/years to get pregnant and she finally (gave up/took a break/prayed to God/decided to adopt/went on vacation) and the next thing she knew, she was pregnant! You just need to stop trying so hard and it will happen, I swear!"

yep. This exactly.

Me:
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#19 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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Ah, those are all so wonderfully familiar!

The real burn was that we DID end up getting pregnant during the adoption process (around homestudy time), which prompted EVERYBODY to say something along the lines of "Well, it just goes to show!" And I'm sure they went on to relate the story to every other infertile person they know.

My personal favorites:

-from neighbor lady, after we had 3 years trying, one miscarriage: "Well, you should just say this novena to Saint Somebody! Say it nine times blah blah blah" as she thrust a Xerox into my hands.

-same lady, after I did indeed get pregnant, and then had a miscarriage again: "Oh no! You must have said the prayer wrong! Did you remember to ask not to have a miscarriage?" Gosh, it wasn't in the Xerox, so I figured Saint Whoever had it covered...

All made even better by the fact that I am not remotely a Catholic.
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#20 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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lurking from ttc..

i got pg with ds on accident in college. now dh and i are ttc #2, and i'm having issues.

after i had a painful m/c last month, someone said to me: "well, why don't you just do it exactly like you did the first time?"

.. as if i can magically make a healthy baby by using the exact same sexual position i did in college. as if i should go out partying, come home drunk and stoned, and have sloppy college sex to create another child.

i wanted to (but didn't) reply "because i'm a grown-up now."
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#21 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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someone was having problems with their marriage, already had children, and was considering separation... but was really sick one weekend and was on all kinds of cold medicine etc, had sex with her husband and, of course, got pregnant... then,
while laughing, offered to give this unwanted baby to me. ha. ha.

and, honestly, while very good intentioned... the babydust. babydust sort of becomes irrelevant at a certain point when ttc morphs over to full on IF. its hard to get mad at this one because it is said with such good will 'lots of babydust to you!'. ugggh.

and, when someone got pregnant, they said 'well, maybe me being pregnant will help you get pregnant.' what?

there is so much about IF and IF treatment that people don't understand, most of the time the things that get said sound ridiculous. that is why it is so helpful to know that a thread like this exists... you all have heard the same absurd crap that i have, and i know you would never tell me or anyone else 'just pray harder' or 'do it doggy style' or 'hey, wanna borrow my husband?'. the sad, sad thing is that in the course of my own experience ttc with unexplained IF, i have actually tried all of it. prayed. really. hard. went on vacation. did it every which way known to mankind. took all the supplements. ate all the pineapple. preseed. instead cups. legs up on the pillow. charted (with 2 different thermometers 'just in case one was wrong') and then all the treatments.

thinking back on it all, it makes me want to cry. the intention, and the sheer desire. the true heartbreak on each failed cycle. its a shame that friends, family, community, support people, and even just the strangers at the supermarket... that they can't see this side and forgo the random advise about adoption and egg whites and robotussen and relaxing... and instead just give us a hug. it hurts to be IF and ttc. it really taught me a lesson about other types of silent suffering. sometimes its better to keep quiet and just hug someone in the midst of their pains.
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#22 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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I wish there were snappy comebacks to the stupid anecdote about the infertile couple who tried so long, and then gave up and then suddenly their .0000001% came through.

I hate that one.

Mama to twin boys, Oct-'09 and baby girl, Apri-'12!

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#23 of 98 Old 08-12-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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wow.
soulshine. well put.
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#24 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 09:22 AM
 
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- People asking when they heard I couldn't conceive...'Do you feel like less of a woman?'
Gah! Why do people think it's okay to say stuff like this??

Quote:
Originally Posted by mischeivium
But then, she is someone who hasn't really decided if she wants kids, isn't worried about her age because she figures she'll adopt if she can't have her own (which is awesome that that's how she feels)"
This is sort of interesting, because I bet ANYTHING that once she actually wants to build her family she'll feel differently about adoption. Maybe she'll still want to, but she won't just be all, "oh, I figure I'll adopt." Most people don't give a second thought to the idea that adoption is DIFFERENT from having biological children. They figure, a kid is a kid - which is true when it's not your family. Once you start thinking about your OWN family it's different, and adoption isn't something you "just" do.

And soulshine, there are just two or three people that I confide in. I picked them precisely because they listen carefully and never minimize my pain. It comes naturally to a select few and I think I'm lucky to have them.

Mom to a little boy (June 2009)
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#25 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd forgotten all about "you can borrow my husband!" In my world, the offer was always, "How about if I send you some of my husband's sperm?" :

soulshine, that was just lovely.

leerypolyp, I assume you're the blogger? If so, great blog!
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#26 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 09:46 AM
 
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"I had a (friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/yoga instructor) who was trying for (insane number) of months/years to get pregnant and she finally (gave up/took a break/prayed to God/decided to adopt/went on vacation) and the next thing she knew, she was pregnant! You just need to stop trying so hard and it will happen, I swear!"

As many insensitive comments as I've heard, this one is my pet peeve. It only serves to minimalize the actual physical issues going on. I keep telling myself that they are only trying to offer hope in a hopeless situation, but it's so dang patronizing.

for all of us.
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#27 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 10:09 AM
 
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We have a six year old son. EVERY DAY we hear "when are you going to give him a sibling?" "A child NEEDS a sibling" and all kinds of other crap, mostly from strangers at the library/grocery store/school/mall.

Yes, I would like him to have a sibling too. Yes, I realize that he is getting "older" (WTF, is there a max. age when you are too old to have a sibling born? For goodness sakes, he's only six!). Why is the size and status of MY family any of your business, Ms. Nosy?

I would love to hear Bud Light do a tribute ad to Ms. Fertility Fixer someday.

And I hate the "all my husband did was say F*&^ and I got pregnant" kind of comments too!

Kim
(I'm not usually this bitter)

Mama to one, wife to an aviator, lover of a cancer survivor, graduate student, blogger and all around good person
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#28 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to hear Bud Light do a tribute ad to Ms. Fertility Fixer someday.
:

Now THAT is funny!
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#29 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 11:03 AM
 
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I was going to say "I'll add my 2 cents here", but it'll prolly end up being more like $1.58.

I'm going through secondary infertility. I conceived DD with ONE non-bc covered night when I was 18. Not the ideal pregnancy/child-rearing circumstances, but I did my best.

I'm now 28. Only freaking 28. And DP and I have been trying since Jan 2007. DP has her DD, from a similar set of circumstances when she was 19.

My all-time favorite is "Well, why? You already have two kids?" That one just sets my blood to boiling. I *know* if we were a straight couple with one of "mine" and one of "yours" and were trying to have one of "ours" (the concept of yours, mine, and ours doesn't sit well with me, anyhow), NO ONE would question our trying to have another.

The next is, since we're gay, "Oh, why don't you just adopt instead?". As if its like getting a stray puppy. Like you can go down to the baby/child shelter, pick one out, sign a few forms, and be on your way! The fact that typically one either has to spend thousands and thousands of dollars, wait sometimes YEARS, or go through the foster system, and be sure that you're prepared to be a loving and supportive household to a child that might have emotional/physical issues. Its not the same thing. Its two completely separate decisions. Once I respond with a general "Well, that would probably cost around $25K, or involve trying to be approved to foster/adopt as a lesbian couple in the midwest..." They usually respond with "Oh, yeah...hadn't thought about that..." I totally respect people's decision to have a child through adoption, but its a completely different set of decisions.

Honestly, the whole "just relax/go on vacation/plan a skydiving-rollercoaster-bungee jumping trip and BAM! You'll get pg!" comments really hit me strangely. First of all, the LEAST likely place for DP and I to get pg is anywhere that doesn't involve donor sperm. So going on vacation (and just relaxing and BD'ing our hearts out) while fun, would not make a lick of difference (pardon the pun). It does also make me a bit jealous of straight couples who are TTC. Although I realize that depending on the diagnoses and individuals, the chances of conceiving 'on your own' might be .00004%, you still have SOME semblance of a chance. There's a feeling that you can back up an IUI with some well-timed bd'ing, and that maybe it'd help. There's a chance, however remote, that you could conceive outside of a doctor's office. Its like when I go to get an xray, and the tech asks me "Any chance you're pregnant?" None, dude. None at all, unless you think there's a "chance" that an agnostic midwestern lesbo was chosen for immaculate conception.

My HUGEST peeve, and I'm not sure how much straight people dealing with IF deal with this, but I imagine they do, is everyone's feeling like they can judge your decision. Let me explain...if I tell anyone (which I don't, typically) that DP and I are ttc some of the questions that have come up center around, essentially:

whether our two existing kids are as perfectly parented as possible
whether our financial situation is 100% ideal
whether our job situations (being able to SAH or the like) are ideal
whether our relationship is ideal

So, in essence, if our kids have any problems, or we're not the world's MOST perfect parents...they feel they can question our decision. (We're not perfect, nor are our kids...but I think that we try to raise them out of love at all times, and considering the circumstances we started out with, we've done pretty dang good.)

If our financial situation is not PERFECT, and I mean, mortgage paid off, no car payments, no student loans or cc debt AT ALL, and 10K+ in the bank...they feel they can question our decision. (We're not in the poor house, nor are we in debt up to our eyeballs. I have a good-paying secure job, we have a reasonable mortgage with good terms and some equity, car payments, student loan payments, but VERY little cc or other debt, and we always have enough to pay our bills and have some left over.)

If one of us can't SAH full-time, ditto (Right now I work from home one day a week. My boss has already indicated that next year he wants to increase that to 2-3 days a week. DP is in construction, mostly as an independent contractor, and could schedule projects to be home when I'm not...not to mention, I don't think putting a child into a good daycare situation means one is a horrid parent.)

If they've ever seen us/heard us discuss an argument/disagreement we've EVER had with one another...the same. (Puh-lease. I think everyone knows this is bull.)

Now, I KNOW that if we were a straight married couple, and announced a pregnancy, no one would DARE question those things! Because in the back of their mind, they're thinking "maybe it was an accident/surprise...oh well, best to just congratulate them!" But I know if *I* announce a pregnancy, I will get these questions. Because they know that since we're lesbians, we had to make a conscious decision to get pregnant. And for some reason people feel they have the right to determine on their own terms if our decision was the correct one.

For the record, I obviously understand that someone who is a lousy parent, in dire straits, that has a crazy workload they can't ditch, or in a wretched relationship should think twice before having another child.

But what on earth makes you think you have the RIGHT to question these things? Unless you know that I've not been able to feed my kids, or abused them, or something of that level, what malfunction in your brain allows those words to even escape your lips?!??!?!??!?!??!

Okay. I'm done now. Deep, cleansing breaths.
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