10 Reasons Why Asking If My Baby Was "Planned" Makes Me Cringe
People seem to think they can ask you just about anything when you tell them you're pregnant. Most of their questions are really insensitive, offensive, or none of their business. For example, asking if my partner and I were trying to conceive or if my pregnancy was "an accident." Honestly, asking me if my baby was "planned" makes me cringe for so many reasons.
Not only is it really no one's business whether my husband and I were (or were not) trying to get pregnant, but unintended pregnancy is not something to be casual about. You have no idea what anyone is going through, and there are so many reasons why this question might make the person you're asking uncomfortable. My last pregnancy was complicated and risky. I was so sick for most of it that I thought I was going to die (and sometimes I wanted to). I felt so guilty about not being happy about a planned and wanted pregnancy, especially when so many of my friends have issues with fertility and have suffered losses. To make matters worse, so many people asked me if it was planned, and when they they did, they assumed the answer was no because my partner and I already had four kids. I felt like they thought my pregnancy and family size were something to joke about, and that's not OK.
For others this question might be harmful because their pregnancy was unplanned. They might be unhappy about it. They might be contemplating abortion. They might be silently freaking out about what to do. They might just be hypersensitive regarding other people's preconceived notions about unplanned pregnancies. Your question might embarrass or shame them for having an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, which is a really crappy thing to do. Another person's pregnancy might be the result of significant planning and fertility assistance, which is nothing to joke about, either. Their baby might be a rainbow baby, or their baby might be adopted.
My point is, no one owes you an explanation about how or why they got pregnant, had a baby, their fertility, or their family size. For these and so many other reasons, people really need to stop asking if babies were planned. It's rude AF.
Because Unplanned Pregnancies Are Common
Seriously. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 45 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unintended, meaning they were either unwanted or mistimed. This means your innocent question might be really freaking insensitive, might come at the worst time in someone's life, and might not be something to joke about.
Because Unplanned Doesn't Necessarily Mean Unwanted
Just because someone wasn't actively planning a pregnancy, doesn't mean they aren't thrilled about it. Your question might make them feel bad about being happy about their pregnancy or new baby, and that's a really unkind thing to do.
Because You Don't Need To Know About My Sex Life
When you ask about my pregnancy, you're really asking about my sex life. Yeah, that's not cool.
Because My Baby Is More Important
The person you are asking might be going through some really heavy shit. I had a difficult pregnancy, riddled with complications, so honestly the start of my pregnancy was the least of my concern.
Because It's None Of Your Business
You can't assume anything based on someone's age, relationship, or family size. They are so personal and so not any of your business.
Because It Stigmatizes Abortion
Over 40 percent of people facing an unplanned pregnancy will choose to have an abortion. Please don't risk shaming them and being an *sshole, by asking them something so personal. Again, unplanned doesn't mean unwanted, and if a woman finds out she's pregnant and doesn't want to remain pregnant, she has options (hopefully and, sadly, depending on where she lives).
Because Rainbow Babies Are A Thing
So many parents have experienced loss. Your question might really hurt, especially if the parent you've decided to question already has anxiety or fear about their pregnancy or new baby.
Because Fertility Issues Are A Thing
Some people have work really freaking hard to get and stay pregnant. Asking about their plans minimizes their efforts and makes a joke about a baby they want desperately. Ugh.
Because Pregnancy Shouldn't Be A Joke
Pregnancy, child birth, and having a baby are huge life choices and responsibilities, and shouldn't be the butt of jokes. How is an "unplanned pregnancy" funny? Please explain. I'll wait.
Because Why Do You Want To Know?
Seriously. Is it idle curiosity or an attempt to be funny? Or are you just trying to find a way to be critical of my pregnancy or family? How would you like it if I asked you if you wanted or planned to have your babies?
Luckily, I would never ask, because it's not polite, kind, or necessary. That's just now how I roll.