When my partner and I were trying to conceive our son, we had no idea how long the process would take or what we'd endure to bring him into the world. We had our daughter without even trying, so I guess you could say we didn't know what to expect during this process. While it's natural for others to express their excitement, some infuriating questions people will ask about your conception process are insensitively bold. However well-meaning, there's just some things you don't ask a couple, especially when it comes to baby-making.
Now that I've been through it, I can honestly say the conception process can be agonizing. While, as I mentioned, getting pregnant with my daughter wasn't even a thought (or a conversation), when it came time for our second child, we never thought about fertility or lack thereof. After two miscarriages, and a pre-checkup before starting fertility drugs, conceiving my son was an act of pure faith. It tested me in ways I wasn't prepared for, and when I finally became pregnant with him, it made me appreciate how miraculous it is to begin with.
I get that people mean well when they want to know more about what we're going through, but that doesn't make it any less infuriating when they ask such probing questions about our conception process. Sometimes, not knowing is them most supportive thing you can choose to do for someone who's trying to conceive, so you can just forget about asking the following questions:
"How Often Do You Do It?"
Why would anyone think it's OK to ask any couple this question? I don't go around asking random strangers how often they're getting laid, and I sure as hell don't want to answer this question on my own — especially when I'm having trouble conceiving anyway.
I assured anyone brave enough to ask: we did it enough to enjoy ourselves, with the hopes in might result in a baby. Period. The end. Next question.
"Have You Tried Different Positions?"
What my partner and I do in the bedroom (or any other room) is literally no one's business but ours. Publicly announcing that we're trying for a baby (or, not even announcing it, but having people assume), doesn't mean we're looking to lengthen the conversation about the when, how, how often, where, or whatever other aspect of baby-making someone might end up being curious about.
Basically, unless you want me to tell you in graphic detail (to make you regret asking in the first place), please don't ask something so personal.
"Are You Looking Into Fertility Treatment?"
Some assume that when a married woman isn't pregnant yet, there's something "wrong" with her. As if we're only made to re-produce and nothing else. What if I wasn't trying to have a baby, and wanted to simply enjoy the one child we already have? Or — and stick with me here — what if I didn't want any children at all?
Fertility, and the ability to conceive or not, and the choice to want to or not, is personal. While I was, indeed, looking into all my infertility options at the time after those two miscarriages, I don't know why anyone would think it's their right to know about it. Because, let's be clear: it's not.
"How Long Before You Adopt?"
I greatly admire those who opt for adoption, be it because of fertility issues or just because they want to give children a home who might otherwise not have one. While I can't say I wouldn't have adopted, too, I always wanted biological children. During the tough times (miscarriage and losing hope), I thought more about adoption and was open to it.
Still, when people ask this question it implies that I'm selfish to want children of my own. This question is one of the most infuriating, because that's not the case. At all.
"Has Your Partner Been Tested?"
My partner and I decided I would everything checked first. When I still hadn't gotten pregnant, we were on the verge of getting a sperm count. It's not something we wanted to do (who does?), but we hit a point where our options stalled out. I really don't enjoy anyone's questions that, either on purpose or by accident, point a finger at something being "wrong" with one partner or the other. Sometimes it's no one's fault and there is no logical reason for why conception hasn't happened.
"Can't You Accept It'll Happen When It's Meant To?"
Bless all those who've tried to keep me positive through the tribulations of trying to get pregnant, but there's no mantra that made those losses feel any better. There was no saying, or prayer, that made me feel any more optimistic.
Sometime after the second pregnancy loss I wanted to give up. I needed to wallow and to grieve. I didn't want everyone asking or checking or telling me "what will be, will be." All I wanted was silent understanding that I was going through something significant. I needed support, which meant I didn't need to hear questions or unhelpful anecdotes every again.
"Are You Taking Care Of Yourself?"
Did I do specific exercises to help strengthen certain muscles? Sure. Did it help me get pregnant? Nope. Yes, I did put my legs up after every sexual encounter. For years. Did it help? Nope.
Just stop with the infuriating questions about my conception process. What I do to make a baby stays between my partner and I (and a doctor, if necessary). Eventually I did get pregnant with my son, and I can assure you answering un-ending questions didn't contribute to his conception. The bottom line is, if the same people who ask these things would put as much emphasis on their own sex lives as they have mine, maybe we'd all feel a little more satisfied.