The Question that Disturbs Me the Most This Pregnancy

No, this is not my belly. I don't do pregnancy belly photos. :)

No, this is not my belly. I don’t do pregnancy belly photos. 🙂

Not too long ago I posted about what NOT to say to a pregnant woman. You know, just some friendly advice for people who mean well but really have no concept of a filter on their mouths.

This is a little addendum to that, if you will.

— Last Sunday after church we had lunch with my husband’s family. As soon as his grandmother saw me it was, “Wow, you’re getting huge! Sure you aren’t having twins?”

This is the first time during this pregnancy that someone has asked me this question, and it’s a question that women all over the world never, ever want to be asked, because the real translation of this question is : “You are gigantic.”

I know she meant well and I’ll cut her some slack because she’s family, but… still. Don’t ask a woman if she’s having twins, especially when you know she’s not.

Pregnant women are hormonal. You take your life in your hands. 🙂

When people ask if I’m having a boy or girl and I tell them we’re expecting our third boy, the follow-up question is almost always about the ages of my other children. When I reply that my sons are six and three and will be almost seven and four when the baby comes, it almost never fails that one of the following is the response– “Why did you wait so long?” “Wow. That’s a lot of years between kids.” And my personal favorite (and this came from a woman who is also currently expecting), “Oh my gosh. I could never have my kids that far apart.”

Here’s my go-to response, “Well, it wasn’t our choice to wait so long in between children, but God knows so much better than we do and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

I mean, honestly, do I have to go into my entire medical history and our fertility issues with complete strangers?

Sometimes I want to punch people right in the face. I do. I blame hormones. (But there’s part of me that wants to punch even when I’m not pregnant.) Again, I know they mean well, but c’mon folks. It’s nun-ya business how many years people wait between having children. Whether they want that age gap (some do) or they wait on God’s timing (like us), you should have nothing to say about it, k?

If you feel the words bubbling up and you absolutely have to say something, then may I suggest, “It’s great that your kids are older. They’ll be wonderful helpers when the baby comes.”

Caucasian Baby Boy In A Blue Stroller Carriage, Looking Over The Side Clipart Illustration

And now for the question that has gotten under my skin more than any other during this pregnancy. I have been asked countless (literally) times, sometimes by friends, most of the time by complete strangers… “So, are you going to try for a girl?”

The answer to that question, ladies and gents, is NO. No no no no no no no.

We have never tried for a girl or a boy. With each of our three children, we’ve prayed for a beautiful child.

I’ll tell you why I really, really, really hate that question.

1. Most of all, it implies that this precious baby boy that I’m carrying isn’t special. It implies that he’s just a number among the other boys and that he doesn’t matter. It implies that he wasn’t created specifically for our family by God as one of His greatest blessings, which I believe this little man was. He is special. He is a miracle. He is one of a kind. He is being knit together in my womb by the Creator, who already knows everything about him. And his mommy, daddy and two big brothers cannot wait to meet him.

2. It implies that my husband and I can’t feel happy and blessed without a daughter. God has designed our family specifically in his timing, with his perfection. I’m blessed beyond what I can imagine, and I would never, ever change it.

3. “Trying” for a specific gender is insane. I know that people do it. I know that there are those who want to design their families themselves, but I’m not one of them. I learned a long time ago to leave it up to God.

— May I suggest a better question, if you really must get into personal business? How about asking whether or not we plan to have more children in the future?

I can tell you now that that question remains unanswered. While we are fairly certain that this will be our last biological child, we’ve had many conversations already about our desire to love more kids. How God will bring that about is, once again, up to Him.

Just a bit of friendly advice to help you along in conversation with a woman who is expecting.

I know people mean well. I know they have good intentions. And I’ve put my foot in my mouth plenty of times, too.

Share with me: Have you ever put your foot in your mouth? Want to tell me about it?

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Filed under Family, Infertility, Parenting

21 responses to “The Question that Disturbs Me the Most This Pregnancy

  1. Oh yes, I always put my foot in my mouth. It’s horrible. That’s why I try to only write online. LOL I have three boys and have had these questions but I’ve also asked others similar questions too. 🙂
    Isn’t pregnancy fun? LOL

    • I’ve been known to put my foot in my mouth a time or two.
      The best response I’ve gotten so far from someone when finding out we’re having a third boy– “There’s a special crown for you in heaven.” 🙂 Yeah, I like that. 🙂

  2. Carolyn Bingham

    I have come to realize that many people just don’t think before they speak. A couple of years ago someone asked me if I were going to have more children. Since we were in a group of people, I just said probably not. Then I jokingly (very obviously jokingly) said what in the world would I do if I had a girl. They then proceeded to tell me how special little girls are. I had no choice but to say that I know girls are special since I happen to be one. Unfortunately, my boys’ father left us and since I have no prospects it doesn’t seem that I will have more children. Also, I had serious complications and shouldn’t have more children. Silly me for trying to nicely answer a woman’s prying question.

  3. Oh my word, do I ever resonate with every stupid question!!

    My favourite? “Aren’t you a bit OLD to be having another baby? You know the risks of having a healthy child AT YOUR AGE?”
    All I wanted to say was “Do YOU know the odds of you ever saying anything smart?”
    We did not plan to have a baby just shy of my being 40.
    And mine are 3, 4 and 5 years apart. No, we didn’t plan that either.
    No, we needed fail at having more than one girl, like there’s a course that you try and fail at. Bad grammar, sorry!!

    All you need to do when someone says something stupid is say “Oh, the baby just kicked, that was meant for you” and walk away.

  4. I have a four-year-old, and we’re planning to have another child some day. It drives some people a little crazy that we’ve waited so long in between.

    I’m sure I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth with plenty of people. LOL.

    • Why do people feel like they have the right to be driven crazy?? 🙂 Sometimes I think about the times when I’ve said something stupid and I’m STILL embarrassed by it. This is a good reason for time machines.

  5. Erica

    This put a smile on my face! We have 3 and they are 3, 20 months and 5 months (yes 15 months and 16 months apart) and everytime someone says “Why? Don’t you know what causes that?” and “Are you crazy!” Why, yes, I believe my momma had the birds and the bees talk with me and no I’m not crazy! We have 2 girls and 1 boy and all we hear is how we finally had a boy and can stop having kids now! It doesn’t matter how close or far apart the kids are or what gender you have, someone always has something to say!

    • You know, I didn’t even think about it going the other way when I was writing this post– meaning kids that are very close together, but the same applies! If it was me, I’d be annoyed by people asking about that, too.

  6. Mollie

    This post made me think about the thing that I am SO used to hearing, but still breaks my heart a tiny bit each time. After 2 years of surgeries, meds, and waiting, all to “fix” my inhospitable womb (which I have decided ranks up there in the worst medical terms, ever), we were blessed with our first daughter. When she was 5 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. Obviously it was unexpected as it had not required all of the above, but we were thrilled. People would look at me and and say “Don’t you know how that happens?” I wanted so badly to say “Actually, no I don’t. Please tell me about how easy it is.” Here we are 4 years later and people tell me that I should be glad that I had them so close together so I can be done with the baby stuff all at one time, all the while not knowing what I would give to be able to do it one more time…….

  7. Great advice! I’m sure I have said things in the past too. We just get so focused on how WE would do things that we forget others are different, and that others struggle with certain issues that we don’t.

    My husband and I have been married for 6 years, and people ask us all the time when kids are coming. I hate talking about it anymore, because I feel completely judged for waiting so long. And what if we were trying or had been for years with no success? Such questions would be so insensitive, even if people wouldn’t mean for them too. I guess as the person having the questions asked of them, we just have to exercise extra grace, right? Trying to remember that people are good-willed…even if a little dense. 🙂

    • It’s that extra grace and the understanding that people truly do mean well that’s kept me from decking a few people lately. 🙂

      And you’re right. My husband and I waited 5 years to have kids and people would ask us all the time when we were going to have some. Then, after my first son was born, it became “when are you going to make him a big brother?” Most of them had no idea what we were going through with infertility.

      Thank goodness God’s grace applies to all of us, right?? 🙂

    • Lindsay, just tell them you have bunk beds , then just smile and blink.

  8. I’m kind of in an irritable mood right now, so I should probably just keep my mouth shut. But right now, the question that bothers me the most is, “Are you going to have anymore of your own kids?:

  9. Jennifer, when our youngest was born (she’ll be 25 in June — oh my, where did the time go???) my husbands assistant called the very next day, to the hospital, to “congratulate me. “Too bad she wasn’t a boy,” she said. I was, confused by this weird (call me crazy but I thought it odd) statement. “Why?” I asked (too stund to think of anything brilliant like “That’s a weird thing to say to me right now — or anytime really.”) “Well, you have a girl and then Frank would have a boy.” My response was “well, we were kind of hoping for another girl” (although we’d have been just as thrilled with a boy — which we thought our first one would be…) Anyway, fast forward 25 years. Our “Too bad she wasn’t a boy” girl, goes on an annual fishing excursion with her dad (she once won a $10,000 fly in fishing trip — when she was 10 for her father and her for Father’s Day), she played basketball, soccer, weight lifts, hikes in the Mts. (again with her dad), has run three marathons (with her dad)…and she likes my favorite sport “shopping” :). So its all good and it seems God knew just what he was doing and how he would bless my sweet husband with this “very much a girl” buddy. (We are all blessed by both our girls). /

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