I love Thanksgiving. It is arguably the best U.S. holiday due to the combination of food, football, family, time off work, and more food. This year’s Thanksgiving is extra special because the wife and I both get to spend time with our families who live decent distances away. On top of that we’re going to get to see siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles that we haven’t had the chance to see since our wedding last year.
But, with this amazing opportunity to see our family comes some downsides. Mainly, some of my cousins have started the child rearing process, others are openly in the process of attempting to create life, and we both have parents/grandparents that would love for us to join in on the family expanding party. But there’s the rub, as a married couple who has just passed our one-year mark, there comes a certain set of expectations and questions, mostly about our desire to create mini-versions of ourselves. Since only a small amount of our families know about our struggles and fertility experiences (that’s my new nice name for this journey), I’m expecting to get some questions that I’m going to have to either non-answer, answer with a lie or avoid entirely.
1) Are you trying yet?
It’s not socially acceptable for someone to ask my how often my wife and I have sex, so why is it OK for my family members to ask about our use or non-use of contraceptives during sex? It is none of your business if my wife is on the pill, or if the midnight cashier at Walgreens knows my face due to my repeated trips for jimmy caps, or in the same sense if we enjoy doing it while hanging upside down while eating honeydew and watching reruns of the Mindy Project (side note: that doesn’t sound that bad, but the logistics would suck out the sexiness in a non-sexy way). So what are my options? I could say yes, but that opens another whole bag of questions. I could say no, but then the next questions will be without a doubt about if we want children and when. I could try to turn the attention to football or my dog, but that can only work so many times before I seem shady/creepy and they put me at the children’s table in the basement.
2) When do you plan on having a baby?
This question includes an array of assumptions that would make a lawyer yell objection faster than kansas fans give up on football season. To ask this question someone has to assume that we want to have a baby and we have a plan on when/how the miracle of life will occur. Sure, I could say something about fate, or that we don’t have a plan, or even give them a vague time frame of 9 months to 10 years, is this question really necessary. When you first buy a house do people start asking you how long until you plan on moving? Of course not. We’ll let you know when it happens, if you’re lucky we’ll even tell you during the pregnancy, but I refuse to give you a timeframe to start bugging us about if we’ve having any luck.
3) How many kids do you plan on having?
Well aren’t you just the step jumper in the family? Not only are you assuming we want kids, but you’ve jumped straight to thinking about us having a small army of mini-humans jumping around our house terrorising our dog. The answer is we’re going to have somewhere between zero and 20. With what we’re going through, we’re going to be happy and grateful with one If we’re blessed with two or three, damn right we’re going to celebrate with a small dance in our kitchen. But you, question asker, how many do you plan on having? You already have two? Are you happy with that amount? Why not four? Why not six? Don’t you want your own TLC special one day?
4) What’s taking so long?
Stop it, just stop it. I’m simply refusing to answer this question with anything other than “are you going to finish that sticky bun?” It’s taking long because of things that are 100% out of our control. If you really want, I can break down everything for you, the appointments, the stress, the anxiety, the medications, and the feeling that I’m simply not good enough. But I’m not going to be it’s none of your business, I don’t want to tell you, and I don’t want your pity. If you’re really looking forward to a great-grandson/daughter you have multiple other people to bother, just because I’m the oldest not to sire a price or princess doesn’t mean I’m automatically fair game.
I love you – but this is not the topic you want to bring up
I love my family, I love my wife’s family, but this is not the topic I want to talk about for more than 30 seconds at a time. All it does is induce stress, force me to avoid a sensitive subject, and force my wife and I to think about this thing we don’t want to think about during the holiday. Do I expect to be hounded for answers? No, but I do expect there to be questions from my cousins who already have kids. Before all of this started I remember joking with them about who would have kids first, when we thought pregnancy announcements would happen and such. But now, it has a whole different meaning. So how about a truce this turkey day, I won’t ask why your toddler has more expensive shoes than me, and you won’t ask when my while will start popping out children. Deal?