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Mind Your Own Business: Infertility Isn't A Conversation Starter

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | September 17, 2016 |

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | September 17, 2016 |

Perhaps you’ve seen footage from FABLife featuring Tyra Banks and Chrissy Teigen speaking about infertility struggles.

Their discussion is obviously important because it lets other women know that they are not alone in their journey to have children. Banks and Teigen are able to bring the topic to a wide audience and let people know that there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to trouble conceiving. It also tells people to mind their own damn business when it comes to women and their bodies.

My husband and I have been together 15 years and married for 10 of those years. We have an eleven year old daughter (I’ll let you do the math). I cannot tell you how often I get asked when I’m giving my daughter a sibling. Strangers will chastise you for raising a child without siblings, telling you that your child will be lonely. They’ll tell you that there’s still time to add another child to the family and ask why you aren’t doing that. They don’t stop to think about our life circumstances or my health.

People assume that because my daughter was conceived so easily that I should be popping out babies every time I even look at my husband’s crotch. So they continue to ask and judge and pry. They don’t know that every time they ask, it’s like a kick to my gut. They don’t know that I struggle with secondary infertility. Hell, most people don’t know that there is such a thing as secondary infertility.

Basically, after the first baby, my body decided to forget how to work properly in the human-producing area. Do you understand how frustrating that is? You have proof that you are capable of creating life and now you have to come to terms with the fact that you may never be able to do it again. And you want to so badly. So, so badly. You blame yourself. You convince yourself that eating all of those Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Burritos was to blame, or drinking grape soda, or that one beer you had before you realized you were pregnant. You assume that you did something wrong, because no one is asking your husband why he isn’t knocking you up.

And no one will stop asking you why you aren’t having another baby.

They’re all looking at you. They’re all judging your worth as a woman, as a reproductive being, and finding you to be a selfish, lesser person because of your failures. They’re all people that wouldn’t ask how much money you make for fear of prying, but they really need to know if your husband’s sperm succeeded in blasting through the wall of one of your eggs after he ejaculated into your vagina while you were banging.

It’s a ridiculous thing to reduce women, and relationships, to the creation of children. It’s insensitive, rude, and not relevant to any conversation that I am having with anyone that isn’t my doctor. So cut it the fuck out and think of something better to ask. Might I suggest “How are you today?”