Most of the time, people are not trying to be insensitive. They're naturally curious or they don't understand why the question is loaded or sometimes they're just trying to engage in small talk. But when you're dealing with infertility, the question "when are you having a baby?" is at best an annoyance and at worst, triggering. While we can't promise that no one will ask, we can help you prepare for when they do. Here are four ways to answer the question you really shouldn't have to.
1. With a stock answer
If you tend to feel flustered or find it hard to remain chill when faced with this question, come armed with a few stock answers that you can parrot without thinking too hard. These can be sayings, platitudes, outright lies... It's the easiest way to answer the question without too much effort or too much information.
- "When it happens, it happens!"
- "We're not in a hurry."
- "Good things take time."
- "We appreciate your support and hope to have good news to share in the future."
2. With deflection
If a platitude just isn't your style, deflect, deflect, deflect. People love talking about themselves (or their own children), so feel free to change the topic, or distract with a question.
- "Not sure. Hey, how is Olivia enjoying first grade?"
- "Good question. How did you and Peter enjoy your recent vacation?"
3. With a joke
Sometimes laughing is the only way to keep from crying, so don't be afraid of a harmless joke or some sarcasm.
- "Well, Linda, you'll be the first to know when it happens—promise."
- "In this economy?!"
4. With the truth
Sometimes you may not have energy for anything other than the truth. If you're comfortable sharing, then by all means, do so. They asked, after all.
- "I wish it was as easy as everyone thought."
- "We actually have been trying to conceive for a while. Did you know that at thirty you have only a 20 percent chance each cycle of spontaneous conception and that decreases the older you get?"
- "We've actually suffered a loss and are still processing before we try again."
- "Easier said than done—it's taking us longer than we thought it would, but we're optimistic."