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How Do You Answer People When They Ask About Children?

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#1 jenabeat


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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:12 PM

Hi, everyone
Today, I was having lunch with a few coworkers and a new guy asked me if I want children (not with him, but you know what I'm saying  :D .  So, I sort of blurted out "Yes, I would love it, but I can't have any, so I guess maybe someday we'll adopt".  I'm sure I was quite obviously flustered about it.   It's a perfectly innocent question, but it always makes me uncomfortable.  I want to be honest about my situation, but I don't want people to have pity for me either.

Of course, sometimes people can be really rude about the children question.  My husbands uncle patted me on the stomach a few years ago (before I even knew I had POF) and asked "When are you gunna start having babies?"  I was so shocked, all I could say in response was "What is this? Inappropriate question time"?  

My question is, how do you respond to this kind of question?  I decided a while ago to just tell people, when they ask, that I can't have children.  It's not something to be ashamed about.  However, today's episode makes me wonder if there's a better approach.  I don't want to lie, but I don't want the other person to feel uncomfortable either.

#2 dianap



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Posted 12 May 2007 - 12:19 PM


It is always terribly difficult to answer these questions.  Just this week I was asked if I am pregnant.  I have a bit of a tummy because of all the em (I keep doing sit-ups but still have it).

I have practiced my line at home a dozen times so it just sort of rolls off my tongue without me getting too uncomfortable and it is similar to yours.  Unfortunately, I can't have any more children (I have one which makes people think I should be pushing out another one) because I have prematrue ovarian failure.  It usually shuts the other person up very quickly and we move on to another topic.

Good luck and people are trying to make conversation and forget that some people have difficulty with fertility.

TAke care,

-dx at 37 symptoms at least a year (perhaps earlier but trouble remembering:)--currently 38
- daughter naturally conceived at 34 w/o difficulty, nasty thoughts when she didn't sleep and breastfed for 15 months which sometimes makes me feel that I started all this
- tried with Ovridrel to conceive but rarely could take it due to high fsh and sad that ovaries not working and baby seems very unlikely
- mother pof at 42 (might have been earlier but was on bcp until 42), grandmother at 36
- just started Premarin 0.3 mg and Provera 2.5 mg

#3 chiacchierona11


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Posted 12 May 2007 - 12:39 PM

Hi there Jenabeat:

This is always a very tough topic for POFers to handle. I have gone through different phases of what I tell people and now that I am getting married, I imagine to get more questions from people about pregnancy. If it's someone I feel I can trust to not react like a moron or to not think I am crazy, I usually actually do tell them just like you said. I try to handle it with as much grace and dignity as possible. It seems like you do the same. There are obviously occasions, however, in which I think it is not the best thing to tell the person outright. I generally just politely try to laugh it off or to answer as ambiguously as possible. I just say things like "hopefully, someday". It usually shuts people up. But you are definitely not alone. It is a really hard thing to deal with and to always have to answer people. But as I said, my approach is generally to read the situation, my relationship and trust of the person asking and then to respond with someone I feel is appropriate for that particular conversation.

I hope this helps some!

Take care,
The POFer formerly known as hrhpmv19

dx @ 15, now 26.

A VERY HAPPY NEWLYWED!!! Married to the man of my dreams on November 4, 2007 in Philadelphia, PA

Proud mama to new and adorable furbabies Luna and Gigi http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mirzai/my_photos

"Quello che il bruco chiama fine del mondo, il resto del mondo chiama farfalla"
That which the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.

#4 skyangel



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Posted 12 May 2007 - 08:57 PM

That is one that I also struggle with. I am usually just upfront and honest. Most of my close friends know of my POF. For others I usually just say "We plan to adopt in a few years." They usually come to the conclusion that there is most likely a medical issue. Some will later say " if you don't mind asking, can I ask why you are adopting...is there a medical reason?' Then I will tell them about POF. But usually with that I get.."Oh, keep trying" or "Just pray more" or "Those doctors don't know anything. You are too young" ARGh!!!
DX 2003 POF at 34 FSH 46...then 64..then 7...then 97. The highest it has been is 152..lowered back to 125. I really do try and not get too coaught up in the numbers because they seem to be constantly changing.Probably had been POF for years before, masked by BCP's. In the past 4 years I have seen 4 different docotrs who simply do not understand POF and want to treat me as if I am a woman going through menopause in her 50's. Participated in the POF study at the NIH-May 2007. Best thing I have ever done. Originally on BCP, then Prempro(did not like) and currently on 0.1mg Vivelle Dot and Progesterone 10mg(12daysper month), under reccomendation of NIH.

#5 Marrimem



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Posted 14 May 2007 - 04:38 AM

There are a lost of people how just don't understand. I think if someone where to reach out to touch me in an inappropriate place (I think stomach is very inappropriate) I would pull away if I knew they were reaching out to my stomach. You could kindly say, "that's personal" or "that's personal & I'd rather not discuss it," or "don't touch me like that, it's none of your business." if you don't want to say & want to indicate it's private info. You could say "I would like to" or "I can't" If you want to tell you can say if some that is just an associate "I hope to have kids" and leave it at that. Most people that I think might be Ok to say to I said "I'm not able to have children & hope to adopt" "I have a condition that makes it difficult", or I have something called Primary Ovarian Failure a form of Premature Ovarian Failure & hope to adopt." Or "I'm being treated for Infertility".

#6 Marrimem



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Posted 14 May 2007 - 02:48 PM

This morning I read, "if people ask when are you going to have children simpily answer, 'Thursday'".  --Author unknown

I thought that clever.

#7 jenabeat


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Posted 15 May 2007 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for all the great advice.  I think the more simple response "We'd like to adopt in a few years" will probably work for me.  I guess I should try to be gracious about it, even though I sometimes want to embarrass the person by saying I'm infertile.  Miss Manners would disapprove, I'm sure.

Marrimem, I wish I had put my husband's uncle in his place for touching my stomach that time.  I don't like ANYONE touching my stomach, husband included!!  I was so shocked at the time that I was almost speechless.  Fortunately, uncle lives in Scotland and I don't see him very often.  However, we're going over there for a visit in a couple of weeks, so I'll need to be prepared for comments from husband's family.

BTW, why does it always seem to be men who want to know about your babymaking status?!!

#8 Marrimem



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Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:36 PM

I understand from many that women can be just as bad as the men when it comes to patting the tummy. I think it uncoothe & rude myself.

I feel really bad that I one time asked when someone was "due" when she was just a bigger in the stomach woman. She really did look pregnant to me. I decided after that that I would never ask a person directly if they were pg. If they are important to me then I would find out another way then to embarrass them & myself. I still feel really badly. I see her at my bank and feel terrible about it. She rarely has her window open when I'm there. I hope it isn't because of this incident. Hopefully she has forgotten it, but I'm not sure.

#9 mzzyc


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Posted 24 June 2007 - 09:33 PM

I usually say when I'm ready.  It simple and its the truth.  I used to tell people when I graduate from school but I will be graduating next month.  But I plan on starting my Masters program in Sept so I guess I can still use it :wacko: .  
Its hard to really answer that at 23.  Thats why I do have a hard time talking about POF with others b/c at my age older people usually feel that you are too young and need to enjoy life and wait til you are 30, don't complicate it with kids.  Well thats easy to say when you don't have POF.  My GYN says that I better not be thinking about having kids now, i'm too young and I have my whole life ahead of me.  Well having POF makes me want to be a mother even more.  I feel like its unfair to my husband, itsnot his fault and he deserves a family.  
Then my younger friends who are popping out babies left and right want to know why my husband and I don't have any kids.  But then they make those comments liek you are lucky you don't have to worry about taking care of kids and being broke all teh time.  His friends are always asking him and I guess he usually tells them that we are not ready for one reason or another.
So when others ask, we usually push our education on them- He is studying to be a teacher and I am graduating with my BA next month. Then we go into talks about owning our own home and saving money first because we want to be "ready and stable" when we decide to do it.  That usually leaves them thinking about their own situations because most of them have like 2 and 3 kids and really have no plans for the future.  
I do find it hard to have POF at my age.  Most people my age who don't have kids, don't even think about them and I guess everyone's advice is to wait and live my life, but living my life without children is a constant reminder of POF.  Thats why I decided to do DE/IVF.  Hopefully some time soon  :) .



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Posted 02 July 2007 - 10:23 PM

Hi there all,
well i had the unfortunate experience last Friday when i was at a friends wedding and one person in particular kept going on about kids- yes i admit it does hurt and I just find myself smiling innocently and saying "yeah maybe one day" but it has kept rolling around in my head ever since! It has started to bug me now and i cannot seem to get it out of my head- although that "thursday" quote is one i could definately find myself saying!
I tend to find that one of our friends- with a big, insensitive gob on her- tends to just but in and tell people "oh she can't have kids" so i find myself sloping off and never going back to that person again for the rest of the night- yes i am embarassed about it all before people start commenting- i am 23 for god's sake- i should not be going through any of this!!! And i am still pissed at my gp for all those years i kept saying something was wrong and he never did anything!
I am sorry for being bitter and twisted but it may have been nearly 3 years since i was diagnosed but i still can't get over it!
Now 24 and still lost in a big big world and trying to find my way!
Diagnosed August 2004, but had problems since I was 9! Heartbroken and in need of a friend!

#11 jacinta


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Posted 06 July 2007 - 06:27 AM

I find it depends on the situation.......everyone I am close to or work with knows so I don't have to bring it up with them.

With new people I am lucky to be able to say......"well they are in china waiting for me".....this stops them dead in their tracks. But like I said my answer will change depending on who the person is and what sort of setting it is in.

For example I had a girl (she is about 40) that I don't know ask me and it was so blunt and said so many people heard that basically I was a bitch and wanted to make her as uncomfortable as she made me. So I said "I can't have children"........in quite a cutting voice. Then one of my closer girls at yoga said "yes Jac when does that boat leave for china".........LOL! she is brilliant that little chicky! She even used boat in reference to it taking a long time.
But if people are going to be rude then I feel I can be rude back.

POF 27 stopped BCP
medically dx dyslexic
LID 7th March 2007
Batch 37 victoria

me 34 DH 46
Our forever babe is waiting for us in china
start Jan 2005 - completion maybe 2013

#12 Jainee613



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Posted 06 July 2007 - 07:39 AM

Hi I just usually point to the heavens and say, It is in HIS hands...........and that usually quiets the questions........usually my poor husband gets the questions and not me, cuz fortunately or unfortunately many of my friends know that I have a fertility issue and they do not bother me where my husband's coworkers don't know anything.

#13 jadedsunshine


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Posted 01 August 2007 - 04:28 PM

A fun thing you can always do is when somebody asks, burst into tears and be like 'IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN FOR ME OKAY!?!?!' and run away.

Then they will never ask another one of us again! Horray!

#14 luvmypets



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Posted 06 August 2007 - 11:50 PM


I got this question too recently - at a wedding.  (Fun place to keep up the fake smile, eh?)
The father of one of the groomsmen pointed to a newborn and told my husband and I "y'all need one of those".  "Get started on it"  "When are you having kids?"
And so I just said that my husband and I are focusing on our careers since we are both changing career paths.  

It's the truth - We are striving to find more meaningful jobs - to make some kind of positive mark on this world w/o bearing children!   :)  

Sux that this question can make you so sad.  I am ALWAYS uncomfortable and I hesitate when I answer it!

Have a Good Day, Gals!
28 yrs old.  
Dx 01/2005 Right after 1 yr. Wed. Ann.!  
Vivelle dot (0.1 MG) 2x/wk, Prometrium (200 MG) 1/d for 10d/mo.
FSH Tests:  88, 95.  HRT is working - now FSH 2.9 and E2 is 79.
08/2005 Happy-to-be Guinea Pig (POF Study at NIH)  Mild Osteopenia in Rt. Hip
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - Hypothyroidism
Dx ~1995
Levoxyl (0.125 MG) daily
Anemia Iron Infusion 07/2008
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (Basically in Remission)  Flairing up recently!
Dx ~1986
Planning to use DE & Adopt!

#15 skegeesmb



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Posted 11 August 2007 - 01:58 PM

I've told people that I can't have kids, and they usually don't believe me, and say I'm not praying enough, or if I speak it from my lips it's my fault.  I'm in a mood where I'm okay now that I can't have children.  I just hate when people who don't know anything about me, still insist that I can have children, like they know some secret.
Age: 29
Dx: POF December 15, 2006
11/06 FSH: 40's
12/16/06 FSH: 40's again
09/09/2007 FSH: 25
No children
Married almost 4 years
On Metformin to control my insulin resistance

#16 HoneyBear23


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Posted 12 August 2007 - 08:44 PM

I just normally say "hopefully someday". I don't want to get into the stupid comments ("just relax or keep practicing"), bullsh*t. Sometimes I will say that we've been TTC for over three years but it depends on the situation and who I'm having the conversation.

My DH and I finally got married this past May after being together for six years (he has four kids already). I can't tell you have many times I got that dang question!  :) It's a common one to ask newlyweds I guess.

Hang in there!
Me 30 yrs old ~ Wonderful DH late 30's

* DX w/sudden and unexplainable POF (FSH 130) @ 22 yrs old after 9+ yrs of normal cycles. On cyclical HRT.  
* TTC'd our miracle since 3/04.
* Hoping for a our miracle baby during our 1st DE cycle in April 2008.
* April 8th: Transfered two, beautiful grade one five day blasts.
* April 13th - BFP with six blasts on ice!

U/S: 18w5d ~ Twins doing great!  A BOY and a GIRL! EDD 12/25/08!

#17 Nyxks


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Posted 28 August 2007 - 05:26 AM

I've gotten asked this question ever since university, actually the first ppl to ask me it was when I was in JR high, part of home ek class

My comment back then was "Never, Not interested, Forget It!"

Since University its "Never, I'm Infertile, and pleased to be so"

In JR HIgh it shocked the world of out of the teacher, she just said I would change my mind when I got older ... saw her last year and she asked how my "children" where .. growls .. and my comment to her was, I told you back then that I wasn't interested in breeding, and that is still the case, sides i'm infertile so its not happening." needless to say she didn't know what to say to that comment.
[url="http://www.nyxstium.ca/musings/"]Nyxks Musings[/url]
Nyx Wolfwalker

#18 RachelA



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Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:13 PM

Sometimes my own mother actually says to me "you know people who adopt a lot of times get pregnant afterwords."  It makes me want to scream and say, yes but i am not other people.........

Anyway I mostly tell people that we hope to be blessed that way....
It usually changes the subject..
Diagnosed POF at age 31
Currently on Ortho-Cyclen
Have tried FemHRT, Combi Patch, Yasmin, Seasonale, Climara Pro and Estradiol.

#19 ronnie32


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Posted 28 August 2007 - 04:01 PM

It's amazing how otherwise clued-up people can be so clueless and so unintentionally insensitive.  Depending on how raw I feel (not so raw these days, thankfully) or what side of the bed I get up on, my reaction to such questions changes.  Most of the time, I do believe these questions that we find difficult to answer are borne out of good intent, out of a genuine interest in us and our lives - of course, some times people are being just plain nosy.

Strange how the context of the question can change our reaction too.  For instance, I was at an adoption get-together recently and one of the women there asked me if I "planned to have any more children".  I actually smiled, rather than feeling like I'd been slapped in the face, and responded positively.  I didn't need to read any more into that question or feel the need to give or avoid giving long-winded explanations as to my fertility status.  It wasn't about my fertility, it was about planning to have children - with a silent acknowledgement of adoption and all it entails.
Diagnosed with POF just before turning 32.  Have used acupuncture and TCM.  I am taking various supplements including multi vitamin, calcium, zinc, flaxseed oil etc.  Following osteopenia diagnosis, started HRT on 10 March 05 - reluctantly.  I have a fab g/f & we have a lovely dog (lurcher) & a mischievous cat (tabby).  We have one son who keeps us on our toes.

#20 Marrimem



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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:31 PM

Why oh why is it that people are so incensive when it comes to other peoples lives. Prayer doesn't change everything.