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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Please don't ask me 'that' question

Last week I was caught off guard. The dreaded question was asked for the first time since losing Ava.

Person: "I've been told your pregnant, are you pregnant? Such exciting news"
Me: "no, I'm not pregnant"
Person: "are you sure?"
Me: "yes, I am sure"

I am not sure why I was asked if I was pregnant again, because I'm not. It's also not a question that someone should be asking anyone, let alone someone who knows what you have lost and how recently you have lost. If and when a person falls pregnant, it is up to them and their partner to decide when and who they tell that they are expecting a baby.

I guess I shouldn't be shocked, I mean I have had it asked before (thought it to be a bit rude) but brushed it off nevertheless. However, this can be such a triggering question. Think about the woman who is currently battling infertility. How would that question make that person feel? Think about how it makes a person feel who is currently going through a miscarriage, and the women who have lost their baby they birthed recently. You don't know how long it takes for families to receive autopsy results and genetic testing and counselling. You don't realise how long it can take some women to recover physically and emotionally from their babies birth.

People don't know other people's stories. They don't know how emotionally triggering that question can be. A year ago I could have shook the question off (albeit a bit distressed as I was already going through fertility treatment at that stage) but today, a few months on while I'm still deep in my grief - it cuts like a knife and it literally took my breathe away. I'm actually surprised I was able to answer. I'm very thankful I had a friend standing next to me who I know was ready to catch me if I fell.

So, next time you hear some gossip going around, please don't share it around. Please don't assume that a newly bereaved mother is going to be jumping for joy if and when she does fall pregnant again. Please don't ask her "if she's sure" and if you do, please apologise and walk away. The pain inflicted is huge. The pain is something you don't understand and if you did, you wouldn't be asking...

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