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Fertility struggles lead to pregnant pauses

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I have been together for 10 years (married for three years), and we are each soon to turn 30 years old. My husband has made some personal choices that more than likely have prevented us from becoming pregnant.

I have a professional career, where I speak to people casually and frequently. At work and in my personal life, I frequently get asked, "So when are you finally going to have kids?" and "Are you thinking about having kids with you getting older?" and, "When are you going to give me some grand babies?"

To be honest, not yet becoming pregnant has been one of the toughest feelings I have ever had to deal with. I want it more than anything, so these comments are difficult for me to answer.

I don't want to make conversations awkward or put anyone in their place, but I'm tired of saying generic comments like "We will see" and forcing a smile.

Do you have any advice for me on what I can say or how I can handle peoples' questions?

-- Judged and Sad

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Dear Judged: Granted, this is an extremely tough and painful topic for you, but you have signed your question "Judged and Sad," and thus seem to be interpreting these intrusive queries as judgments of some kind regarding your current childless status.

You also lob a bombshell aimed at your husband, regarding "personal choices" he has made, which you believe are affecting your ability to get pregnant.

Yes, you are hurting badly.

I cannot imagine that any person -- regardless of their relationship or fertility status -- would actually welcome a query about something as personal as pregnancy. Why do people ask? In the history of the world, has this question ever been greeted with, "Wow -- I'm so glad you asked me about that! I've been dying to discuss my birth control choices and fertility issues with a client/co-worker/mother-in-law."

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