Holiday fertility questions. We get it.

The holidays can be a difficult time. Here you are, ending and entering yet another year without a baby, and the state of your eggs, not eggnog, is constantly on your mind. There are always blessings to count but going through fertility treatments can be hard, and all of that wear and tear on your mental health can squash your Christmas spirit.

Inevitably, you will find yourself at a holiday party, get-together, or family thing and be asked the dreaded holiday fertility question, “When are you going to have kids?” Depending on the person and the day, you may feel anger, frustration, sadness, or uncertainty. Whether the question is expected or if it comes as a complete surprise, it’s helpful to think ahead about how you will respond. It’s also important that you and your partner if you have one, present that you two are in this together and are on the same page with what you share and with whom.

Remember, your journey is YOUR journey, and you can choose not to respond at all. For those times when you do want to respond, below are some of the best ones we could find. These responses run the gamut from gracious to funny to total annihilation, so choose your response with care. You don’t want to offend Aunt Mildred so much that she never speaks to you again (or do you…). Depending on your mood and the situation, hopefully, one or more will work for you.

Here are a few responses we’ve collected for your holiday (or anytime) arsenal:

A Serious Response

  • That’s a personal question. I’m going to forgive you for asking as I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not answering.

The reason we like this response is that it communicates to the asker that they’ve asked you something wildly inappropriate, but you have definite boundaries.


Gracious Responses

  • That’s a really great question. I wish I knew the answer.
  • Don’t worry, we’re trying. Hopefully, it will happen eventually.
  • Oh, you know, these things sometimes take a little longer than expected.
  • I’m hoping one day soon.
  • I’m really not sure. It’s something we’re still trying to figure out on our own.
  • When the time is right, it will happen.
  • Only God knows, and He hasn’t told me yet.

Leave Them Laughing

  • When the time is right. My eggs (or sperm) are pretty picky.
  • I already have one. (Then refer to your spouse or someone else)
  • In nine months minus twenty minutes. That reminds me. We left something in the coat closet.
  • Practice makes perfect.
  • We’re planning on adopting a highway very soon and that’s taking up a lot of our time.
  • When the hospital has a better return policy.
  • I’m not a fan of people, especially the short ones.
  • I have to stop killing the plants first.
  • My jokes aren’t corny enough for me to be a dad yet.

Turn It Back on Them

  • I don’t know. Are you free to help tonight?
  • We’re trying every day, sometimes twice. Want to hear all about that?
  • Can I get back to you? How soon do you need to know?
  • Why are you so interested in my sex life? Are you having trouble in the bedroom?
  • I can set up a Go Sperm Me account if you’d like that.

Educate

  • Did you know that 1 in 6 couples, who desperately want to have a child, struggle with infertility? I’m not going to tell you if I’m one of those people, but maybe you’ll think about how hurtful your question might be to someone who is.
  • That is a personal question. How do you think it would make someone who has just had a miscarriage or is struggling with infertility feel?
  • Asking a question like that creates a lot of pressure on me/us. If we could just snap our fingers and get pregnant we would. We’re trying to be patient, and I’m hoping you will try that too.

Nuclear Take-Downs

We suggest you use these with extreme caution if you use these at all. You don’t want to burn any bridges, but we want you to be totally ready for those people who can’t take a hint.

  • I don’t know. When are you planning to lose weight?
  • Here’s my doctor’s number. It’ll be hard to get past HIPAA, but maybe if you talk to a professional you’ll get the answers you need.
  • There’s no room for a baby when you’re all up in my uterus.
  • My mom taught me not to ask or answer personal questions. I guess yours didn’t teach you.
  • I traded my biological clock for an Apple Watch.
  • Well, since we seem to be doing it on your timeline, how about you tell us when.
  • My wife and I can’t have kids the way we do it.
  • I’m actually full of sperm right now, so please keep your fingers crossed and I’ll keep my legs crossed.

We hope these responses gave you a giggle and some good ammunition for the dreaded holiday fertility inquisition. Our goal is to protect and prepare you. Try to remember that most people are not trying to be mean. They are simply attempting to make conversation. We understand that what you are going through is pretty arduous, and you don’t owe anyone a response about your personal well-being and health. The fact that they are intrusive is their problem, not yours (though it feels like yours at the moment). Assume they are just clueless, not mean but be sure to have your responses ready.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Positive Steps Fertility.

We hope that 2022 is the year your dreams of having a baby come true and look forward to answering your questions in the New Year.