Baby question should be left unasked

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A social media post going ‘viral’ is nothing new these days, which is why it’s ever more of an achievement to write something that makes people sit up and listen.

Which is exactly what American freelance writer Emily Bingham did, when she posted a picture of a random ultrasound image to Facebook, and proceeded to talk for 20 and 30-something women everywhere.

For Emily isn’t pregnant. The picture was a tool to get people’s attention. What followed were words that many of us have uttered in hushed conversations, but few dare speak out loud: “This is just a friendly PSA (public service announcement) that people’s procreative plans and decisions are none of your business,” she wrote. “You don’t know who is struggling with fertility or dealing with health issues. You don’t know who is on the fence about having kids. You don’t know how your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief or frustration.”

She goes on to ask all friends and wannabe grandparents to wait until they are told, rather than pushing for personal information.

To date, the post has been shared more than 40,000 times, resonating with women across the globe.

And it certainly resonated with me. The Boy and I are fairly lucky – without a ring on my finger, the question most put in our direction is: “when are you getting hitched?” An easy one to laugh off.

But a few do ask when kids will be on the way. And the answer is always the same – touching all sorts of wood, and please God if we are able... when the time is right.

Because I have known far too many beautiful and talented women who have struggled to have a baby, to take anything of the sort for granted.

Friends have been through unimaginable trauma in their attempts to have a family; from miscarriages, to sudden infant death syndrome, and those who’ve put everything they have into getting pregnant through IVF. Seeing these women who I care about, and even hearing the stories of those who I do not know, is nothing less than heartbreaking. And terrifying. When it is my time, one can but pray that things work out in the way you’d hope.

Of course we’re all guilty of a little curiosity, and I’m sure in the past I’ve quizzed newlyweds on their plans for new additions.

So I thank Emily Bingham too, for reminding me that this is one question that should be left unasked.

Friends and family will share... Touching all sorts of wood, please God, when the time is right.