My husband and I struggled with infertility for years. With every failed attempt at getting pregnant our heartache grew. Then finally it worked. We were pregnant! Not only that, we were having twins. The joy and disbelief was almost more than we could handle. Happiness could not begin to appropriately describe the way we felt. We were going to start our family! As my belly grew so did my excitement. I couldn’t wait to talk about them with anyone who asked. And then people started asking stupid questions.
When I would tell people that I was pregnant with twins, usually with strangers or mild acquaintances, most often the first thing they would ask was “Are they natural?” What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Let’s first think about what someone is asking with that question. Are they natural? Are you asking if my children are robots or cyborgs? Are you asking if they were grown in a cabbage patch? Are you asking if they were assembled like a scarecrow? No. You are asking about how I got pregnant. When is that ever an appropriate question to ask someone? You want to know if in order to conceive these children I had sex with my husband or had help from a doctor. How is that any of your business? Not to mention the implication that my kids might somehow be “unnatural”. The entire question is offensive. The shocking thing is that this question, exactly worded like that, “Are they natural?” came up again and again. My standard response was to ask, “What do you mean?” in an attempt to force the asker to think for a second about what they were asking me. It rarely worked. They would simply go into more detail to make clear the information they wanted and felt they deserved.
Most pregnant women will concur that for some reason, many people feel that their pregnancy is public property. People, and in my experience mostly women, think they can ask about very personal things simply because you are growing another human in your body. “How do you plan to deliver?” Are you really asking me about my plans for my vagina? “Are you going to breastfeed?” Now you’re asking about my boobs! It’s ok to be curious, but before you ask a stupid, rude, or very personal question, ask yourself one. “Is it any of my business?”