|A holiday might help ?|
In the first instance we were able to dodge enquiries about babymaking with the usual 'we want to spend some time just the two of us before we start a family.' or 'I'm concentrating on my career right now.' After a few years had passed though I was reduced to a terse 'we can't have children' in response to any polite enquiry from a stranger who didn't really need to know the details of my life.
The enquiries from family were more difficult. Telling my own Mother that it wasn't about not having enough money for IVF, we'd genuinely prefer to adopt was a repetitive conversation that only really ended when we did in fact find out we were expecting a baby. Whether this can be attributed to a miracle or tenacity I still don't know.
Of course now the questions are, 'will you have any more ?' or 'when do you think you'll have another baby ?' Both of which cause a ripple of panic as I haven't yet worked out a response that isn't tinged with bitterness or tears. Telling people that you're trying and it's making you feel like a failure doesn't seem to be enough to head off an awkward personal conversation.
Then there are the stupid things people say when they find out it's not happening for you.
"My pregnancy was a mistake." In all the years I've been married (and the ones before) I didn't make a mistake that resulted in a baby - this one baffles me. How exactly do you fall pregnant by mistake ? I used to know a woman who would fall pregnant when she suspected her relationship was skittering into the buffers and I'm sure she used this line on the boyfriends/husbands concerned.
"We fell pregnant on our honeymoon. It's funny really as we were hoping to go back for our first anniversary, but of course we'll have to get a passport for the baby now." How unbearably smug are the newlyweds who score the honeymoon baby ? I cannot stand this one, it's up there with always winning the best raffle prize or getting a strike every time they go bowling.
"Oh we just fell pregnant as soon as we started trying. We didn't think it would happen that fast." So why did you start trying then ? This is the person who tells you how easy it was for them to get pregnant every time they tried and is a special from of torture that makes me wonder if they also go up to people who are selling the Big Issue to boast about how big their house is and that they're considering a second property.
Closely followed by the couple who decide to have another child and lo and behold a month later she's pregnant and tells you that she's never had any problems falling pregnant and proceeds to tell you exactly how she does it. For me this is like the person who complains that they just have to eat or the weight just falls off them. If I don't walk away at this point there is a risk that prolonged contact could result in a serious assault.
I have no idea what it was that tipped the balance for us last time - maybe it was the fact that we were in the adoption process, maybe it was one of the holistic therapies we tried, maybe it was the three holidays in a row that we took, maybe it was the champagne that we decided it was ok to drink at New Year. Or maybe it was just the right time for us.
Whatever it was I suspect it's going to be like Back to the Future and however much we try and repeat it something will be different. The main difference - of course - is that we have our wonderful son already.
That's a pretty great point to start from.