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to tell people I can't have more children?

(79 Posts)
koalaDevon Sat 03-May-14 14:32:21

My lovely dd was conceived through IVF and I feel so lucky to have her.

However, now that she's nearly three, I've had lots of workmates, friends etc ask 'when will you have another?' 'better not leave it too late' etc. I'm getting fed up with this, close friends and family know that dd was conceived via IVF, but not everyone else. I've had two cycles of IVF this year and both failed, which I was heartbroken about.

I've decided to put IVF on hold for another year or so at least, I asked dp if I should just respond to people's baby questions with 'actually I can't have any more' but he thinks it would be mean and embarrass them. However, I feel hurt by the regular questioning, especially at work. I've said I'm happy with one child (and I am, I may not do IVF again but haven't ruled it out completely), but then I get told 'an only child is a lonely child, you'll end up with a selfish adult'.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 14:34:12

People telling you your child will be a selfish adult is pretty bloody mean! Tell them you can't have anymore. It will embarrass them and shut them up. Good!

koalaDevon Sat 03-May-14 14:36:11

That's what I think MrsMaturin smile

trufflesnout Sat 03-May-14 14:39:02

If you're comfortable telling them, tell them. How bloody rude can people get! So what if they're embarrassed - they should be.

appleaddict Sat 03-May-14 14:39:45

I tell people that I'm not able to have any more (although it is a financial choice rather than fertility related). It does make them uncomfortable but that isn't my problem, if they didn't want to hear it then they shouldn't ask! Incredibly intrusive and rude questions, and you shouldn't spare their feelings or embarrassment.

Lomaamina Sat 03-May-14 14:40:19

I've had similar myself. The "don't you think you're being selfish" and the "poor DS" really cut deeply.

First of all, congratulations on your child and sympathies about the IVF. If people are crass enough to volunteer their unsolicited advice then you shouldn't feel bad in saying a quiet "I can't have any more".

aermingers Sat 03-May-14 14:42:11

Is there any reason you're not happy telling people you had IVF? I had my son through IUI. You don't have to tell people the details but I normally say to people 'No, it was a very long hard road to have DS, we're just incredibly grateful we have him.' It tends to shut people up.

Pipbin Sat 03-May-14 14:44:02

I have had two failed IVF cycles.
I have made no secret of it and most of my work colleagues know and know better to ask.

Coming out with a blunt, 'we can't have any more' will be enough to shut most people up.

Rommell Sat 03-May-14 14:44:40

I think if people are insensitive enough to blithely hold forth about such deeply personal matters and worse still pass judgement on them, then you are perfectly entitled not to worry about embarrassing them. Maybe they won't be so quick to do the same with others in the future. Not quite the same thing, but I have been a single parent since I fell pregnant and after being made to feel like shit by people cakking on about 'When are you going to have the next one?/Won't he get lonely?/You don't want to leave it too late' etc I finally started saying that since I didn't have a partner I was unlikely to conceive any time in the near future. It was actually quite (grimly) funny to watch their reactions.

koalaDevon Sat 03-May-14 14:46:41

Thanks, sounds like I'm not BU. Aermingers I haven't told work colleagues about IVF as I'm fairly private at work, I think it may sound odd to announce it now but perhaps I should.

Louise1956 Sat 03-May-14 14:48:32

I think it is a silly thing for people to say. my oldest son was an only child until he was 14, and he was no more selfish than any other child. nor was he lonely, he had plenty of friends and was always having children round ti play, or going to play at their houses. And he went out playing football, and went to. Games workshop and did lots of other things. there is no need at all for an only child to be lonely. if you do not have another child, i am sure your daughter will be fine.

PrincessBabyCat Sat 03-May-14 14:50:33

an only child is a lonely child, you'll end up with a selfish adult

Yeah, that's crap. I have friends that were only children and they're not selfish. My husband is an only and he's definitely not selfish (he does have a hard time sharing food though confused). I have a brother and I hate sharing, and resent having to share my stuff with other people...and it's probably from being forced to as a kid. Also, just because you have two kids doesn't mean they'll ever get along or even like each other as adults. Look at all the threads of people upset with their brothers and sisters here.

But really, it's none of their business. You could just be playful and be like "Ha! I remember what the last one did to me", it's pretty hard to argue against that. smile

PumpkinPie2013 Sat 03-May-14 14:51:27

If you are comfortable telling them then I would do so.

If they are embarrassed - tough! It will stop them being so bloody rude!

I've never understood why people feel it appropriate to question other people on their family planning.

Bunbaker Sat 03-May-14 14:51:50

DD was a miracle. I knew she would be an only and when people asked if we were going to have any more children I just told them straight away and matter of factly that we couldn't have any more. I wasn't embarrassed and neither was anyone who asked.

I think your husband is over thinking it.

Pipbin Sat 03-May-14 14:59:33

an only child is a lonely child, you'll end up with a selfish adult

When someone says this to you. I would just say that 'for your information we can't have anymore. There is nothing wrong with being an only child. Please mind your own business.' Say it so the office gossip can hear and soon enough everyone will know.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 03-May-14 15:01:35

If people feel uncomfortable/embarrassed, perhaps it'll make them think twice about being nosy, intrusive and rude in the future.

Having one child is a perfectly legitimate choice.

Nunyabiz Sat 03-May-14 15:02:55

If people are rude enough to think how many times you reproduce is any of their business, then I don't think a little embarrassment would do them any harm! Tell them you can't (but I personally would tell them it's none of their business!)

puddymuddles Sat 03-May-14 15:08:58

I am an only child and don't think I am any more selfish than people who are not!!

I would tell people about the IVF but to stop them feeling guilty about asking you could add that you are happy with one child in any case.

RunnerHasbeen Sat 03-May-14 15:13:43

I tell people and it isn't like an awkward silence descends, but I do try to word it in a casual way. For me it is too dangerous to get pregnant again, more than fertility (although that wasn't too great either). Any slight embarrassment I've caused has been more than outweighed by other, quieter people feeling they can talk to me about their difficulties and being glad it isn't just them.

gamerwidow Sat 03-May-14 15:19:19

tell them if you want to and feel comfortable to do so. if they get embarrassed it's their own fault for being so intrusive.
we have one child and we don't want another because we're happy as we are and if anyone thinks we're selfish they can sod off.wink wink

nicename Sat 03-May-14 15:30:23

I think its more selfish to have child after child without considering if you have the resources to care for it, then whinge your face off about housing, school places, taxes...

And as for 'an only child is a lonely child, you'll end up with a selfish adult', that is a big pile of poo. A spoiled or undisciplined child can be a selfish adult, not a single child.

Gurnie Sat 03-May-14 15:34:26

Tell them if you feel comfortable doing so. I had this constantly once Dd reached about 3. I don't think anyone intended to be unkind or insensitive but it used to get right up my nose after a while. I discovered that as soon as I said "I'd love to but unfortunately it hasn't worked out for us" or something like that people responded very kindly.

The assumption that only children will grow up selfish is total rubbish. Dd is a lovely, thoughtful girl. Several of my friends and wider family are onlies too and they are fantastic people.

gilliangoof Sat 03-May-14 15:42:26

People are generally just making chit chat when they ask when you are having another. They are unlikely to be trying to upset you in any way.yjm
They don't care if you have another one or not. I would tell them you can't if you want to tell them but not to embarass them. They are just talking about what they think you are interested in.

Rommell Sat 03-May-14 15:46:34

It might just be chitchat to them but imo people should be a bit more sensitive about what they chat about - I hate this presumption that women's bodies and reproductive choices are somehow public property, and the kind of people who think that such matters are just a matter of 'chat' are tacitly encouraging this kind of thinking.

fuzzpig Sat 03-May-14 15:48:17

I think this kind of thing is usually just small talk, and not meaning anything by it.

If they are rude enough, however, to tell you off for having an only child, and thoughtless enough not to consider there may be a reason for it and that therefore they should leave the subject alone, then frankly they deserve to be embarrassed.

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