Wedding Etiquette Forum

people asking about us about kids at awkward times

 I am currently in the US Army and my Fiancee just finished 6 years of active duty in the US Navy. It has been a hard year for both of us and finally I am home for our wedding which is 11 days away. When I went for my Army Chapter 2 physical we find out that I might have dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that progresses to heart failure and has no cure except transplant. Both of us got worried but after a month of medical tests and waiting around on medical hold, we found out that it was mild enough for me to stay in the military (which is remarkable, I thought I was going to be discharged for medical reasons with no chance of re-enlisting....I have no idea how that happened). Anyway, I am otherwise healthy and you wouldn't know I had anything wrong with me since I run 10 miles a day most of the time. It's been an emotional rollercoaster though...
   Here's my problem...I came home just a few days ago from a CERFP mission and my cousin threw me a bridal shower with a few of my friends, aunts, mother, and god mother. I was enjoying seeing my friends, when my mother made some comment about wanting grand children...this started a flurry of embarrassing questions and jokes. My cousin teased me that I might already already be pregnant (I am definitely not...and I weigh all of 110lbs) and that the bridal shower would double as  a baby shower. My other aunt joined in asking when my fiancee and I would have kids and how many, then it started becoming a huge topic of discussion. Under all of the circumstances, I felt like I was going to have a meltdown. First of all, I was embarrassed because I think this is such a personal topic, but second of all...we don't even know if I can get pregnant because of the underlying heart condition (pregnancy can make certain heart conditions worse and quickly turn it into a life or death matter...cardiomyopathy is one of those conditions), so we're feeling worn out by everything and we just want to get married and be happy together. Why do people need to be so invasive and put so much pressure on people when they are getting married? It's really none of their business!

Re: people asking about us about kids at awkward times

  • When you're dating, people always ask you "When are you getting engaged?!"  Then you get engaged and they ask you "When are you getting married?!"  Then once that question is answered they move on to "So when are you going to have a baby?!"  It's sad that people constantly feel the need to be so nosy, but that's how they are.

    When people do ask you, simply tell them that you and are H want to enjoy some time together as a married couple before starting a family and that you will let them know once you are pregnant.  I don't think you need to get into any of your medical issues that might be holding you back.  Like you said, it's none of anyone's business.

    I'm sorry to hear about your condition, but I am happy to hear that you are not letting it hold you back.
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  • Aww, that's horrible. That has to be extremely frustrating right now! Hopefully everything ends up ok in the future if that is the route you want to take (and in general with your health).

    If anyone comments again, I would politely shut them down. Depending on the person you can respond with something similar to, "Thanks for the best wishes but we've decided to focus on building a strong marriage foundation right now. We will look forward to filling you in on all the details if and when we decide to expand our family!"
  • That is probably the best way to deal with it...it just gets me so down for whatever reason....it's like I was having a great time and then all of a sudden that train wreck happened

  • I feel you, I'm in a similar situation. I sometimes have some future 'goal' in my head and mention that, like "oh, I'm just so focused on planning the wedding right now, you wouldn't believe what happened last week (insert random story here)." Planning the wedding, PCSing, upcoming promotion boards, anything like that can be a good subject-changer.
  • I get this question/situation a lot - especially from H's family. Who all seem to think that now we're married, I should already be barefoot and pregnant and there's something wrong with me because I'm not. It's annoying. And it's definitely got to suck because of the uncertainty with your heart condition (does your family know about that??).

    I do the same thing PPs advised... just some blanket comment about how we're not ready yet and then I try to change the subject.

    Aside from that - CONGRATS!! How exciting to be 11 days away!! :) Squee!! Have fun!
  • Thankfully I;'m old enough that we never got that question.

    Although..because I am older, I tend to be a bit bitcher.  My response would probably be to deadpan  "well we probably won't have kids because it will cause my heart to kill me."

    And then walk away from the stunned silence.
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  • Haha aMrs, there are days where I'd love to come out with something like that. :) I may keep that in mind.
  • Ugh, I get this crap all the time.  We've decided not to have kids, so I know we're going to hear it for years.  The woman working in a store was literally arguing with me that I would change my mind.  I finally had to get snippy and say "look, I've given this some real thought, and you've known me 5 minutes.  You really have no business telling me what I will or won't think in the future."  In retrospect, it probably wasn't the best option.

    In your case, I do think you should probably mention your medical condition to your mother when you are ready.  It will help her understand the position that she put you in, and it will clue her in to help you change the subject if you are in a similar situation in the future.  
  • *hugs* It is definitely hard to hear the "when are you having kids?" question when you physically may not be able to do so. If it's the first time they ask I normally just would say "We're waiting to be in a better financial situation/want better jobs/want to enjoy our marriage". After the second or third time I would throw out a joke like "Well we're certainly trying our hardest, and vigorously at that!" (nothing like a bit of discomfort on their part to shut them up) and then if they still kept asking I may have been known to throw out "I don't know, I guess God hates me" because I wanted them to shut up.

    This is one of those questions where people don't realize how much emotional discomfort and pain they can cause by the asking. Surely every one on this earth wants to have kids and can pregnant right away? Um...not so much.
  • I'm in a somewhat similar situation because I have lyme disease and it could be passed on to children.

    My FMIL asked me if we talked about children.  At first I tried to change the subject but she persisted.  (I found this particularly rude because my fiance has made no secret of the fact that he doesn't want children so I think she waited until he left the room to ask me about it because she was hoping I would manipulate him into having them anyway, but that's another story.)  I answered by saying "I can't have children because I have lyme disease."  That was followed by an awkward silence, but I figured that's what she gets for asking such a personal question of me instead of her son.

    If you don't want that awkward silence, you could always go with "I prefer not to discuss my reproductive intentions."  If you deliver it with a smile, people will probably take it as a semi-joke and start laughing, giving you an opportunity to change the subject.
  • Thank you everyone for the advice....I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt really upset by this sort of thing!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_people-asking-kids-awkward-times?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:2f20bf62-33bd-459c-bdb6-af54378b3236Post:90aab286-0ea2-4164-aec5-44d2edce121b">Re: people asking about us about kids at awkward times</a>:
    [QUOTE]*hugs* It is definitely hard to hear the "when are you having kids?" question when you physically may not be able to do so. If it's the first time they ask I normally just would say "We're waiting to be in a better financial situation/want better jobs/want to enjoy our marriage". After the second or third time I would throw out a joke like "Well we're certainly trying our hardest, and vigorously at that!" (nothing like a bit of discomfort on their part to shut them up) and then if they still kept asking I may have been known to throw out "I don't know, I guess God hates me" because I wanted them to shut up. This is one of those questions where people don't realize how much emotional discomfort and pain they can cause by the asking. Surely every one on this earth wants to have kids and can pregnant right away? Um...not so much.
    Posted by katiewhompus[/QUOTE]

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.
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  • "FI and I think that's really a personal and private matter.  We appreciate that you'll be supportive if and when we decide to have children, but that time certainly hasn't come yet.  We'll let you know if there's a change in that status.  For now, I'm just so excited about the wedding, could we focus on that?" 

    They mean well.  They're not trying to be hurtful or make you uncomfortable.  And, just so you know, it happens both ways.  My mom wasn't excited (before finding out that we have a baby on the way) about being a grandmother for a number of reasons, so she kept commenting on how we would, of course, be putting that off for a while, RIGHT?  I finally told her it was really hurtful and uncomfortable, and she appologized.  In addition to her issues, she was trying to make sure we DIDN'T feel the pressure you're getting to have kids right away, even though we actually wanted to. 

    Bottom line - they're your family, and they love you.  Let them know, politely, that it's none of their business, and bothersome, and they'll probably drop it, at least until after the honeymoon.  Also - you might want to talk with the doctor before you go announcing things in either direction, just in case.  The better prepared you are to answer questions, the easier that conversation will go.

    Finally - congrats!  Enjoy your wedding!
    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

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    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
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