Being pregnant

Why you shouldn't ask people if they're having kids

First-time mom-to-be Monica Reyes opens up about her early pregnancy struggles.

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Photo: iStockphoto

Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. She’s also a soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

I never liked asking others if they wanted to have kids. It’s an incredibly personal decision and people often get asked that question once they reach a certain age. It wasn’t until I struggled with my own pregnancy that I realized how personal that question could be.

My pregnancy didn’t go smoothly in the beginning. I didn’t want to rush the home pregnancy test and get a false negative. So I waited. When I got a positive, I booked a doctor’s appointment to confirm the news. That’s when I hit the first snag. The doctor’s results came back negative. Not the answer I was expecting. The doctor suggested I come back again tomorrow morning to rule out a false negative. It was disheartening to hear that it was a possibility that I wasn’t actually pregnant.

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The results from the next test confirmed my home pregnancy results. I was definitely pregnant. I felt a huge wave of relief wash over me. I thought it would be smooth sailing from then on. But the next bump I hit was during my ultrasound. The ultrasound I was in for wasn’t related to my pregnancy, so I gave the technician a heads up that I was pregnant. According to my calculations, I was seven weeks pregnant. Around this time you can see the flicker of your baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound. I was hoping that my husband and I could catch a glimpse of it. I wanted him in the room, but he was told to leave. Alone and on the exam table, the technician informed me that I was not as far along as I thought I was. There was no heartbeat. It was just an empty sac with a yolk. She estimated I was only five weeks in my pregnancy. She continued giving me bad news by saying that at six weeks there should at the very least be a heartbeat. This news crushed me. I could understand being a week off of my calculations, but two weeks off schedule didn’t sound like a viable pregnancy. Miscarriage became a real fear for me.

When I saw my doctor for the results, she tried to reassure me that it was still too early to determine anything and that we needed to track my progress. I had to wait two weeks until my next ultrasound to see if anything changed. Those two weeks felt like two years to me. This was such a heavy situation for me to handle and many days I cried at what the possible outcome could be. Because the first trimester for many women is a secretive one, only a few friends knew my situation. My family didn’t know what I was going through and I was terrified that a family member would bug me about having kids and I wouldn’t be able to keep my composure. I did have someone ask me outright if I was pregnant and it put me in an awkward situation where I had to say what was going on because I could no longer hide it.

I learned that when you ask someone if they plan on having kids, even though it sounds like an innocuous question, it’s not. You don’t know what their situation might be. They could be suffering from infertility problems or maybe they’re in a difficult part in their pregnancy and they don’t want to talk about it. Not many are keen in opening up about such personal matters. I’m fortunate that my pregnancy has since gone smoothly. I understand why people ask others if they plan on having kids. Babies are exciting and can be fulfilling on many different levels. But it’s important to be mindful that it can be a tough question for some to hear if they’re going through difficulties.