Please take a second to think before asking, “Do you have children?”

Please take a moment to reconsider asking me because you have been the fourth this week.

Please take a moment to put yourself in my shoesI haven’t brought up my children in our previous meetings, not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t have any.

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Please take a second to remember how personal of a question that is for some people.

Please take a second to think of what that question may mean for me.

Please take a second to realize I’m in the middle of a 17-month battle of infertility after the loss of my one and only pregnancy. 

Please take a second to consider I am barely making it today. That my grief is so thick I can almost cut it with a knife.

Please take a second to realize that if it were socially acceptable I would have a tattoo across my forehead that read “INFERTILE.” Just so I could experience peace without anyone bringing up all the pain.

Please take a second to think about what your question will do to me when I have a moment to myself.

Please take a second to realize that your question will make me uncomfortable and feel like a failure.

Please take a second to think about what you say before you say, “Just enjoy this time when it’s just the two of you . . . you’ll never get that back.”

Please take a second to realize how hurtful and selfish that comment is. 

Please take a second to understand that your single question has ruined my entire day.

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Please take a second to consider that I will be a professional in front of you but bawl my eyes out the second I get into my car at the end of my workday.

Please take a second to realize that your one question will leave me with puffy, swollen eyes the next day at work because I cried so terribly hard the night before. 

Please take a second to read all of this.

Please take a second to realize you have no idea what this pain feels like unless you’ve actually walked through it.

You can’t relate. Don’t try. 

Please take a second to really consider if you should be asking anyone at all if they have children, you never know what it might trigger.

Ashley Richburg

Ashley Richburg is a 29-year-old who lives in a suburb of Austin, TX with her sweet husband and two spunky Labrador retrievers. She loves topo chio, hammocking, and all things outside.