I went out to dinner with a group of women for the first time last week. They’re in my yoga class, and I’ve known them for a while, but we haven’t really spent much time together socially. I was excited, but nervous. It was like being invited to join their club.

I knew going in that they were all moms. They’re all stay at home moms who have some kind of side business (writing, art, etc), except for one older woman who I think is retired. Despite some discussions I obviously couldn’t participate in, I had a good time. I couldn’t help, though, but think how much better it would be if we had children. Then I would truly be part of the group, instead of an outsider. At one point the question I had been waiting for was asked: Do you think you will have children?

It’s such a hard question for me to answer, and I’m never, ever happy with my answer. I replied that we’d like to, but since none of these women, as far as I know, has any experience with infertility, my answer seemed to mean that we think we’d like to but maybe aren’t quite ready. I wanted my answer to convey that we want to and don’t know if it will happen, despite the fact that we’ve been trying for almost four years. I wanted to say that we want to so badly that we’re getting ready for an IVF cycle, but that even that doesn’t have any guarantees. I wanted to explain that I can’t answer if we’ll have children because it’s really not something I can control. You meant to tell me that people decide to have children and it actually happens???

I thought later about other answers I could have had: We would love to – it just hasn’t happened yet; We would love to, but after trying for a long time, we just don’t know if it will happen; Funny you should ask – we’re starting an IVF cycle next month!

Every time I’m asked, though, the answer that comes out of my mouth is sort of vague and non-committal. M thinks I should be more direct. If someone shows him a sonogram picture (which, you would think as a guy, would happen infrequently, but it’s happened more than once in the last few months alone), he responds by congratulating them and saying we’re doing IVF soon. But I can’t bring myself to say it.

I told M that I don’t want to put people I like in the position where they won’t know what to say, or even worse, where they’ll unintentionally say something insulting or insensitive. I like these people, and I want it to stay that way. After that dinner, it was so easy to imagine myself going out to dinner with my mom friends, or meeting up for play-dates…and just being one of them, instead of the infertile girl who always feels uncertain – never knowing what will happen or how much to share.

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