‘It must be about time for you to start working on baby number two?’ says a new acquaintance with a knowing smile at my friend’s birthday party.
He was making polite party conversation, but fielding well-meaning inquiries about baby number two is not my definition of small talk.
The guest couldn’t see my rubbish ovaries lurking underneath my party dress or the anguish behind my party smile. He couldn’t know that while I was lucky enough to get one miracle baby from IVF the chances of getting two is extremely unlikely.
A friend who unsuccessfully tried to conceive for seven years says that she dies inside every time somebody asks her if she’s planning on having kids or why she’s waiting so long. Another friend who’s had three miscarriages will quip that ‘one child is enough’ before making a beeline to the privacy of the toilet to bawl her eyes out. And yet another friend whose equipment is in perfect working order but hasn’t met a suitable partner feels these questions like a knife to the heart.