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To wonder why one is acceptable but the other isn't? (POSSIBLE TRIGGERING, BE WARNED)

(42 Posts)
badgeradnauseum Wed 19-Feb-14 16:40:25

Not a TAAT but inspired by a thread and also by talking to others and hearing their opinions. Why is it acceptable to talk about how much you want a baby if you're struggling to conceive, but not to talk about not wanting a baby if you're pregnant and don't want to be?

It seems like a really common thing, people are hushed from saying "I don't want this baby" or "I'm considering an abortion" because "some people would do anything to get pregnant"... but if people say "I'd give anything to be pregnant", it's unacceptable to reply "Some women would give anything to not be pregnant".

FWIW I don't think saying that to someone TTC is right, but I don't think saying "Some women would do anything to get pregnant" to someone facing an unwanted/unexpected pregnancy is right either.

Just wondering what people's experiences of this are, if anyone agrees, if others know people who think like this or if I just spend time with unreasonable people. Hopefully the 'triggering' warning will avoid people being offended but if it has offended you for any reason I apologise.

SomethingkindaOod Wed 19-Feb-14 16:44:00

Maybe because as women we're supposed to automatically want children and not wanting them is seen as unatural? Thats my take anyway.

fieldfare Wed 19-Feb-14 16:46:51

Both are unreasonable and insensitive.

Dh and I would love a baby, dearly, and have been trying for 7 years. I was the first person that a friend came to when she needed an abortion. That's what friends do, you put your own issues aside to help and support the people you surround yourself with.

evertonmint Wed 19-Feb-14 16:47:22

Personally I really really hate the "some people would give everything to be pregnant" line. It is so dismissive of the other person's feelings. And it piles on completely unnecessary guilt when they should just be focusing on their own feelings and situation. It is unhelpful in the extreme, and comes from a position of vocalising your own view of somebody's situation rather than compassionately helping them deal with the reality of their situation. It's a selfish thing to say, however much hurt and grief has driven it.

evertonmint Wed 19-Feb-14 16:48:55

Fieldfare - your response is exactly how I hope my response always is to a friend in need: putting my views or feelings to one side to help them with what they need.

Kandypane Wed 19-Feb-14 16:49:53

Probably because getting pregnant is preventable.

Getting pregnant when you are infertile can be impossible.


CoffeeTea103 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:50:10

Maybe it could be that one relates to creating a life, and the other taking away a life iyswim. The latter in that context obviously sounding the worse off.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 19-Feb-14 16:51:35

It's hard, when you're in the middle of either situation, toremember that another woman's inability (for whatever reason) to either have a baby, or to want a baby, has no impact on your infertility /pregnancy. So while I understand that it is frustrating and upsetting, you (general you) being desperate for a baby, has nothing to do with me not wanting one. And me having an abortion is not a personal attack on someone else's fertility. I think people lose sight of that, hence why comments like those are made.

NewtRipley Wed 19-Feb-14 16:51:44

I think that not listening to what someone is saying about their own experiences and drawing a spurious comparison with someone else is always unfair and unempathic

CailinDana Wed 19-Feb-14 16:52:06

Anyone who says "some women would give anything to be pregnant" to a person experiencing unwanted pregnancy is an arsehole.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 19-Feb-14 16:52:47


It's a completely stupid and insensitive thing to say.

I think Something is right about where it comes from.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Wed 19-Feb-14 16:55:18

YANBU. I find this kind of attitude baffling and unhelpful. Odds are that as with most things in life, unless you're really unlucky, someone, somewhere might have it worse than you. That doesn't mean you aren't struggling yourself and to say "some people would love a baby" is selfish and cruel, not to mention self-centred. I feel sorry for people that can't conceive but I'm always baffled by people that are pregnant and scared of telling their childless friends because they think the childless friend will react badly. I think, as fieldfare says, that real friends are happy for each other or support each other regardless of their own situation. Nobody's fertility is affected by anybody else's.

There are enough unwanted and unloved children in the world. I think one of the bravest things a woman can do is admit that her child is unwanted and so not go through with it.

HyvaPaiva Wed 19-Feb-14 16:55:19


Also, I cannot stand it when - too often on here - a thread goes like this:

I've just found out I'm pregnant sad I don't want to be. What are my options? Please help sad

Response :
thanks Congratulations!

KatieBurningham Wed 19-Feb-14 16:56:23

Kandy has it spot on IMO.
If you don't want a baby, don't get pregnant. You have no choice if you are infertile.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Wed 19-Feb-14 16:58:05

Katie That's unhelpful. Accidental pregnancies do happen. And relationships break down after conception.

It's unfair to say that someone that's desperate because of an accident or change in circumstance shouldn't be helped.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 19-Feb-14 16:59:53

Telling someone not to get pregnant when they are already pregnant, is pretty fucking stupid and pointless. I might as well tell someone who is married to someoneinfertile, that is perhaps they should have thought about that before getting married. It's infantile and horrible and only said to make someone feel like shit. If that is the best you can come up with for a friendstruggling with an unwanted pregnancy, then keep your mouth shut.

badgeradnauseum Wed 19-Feb-14 17:03:51

Guessed there'd be the "you can choose to get pregnant" argument, but as others have said, accidents happen. Contraception fails. People get carried away. Circumstances change.

KatieBurningham Wed 19-Feb-14 17:07:16

Obviously there are extreme situations, where it's not straightforward, but so many people I know are feeling sorry for theirselves because they've fallen pregnant and it's with the wrong man, or they can't be a mum right now because of this amazing job opportunity, or they have a holiday of a lifetime planned. It's irresponsible as far as I'm concerned to get in that situation. If that man isn't the right man, prevent it. If that job is that important prevent it. Etc. I wanted to be married before I had children. I've been with my now DH for 8 years, no accidents, no oh shit moments, or phew moments, we got married, when we were ready tried and luckily am pregnant. Every situation is different but I feel a lot more sorry and sad for those women who long for a child and can't, and can't do anything about it, instead of people who make mistakes. apologies to anyone who feels that my opinion is wrong but it is only that, my opinion.

WooWooOwl Wed 19-Feb-14 17:07:45


I think if we are going to have legal abortion then we should make the best of it, and that includes people being able to talk freely about it without any stigma.

HavantGuard Wed 19-Feb-14 17:13:28

You come across as very smug and judgemental Katie. I'm glad life has worked out so perfectly for you.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Wed 19-Feb-14 17:13:56

Katie I think that the point you're missing is that you don't have to choose to feel more sorry for the women who long for a child. It's not like there's a finite amount of compassion in the world. The whole point the OP is making is that it seems unfair that a whole group of people (those less lucky than you, clearly) are stigmatised.

Would you really think it preferable that someone that doesn't really want a baby has it, resents it and never really loves it?

KungFuBustle Wed 19-Feb-14 17:14:08

I'm 2 years (plus some) into TTC.
I just hope if any of my friends needed my support in dealing with an unwanted pregancy I would be able to do as others have said, put my own problems aside and be compassionate of my friend's problem.

It's not even apples and oranges, it's apples and chairs. Two very different issues, both hard to deal with.

whossauhnafuffafwayay Wed 19-Feb-14 17:14:12

Destroying a baby is a sad and traumatic thing that should not be done lightly.

Trying to conceive a baby is a wonderful and life-giving thing that should not be done lightly.

Just because both are serious, it does not make them the same, or different sides of the same coin.

SeaSickSal Wed 19-Feb-14 17:14:22

First of all I think you are wrong.

Infertile women who discuss how much they want a baby would be looked upon as weird obsessed baby snatchers if they talked about it too much. Hell, quite frequently you are when you don't even talk about it that often.

Normally just like abortion it is only something you discuss with people you know well.

Secondly abortion is available and you can just go and do it with the minimum emotional trauma. It is a short term condition once you decide you want an abortion and will be over very quickly and abortion is almost 100% reliable.

If you are infertile there is no 100% cure. It goes on for years and becomes the centre of your life and a massive trauma.

JanineStHubbins Wed 19-Feb-14 17:15:38

Destroying a baby - emotive, unhelpful, guilt-inducing language.

For lots of women, having an abortion is not particularly traumatic.

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