Mom's post goes viral: 'Stop asking couples when they are having kids'

Australian mom Adele Barbaro and her husband, Paul, struggled to conceive their first child, Harvey, 2, eventually turning to IVF in order to get pregnant.

Now, the mom-of-two is reflecting back on her fertility journey, and has written a candid post on Facebook admonishing others to stop asking couples when they plan to have children.

In the post, Barbaro, who today has a second child, Chloe, 4 months, recalls the times when well-meaning strangers, friends, or family members would question her about when she planned to become a mother.

 Adele Barbaro and her children, Harvey, 2, and Chloe, 4 months.

Adele Barbaro and her children, Harvey, 2, and Chloe, 4 months.

"They would tell me that I'm not going to be young forever or that my maternal clock was ticking," wrote Barbaro. "And believe me, I knew it. I just didn't need to hear it from everyone else."

Barbaro goes on to speak openly about the heartbreak she and her husband felt each month when she realized she was not pregnant and the happiness she felt when she took her first positive pregnancy test.

 Adele Barbaro and her husband, Paul, with an ultrasound photo of their son, Harvey.

Adele Barbaro and her husband, Paul, with an ultrasound photo of their son, Harvey.

"But many couples will be trying for years. And some may never succeed and my heart goes out to them," Barbaro wrote. "And what about the couple that doesn't want kids? Or the couple that had a child but can't afford to have another? Or those that have lost little ones?"

"So, next time you go to say that 'throw away' comment to the newlyweds or the couple that have been together for 10 years, be sensitive," Barbaro continued. "Don't ask them when they are having kids. You never know what's going on."

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-we are just enjoying being newly married
-we have some travelling we want to do first
-I'm just focusing on my career right now.....

These are just a few of the reasons I used (with a forced smile) to mask what was really going on. I wasn't always that pleasant. One day I responded with 'it's not that fucking easy, you know'. I had just got my period that morning.... again.

They would tell me that I'm not going to be young forever or that my maternal clock was ticking. And believe me, I knew it. I just didn't need to hear it from everyone else.

Trying to conceive isn't easy unless you are a highly fertile 17 year old, that could fall pregnant just by talking about it. The odds of conception and retaining a pregnancy are actually pretty shit, topped off with the huge amount of people that are reproductively challenged with polycystic ovaries, endometriosis etc etc. And I was one of them....

I remember the day, vividly. I had to go to work after we had the appointment and I thought that was it for me. No kids. My husband, always the optimistic one said that we would try the treatments suggested and that it was not over. We even had a very frank discussion about adopting. We were told to expect a long road ahead, if we decided to take it.

IVF sucks. It is the most time consuming, invasive, expensive and emotionally painful roller coaster I have been on. It actually broke me. You have so much invested in the process, financially and emotionally that it consumes your every thought.

When you are having difficulty conceiving, it seems everyone around you is falling pregnant. It's easy to be happy for them at first but that brave face wears thin after a while. I even started to decline going to certain get togethers and attending baby birthdays were just painful. I became quite bitter, desperate and depressed.

But one year later, I got up for work and did a quick test, expecting the usual mind-numbing result. I crawled back into bed with my husband. He rolled over and said 'you're pregnant, aren't you'!? I was. I didn't have to say a thing. My face said it all. We were one of the lucky ones.

Barbaro told TODAY Parents that she wrote the post to remind people to be wary of the invasive questions they ask about pregnancy and fertility, calling these "very private topics."

"I can't believe, after the hard times we had to conceive Harvey, the question kept coming," said Barbaro. "Are you having another? Are you going to try and make him a big brother? How old are you now? And, after Chloe came to us, when we thought we were absolutely done and our family was complete, we are still asked about number three."

 Adele Barbaro with her son, Harvey.

Adele Barbaro with her son, Harvey.

Barbaro says, regardless of the innocence of the questions, they can be hurtful.

"The couple that doesn't want kids has to find an answer, the newly married couple may not have even discussed it, or the mother that had a less-than-positive labor experience may not have emotionally healed," said Barbaro. "But most of all, it's private and really nobody's business."

This viral post covers such an important topic that I felt I had to share. If you want to read more about Adele Barbaro, you can check out her blog, The Real Mumma.

In-Fertility & Friendship,

Sue

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