Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant?

Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant?

This question stopped me in my tracks last Friday. I wasn’t expecting to be asked. I was sitting in a cushioned chair at Voci Spa about to treat myself to a facial. I was taking time to take care of myself after taking care of my sick daughter all week.

The sweet-faced receptionist sitting behind a tall desk asked me to fill out a questionnaire. It was full of the typical questions: Are you on any medications? Do you suffer from any of the following… and there about half way down the page was:

Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant?

The answer should have been an easy check in the NO box. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t check off NO. I stared at the type face. I waited for the stinging sensation to pass. The question triggered me. I resented that even here, with the relaxing sounds of a spa CD filtering through the scented candle air, was a reminder of my greatest failure. That benign question reminded me we weren’t trying any more. It reminded me the truth is I’m incapable of getting pregnant no matter how much in that moment I wanted to check YES.

The soothing harp-like sounds coming from the speakers morphed into shrieking banshees. The candles smelled putrid. I reminded myself how I was fine with my infertility reality last week. I skipped the question and filled out the rest.

I thought about not checking any box, but feared a receptionist would ask me with a smile on her face, “I’m sorry Mrs. H, you didn’t answer this question. Are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant?”

I’d politely smile. My voice would sound steady to them but my heart would squeeze perhaps crumble a bit. Part of my right ventricle would swish through my bloodstream before my body eliminated it like it has two of my pregnancies. “Oh, sorry about that,” I’d say. “No.”

My history doesn’t mean anything to them. They don’t know how hurtful that question is. It was just a form. All of their customers complete it. I’m sure none of them complained about the horror they too felt when staring at those eight typed words.

Eight words. Defining me. Fuck that. I hate being defined. Reminds me of lined paper. I hate lined paper. It’s so restricting. Why is it bothering me so much? Why can’t all the emotional scars associated with infertility just disappear…for good…and never bite me in the ass again? Why can’t that be?


6 thoughts on “Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant?

Add yours

  1. It’s asked where you dont think it’s relevant and then when they should ask (like putting you on meds after eye surgery that you dont want to be taking when trying), they dont.

    That’s ass, I hope it didn’t ruin your whole spa time.

  2. Beautifully written. Yet another trigger as you say, they pop up everywhere and are rarely meant badly but can be so painful. Thank you for commenting on my blog.

  3. i went for a massage once and the massage therapist asked if i was pregnant. my response was, “no, but i am having a miscarriage”.
    she was mortified. and i just cried. it was awful.
    hoping it didn’t ruin your day.
    jes g

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