Woman’s tweet on being asked about children after miscarriages goes viral

Sabrina Barr

A few days ago, a woman tweeted a thread about a conversation that she'd had with an individual about whether or not she's going to have children in the near future.

In the first tweet Lisa Marie, from Newfoundland, Canada, explained that the person had asked how old she was, to which she responded that she was 33 years old.

Upon hearing Marie's age, they said: "And you don't have kids? Wow, time to get on that."

Marie then told the individual that she’d actually had seven miscarriages, which led to a moment of awkwardness between the pair.

“Annnnnnnnnd I hope we’ve learned a lesson in asking inappropriate personal questions,” she concluded.

Marie elaborated on the situation in a number of further tweets, explaining that she's regularly asked whether she's going to have children by people who are ignorant of the insensitivity of the question.

The thread has resonated with numerous people on Twitter, garnering almost 90,000 retweets and more than 400,000 likes.

A number of people have left comments relaying their own experiences of being questioned about having a future family.

“I once had an entire crew laugh at me because I said ‘I’m working overtime so we can have a child,’” one man wrote.

“When one of them said ‘You need to be home more to have a kid’, I had to tell them that my wife has a genetic condition that results in a one in 16 chance of taking a baby to term.”

“We kept getting asked all through years of infertility," another person tweeted. Eventually we took your route and just said ‘we’re trying but failing’. Made people shut up real fast."

Ruth Bender Atik, national director of The Miscarriage Association, explains to The Independent why asking whether someone is going to have children can be a very sensitive topic of conversation.

“Asking someone about their plans to have a child - or indeed asking why they don’t have one - can be hurtful as well as intrusive,” she says.

“You don’t know whether it’s something they have control over or not, whether they have had losses or fertility problems, whether they have sexual or relationship problems. I think Lisa Marie’s tweet says it all!”

A spokesperson for baby charity Tommy's tells The Independent that miscarriages occur far more frequently than people may suppose.

"Despite one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage, the silence around the subject, which is often taboo, means that many women who have lost babies harbour unexpressed feelings of failure, isolation and guilt," the spokesperson says.

"We know from Tommy's research that women may be at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder with 25 per cent reporting PTSD symptoms following an early miscarriage."

This week, singer, actress and radio presenter Rosie Ramsey thanked fans on her Instagram story for showing their support after opening up about her recent miscarriage in a post.

“Thank you so much for all the absolutely wonderful, beautiful, really honest comments on my last post,” she said.

“I can’t believe how many people got in touch and I was really shocked by the number of people it happened to but then I wasn’t because it’s one in four and that’s so many people, so it didn’t shock us in the end.

“It’s helped so much just sitting reading stuff. Obviously I haven’t read them all because I got a bit upset at one point and I was like I’m just going to leave them for a little bit because it’s still very fresh and raw."