Sunday, 20 September 2015
Do you have children?
It always amazes me how society is so set in its ways that they struggle to accept anyone who is different. Whether that difference be your: sexuality, beliefs, taste, opinions or lifestyle.
I have met so many people, predominantly women, who can simply not wrap their head around the fact that I am of a certain age and do not have children. When going through IVF it was like a constant bomb being dropped. 'Do you have children?' POW 'When are you having children?" POW "Why don't you have children?" POW. These comments hurt like bullets into my heart and I wanted to scream.
I am sure all of these questions were asked with no nasty intent, however when you are mid-way through an IVF cycle, or even worse you have just realised the last cycle did not work, this is the last question you need. Even now, I am not currently doing IVF, I find these questions frustrating. Like the tradesman the other day who says: "well it's just you two at the moment but when you fill up the house with children you will use so much more power".
I have tried all sorts of responses to "Do you have children?", over the years to protect myself. I have found a simple "no" response leads to the enquirer needing to smooth things over and make things better. They usually respond with a comment like: "Oh well you are still young, plenty of time for that!" or "Don't worry, it will happen soon".
When I have responded with "its complicated" the same well-wishing responses are achieved. When I have responded with the truth and mentioned IVF the response can be mixed. It can resemble something like: "My daughter/friend/cousin tried that and it worked for them, it will work for you too, you'll see". Alternatively they can be very uncomfortable about the mention of IVF and shrink away and disappear.
I have experimented with just being honest, as I always try to be, but people get very funny when you tell them out loud you wont be having children. They respond like you just told them you were an alien from Mars and they cannot fathom why, as a young female, you would not have children. It is unbelievable to them and then it gets very awkward and they change the topic or leave, assuming now you both have nothing in common.
I have found it usually best to just agree with them when they say: "Don't worry, it will happen soon, you are still young". Nodding and smiling seems easier than bursting their false hope.
Although I wonder why I can't be 100% truthful with them all. Why does my action of not having children scare so many women? It was not even 100% my choice to begin with. Perhaps it worries them; bursting their optimistic bubble of hope that all women can have children.
Although sadly, anyone playing this infertility game knows children are not guaranteed for all! This lack of understanding only makes it harder to gain support and share our truth. This narrow-minded belief makes the journey more isolating and painful. This is why people need more education on this topic! This is why I write!
Would love to hear your stories too...
Until next time,
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