Usually in blog posts I waffle before I get to the point but this time, I won’t. The bottom line is, we need to stop asking women about their fertility plans! Since I’ve become older and started delving into the world of fertility myself, I’ve become less naive and have realised that asking women questions about their plans to have children puts unwanted pressure on them.
The truth is about fertility…
Some women struggle to conceive, and some women don’t have that option at all.
Recently I read a brilliant blog post by the lovely Abbie from Cheerfully Live, which was all about learning to live with your fears. The post touched on the fact that Abbie may be unable to have children for medical reasons. Her words resonated with me because I’m also in a position where being able to conceive won’t be easy and it’s likely I’ll need support. For those of you who don’t know, I had a pituitary brain tumour when I was 8 years old and this has left me with umpteen complications to do with my hormones and all that jazz. Only recently, I was at a party and there was a super adorable baby there. Both Andy and I were cooing over her and the instant response was ‘oooh you two will be next!’. Will we though? Are you sure about that one?
We definitely want children in the future and as much as I appreciate it’s just one of those things people say in these situations, I really wish we didn’t. I remember thinking at the time ‘if only it was that simple’ but of course, you never say anything because you don’t want to embarrass anyone, air your business or hurt peoples feelings (despite ironically, them sometimes hurting yours!). We’re taking it at our own pace and especially because we are having the support from Yorkshire Fertility, we know that to put a time frame on it at this stage would be unwise.
Some people simply do not want kids…
…and that is FINE. Another lovely lady who touched on this in her blog was Ysabelle and if you’re in the same boat, you should give it a read. Just because you don’t want kids, doesn’t mean you hate them or you can’t tolerate being around those who have them. I know I want kids, which is why I struggle when someone makes a throw away comment about the fact it won’t be long til I’m the one with a bump.(Little do they know, the only bump I’ll be getting any time soon is a food baby bump!).
Yet for Ysabelle, I imagine she feels the same struggle. It must be frustrating for people to just assume you have your life set out that way. Life isn’t set in stone and I think we need to remember that milestones are different for everyone. It’d be boring if we all got married aged 27 and were popping sprogs by 30 anyways.
Some women have lost a child
At the end of the day, fertility is a very private affair and quite frankly, it’s none of our business. We have no idea of the battles that a woman has faced and asking questions like ‘don’t you have children?’ can stir up a heap of emotion. I honestly can’t imagine the pain someone goes through when losing their child, it is truly heartbreaking. That’s yet another reason why we need to be a little more sensitive when it comes to quizzing people on their fertility plans.
Final little rant about not asking women about their fertility…
I feel a little on edge about posting this because not only is it quite a personal piece, but I also feel like I’m going to get a bunch of people thinking I’m preaching. I’m really not. If you follow me and my blog, you’ll know I like to keep it real around here. Like I said earlier, I know for a fact I’ll have said similar things before to my friends and I’m not saying that if you were to say ‘you’ll be next’ to me I’ll never talk to you again. I get it, we slip up and say these things. But as I say, being in the situation I’m in has really opened my eyes to how we need to be careful with our words. Fertility, pregnancy, the ability to conceive and all that comes with it is your own business and nobody elses.
Thanks for taking the time to read and if you can relate to any of this post and want to chat, my inbox is always open.