I’m sure many of you out there will have experienced this, or maybe you are the one asking the question. It’s hard, unless you have been through it yourself to realize the significance.
I remember as a teen I would always ask questions like that, “when are you going to have a baby?”, “how many do you want?” and “are you scared of giving birth?” I always wanted to talk about it because I was so excited to have a baby myself.
It never registered with me that my interrogation could be damaging.
Fast forward and 3 years into the fertility journey from hell, those question or suggestions like “it will be you next!” would rip my heart in two.
Some people have many babies, some have one, some people want babies and struggle to conceive, some people don’t want babies at all and that is completely valid too.
It isn’t just first time mums either that struggle to conceive, some people can have one child easily and struggle for years to conceive the next. Secondary infertility is hard.
Now, it’s new. I have my baby, and so now we have moved on to the next set of questions. “When are you having your next one?” and when I reply, never, I get the same responses “oh I’m sure you will change your mind”, “you say that now, but I’m sure you will”, “oh, your going to deprive your daughter of a sibling?” and the patronizing “we’ll see“.
I very clearly explain my reasons and I still get the same response.
- I was extremely sick with Hypermesis Gravidium and the first 28 weeks of my pregnancy left me stuck in the house, constantly sick, dehydrated and fearing for my life
- I was in labor for 20 days and I have quite traumatic memories
- I worry about the affects of overpopulation on the planet
- I suffer from postnatal depression
- How would I look after my daughter if I was sick again?
- I am trying very hard with therapy to get better and when I am in a good place I don’t want to risk all that work
- It was a very long hard journey to conception, I don’t know how hard it would be to conceive again but I don’t want to go through that again and honestly;
- I just want to appreciate and embrace the beautiful child I have
It isn’t just the frustration I feel when people insist that I will, or should have more children, it’s more that I think of other people on the infertility journey and how they will be getting these questions too and it breaks my heart. Don’t assume just because someone has one child that they can have another. I also feel for those who do not want children and are made to feel like they should. If someone tells you they don’t want children it is not up to you to convince them.
I’m hoping more people will be wary of the questions they ask and assumptions they make in future, nobody knows what people have been through.