There are apparent questions every woman must encounter in a lifetime. If you are my age, they will be thrown from every corner.
- When are you going to have children?
- Why don’t you want to have children?
- Why don’t you want to have a second/third child?
The audacity, the level of intrusion, the sense of entitlement is irksome! You may ask: Why is it wrong? Here is why.
Think about the woman who is childfree by choice. One who has decided to intentionally delay that stage or not even get there at all. What if she is simply happy with a cat, thanks to the post-modernism pervading our society?
Think about the woman who chokes with a fake smile every time she has to explain why she still hasn’t experienced the kicking of the little feet in the tummy. The woman who shows up at every baby shower and sits up to listen to the whining “mum-to-be” about how accidental the pregnancy was. Think about her who is at the verge of giving up, whose hope is hanging by a piece of a thread – or is frozen up in a tube – because the pressure is suffocating.
Think about the woman who still has not learnt to pronounce what the doctor called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Think about the woman who has been battling endometriosis silently. One who has braved a series of surgeries and still hopes that God is going to show His face; that she too shall experience the “pata pata” of the feet. Her that wishes for just something to adorn her scars.
Think about the woman who has had to deal with several miscarriages. One who still has to correct people when they mistakenly call her “mama so” because the last time they saw her, the belly was full. One that has come to understand the words “it happened again” way too well. One whose belly heats any time she knows that she is expecting a likely loss. The woman who has borne the pain of a still-birth. The woman who lost her baby even before it could mumble “mama”. One who has had to destroy the nursery and is still figuring out what to do with the baby stuff.
Think about the woman who was elated to miss her p’s and even before she could behold the two pink strands the rupture happened; her whose to-be-baby missed the path and scarred her tubes. Think about her whose fears have all been confirmed by Dr. Google.
Think about the woman whose womb has been invaded by the predatory fibroids. One that has been told to move with speed since the biological clock is ticking too fast and, worse still, who may have to lose her womanhood to the stubborn growths.
Think about the woman who was able to have her first baby but attempts for the second one have been in resounding futility. One who is keeping all the baby stuff and yearning to use them for the second and third time. She has waited for years to feel the wails and the chuckles again. This time she is too ready.
Think about the woman who has painfully known that men too have their fair share of challenges. The woman who has held her man’s arms and clothed his vulnerable ego with insurmountable grace; the woman who understands terms like: low sperm count, azoospermia and oligospermia too well.
Think about the woman who has spent to her last coin. Swallowed all the supplements and paid for several IUIs and has learnt to live with a negative result. One who has taken a leap of faith and paid for the painfully pricey IVF procedure and has watched money worth a piece of land go down the drain.
Think about the woman whose relationships seem to hit the rock bottom even before they take off. The woman who is tired of waiting for the right man to father her child. The wait seems long and unending and the floods of anxiety have come as the clock is ticking way too fast.
If your mouth is itching to ask a friend, a couple, a colleague or a relative why they are still not having children or when it will happen, you may be well meaning. But think. Think again, for your words may be a piercing sword to their wounded souls.
In another life, it could be you. It could happen to her. To anyone. The royal Megan Markle recently spoke about her miscarriage. “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few… Despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with unwarranted shame.”
Thank you for reading. I am always looking forward to your feedback and I am greatly indebted to you for the immense feedback I got on the previous post.