I can’t begin to tell you how I feel about my fertility. No one
prepares you for infertility. Rather, from the start you’re prepared
for fertility. In fact, you have to do the opposite of being all things
fertile. The truth is people have children all the time – no one gives
a fig that you don’t or can’t . The whole world is built around having
children, being part of family. Look out the street any Monday
morning and you’ll see mums and dads taking their kids to school.
It’s how most people define themselves, certainly all they talk about.
The television is full of family shows, children and parents are inescapable.
This is the club you are excluded from . How on earth do you navigate
not being part of something that the whole word refers to itself by?
I am a Dad. I am Mum. I am Grandfather. I am a Grandmother. These are
the everyday terms we hear all around us. What do you say or think or feel
when in an ordinary day someone states casually – my daughter my son. It’s not like being vegetarian- you can’t say: no thank you. People don’t stop offering you their definition in life just because you don’t or can’t have children.
I’ve always found it an awkward exchange where I must keep my
my own counsel . Find ways to navigate the array of emotions I’m faced
with when in the midst of a conversation about children.
I’m no different to anyone else. I haven’t got three heads. I didn’t bring my lack of motherhood on myself. When I started on this journey of knowing my fertility was compromised – I was just like everyone else. I’d met a man, had fallen crazy in love .Like everyone else, our strength of feelings for each other led us to want, quite naturally, to marry, settle and have children. We’d decided that I’d go to work and he’d stay home. I wanted two children, not one, as I didn’t want my child not to have a sibling. Rich, was very playful, imaginative, calm and strong enough to offer our children a wonderful father figure. Our relationship was very good in every way you could wish for. We fought, like any couple, but our love was deep. It was beyond anything I’d ever experienced in my life. Certainly, it was secure. It seemed to both of us, we had little to worry about; our future looked bright and rosy.
I came home from work one day and said let’s buy a house. I was working and earning enough for a mortgage. We’d just started to look at terraces in London when bam I was stuck down with endo. From that day on my dreams were extinguished and my life no longer mine.
I was only 24 when I became ill with endo. I was 27 when I discovered my fertility was compromised. I am 51 now. This is the life I have lived as a result.